Friday, May 23, 2014

Goals & KPIs - First review

Nearly 4 months since I drafted my KPIs, let's see what's the progress like.

Goal #1: Read the Quran daily (or almost daily and "khatam" at least once)

Truthfully, I have not started this yet. After several attempts to purchase one here (silly me for not bringing a copy over), I resorted to asking my mom/brother to send a copy over. Although I know copies are available online, I do like reading the hardcopy - even for normal books. More on this later.

First review: Moving at a snail's pace. I will need to derive a new strategy to ensure that I will not lose interest in this goal.

Goal #2: Sew clothes (e.g. blouse)

Before arriving in Sydney, I successfully completed a blouse in 13 hours. Since this goal was achieved very early in the year (my empress cut turned peplum blouse was completed on 28/1/2014), I decided to expand this goal further. I am now working on a scrub cap (the kind you see on Grey's Anatomy & Scrubs) and hopefully a baju kurung Kedah.

First review: Scrub is still in progress and the baju kurung Kedah pattern is unopened. However I have sewn 5 (yes five) pairs of pants and have at least nine projects lined up.

Goal #3: Be comfortable in the kitchen

Initially, I was going to name this goal "Learn how to cook decent meals" when I realized I can cook especially when I have recipes at hand to follow. Whether it tastes nice or not, that's a different story altogether :p 

I am just not COMFORTABLE in the kitchen. After 2 weeks of constant cooking, I can say I am more comfortable in the kitchen and I can further improve on this. I am just not sure how I will measure this goal. Any suggestions?

First review: I can already cook 3 dishes with consistent results. Motivated by this, I requested Mama for more recipes (all of it my favourite and is not replicated in Malaysian restaurants in Malaysia or Sydney). 

I am also toying the idea of cooking some Raya fare since we would be celebrating Raya in Sydney. Perhaps that could be a goal measurement.

Goal #4: Sort & Print my wedding pictures

Hahaha.. it's been nearly a year since I got married and my pictures are still not sorted nor printed. I am not referring to the wedding highlights - those were ready 6 months after the wedding. I am referring to the other pictures that would generate more interest among the relatives & family members - the ones where they appear in it (nope, they are not interested in the storybook version).

I am just too lazy to go through the 3000+ pictures (with digital, everyone's trigger happy these days).

First review: Have not lifted a finger for this goal. There's just no motivation to get this goal going at all. Hahaha

Goal #5: Sort, Print & Arrange pictures from my Scandinavian trip (include write up)

This trip took place way before the wedding. In fact it probably led to the wedding as they say, absense makes the heart grow fonder.. heh heh. This goal is much easier to achieve as opposed to Goal #4 as I would be happy reliving the memories of the trip (not that I am not happy to relive the wedding moments, just that no one is trigger happy here).

First review: Same update as Goal #4. Nothing done here :p

Goal #6: Maintain a blog

m-e-o-w has been around for many years. It started off with Multiply and now it's on blogspot.
A few years back, m-e-o-w went into hibernation. With many changes and firsts taking place in 2014, now is the best time for m-e-o-w to wake up and get going again.

The target is to have a minimum of 12 entries. I seem to be on track to achieving this goal. Today's entry is already the third one. Yay!

Update 28/3/2014: I have since re-branded my blog to Lyn, Life Explorer and will focus more on life's (experiences, observations and self-realisations).

First review: The only goal I have exceed above expectations. To date, I have published 21 entries and 2 more pending (this one and also another one currently in draft).

Goal #7: Health & Fitness
They take their sports seriously here and why not? The weather here is good (too cold for me) and their facilities are excellent. I am lucky too as I reside within the vicinity of University of Sydney. Their sports program (open to local residents) are impressive too.

Taking advantage of this, I have decided to:

  1. run a total of 100km in 3 months
    First review: This is at 11% and it is a goal I will not achieve. Target date is 5 June which is just a couple of weeks away. If you count walking tho, I would have probably achieved this target. I do not track my walks tho.
  2. learn how to swim the butterfly stroke
    First review: I CAN swim the butterfly. Yay! Am I good at it? Not at all. hahaha. On a separate note, I am now into my 2nd term of swimming lessons. Here they focus more on improving my freestyle strokes which is good too as I am most comfortable with the breaststroke.
  3. sign up for gym membership and attend the group fitness sessions or swimming at least 3 times a week.
    First review: I am on track with this goal - 3 times a week of BodyBalance, weekly swimming lessons and at least once a week of Aqua sessions followed by a swimming session.

    I also signed up at Hard Candy Fitness (no contract). Am going to end it after the first month though. There is just too many challenges and that is even before I arrive at the gym.
Goal #8: The learning never stops
I also discovered that University of Sydney offer short courses that are open to residents too. The courses offered are interesting enough and this could be a sneak peak to another new category of knowledge.

First review: I have attended several short courses offered by University of Sydney. Most recently a financial planning course. This was a good introduction to the Australian tax system too (that relates to helping you create your wealth). Previous courses attended were Creative Travel Writing & a 6 week Indoor Wall Climbing course.

In order to expand my arts and crafts side, I recently did a 3 hour course on knitting. I am happy to say I can successfully cast on, knit stitch, purl stitch, rib stitch and stocking stitch. Cannot really cast off but will refer to youtube when the time comes.

Goal #9: Less thinking, more action
This is a new goal. I realised I spend a lot of time thinking and rethinking to the point most things do not get executed. Hence this goal is meant for me to proceed with the next phase of the plan after the thinking/planning is done.

I already have one achievement in this area - a Tupperware party. Haha. You might be wondering "Huh? Hosting a Tupperware party is an achievement?" Well let's just say I spent two months toying with the idea to host one as I was concerned of the outcome. Long story short, I organised one in 5 days and it went well. Even if it did not go well (well is subjective here), at least I tried.

Goals #10 - #12: To be defined

First review: Still not defined.

That's all for today folks. Till our next review in 3 months?

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Passions in Life: Tupperware

Some have passion for clothes, shoes, watches, cars, designer handbags and whatever else you can think off. No matter how much clothes or shoes or watches they already have, they will always have room for another one and another and another. Same goes for me too except mine is Tupperware. 

You say: Why Tupperware?
I say: Why not Tupperware? 

It is a global brand, so famous that people refer other plastic containers as Tupperware! It was founded in 1948 and more than 60 years later, still going strong.

My first memory of Tupperware brought me back to when I was 7 years old. At that time, I had no idea the water tumbler I carried to and from school was a Tupperware. All I knew it was my favourite tumbler as I never had to deal with a wet bag each time I used it. It was spill free.

Why do I love Tupperware?

People complain that Tupperware is expensive compared to the cheap copycats you can buy from the dollar shop, the supermarket and what not. From my experience, this is only true if you are someone who

1. thinks short term
2. not careful with your belongings

If you do not fall into these two categories, Tupperware will then be a cheaper (if not the cheapest) option.

How could something expensive be cheap?

Many are not aware that Tupperware products are made to last for a very long time even though it is used every day. Tupperware lovers know this because a company will not provide a LIFETIME GUARANTEE if their product is not meant for a few years, what more forever. I do not know of other brands (plastic containers or other items) offering this sort of guarantee or warranty.

For example, if a seal of your Tupperware container needs to be replaced because of wear & tear (it's loose or torn from constant open/close action etc), you may replace the seal for FREE. You don't even have to show proof of purchase before they give you a replacement. Try doing this in Ikea or Kmart or Jusco or Mydin without a receipt. Even if they were willing to give a free replacement, they won't do so without a receipt.

If it was faulty because of negligence or missing a part, you have the option of purchasing only the parts you need. Try doing this at Ikea or Kmart or Jusco or Mydin. The sales representative will think you are crazy. The closest solution they can offer is for you to buy a new container as they do not sell spare parts (they might not even have the same design as the one you have either). The new container will cost more than what you paid for previously too because of inflation. That is already spending more than you should have to.

Another reason is the durability of the product. We purchased a Tupperware can opener in 2007 for about RM129 (approx AUD$43). You are probably thinking what?!! So much for a can opener? Well, the can opener has been in the family for the past 7 years. Divide the cost by 7 years, it comes out to RM18.43 ($6.10) per year. That can opener is still going strong. Prior to that, we have thrown out numerous cheaper can openers. The combined cost of those cheap ones exceed the price I paid for a Tupperware one.

I already have too many containers, I do not need more.

The other common reason people do not want to buy Tupperware is because they claim to have cupboards full of containers at home. One could say the same for clothes/handbags/shoes etc. Yet I do not see them stopping themselves from buying more. Hahaha.

Anyways, my love and excitement for Tupperware is revived after my Big Move. Having had to set up home from scratch (I left everything behind and traveled with limited clothes), I found myself asking my mother to send some of my Tupperware from home to Sydney. As it does not make sense to bring all over, I only asked for my FreezerMate.

FreezerMate: All nice and organised. A must for OCDs.

I do not care for your arguments. I still want my Tupperware cheap or free.

Then you need to host a Tupperware party. As a Tupperware party host, you are entitled to host discounts and also earn Tupperware credit and other benefits that vary from campaign to campaign. The more successful your party is, the more credit you get and the more Tupperware you can "buy" for FREE! Yay... who doesn't love free Tupperware right?

Try going to Ikea or Kmart or Jusco or the brand company direct and offer to host a product party for them in exchange for discounts or to earn credit. I can already see the look you are going to get. Hahaha.

I hosted my first Tupperware party recently after many years! Despite having only 4 days to plan it, it turned out well. 
Tupperware & snacks on display during the party
From nothing to many things. Just by HOSTING a party, you get to EARN Tupperware credit and "buy" more Tupperware for FREE! I only paid for two items in the picture. Can you believe that?

So for those of you who say Tupperware is expensive, get your Tupperwares for FREE by hosting a party. Regardless if you are hosting a party in Malaysia or Australia, as host you get to enjoy host benefits. The benefits differ from country to country. So check with your local Tupperware consultant/demonstrator today.

If you're in Sydney, book your party with Rebecca Zagoudis ( 

If you're in Malaysia, wait for me to come back to KL ok? Hahaha.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Bushwalking at Wentworth Falls

Bushwalking at Wentworth Falls was not part of our plan until National Pass Trail was recommended by a colleague of Mr H. After some online research, I did not find out much except it was 6km long and would take about 4 hours to complete. Nevertheless we decided to explore the possibilities of walking this walk and extended our trip by one more day. 

Failing to secure accommodation at Wentworth Falls, we opted to spend the night in Lithgow instead. A good decision that turned out to be as this town has a tourism centre that sells Walking Track Guide booklets published by Blue Mountains National Park. Mr H bought two walking track guides for a total of $13. I love the format of the booklet! It lists out the different tracks available in the area with the following details:

  • Time: Estimated time it would take to complete (one way or return)
  • Grade: Wheelchair Accessible/Easy/Medium/Hard/Experienced Walkers with a description of each grade (difficulty level)
  • Features: What are the highlights you are expected to see should you take this track
  • Directions: Where the start point is, what are the things you should look out for along the way, the return route etc
Having lost our battle with the alarm clock and snoozing an extra hour, we arrived at Wentworth Falls Picnic Area at 11:30am. This kind off meant we had to give National Pass Trail a pass. The guide book graded this trail as hard and we had a few things against us like

1. returning our rented car on time,
2. do not know how long the drive back would take due to the long weekend,
3. how physically challenging is the walk and most importantly,
4. are my ballet flats able to rough out the track?

To the falls or National Pass? Decision
not required at this point.
Thankfully we did not have to test out #4 as I did pack my gym shoes along. With guide book in hand, we started with Rocket Point Lookout (Time: 1 hr return, Grade: Medium). Features of this walk were heath and excellent views of Wentworth Falls. I was not too excited with heath but the view of the falls did take my breath away. Although it was graded as medium, the walk itself was fairly easy. Perhaps the grading was done based on someone with the lowest(or no) level of fitness to set realistic expectations. 

Wentworth Falls. Probably too cold to swim. In Malaysia, it would be full of swimmers no doubt.

Walk under this rock formation, then take right to Rocket Point Lookout.
Wentworth Falls from Rocket Point Lookout.
We easily completed the track in less than 40 minutes. Motivated by the speed of completion, we decided to take the Overcliff-Undercliff Track (Time: 2 hours one way, Grade: Easy). 

In my more than 10 years of hiking/trekking, I have not walked a track as unique as the Undercliff Track! Unless caving, the sky or trees would normally be your ceiling. This time though, it is the rock formation. I felt I was walking through a giant CT scan machine.

Walking under the cliff @ Undercliff Track
Unfortunately, the Overcliff Track was closed and we were routed to the Short Cut Track to continue our walk. 

The Short Cut Track is recommended if you have timing constraints. It takes 20 minutes one way from the car park to Conservation Hut and classified as easy. Since Conservation Hut kept on popping up on TripAdvisor reviews, we made our way there instead of walking towards the car park.

Arriving at Conservation Hut just after lunch, it was not as busy as it could have been. There was still a short queue tho. All that walking built up an appetite. As soon as we sat down, I ordered a slice of pecan pie and coffee for lunch. Hahaha. I am all for rewarding oneself after a good workout :p After lunch, we headed back to our car via the Short Cut Track.

Pecan pie. Yum Yum.
p.s. If you're on a budget, you can skip Conservation Hut and head straight for Mojo Espresso at the car park.

Aussies really love their coffee.

Overall, it was worth the trip. We would definitely want to return and complete the National Pass Trail. Now, we just need to find time in our schedule :D

For more information on National Pass Trail, go to Having said this, I found the following to be more helpful compared to the official website.

- TripAdvisor reviews and forums on the National Pass
- Walking Track Guide: Bushwalking in Wentworth Falls Area ($6)

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Touring the Blue Mountains

Day 3 of Easter Escapade saw us traveling far.
Katoomba. The name itself reminds me of the Malay word ketumbar also known as coriander in English. Day 3 of our Easter Escapade brought us here, a place I consider the capital of Blue Mountains as most of the must see attractions are centered around/nearby here.  You could embark on a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) tour or spend some money and sign up for a guided tour. In order to maximise our visit, we signed up for a Half Day Scenic Tour offered by Blue Mountains Mystery Tours.

We said goodbye to Oberon at 7:30am to ensure we arrived at the agreed meet-up by 9:00am. Taking a leisure drive and not making any stops, we arrived at 8:40am. Just as I was entertaining the notion to scout around for coffee/breakfast, Pete arrived in his van. He came bearing with good news that it will only be just us as the others cancelled and we can start immediately, 15 minutes ahead of schedule. There goes my breakfast thoughts.

Our first stop was Scenic World, home to the four ways -- Cableway, Railway, Walkway and Skyway. We headed down to Jamison Valley via the world's steepest Railway! Being ahead of schedule meant we were one of the first few people in line and did not have to wait long to board. The normal looking carriage comes with an extraordinary feature - an adjustable bench seat! This meant you could customise your railway experience by choosing either Cliffhanger, Laid Back or Original option. Although I had wanted to select Cliffhanger, I decided against and settled for Original (52 degrees incline). I am glad too as during the ride down, I could feel my palms get clammy and my heart slide down to my stomach! To think we were going at a pace much much slower than a roller coaster.

Normal looking carriage, extraordinary seats
Steep enough to get clammy hands

At the bottom of the rail track, we commenced our tour of Jamison Valley along the 2.4km Scenic Walkway. Other than the opportunity to learn about the site's coal mining history, you will get the chance to spot animals in the wild including the elusive lyre bird, awe at the size of huge trees and water vines or even go on a search for sculptures currently on exhibit among the trees. Common birds were perched on the branches and were easily seen. The same cannot be said for the lyre bird, unfortunately. Despite hearing it nearby, it remained invisible to us. Walking along the deck, we passed by huge water vines too, prompting me to think this was probably Tarzan's mode of transport in those days. If the natural flora or fauna is not your thing, perhaps you would enjoy more the sculptures on display hidden at different parts of the forest. For the more adventurous, this is also the beginning of several bush trails. You could even walk up right to the first sister (of the famous 3 Sisters). After an hour of walking, we arrived at Cableway station, a sign for us to head back up. Our guide, Pete gave us a tip on where to stand take advantage of the good views. I would share it with you here but I have forgotten exactly where. I remember it is in front, not sure if it's the left side or right side. Hmmm.. just sign up for Pete's tour and he will tell you. Hahaha.

After the Cableway ride, we made our exit from Scenic World. However, instead of leaving through the same way we came, we were going to cross the ravine with the Skyway towards the other gate. Pete showed us the queue to the Skyway and told us he will meet us at the other side.

The Skyway is similar to Cableway except it carries more than 50 people at a time. It is hanging 270m above the national park. Here, Pete suggested we stand either on the left or in the middle (I remembered :D If you are coming from the opposite side, stand right or middle). Left gives you the best view of the waterfall, and middle gives you the best view of the ravine as you would be standing on a glass floor! Don't worry about the strength of the glass - it was demonstrated that it could withstand a hard stomp by the staff on duty. The demonstration somewhat shocked us, eliciting screams from some.

Peek-a-boo! These people did not know the glass was see-through as it was frosted at the start!

The trip across took less than 5 minutes. Apparently on a non-busy day, the Skyway operator would stop for a few minutes mid-air to allow passengers to take pictures of the waterfall. We did not get such special treatment as it was Easter and school holiday weekend.

Pete met us at the other side as promised and off we went to Echo Point to meet the famous sisters. Legend has it that three sisters from the Katoomba tribe fell in love with three brothers from another tribe. However inter-tribe marriage was forbidden. The brothers were determined to marry the sisters and planned to take them by force. In order to protect the sisters, a witch doctor turned them to stone. He did not get the chance to reverse the spell as he was killed before that.

A second version is the witch doctor changed himself to a lyre bird after changing the sisters to stone. Unfortunately, he lost his magic bone before he could change himself and the sisters back to human form. Is it said to this day, the lyre bird is still digging looking for the magic bone.

The sisters from Queen Elizabeth's Lookout.
We viewed the sisters from Queen Elizabeth's Lookout. It was a short walk down from the road. You could also view them from the lookout at road level or lower. Depends on how much walking you would like to do.

Pete also recommended we visit the sisters later in the evening, when the sun has set. They would be in greater limelight with the flood lights focused on them. We toyed with the idea and eventually made it back there after dark. It was a great decision and we have Pete to thank for. Do not be fooled by the dark surroundings. Do walk towards the edge of the lookout point for the reveal.

WARNING: Should you visit after dark, bring a torch light or use your phone's light option. Other than the sisters, nothing else is lit. It is so dark you can hardly see a palm in front of your face, what more concrete pillars. An elderly man was terribly injured the night we were there. He landed face first, seriously injuring himself and broke his glasses in the process. Although I recently received feedback from Blue Mountains City Council that the sandstone plinths will be removed in interest of public safety, no harm in going prepared.

We temporarily bid the famous sisters goodbye as we moved on to our very much anticipated next stop on our itinerary - morning tea. Yum yum. Our drive down the winding road deep into the valley began with the 300 million year old forest and ended at a 600 million forest. Within 30 minutes, we traveled through 300 million years. Believe it or not, you would have noticed the difference.

Megalong Valley Tea Rooms has a serene atmosphere around it. We had expected the place to be crowded as Pete's attempt to making a phone order before our arrival failed (the phone line was either engaged or left ringing). The amount of cars parked in front of the business seem to confirm our expectations. We were however surprised that it was not that busy after all (not by Malaysian standards anyways) with the number of tables available for our choosing. 

Hoping to increase our chances of spotting a kangaroo/wombat/eagle or anything wild, I chose a table in the garden. Pete in the meantime placed our orders at the counter - jam+scones+coffee for me, mushroom pie+apple drink for Mr H and chicken pie for Pete. We took a short walk down the garden while waiting for our food. Still no luck with the animals.

Our orders came and went straight into our mouths. The blackberry jam that came with my scones were not exactly to die for but close enough. I am not really a fan of blackberry jam, so coming to that conclusion meant it was good. I literally smothered the jam onto my scones (all 3 of them) leaving none in the bowl. In fact, I bought a jar ($8) back and now eat it with roast chicken too. Mr H's mushroom pie was not bad either. 

Garden seating @ Megalong Valley Tea Rooms

Beautiful weather meant the shed was unoccupied
After our tummy fill up, we headed towards the creek nearby hoping to catch some sun bathing water dragons. Our luck in spotting animals on this trip continues - we found none. 

No water dragons today.
Despite not finding any water dragons, we did enjoy the tranquility of the creek. The gentle sound of flowing waters, the cool fresh air and the sounds of our footsteps - what's there not to love? Reluctantly, we left Megalong Valley and headed up back to Katoomba to our final stop in our tour - Govetts Leap.

Govetts Leap is host to Blue Mountains highest waterfall. Instead of heading straight to view the falls, we took a small detour bush walk. We finally spotted the elusive lyre bird, not one but two! Our luck was changing after all. Pete also impressed us with his knowledge of the local flora and fauna, especially with the different types of bottle brush plants. This is one of the benefits of getting a local tour guide! 

Lyre bird still looking for his magic bone.

Mountain Devil flower.

After our walk, we strolled over to the lookout for the final show. We were greeted with a never ending landscape of blue and green. Right at the corner, there it was. Standing at 300m tall, Bridal Veil Falls got its name from the flowing trail of water that changes direction depending from where the wind was blowing. Apparently, if the winds are strong enough you would be able to feel the gentle spray of waters from the falls. Amazing right? 

It was also here I found out why the area is called Blue Mountains. Due to the large quantity of eucalyptus trees that release oil into the air during the day, the reaction of the oil with the air creates a blue hue. 
Bridal Veil Falls (300m tall).

View from Govetts Leap.

After a few more pictures, it was time to complete the circle of our tour. Pete drove us back to our car and we bid our goodbyes. An enjoyable half a day we had.

For the different types of tour provided by Blue Mountains Mystery Tour, go to

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Jenolan Caves - Nature's Art Gallery

Oberon to Jenolan took us about 35 to 40 minutes.

Day 2 of our Easter Escapade took us to Jenolan Caves. Having spent the night in Oberon meant we did not have a long drive ahead of us to get there. Plus we did not have to travel the same route as tourist buses. Yay!

After a 35-40 minute scenic drive that included a glimpse of wild kangaroos making their way across the highlands, we arrived at Jenolan Caves Carpark 2 at 10:55am. Mr H had purchased our tickets for Orient Cave tour online earlier and we had to be at the agreed meeting point by 11:10am (tour is for 11:15am). Twenty minutes should give us ample of time to make our way there.. except it was not. Haha. Unknown to us, it was a good 15 minute brisk walk from the car park to the main area of the caves. Thankfully for us, it was downhill all the way.

Carlotta Arch.
Our walk began at Carlotta Arch. It is part of Carlotta Arch Walk (Shaping Waters) bushwalk that will take you about 45 minutes to complete (level of difficulty: moderate). We completed half the route as we came back the same way instead of making a loop. Unknown to us, there was another way up to this arch that is accessible from one of the other trails which we only realised after crossing paths with a group of boys we met earlier. Anyways this walk has many stairs making it not suitable for strollers and wheelchairs. 

Pic (left): Can you see glimpses of the Blue Lake from Carlotta Arch?

Pic (below): Caves House, the main "town" of Jenolan Caves - the ticketing office, administration office, accommodation, cafes and tour starting points are here.

From Carlotta Arch to here is a 15min walk.
After 15 minutes, we arrived at the main area (Caves House) and headed to the ticket office to collect our tickets. It was a blessing Mr H purchased our tickets online as we did not realise it was a long weekend AND school holidays. Many were disappointed at being turned away as the Orient Cave tour were a sell-out for all 3 sessions!

Our Orient Cave tour started at 11:15am on the dot. There are two ways to access the cave - take the original route consisting of 1000 (stair)steps or the route used today consisting of 94 steps. Needless to say, we all opted for the latter. Haha. We had a short briefing upon reaching the entrance to the cave tunnel: 
  • Food and drinks not allowed except for water. Smell of food and drinks attract wild animals and we do not want them to come out and seek the source. They could end up being trapped in the cave and start to do damage in there.  
  • No touching of crystals. The oil and minerals from our palms will disturb and damage them.
  • Photography with flash permitted.
Once inside, we had the option to leave our jackets and handbags at the racks available. The temperature in the cave is bearable and jackets were not required. Leaving them behind meant we could navigate within the tunnel easier and had our hands free to hold on to railings etc when required. Strollers are also not allowed inside.

The tour itself is 1.5 hours and child friendly (minus stroller). If you are claustrophobic, this might not be the tour for you. The pathways are narrow and sometimes you will need to walk up stairs with the "ceiling" just above your head. Having said this, it was not stuffy or smelly either (no guano smell). I have been on several cave tours before and this tour would be classified as pleasant :). 

Orient Cave has 3 main chambers - Egyptian, Persian and Indian. Each chamber has its own attraction. I only took pictures with my iPhone. Am not sure if the iPhone camera does justice to the pictures but then again, even with a better camera I cannot seem to capture the beauty of a scene. Haha.. Although the chambers have lights installed, it will be turned on one by one for a more dramatic effect.

Crystal formations in Orient Cave
The highlighted formation is called a shawl
Reminds of corals I see when diving.

Upon completion of the Orient Cave tour, we went on a self-guided audio tour at the Nettle aka Devil's Coach House Cave as it was part of the ticket price paid earlier. All we needed was an acoustic guide, a device that resembled the early generation of mobile phones - big and bulky. I loved this as we could do the tour in our own time. All you needed to do was enter the corresponding numbers into the device, hit play and place the speaker to your ear and listen to the explanation.

This cave is an easy to explore, even for the claustrophobic. I consider this an open cave - high ceilings and ample of light coming in. Apparently this cave was a favourite among those interested in nature photography in the early days, way before today's advanced technology due to the amount of natural light that entered the cave. This is another tour that is suitable for families with children minus the strollers.

Pic (left): "Mouth" of Nettle Cave. For a bush walking experience, venture into the greens onto McKeowns
Valley Track (Healing Waters).

Pic (below): The stair structure up the cage. A huge stalagmite on your right as you walk up the steps.

Before heading back to Oberon, we did our final bush walk - Easy Blue Lake Loop. Unfortunately we completed half the loop as the other half was closed for upgrading work. The Blue Lake is actually a man-made dam. The colour is a result of the mixture of natural minerals available in the water. Depending on the weather, the colour differs. On a clear day, the water turns blue, hence the name.

Clear blue waters

One side Blue Lake, the other side river like.

The rock formation backdrop against the Blue Lake

Although we barely covered 50% of the attractions at Jenolan Caves, we reluctantly made our move after 4 hours. With many more caves (guided and self-guided) and bush walks to explore, I definitely want to make a return visit. My tip for you would be to arrive early (as early as 9am) and leave as late as you can. Even better if you could spend a night there to allow you an early start the next day.

If you are making a trip soon, my recommendations:
  • Be there as early as 9am (7:30am if you're up for their buffet breakfast). The longer time you spend there, the more you can explore.
  • Purchase your admission tickets online especially for the popular cave tours.
  • Bring your own drinks or water bottle (can be refilled for free). Else be prepared to pay steep prices (approx $4 for a bottle of coke or water. sometimes it's sold out at the vending machine).
  • Apply sunscreen, wear a hat/cap and sunnies for the bushwalk.
  • Download Jenolan Caves iPhone app before arriving.
  • Wear comfortable walking shoes - thongs/slippers not recommended.
  • Wear layered clothing as it tends to get warm with all the walking.

The purpose of my review is to relate my experience when visiting Jenolan Caves. For the nitty gritty details, visit their website at

We purchased our tickets online from Experience Oz + NZ and price includes

  • admission to the Orient Cave (1.5 hour guided tour), 
  • admission to the self guided Nettle Cave tour, 
  • souvenir guide booklet 
  • up to 50% of the price of more show cave tours for 12 months (excluding Jubilee, Ribbon & Pool of Cerberus Caves)
Download Jenolan Caves iPhone app before arriving there.