Cave Creek Walking Track, located in the Bargo River State Conservation Area, is not widely-known. Yet it provides a perfect opportunity to get away from the city to somewhere really quiet where you can be introspective - and check out a cave.
As you turn into the site there is a parking area, and simple amenities. This includes barbeques, picnic seating, and a non-flush toilet. There's no water at the site, so you will have to bring all you need for both hand washing and drinking.
The trail starts as a flat and narrow dirt track hemmed in on both sides by scrubby bush, but it soon begins to widen and descend. The way is rocky in places, but it's a peaceful walk and you very quickly feel that civilization is distant.
One of the inhabitants I spotted was this lyrebird clawing its way methodically through the forest litter. It was clearly suited to its habitat, with plumage that allowed it to blend easily into its surrounds.
Beyond, the space opens out into a large cavern, taken up mostly by a shallow pool that feeds into Cave Creek. Above, you will notice a modest trickle of water falling into the pool from an opening at the top of the cavern. This opening is actually the exterior of the cave.
Retrace your steps back up the way you came and you will see another small trail to your right. Follow this to a set of metal steps that lead you down into the mouth of the cave. If you decide to venture inside, make sure you take a torch.
The cave has a sandy entrance, after which it narrows and then widens again, opening into another pool within the cave. The pool flows out the other side to become the small trickle that you would have seen earlier, spilling from the top of the cavern.
The inky pool within and a light at the end of the tunnel
Closer inspection of the cave's sandstone walls and roof reveal hard, blackish 'growths' - perhaps a form of mineral deposit. It's damp and dark within the cave and it isn't very large. But it is an interesting feature to find in the middle of the bush.
If driving from Sydney, make your way to Balmoral village then continue on Wilson Drive for another few minutes - approximately 4 km on - and you will notice the signs on your left marking the turn off. If approaching from the other direction, find the entrance on your right shortly after Hill Top, 14 km north of Mittagong.
This walk was very frustrating for me, I walked around and around the car park and oval playing ground area without finding this. I then set off down what looked like the correct path but gave up after about 40 minutes walk when it became obvious it was a fire trail and not the cave walk, then I tried another path that seemed to be the locals hot spot for dumping car bodies and house-hold rubbish, this path ended at an impossibly steep rocky gully, then I tried another path off the car park that looked a possibility, this one ended about 200 meters down at a locked fence, which is when I gave up and drove back to Sydney.