You'll be surprised by the humidity when you go down into Thunder Cave - it's like the Queensland tropics.
(min cost $8)
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This is according to Rebecca Pedemont, caves team leader at Wellington Caves, where Thunder Cave has opened to the public for the first time in three years.
Thunder Cave is a "cave within a cave" and located on the lowest level of Cathedral Cave, the system's "showcase cave".
It was closed down in 2020 due to ageing infrastructure and COVID-19 - and then it was flooded out in 2022 - so having it open allows visitors to see the Cathedral Cave in its entirety for the first time in years.
Ms Pedemont said the acoustics are so amazing inside, you can tap your chest and it reverberates all around the cave - which is how it got its name.
"One of the guides was blessed this week to have a guest sing on the tour. When you tap on your chest within the cave it resembles thunder," Ms Pedemont told the Daily Liberal.
"One single tap on your chest, the acoustics is phenomenal."
Thunder Cave is a small chamber, and boasts some very old crystal - as well as newer crystal deposits from the recent flood - and some local history that goes back generations.
Naturally, the cave would be dark but there is lighting for the tours. There is evidence there was once plant life in the cave and while there were once bats inside, there is no longer wildlife inside the cave.
By exploring all three levels of the main Cathedral Cave, you end up 42 metres underground at Thunder Cave.
"The humidity is quite unexpected. As you walk away under the ground you're very close to the well which shows the water table. It's almost like being in far north Queensland," Ms Pedemont said.
In the caves system, there are over a dozen species of bat, both micro and macro, and five are endangered - but you'll be unlikely to see them.
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"Bats are smart enough to choose a cave without lights or people," Ms Pedemont said.
Dubbo Regional Council secured funding from the Crown Reserve Improvement Fund to replace the old staircase which was rusted through in different locations, allowing visitors to once again visit Thunder Cave.
The caves system has been "incredibly busy" during the school holidays, Ms Pedemont said.
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