Continuing on from my photo diary about Southport (found here if you’ve missed it), I thought I’d share the outfits I managed to make during the trip, what worked, and what didn’t.
The only changes I made in the end was subbing the chambray shirt for a flannel shirt, and choosing a much sturdier pair of walking shoes.
The only reason the chambray got left behind was because I noticed the birds (i.e. our pet birds) had poo-bombed me at some point, big time, and there wasn’t enough time to wash and dry the shirt before departure.
Day activities – caving + walks
The day of travel was bucketing with rain almost the entire way, and fined up towards the evening. I used my rain jacket once when we stopped off by the beach while it was still drizzling.
Day of exploring/caving was overcast with pockets of sunshine but because we were mostly in the forest or underground, that didn’t impact us much.
Departure day was blazing sunshine and hot.
Honestly, everything did. Especially the flannel shirt.
The caves at Hastings and Mystery Creek were COLD; Hastings is a constant 9 degrees celsius all year round and even though the opening to Mystery Creek was much larger, it was basically the same story once you were past the rock mouth. I was utterly grateful for the fuzz of the flannel to keep me feeling that little bit warmer under the cotton jumper.
I thought the chinos would leave me a little wanting, but they worked really well too, proving to be nicely flexible for all the steps at Hastings, durable as we slid across rocks at Mystery Creek, and thanks to the cropped length I didn’t end up with muddy hems either, a big pet peeve of mine.
And thank goodness for my leather walking shoes too. The track to Mystery Creek is largely un-maintained in deep forest, with regular boggy patches that require proper shoes. Leave the trendy white converse at home and anything else that sniffs faintly of preciousness, they have no place here.
To be honest, nothing at all. I didn’t wear the shorts until the very last day when it was actually hot and we were definitely staying above ground. Shorts in the forest, and especially underground, are not a good idea in general. We spent a good hour at each cave and the experience would have been utterly miserable were my thunder thighs exposed to the elements. Not to mention that scrabbling around on rocks and sliding all over the place is far more comfortable covered than not. I could have got further use out of my rain jacket and taken it with me to the caves as well, but I was faffing about enough with the backpack, camera and lenses as it was.