A short drive away and down a dank path in the rainforest, tucked behind a bend amongst the rocks, another cave lies in wait.
Out of the watery dark of Marakoopa, into the chilly forest. Silver-gold reflecting pools accompany two streams in the cave, which then supply the creek amongst the ferns outside. Little eddies mingle by the mossy stones.
Down, down, down. Fragile rock filaments.
Translucent features in Marakoopa, like stone renditions of melted plastic.
Lower, terraced pools reflect buttressed walls, the water full to fleecy crystal rims and spilling over waxy flowstone.
Further west from Launceston through a string of little towns with delicate winter trees, crossing wide fields to narrow forest tracks and eventually, Marakoopa Cave.
Each cave has a unique structure and ambience, so I wouldn't want to describe one as being better than another, but Marakoopa's low entrance, underground streams, glow-worm starfield and sweeping terrain were particularly beautiful to me.