The short walk from the carpark to Junee Cave reminds me how casually much of the Tasmanian bush wraps itself in astounding beauty. We walk along mossy edges, past treeferns bigger than giants and alongside a clear creek that is almost too frigid to drink.

On the pathway to Junee Cave, Tasmania, January 2015
Although it's so beautiful it should be declared a national treasure, much of Tasmania's forest remains under threat, and we've driven past clear-felling sites to reach this location.

Junee Cave is part of an extensive underground labyrinth that includes caves, sinkholes, swallets and tunnels. Intrepid spelunkers have discovered the system stretches for over 40 km under the forests around Maydena in the Florentine valley of Tasmania’s southern centre.

As soon as we arrived, the girls were attracted to edge of the swiftly-moving creek that is the headwaters of the Junee River. The waterway flows directly out of Junee Cave — seemingly appearing from nowhere.

Lana drinking from the creek on the pathway to Junee Cave, Tasmania, January 2015
Lana tastes the water which runs clear and cool.

On the pathway to Junee Cave, Tasmania, January 2015
While pausing at the small bridge that crosses the Junee River, we have no idea that we're going to see the visible start of this waterway just a kilometre up the track.

On the pathway to Junee Cave, Tasmania, January 2015
Once we get off the gravel forestry road, the pathway is soft underfoot and the trees are frosted with moss.

On the pathway to Junee Cave, Tasmania, January 2015
The pathway ends rather abruptly at the mouth of the cave.

Junee Cave, Tasmania, January 2015
From the depths of the rock, the creek flows in a constant stream. Visitors who have the right gear and experience can start exploring the extensive cave system from here.

Junee Cave, Tasmania, January 2015
I love the lush vegetation that surrounds the cave. Although it's priceless, this section of wilderness is only considered a nature reserve and remains at the mercy of the successive government agendas.

Visiting fragile and beautiful places like this is enough to turn anyone into a conservationist. I’m so glad I have the opportunity to see lush locations like Junee Cave with my girls, and I hope that it’ll be preserved so they can bring their children to it too.