Wonder of the Capricorn Caves on display on national TV show
The natural beauty of the Capricorn Caves was beamed into homes across Australia at the weekend as senior tour guide Katherine Herring appeared on Channel 9’s ‘My Way’ series.
Katherine took guests through the caves, sharing her enthusiasm and passion for a job she constantly pinches herself over getting to do.
“I feel so grateful to come to work every day, we get to work and play every day and show people the caves,” she said.
Katherine fell into the job after responding to a newspaper ad.
She began her working career as an apprentice chef in Airlie Beach but after she became qualified she discovered it wasn’t for her.
She ended up studying a Certificate III in horticulture and then moved onto university and studied wilderness reserves and wildlife.
While home at her parents’ place in Rockhampton, she saw a job ad for a tour guide at the caves and jumped at the chance to apply.
During the job interview, she said they threw her in the deep end and gave her a helmet to see if she could handle adventure caving.
She impressed them, got the job and 17 years later, with some gaps in between, she’s still working at the caves and loving it.
“Every day is different, the wildlife is amazing, the dry rainforest that supports the caves, you never know what wildlife you are going to see.” Katherine said.
The microbats are her favourite animal to see, particularly the rare and endangered ghost bats.
“You don’t get to see one of those every day,” she said.
“They are a misunderstood little animal; they are smart little creature.
“It really is a joy to see them in the caves.”
From showing groups of over 50s through the caves, to leading international tourists and school groups, each day is different.
“Just being out in the environment is something special,” Katherine said.
“You just feel relaxed and whole and everything is good in the world.”
At the Capricorn Caves, Katherine said they were continually working on staff development with experts and getting new information about the caves.
“We are always learning,” she said.
They also work quite closely with the Queensland Museum, looking at the microfossils of ancient creatures and megafauna.
“It’s been amazing to learn what the landscape and environment of Central Queensland was like,” she said.
“It is more of an understanding of the environment we are working in.”
In her role, Katherine carries out all of the tours including cathedral tours, explorer tours, school adventure caving and geology tours.
“I can do all sorts of things which means it never gets old,” she said.
“I do love bringing on the learning with the kids, it’s very fun and satisfying.”
Katherine is also in charge of the souvenirs role and is on the lookout for CQ produce to sell in the shop at the Capricorn Caves. .
Having watched the episode of ‘My Way’ herself on Sunday night, Katherine was happy with how it turned out.
“We always cringe when we see ourselves but the caves look amazing,” she said.
To watch the episode head to the 9Now website or catch up on the 9Now app.