Oddly Enough

Australian caves offer new tour -- in Klingon

SYDNEY (Reuters Life!) - Staff at the Jenolan Caves west of Sydney have added a new out-of-this-world attraction -- a tour in the Star Trek language Klingon.

Currently a self-guided audio tour at the caves in the Blue Mountains is offered in eight languages, but staff came up with the idea of adding the fictional language Klingon as the caves did once feature in the popular TV series.

“In the Star Trek universe, Jenolan Caves was first immortalized in the Next Generation episode ‘Relics,’ through the naming of a ‘Sydney Class’ Starship - the USS Jenolan,” the Jenolan Caves Reserve Trust said in a statement.

“Now, this relationship will be developed further, when Jenolan Caves adds the language of Star Trek’s great warrior race to a tour of their most popular cave.”

The Jenolan cave system, located about 175 km (109 miles) west of Sydney, is enormous with over 40 km (25 miles) of passages and incorporating caves, underground rivers and natural archways.

The Klingon tour has been set up for the Nettle Cave, which attracts up to 200,000 visitors a year, and will start on August 22.

Jenolan Caves guide Gordon Mills said Klingon language experts Michael Roney Jr and Tracy Canfield earlier this month flew in from the United States to record the audio tour.

“We wanted to do something a bit obscure and we will now be the first tourist attraction on this planet at least to have a Klingon tour,” Mills, a self-described Star Trek enthusiast, told Reuters.

“There is a fantasy side to caves and a timeless nature, rather like Star Trek, so we thought this was fitting.”

Writing by Belinda Goldsmith, Editing by Dean Goodman