Nullarbor Caves: Ultimate diving experience

Australia & Pacific | | October 27, 2010 at 12:54 am




Share

Nestled north of the Great Australian Bight, the limestone Nullarbor Plain is nearly flat and treeless looking at which no one will think that there can be something interesting here. But, 90 m deep down the dusty plain, there exists the largest hidden caverns that are popular for cave diving. I left for this exciting experience with my three friends from Melbourne. It was a trip of total 10 days.

The journey started wit driving until Mount Gambier – the spot where other eager divers can be seen going to the caves. After this, we went ahead to reach the Blink Bonney Lodge to spend night. This took 4.5 hours to reach. Thanks to the tour guide who was with us, otherwise the routes are not that easy to pass. The next day after noon, we started our journey again to reach Port Augusta that took 8 hours. The second night was spent here in its local motel. Next day, it took us 11 hours to be at Border village in South Australia where we rested. On day 4, a 3 hour voyage made us reached the Cocklebiddy Roadhouse in Western Australia. This is the nearest landmark from where the four main caves are located at a distance of 17 km. Now, you can imagine why we spend 10 days on this trip.

Nullarbor Cave

Tommy Grahams cave

Two sumps divide a spacious chamber here where carbon dioxide is in great quantity. So, do not be quick and ensure that you wear your regulator. This is because if at all you feel difficult to breath, it is not at all easy to be normal here. It is 25 m deep having a temperature of 24 degrees. The cave entrance is seen on the top of the doline where you are required to crawl.

Tommy Grahams cave

Murra El-Elevyn cave

Nestled at a distance of 6 km from the roadhouse, the cave is accessible by ascending a ladder of 10 m. As compared to the above caves, here you are required to lower the equipments as well as bring an equipment support for lifting or letting down the gear. Go downhill for some 300 m and you will come across an entrance lake. This cave is packed with extensive passages. The depth is 14 m, while the temperature is 19 degrees. The total diving time here is 60 minutes.

Murra El-Elevyn cave

Cocklebiddy

This is at 12 km from the roadhouse. It is regarded as the largest tunnel in the world – nearly 30×10 m. It is 16 m deep and temperature here is 19 degrees. Reached by a 40 m face by lowering the gear, one has to amble 300 m within for being at the 250 m lake offering a favorable coast for good gear arrangements. Swim here to be at the end of a line attached to the wall from where you can swim further for reaching the two caverns. Among the two, the second cavern lake ends its journey in a rock collapse – The Rockpile and is accessible with 43 minutes of swimming. Do some photography here and then relax for some time.

Cocklebiddy Cave

Weebubbie

This one is accessible from Eucla Roadhouse after covering a distance of 16.6 km. Eucla can be reached in some 3.5 to 4 hours. Appearing as an isolated giant pit, Weebubbie offers sun-soaked walls, grand camping, and great scenery. However, it is devoid of foliage. It provides a Doline and a 45 m vertical fall in the direction of the doorway. However, I trekked on its ardent slope via a wooden ladder. At 200 m from the doorway is the waters bank accessible via a cool reflector. Then, swim for 200 m to reach a fixed line taking one to the transparent watered cavern. Such a dive is 50 m deep amidst the 19 degrees temperature. Note: Decompression is of great significance and do not dive here if you are not fully prepared.

Weebubbie cave

Tips

  • Best route from Melbourne is to reach Port Augusta and direct towards Cocklebiddy.
  • Avoid hunting for a cave during night.
  • Do bring torches, sunglasses, generators, spares, compressors, maps, equipment lowering frame, gloves, two ladders, abseiling equipment, kneepads, and tank valve plugs.
  • Go with someone who has visited these caverns.
  • Opt for only one cave diving as much time is needed for entry and exit.
  • Always be in a group or else you will get easily lost due to the 5 km dark tunnels divided by dry chambers.
  • Always have the first aid box due to no quick medical help.

Accommodations

Being very frank to the readers reading this article, just a single overnight accommodation at a roadhouse is very costly in these plains. Even if you book in advance on phone, you will be charged $10 per person. And this does not include meals. So, negotiate well for the process as well as other facilities like hot showers.

Budget

This is a journey of 5473 km. So, including excursion facilities, traveling cost, stay, as well as meals would at least cost you up to $1650 for two.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge