Caving

Mount Gambier and the surrounding Limestone Coast region is home to an extensive subterranean network of limestone sinkholes and caves.

This spectacular, water-filled cave network has been created over thousands of years by the constant slow drip of rainwater through porous limestone.

There are thought to be 800 caves across the local region.

A number of these are located on land managed by ForestrySA and are popular among experienced cave divers and adventurers from across Australia and the globe.

Access to ForestrySA caves is administered by the Cave Diver’s Association of Australia (CDAA) and Cave Exploration Group of South Australia (CEGSA), as peak Australian cave diving and cave exploration regulation bodies.

Wet cave dive sites

Cave entry is permitted by CDAA members only. Please contact the CDAA for more information, or to obtain a cave diving permit.

HELL’S HOLE
CDAA Rating: Basic Cave
This is a large sinkhole which measures approximately 45m across. Access to the water is via abseil from the platform It drops down about 30m to the water. The water has a maximum depth of around 25m. Diving is via abseiling from platform.

IDDLEBIDDY
CDAA Site Rating: Advanced Cave

This cave takes the form of a single large passage. From the entrance chamber, the passage runs south east for about 250m and ends in a small and extremely silty room, which appears to be a cavity in a large clay deposit.

STINGING NETTLE
CDAA Site Rating:  Advanced Cave
This is a deceptively large cave once the restriction is negotiated at about 10m. A low profile dive configuration (side mounts) is required to dive this site and caution should be exercised when proceeding through the slippery entrance.

MUD HOLE
CDAA Rating: Cave
A flooded passage leads into a low silty chamber, which pinches off 17m below the surface. While the water is constantly shaded and subsequently crystal clear, it can very easily be silted out by the first diver to enter the water, so beware.

NETTLE BED
CDAA Rating: Cave
From The Gallery, the cave drops deeper and breaks into a large room which contains many large, dark silt-covered boulders and black walls, before dropping again into a low, white clay-floored passage which leads into a smaller final chamber. The cave is not deep by local sinkhole standards, measuring about 28m in the final room, with an actual penetration distance from the surface of 80m.

PINES CAVE
CDAA Rating: Advanced Cave

A small entrance cuts back to a large clear chamber. This lower level between rocks can very easily become cloudy. As a dual-rated site, cave level divers must not proceed into the advanced cave section below the stop signs at 25m.

Dry cave exploration sites

Cave entry is permitted by members of the CDAA, CEGSA and affiliated bodies. Please contact the CDAA or CEGSA for more information, or to obtain a cave exploration permit.

SNAKE HILL
CDAA Site Rating:  Advanced Cave
One of the most extensive and complex cave systems in the local region.

MORGAN’S CAVE
CDAA Site Rating:  Advanced Cave
A horizontally developed feature containing more than 200m of passage and several interesting features.

Cave Divers Association of Australia

About the CDAA

The Cave Divers Association of Australia (CDAA) fosters the development, advancement, promotion, mapping, education, exploration, conservation, safety and research of underwater caves and related features.

The group was formed in 1973 and is now recognised across the world as a leader in cave diving safety, for the benefit of the sport and its members.

VISIT THE CDAA WEBSITE

Cave Exploration Group of South Australia

About CEGSA

The Cave Exploration Group of South Australia (CEGSA), was established in 1955.

The group strives to foster caving, speleology and the preservation of natural caves, with particular reference to South Australia.

It also aims to explore, survey and study South Australian caves, recording the results of its investigations and cooperating with other bodies to further these endeavours.

Photograph courtesy of Reef2Ridge.

VISIT THE CEGSA WEBSITE

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