On the road from Kangaroo Island to the Grampians, I stopped at Naracoorte, a town famous for its world heritage listed fossil caves. Naracoorte has a system of 26 caves of various sizes and is one of the major – but not the only – caving systems in South Australia.
The day before I arrived, I had pre booked an adventure caving session. Luckily a couple had also booked, as there is a minimum number.
After a brief bit of training, we decided on a cave called the Blackberry Cave, because to has a lot of crawling around and tight spaces.
The three of us and our guide climbed into rooms of amazing rock formations. While it’s a short cave and not for the claustrophobic, there’s enough room to crawl around although even with the knee pads, I still sustained some bruising.
We got to the bottom of the Blackberry cave after a 45 minutes where we were told of a short tunnel that circled back into the chamber. It was tight and I went down first. I slid in head first as per instructions and prepared myself for the next part. I pushed through a tight gap, but my thighs caught and I couldn’t get through. Not prone to panic, I pulled back a little and tried from a slightly different angle. I was eventually able to shuffle through and up out the other gap.
Caving can be sweaty work even though there is a sustained 17 degree temperature down there. We scrambled back to the surface. A lot of fun. I’m looking forward to my next one.
The three of us were able to wander unassisted around a larger cave system known as the Wet Cave.
There will be the first of several instances of spelunking I’ll be doing on this trip, with plans to do some in every state.
The Cave Wanderer
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