Cocklebiddy Cave 2015 Print
Written by Andrew Pitkin   
Saturday, 17 October 2015 18:30

Cocklebiddy Cave in Western Australia is iconic in the history of cave diving. For many years the longest underwater cave in the world, it has seen some heroic efforts at exploration over the last 40 years. In September 2015 the Cave Divers Association of Australia invited me to speak at their annual conference, and I was lucky enough to be able to incorporate a trip to Cocklebiddy Cave as a guest of the Wet Mules. The entire cave is wonderful, but sump 2 in particular is some of the most spectacularly beautiful underwater cave passage I have seen.

Pannikin Plains Cave - the amazing escape Print
Saturday, 07 March 2015 21:54

An astonishing survival story in Australian cave diving: in November - December, 1988, a team of Australian and international explorers entered the massive Pannikin Plains Cave. Their expedition mission: to explore the extensive submerged cave system that lay 50 metres underground. Little did they know on the final day of their expedition a massive storm was heading their way. The effects were stunning: torrential rain and flooding caused tons of boulders and dirt to collapse in the cave entrance trapping the crew of divers underground. In this segment, two of the survivors, Chris and Sonia Brown, recount their dramatic survival and the subsequent rescue of the team of cave divers.

While the video above has been taken down from YouTube, the original documentary of the expedition, Nullarbor Dreaming, is now available below:

A team of international cave divers set out on an amazing adventure to explore the mysterious subterranean waters of Pannikin Plains Cave on the Nullarbor Plain in Western Australia. Their epic underwater exploration nearly ends in tragedy when a rare cyclonic storm hit the area and a deluge of rain results in a flash flood that funnels water into the cave causing the entrance to collapse blocking the main route out of the cave. Fifteen team members are trapped below ground. This documentary is a graphic account of the expedition and their escape.

Last Updated on Friday, 22 September 2023 16:22
The Primary Light, Goodman Handle and Side Mount Print
Written by Pat Fitzgerald and Trent Lee   
Tuesday, 05 June 2012 19:25

goodman-handleThe Primary Light and the Goodman Handle
by Trent Lee

Not many people know the history of the Goodman handle and what actually constitutes one.

Many manufacturers call any handle a Goodman, however the design points are very distinct. It must be flat and it must be rigid. Soft handles made of elastic or round ones really don't fit the design of a true Goodman handle.

By using a flat bar the grip of the diver is unimpeded with full use of the fingers. If you have adjusted the handle properly the light will always stay in position.

Andrew Wight: 1959 - 2012 Print
Written by Tony Richardson   
Wednesday, 04 April 2012 20:34

awAndrew grew up on a farming property near Harrow in western Victoria. He started caving while still at school exploring the local volcanic caves located near Byaduk. It was while Andrew was studying Agricultural Science at La Trobe University that he commenced cave diving in the water filled sinkholes and caves of the lower south east of Australia. Andrew went on to become one of Victoria's first PADI dive instructors, a CDAA cave diving examiner, and one of Australia's most recognised cave divers.

Craig Challen Print
Friday, 28 October 2011 16:30

Craig ChallenCraig Challen is one of Australia's leading technical divers and this was recognised by his peers in 2009 when he was awarded Technical Diver of the Year at the Australian technical diving conference Oztek.

Craig began cave diving in the 1990s and was one of the early adopters of closed circuit rebreather technology. In 2003 he supported Karl Hall on a dive to the end of Cocklebiddy Cave using CCRs, and in 2008 he returned to  Cocklebiddy Cave and extended the line by approximately 130 metres. In 2009, Craig, along with an international cast of cave divers, finally declared the main passage in Cocklebiddy Cave ended. Read the full history of diving in this famous cave here.

Side Mount Essentials Course Print
Written by Pat Fitzgerald   
Friday, 16 September 2011 17:09

tanks-smallWhy participate in a Side Mount Course?

I commenced technical diving in twin back mounts with a manifold. Despite numerous attempts and assistance from more experienced divers, I was just never really happy with the configuration. I like to have control and the only time I felt in control was swimming face down. If I turned on my side or attempted a roll over suddenly the full weight of the twins was working against me.

At the end of the training dives our instructor, Linda Claridge, provided a short opportunity to try side mounting and I was converted immediately. It just made complete sense and for the first time in two years I was immediately comfortable wearing two cylinders in the water. The difference between twin back mounts and side mounts really is that dramatic.

Why do I choose to dive in side mount configuration? Print
Written by Steve Bogaerts   
Friday, 24 June 2011 11:33

whysmThere are probably as many different reasons divers choose to dive in side mount configuration as there are side mount divers and each individual will have their personal reasons for choosing to use side mount.

So why do I choose to dive in side mount configuration?

Agnes Milowka: 1981 - 2011 Print
Written by Richard "Harry" Harris and Ken Smith   
Wednesday, 11 May 2011 16:04

agAgnes Milowka died in a cave diving accident in Tank Cave, South Australia on February 27th 2011, aged 29 years. She was doing what she loved and did best...laying line in virgin passage and pushing her own limits in a quest to satisfy the burning curiosity to see what was around the next corner. For many people this will be hard to understand. But for true explorers, the feeling of being the first, to be able to lay claim to a small piece of the earth that has never had human eyes upon it is as addictive as any drug. And in this realm, Ag was one of the best.

Laying Line in Caves Print
Written by Tony Richardson   
Saturday, 23 April 2011 12:39

dr-reelLaying line in any site from Cavern through to Advanced Cave basically follows the same procedure. There are four types of tie-off: primary, secondary, wrap and line placement (or tuck under).

The system I will outline here relies heavily on the KISS principle, is easy to execute, and even easier to undo when reeling in and exiting a cave.

Linda Claridge Print
Monday, 17 January 2011 13:11

lcportraitLinda Claridge is one of Australia's leading cave diving instructors. Together with her cave diving instructor partner, Gary Barclay, they have trained and certified more cave divers in the country than any other instructor.

Linda began cave diving in the early 1990s, and after working her way through the training levels, she obtained her cave diving instructor status in 1998. In addition to teaching, Linda has served in a number of voluntary roles within the Cave Divers Association of Australia.

Tank Cave - Pushing C Tunnel Print
Written by Agnes Milowka   
Wednesday, 15 December 2010 07:55

tankcaveThe Mt Gambier region of South Australia is famous for its numerous caves and sinkholes but Tank Cave stands out from amongst the crowd and is the crowning jewel as far as cave divers are concerned. Tank Cave, named so because a water tank used to rest right over the top of the entrance, is an extensive, maze like system with over 7km of passage which makes it one of the longest caves in Australia.

Jenolan Caves Print
Written by Agnes Milowka   
Tuesday, 23 November 2010 08:21

jenolanJenolan Caves are world famous show caves in New South Wales, Australia. It is a 'must see' experience and tourists come from all around the world to see the highly decorated passages and the incredible beauty of the underground world, so foreign to most folks. There are eleven spectacular show caves that feature mind-blowing formations of all shapes and sizes.

Ken Smith Print
Sunday, 05 September 2010 17:01

Ken SmithVeteran Australian cave diver Ken Smith has been cave diving for over 25 years and has dived caves in most areas of Australia: the Lower South East, Nullarbor, Jenolan, Murrindal, Junee Florentine, and the Kimberley. Ken has also traveled overseas to Florida, the Yucatan in Mexico, and Germany. He rates his best cave dives occurred on a recent trip to the island of Abaco in the Bahamas.

Affectionately known as "Mr Pinger", Ken's low frequency radio transmitters used in cave mapping have included him on many cave diving expeditions, including the mapping of the third sump in Cocklebiddy Cave on the Nullarbor.

Let's talk about.. the S word Print
Written by Agnes Milowka   
Saturday, 31 July 2010 15:42

soloSolo diving - there I said it. If you mention the S word at a dive site more often than not folks get a little freaked out, give you a funny look and assume that you have a death wish. It is easy to see why, the first SCUBA course teaches us two things; never hold your breath and always dive with a buddy.  Yet the idea that solo diving will automatically kill you is akin to the myth that doing it solo will make you go blind.

In the Heart of Tiger's Eye Print
Written by Agnes Milowka   
Sunday, 18 July 2010 14:55

tigersI am cold and alone inside the cave. Sitting there at 6m I'm slowly loosing all feeling. I am so cold that it hurts. I am desperately craving comfort. To stay put is a mental struggle. It is tempting to shoot up to the surface, to sunlight, to warmth. I know I can't. I know that I have to stay. I know I am stuck in a self-imposed jail cell. I might be wretched and miserable but escape is not an option. The seconds of the clock count down. The more often I look down at the computer, the more frequently I am disappointed. Time, it seems, is standing still. I try to console myself by remembering that the pain is only temporary and will dissipate shortly after I hit the surface. So I wedge myself tighter beneath the rocky ceiling and suffer quietly. In spite of everything not once do I think, 'Why am I here' or 'Why am I doing this?' I take it for granted this is where I want to be. That this is what I love doing. That this is the price I am willing to pay.

Exploration of the Elk River Streamway Print
Written by Jim Arundale and Agnes Milowka   
Sunday, 11 July 2010 17:11

elk-fThe Buchan area is one of the largest karst features in Victoria. It is a farming area like Mt Gambier but the landscape is very different. Here there are rolling hills and some reasonably sized rivers, although the flies remain the same. Underneath this landscape is a honeycomb of caves. The Pot Holes Reserve in particular is absolutely littered with them with over 90 caves known. Until recently all these caves were dry and there was no opportunity for diving.



An unique exploration into the inner jungles of the Yucatan.

For over a decade, cave explorer Curt Bowen and his team have been pushing deeper and deeper into the inner jungles of the Yucatan in search of unexplored cenotes... the windows that reveal the ancient Maya.


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