King Soloman cave in Mole Creek, Tasmania. Depositphotos.

Explorers Find Australia’s Deepest Cave After Six-Month Prep

After six months of preparations, a group of explorers, the Southern Tasmanian Caverneers, discovered Australia's deepest cave, with a depth of 401 meters.

At 401 meters deep, Australia’s deepest cave has been discovered by cavers after more than six months of preparation.

North-west of Hobart, the cave, which was named Delta Variant, is connected to the Niggly/Growling Swallet cave system.

Previous records for the deepest cave in Australia were held by Niggly Cave at 397 meters.

On June 30th, 2022, a speleological group from Hobart, the Southern Tasmanian Caverneers, began their descent at the mouth of the cave at Mount Field National Park around 11 am.

The cavers emerged victorious in the early hours of Sunday morning, June 31st.

Ciara Smart, one of the team members, said, “It’s been a lot of work to get here.”

Due to recent snowfall in the area, high water levels made the seven-hour descent challenging for the experienced team.

Organizer Stephen Fordyce told ABC Australia that the trip involved bushwalking, abseiling, crawling, squeezing, and rope climbing over 14 hours, followed by a long walk back down the hill.

Approximately 300 m of vertical meters were ascended on ropes, then painstakingly climbed back up, carrying wet, muddy ropes in heavy packs.

According to Ms. Smart, the first part of the cave is called the “Test Station Queue,” which is a winding, tight, and long 300m meander.

A passage in the cave is called “Super Spreader” because it is so big and has so many different routes leading off of it, so it seemed appropriate to be called that,” said fellow caver Karina Anders.

During the past six months, the team explored side passages and fixed ropes down the cave to prepare for the record attempt.

Because Niggly is such a large cave system, and there is a waterfall coming in, cavers have been running around looking at it and wondering, “Where does this water come from?”” Ms. Anders said.

Preparation for this connection has been challenging. Having the right people and equipment in the right place requires great planning. It’s been like climbing a mountain backward,” she added.

“Every time we go, we take as much rope as we can carry, descend, explore side passages, and go up again. The next time, we bring more rope and explore further.”

She said it was worth the effort despite the exhaustive preparation process.

Compared to this, the deepest cave system in the world has a depth of 2,212 meters (7,257 feet). The cave is referred to as Veryovkina Cave and is the deepest cave in the world. The entrance is 2,285 meters (7,497 feet) above sea level.

After the Veryovkina Cave, Krubera Cave has the distinction of being the second-deepest cave on earth. The Arabika Massif is part of the Gagra Range in the Western Caucasus, located in Georgia’s breakaway region of Abkhazia. In meters, the distance between the cave’s entrance and its deepest explored point is 2,197 meters (7,208 feet).


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Written by Ivan Petricevic

I've been writing passionately about ancient civilizations, history, alien life, and various other subjects for more than eight years. You may have seen me appear on Discovery Channel's What On Earth series, History Channel's Ancient Aliens, and Gaia's Ancient Civilizations among others.

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