Sep 262011
Bow of the ex-HMAS Canberra

About the site I’ve previously discussed how the ex-HMAS Canberra came to rest as an artificial reef for divers, on the seafloor about 2 miles from Torquay. As time passes and the marine life moves in, the wreck becomes a more and more attractive dive site. One of the key features is its sheer size. This is especially so when many of the other wrecks dived out of Melbourne are of a similar size to the J class submarines – about 100m long. The ex-HMAS Canberra is 138m long and in a whole dive spent swimming it’s impossible to explore the whole thing from end to end. Given her size, it takes multiple dives to explore all of the different [read more…]

Sep 192011
Long exposure in the Shaft

About the site The Shaft is a massive sinkhole in the Mt Gambier region, and the deepest cave in Australia. It’s noted in the history books for the four divers that died there in 1973, an event which contributed to the decision to form the Cave Diver’s Associate of Australia and allow Australian cave divers to self-regulate to prevent further deaths. From a manhole sized hole in a sheep paddock, there’s an 8m freehanging drop to the water’s surface. The cave is about 20m in diameter at this point, and the walls continue to widen out as you drop into the depths. Directly below the entrance hole is a feature known as the Rockpile. While this would originally have been [read more…]

Sep 122011
Snell's window in Piccaninnie Ponds

About the site I’ve previously talked about diving in Piccaninnie Ponds, and I’m about to again. Unlike other caves where I’ve had to work to find different angles on photos, the Ponds seem to be photogenic from every angle. The stunning blue, green and white colours, the clarity of the water, and the chance to contrast sunlight with the darkness inside the Cathedral create photographic opportunities everywhere you look. About the dive On this particular day, we’d booked permits to get in early in the morning for the best water clarity, and closer to midday for the best sunshine. The Chasm in the Ponds runs roughly North-South, so early and late in the day the angled sunlight tends to get [read more…]

Sep 052011
Clay blocks in Iddlebiddy Cave

  About the site Iddlebiddy Cave is an Advanced Cave rated site located near Mt Gambier, South Australia. Initially discovered in the 1970s by locals Peter Blackmore and Phillip Earl, they were reluctant to report it to the newly formed Cave Diver’s Association of Australia (CDAA) because their lack of formal training under the new system would see them lose their right to dive here. The site was named Iddlebiddy as it follows a straight tunnel formation for a few hundred metres, and is reminiscent of the massive railway tunnel type cave formations found on the Nullarbor Plain such as Cocklebiddy Cave. While Advanced Cave sites are usually rated for their narrow single-file restrictions, Iddlebiddy is rated to protect the [read more…]