Oct 152012
Diving in Niggle Cave, Camooweal

About the site I talked about the trip to the water in Niggle Cave two weeks ago, and promised a follow up post on the diving. Niggle Cave is located in the Camooweal region of Far North Queensland, near the border with the Northern Territory. The dry caving effort required to get down to the water level is significant, but with the underwater sections being largely unexplored there’s a lot of incentives to do so. With permission from Parks and the blessing of the local traditional owners, we spent some time expanding the limits of the known. About the dive Joel and Ryan spent a day rigging the cave and carrying a lot of the gear in, but after checking [read more…]

Oct 012012
Crawlways through Niggle Cave

About the site Niggle Cave is located near the Camooweal township, about 25kms from Great Nowranie. While I jumped straight into telling you about the diving in Great Nowranie first, here I figured I’d better explain the “getting to the water” part first. Niggle Cave would have to be one of the more difficult cave accesses I’ve negotiated, and this is coming from someone who trudged 1.3kms through the bush with twin 12L steel tanks. From the surface, the doline is deceptively small. After you squat down in this shoulder-width hole, you clip into the rope and attempt to manoeuvre through a tight restriction. It’s much easier to get through with your arms above your head, but of course you need at [read more…]

Sep 172012
Climbing through Great Nowranie Cave

About the area Last week I started showing off my pictures from the Camooweal trip with the images of the ultimate goal – laying line past the end of the known underwater tunnel. Starting with success is compelling, but it’s not even close to the whole story of the trip. These two photos help illustrate why there’s been so little diving done up at Camooweal, compared to the easily accessible Mt Gambier caves, or even the well-known Nullarbor and neighbouring Roe Plains areas. The surface layer of black clay in the Camooweal area prevents the rain that falls during the annual wet season from filtering into the ground. Instead the water runs across the surface until it finds a weak [read more…]

Sep 102012
Exploring Great Nowranie Cave, Camooweal

About the cave Great Nowranie Cave sits within Camooweal Caves National Park in far north Queensland. Only a short distance from the Northern Territory border, the dirt is red, the flies are plentiful and it’s stinking hot. At this time of year the desert surroundings remind me of the flat Nullarbor plains, but dry creek beds across the landscape are a reminder of the huge rainfall this area sees every wet season. The limestone is much older and harder than down south, forcing the rain to run across the landscape until it can find a fissure. Concentrated force sees fissures open up and widen, funnelling the water underground and creating the caves below. About the dive This was our first [read more…]