Australia’s deepest known cave

Australia’s deepest known cave

Explorers break record by 4 metres in southern Tasmania

Posted on 01.08.2022

After more than six months of preparation and 14 hours underground, a group of cavers has uncovered Australia’s deepest known cave, at a depth of 401 metres.

The newly discovered cave, named “Delta Variant”, is connected to the Niggly/Growling Swallet cave system north-west of Hobart.

Niggly Cave, at 397 meters, held the previous record for Australia’s deepest known cave.

The group from the Southern Tasmanian Caverneers, a speleological organisation based in Hobart, began their descent at the mouth of the cave at Mount Field National Park around 11am on Saturday morning.

The cavers emerged victorious just after 1am on Sunday morning.

“It’s been a lot of work to get to the point where we are now,” said team member Ciara Smart.

“Yesterday, we made the breakthrough — and there was always the possibility that we weren’t going to make the connection, but we did.

“And excitingly, we’ve added to a bit of Australia’s caving history.”

Key points

  • The new cave, dubbed “Delta Variant”, is anticipated to be 401 metres deep, 4 metres deeper than the previous record
  • The expedition started at 11am on Saturday and finished just after 1am on Sunday, taking 14 hours
  • The group says they plan to explore and chart other areas of the cave system which remain unexplored

“Until six months ago, no one even knew that this cave existed. Despite decades of exploration in the area, Tasmania’s caves still hold many secrets,”

“There’s still more to be done. We’ve made the connection, but we’re not finished exploring the cave yet,”

Isabella Podwinski and Hayden Cornes
ABC News





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