Disclaimer: We are not caving experts and do not claim to be 🙂 Those new to caving should never going caving on their own. You are required to get a permit from the CALM and SA Department for Environment, Heritage and Aboriginal Affairs in order to go caving. We suggest going with a caving tour group, so you can be sure it will be a safe and enjoyable experience.
Caving is an amazing form of adventure that many thrill-seekers can’t resist trying out. According to experienced cavers, it is a hobby that does not take a great amount of equipment or training, and is perfect for people looking for a new kind of adventure. There are many amazing cave systems around the world to explore, and one particularly unique site features the famous Nullarbor caves. With the cave’s natural rock formations, chasms and corridors, it feels as though one has fled the comparatively ordinary sights of the world in favour of an entirely new world underground.
However, like any other outdoor adventure, one must pay special attention to important reminders for a safe trip while exploring the underground caverns of the Nullarbor. First-time cavers in particular should be mindful of them so as not to endanger themselves (or their caving companions).
Bring a reliable light source.
This is the first and most obvious thing to remember. Before you even so much as stir from your Nullarbor accommodation prior to the trip, you have to make sure that you have a dependable, handheld light source for your adventure. Make sure that all light batteries are fully charged or are new. Your light sources should also be strong, with a good reach. You don’t want to miss seeing holes far into the ground (or overhangs you could accidentally bash your forehead into – ouch!). Headlamps are a must.
A good helmet should be your next priority.
Caving means going underground to a lot of jutting rocks, squeezing into small spaces, possible falling stones, and running the risk of tripping into holes or over debris. Unfortunately, there are numerous accidents your head can get into – protect it with a sturdy helmet! If you with are a tour group, confirm that helmets will be provided.
Take tremendous care – try not to fall off!
Falling is, without a doubt, one of the most common accidents cavers could get themselves into during their expedition. You can reduce the risk of falling by knowing when and where to jump or slide down slopes. One should never jump or slide down without control. Instead, tie a rope securely to a solid base, and carefully slide down the slope while keeping a firm grasp on the rope. This way, you avoid crashing into anything on the way down, and you’ll be safe even if there’s an unexpected drop.
Never, ever visit the Nullarbor caves alone.
This is something that should be underscored to every novice caver. Remember that the Nullarbor cave system is one of the most extensive cave systems in this part of the world. There is a very real risk that an inexperienced caver would find himself in an accident or get lost. You have to make sure that you don’t cave alone, and that head counts are done every so often to ensure no one is overlooked. Also, make sure that people back in town know where your group is going, so if you do not come back in time, they would know something is amiss and check on you.
Do not go beyond your limits.
The thrill, wonder and excitement you will feel while exploring the Nullarbor caves will urge you to keep going and keep looking. However, by no means should you go beyond your physical and logistical capabilities. If your batteries and lamps won’t last much longer, don’t push forward. If your team is getting tired, save your strength and supplies for the return trip.
Caving is fun – it’s definitely one of the most ‘out-there’ adventures when going on a trip to the Nullarbor. Remember, though, that the best adventures are the ones you’re well-prepared for. Get a great place to stay in and make your caving plans at the Nullarbor Roadhouse – contact us today!