SO you are too impatient to read through pages and pages of descriptions? WELL HERE ARE THE BEST OF THE BEST:
So you want to cut to the chase and find out which are the best in the Buchan (and surrounding limestone areas in East Gippsland). Well here it goes but remember it is my opinion only. I have not included the show cave system which would probably be first, but that is strictly no access. Number one is the best, in descending order.
10) The sentimental favourite – Wilson’s Cave (its actually a good cave with lots of exploration, if you push)
9)Moons Cave (Gated on Parks Vic Reserve)
8)NG1 – New Guinea Ridge Cave (Public access but difficult to physically get to)
7)Dukes Cave (Also gated on Parks Vic reserve)
6) Shades of Death (Private property, first 100m is ex-tourist cave)
5) Trog Dip (if you get past the sump)
4) Exponential Pot (On the Potholes reserve but gated)
3) Elk River via Baby Berger (No permit needed but a guide suggested)
2) Scrubby Creek (also if you get past the sump)
1) Dalleys Sinkhole (forget access to this one any time soon)
Further access information on these caves
Of those caves the only ones with NO access conditions whatsoever and you can just walk in are Elk River and Wilson’s Cave. Wilsons Cave is the most frequently done cave – the sacrificial cave of Buchan – and is totally trashed. But if you really take the time to explore the whole thing it takes hours and is surprisingly complex. And as stated, you can get down to the Elk stream via Baby Berger, as long as you have good directions or a guide. As for the others:
– Trog Dip requires permission to drive over a paddock.
– Dalleys is owned by the quarry and is strictly no access and no discussion either
– Exponential Pot is accessible for work trips only, to resurvey the cave and train new leaders
– Scrubby Creek is owned by cavers but still has a strict leader system, and there are not many leaders
– Shades of Death is on private property. We have good relations so trips are possible but permission is needed.
– NG1 is totally closed (the road is closed off) in the cooler months due to the extreme nature of the road down to the area. When it becomes wet the greasy limestone just doesn’t grip even on the most hardy of 4wd’s, even with chains on, and countless cavers have gotten stuck down there. Summer months only, in a proper 4WD. Another nearby cave NG5 almost made the list, doing both is an awesome duo. Aften cavers bush camp down there. There is a third cave which is strictly no access due to Aboriginal relics and history.
– Moons Cave is gated and on the Parks Vic reserve and permits are given mainly to cavers with a purpose for acccess. A platypus lives in the cave which they don’t like to bother so this sometimes stops trips.
So these, IMHO, are the best 10 Caves in the Buchan and surrounds. But don’t worry there are hundreds more that all have their individual charm.
If you have any access queries, please direct them to Parks Victoria. Also see the Interim Access Guide File in the ‘Access’ menu on this site. Access guidelines are IMPORTANT!