East Buchan

East Buchan has quite a few caves although many are on private land:

Mabel Cave – Apparently a very good cave, sometimes has water. I haven’t done this one and know little about it.

Cloggs Cave – Closed due to Aboriginal artefacts / paintings. Also not done by me.

Wombat Walk – A torturous low stream passage which leads to a sump, which can be dived and passed to an outflow exit. This has also been known to be open in drought conditions. Almost all flat-out crawling in sticky horrible mud, and the entrance is on private property. A miserable cave. Only highlight was seeing eels in the final sump and thinking they were snakes – cavers getting out of the water very quickly. Don’t bother other than to say you’ve done it. Rating: 1.5

Wilson’s Cave – A rite of passage for ALL new cavers – see the dedicated page on Wilson’s Cave above. This is the cave that everyone starts with in Buchan and is the sentimental favourite of many including myself. Whilst Under-Victoria does not give out locations, some topographic maps have Wilson’s marked, and if you drive around the area you’ll find it in minutes. Just please read the rest of this website and be prepared (especially in terms of having a call out person and putting your trip on the intentions board at Homeleigh) if you plan to try and find it yourself. Rating 1

Tom disappearing into Wilson's. Photo by Topaz Aral

Tom disappearing into Wilson’s. Photo by Topaz Aral

Trog Dip – Put this one on your MUST-SEE list! In the top 5 open access caves in Buchan. This is a long stream cave, which starts dry and gets progressively wetter. It is low, muddy and generally a pain – Then It leads to a sump, which if open leads to an unbelievably beautiful chamber called The Vaults, one of the prettiest chambers in Buchan!! A reward for several hours of hard caving to get there!

And then after that the cave consists of spacious decorated stomping stream passage. There is another entrance upstream, but it is not passable by humans. There is a rockfall area soon into the cave which can be disorienting so advice is needed on navigation. The cave is just above the Buchan River.

However, to get to the cave you either need to take a 5 min drive over an open paddock (4wds recommended) private property, or do a torturous 2 hour hike through  a prickly hilly reserve and then up a river that has thick bush on both sides so you essentially have to swim half the time :(. Not pleasant. VSA and VLCT have good relations with the landowner but getting his permission is essential! Make sure you thank the landowner and stop in for a chat. It is appreciated and goes a long way towards access.

Trog Dip is good but DON’T TRESPASS

Don’t even think of crossing his land without his approval as VSA has worked hard to build good rapport after a number of trespass incidents. Please contact VSA if you want to organise access via his land. One note: If you get into the main passage and there is a breeze, it means the sump is open and you will get through to the Vaults. There is a branch off to the left called ‘The Sewers’ which is worth doing but do the main way first!

RATING: 2.5  due to sump and a lot of muddy crawling. Also due to it being a long day, 8+ hours underground if you see it all and spend some time taking photos. If you want to discuss access to Trog Dip send an email to the author admin@under-victoria.com and I will point you in the right direction. Note – I will not assist individuals, I require a request on behalf of an ASF Caving Club.

Horseshoe Cave – Apparently good but unexplored by the author.

Caver struggling through the dreaded 'Wormhole' in Wilson's Cave. This is usually the first challenge presented to new cavers. At first it inspires dread, but by the end of the weekend its like second nature. Photo by Naomi Dickinson

Caver struggling through the dreaded ‘Wormhole’ in Wilson’s Cave. This is usually the first challenge presented to new cavers. At first it inspires dread, but by the end of the weekend it’s like second nature. Photo by Naomi Dickinson