General Community Clubs
Although not large by world standards the caves near the ACT often exhibit beautiful decoration, contain unusual speleological features and provide a habitat for cave dwelling bats and other fauna. They also provide a source of recreation and research for members of the Canberra Speleological Society Inc. (CSS) which was formed in 1954. More indepth information about the club can be found on the History page with photos and text detailing the club's history and achievements.
The main aims of the Association are:
- To explore, map and record caves near Canberra and elsewhere.
- To foster the conservation of caves so that future generations may also enjoy them.
- To organize recreational trips into caves so that everyone has the chance to experience what is underneath the surface.
The CSS is a corporate member of the Australian Speleological Federation Inc. (ASF) which is part of the International Union of Speleology. As a member, CSS must adhere to the ASF code of ethics, risk management and cave safety standards. More information about these and other standards as well as other information relating to ASF can be found on the links page.
The CSS meets at 7.30 PM on the first Thursday of every month (except January) in the Hedley Bull building, Australian National University Canberra. This is a good time to discuss upcoming caving trips (amongst other topics) and express any interests or thoughts you may have. Each meeting also has at least one presentation either by a club member or an invited guest. These presentations may cover past caving trips with a short slide show, current project work done or anything else cave related. See the calendar page for more details relating to upcoming meetings.
Club trips are conducted throughout the year, typically with at least one trip per month. Trips are usually conducted within 3 hours drive from Canberra. In addition to this, each year there is often at least one major caving expedition undertaken by interested members that will have those exploring caves in remote areas around Australia or overseas. Expeditions that have occurred in the past include trips to the Nullarbor Plain in Western Australia, Thailand, Papua New Guinea and New Zealand. Trips are constantly being organised so check the calendar page for trips that might interest you.
Though there are a number of publicly accessible caves near Canberra catering for all ages and ability, caving is not typically an easy stroll through an underground passage. It may and usually does involve getting extremely dirty as you crawl and squeeze your way through tight passages, swim in underground river systems, abseil/prussik or ladder down/up cave shafts, or climb about. Your efforts are often rewarded with the sight of fantastically shaped passages and cave decoration such as stalactites, stalagmites, helictites, rimstone pools, shawls and flowstone. Not to mention the thrill and excitement of possibly discovering a new cave or exploring a passage where nobody has been before
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