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Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18



The Melbourne Bushies - Fifty years along the track (1940-90)

At Christmas 1966 we decided to launch a Club expedition to the Nullarbor Caves. This was a very successful venture, with all who attended enjoying the vastness of these underground caverns. One blowhole cave was too deep for the 23-metre wire rope caving-ladder that we had borrowed so we devised a method of descent. We fixed a wire-rope to the bumper of Darrell Sullivan's Toyota, fastened the ladder to the end and dropped it down the hole. The idea was to climb down the ladder to the bottom rung and then signal to the surface - the Toyota would be driven forward gently lowering the caver the 7-odd metres to the floor. All went well until it was Michael Griffin's turn. Somehow Michael's feet became hooked on the cave wall and before the eyes of all the spectators on the floor Michael cleverly turned upside down.

In another cave we had about a 10-metre drop to the bottom of a small dolina. We tied a fixed rope between two vehicles with a block in the middle. Over the block we passed a rope fixed to the Toyota on one end and a bosun's chair on the other. The first person to descend was lowered into the chasm to find a large tiger snake rearing up on top of the rock pile waiting for him to arrive. Screams and yells from below indicated that there was something amiss but it still took some time before we realised that he wanted to stop before he reached the bottom. The snake unfortunately had to be despatched before we could inspect the cave.

We arrived late in the afternoon at Knowles Cave. This cave is a large open overhang suitable for camping. So we carried all of our gear down and set up camp ready to stay several nights. It was a very good camp site and we took a lot of photos of the descent and setting up sleeping arrangements. The next day we drove to Cook and back - a long day - so imagine our surprise when we returned to the cave to find a large hole excavated in the middle of all our beds. We all checked our gear; nothing was missing. There were no signs of other people other than this big hole some 2 metres deep. We were puzzled: no one had noticed the hole before, Michael's bed was only about 30 centimetres from the edge. We concluded that some unknown archaeologist just came along and dug the hole and left. Strangely, the hole appears on the photographs that we took before leaving for Cook.

Rex and Sue Filson