It was roughly in August 2015 when I decided to go off the beaten track at the Curraheen Walkway near the vicinity of Lee Fields and my eye caught something interesting at a small rock formation.
From the few snaps I took of it, it looked like it had potential to be a cave. The entrance was initially too tight to squeeze into but this was easily remedied with the help of a digging implement.
A week later, I returned and brought a friend with a shovel to help.
Once widened, I could squeeze head first into the hole and stretch my arm inside and make an attempt to take a photo further into the chamber. There was roughly a 2 metre drop before the hole does a right angle turn and lead to a corridor.
The following image was facing straight down the hole.
This is the only decent photo of the corridor, it was taken while I was partially inside the hole, upside down and my arm stretched out as far as possible to get to the bottom of the drop, while holding the camera and taking the occasional picture. It’s difficult to know whether the corridor just stops or leads to a larger chamber, but bumping up the brightness in Photoshop reveals some rubble and some colour items that were too blurry to make out.
The photos show this small cave had promise so we decided to embark on a mission to try squeeze inside it. The following photo is a dramatisation of my attempt to squeeze into the hole legs first.
I actually got in much further than the photo above implies but at only a certain point in the narrow drop, it got much tighter at the halfway point, but my legs could go through but couldn’t touch the bottom, I became stuck and my legs were simply dangling away being incapable of lifting myself out with ease. My hands couldn’t get a good grip so I was only able to use my elbows to inch myself up a little but it was not enough.
This had me worried after 5 minutes of trying and failing miserably at each attempt, I eventually got my fellow caver, Tom to reach in and pull me back out again. Much to my relief.
Tom also made an attempt as well but couldn’t get as far as I did. Shortly after, we gave up on any further trials, and whatever was beyond that corridor at the bottom of this hole had to be left to our wild imaginations.
Anyway, here was my attempt at surveying the cave:
A graphical and somewhat accurate depiction of Cave #1
Not too distant from the first cave, were we able to find the entrance to another cave which, to our delight, was more accessible than the first.
It was a small cave, in terms of space it was roughly 6 square metres squared, probably could fit four people inside but there’s very little height to sit up properly to make it a comfortable outing. Despite the mud, animal bones, spiders, low ceiling, it was surprisingly snug.
We stayed inside for about half an hour, there wasn’t much else to do other than taking photos or occasionally making strange verbal sounds when a passerby was in the vicinity.
Another attempt at a dramatisation of events.
And here’s a short video of the second cave where I repeatedly call the area Lee Fields as opposed to Curraheen: