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Imagine dropping through a small hole in the middle of the roof of the Telstra Dome, which has been almost completely filled with crystal clear water, leaving only a relatively small gap of air (about the size of a small house) at the very top.


You are descending in your abseiling harness into a watery world of unfathomable darkness, as the walls immediately and dramatically recede in all directions. Above you, is the just over 1m diameter hole in which a narrow shaft of sunlight forces it's way through the waters surface a number of meters below where you hang. Welcome to "The Shaft". One of the true wonders of the diving world and perhaps the most infamous cave site in Australia!

The entrance to the Shaft is in the middle of a large flat paddock a stones throw away from a small country town. It looks just like any other paddock until you find a heavy steel grille, which could be best described as a simple drain cover.

The shaft is a unique dive site situated in a farmers property approximately 15 minutes south from Mt Gambier (and 1 minute west of Allendale).. This spectacular sinkhole starts with a small opening in the middle of a paddock roughly 4 feet in diameter, where it drops and opens up to a room with the water surface approxamately 8 meters from the enterance.

The site contains extremely clear water allowing for virtually unlimited visibility, with the depth being in excess of 125 metres at the Southern end of the cave..

The only enterance/exit to the cave system is through the small hole in the paddock, requiring abseiling equipment. Access is available only via online booking through the CDAA website.

Having only a small hole at the roof of the cave, this dive can be rather dark, but also spectacular, especially if the sun is out - as the sunlight penetrates the water and leaves a beam (shaft) of light - hence the name of the site.

No facilities are available at the premesis, although the town of Allendale is approx 2kms from the paddock.


Depth: 125m+
Dive: CDAA Sinkhole required. Twins required
Location: 15 mins South of Mt Gambier
Links: CDAA Site Info
Other: Access to site via online booking only via CDAA website. See CDAA's webpage for more information.

the shaft video

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