Blair Athol Mine

A photo from Blair Athol Mine
At the entrance
A photo from Blair Athol Mine
Old school...
A photo from Blair Athol Mine
Setting off
A photo from Blair Athol Mine
Kitting up

As there aren’t many diveable caves in NSW, you have to make do with what you’ve got. With this in mind a group of the local cavers teamed up with a few of the cave diving qualified members of the SSAC to explore Blair Athol Mine.

Located in the Blue Mountains, the mine entrance is about 500m from the nearest road access. Once in the mine, a wide, but not so tall (hard hats essential!) tunnel heads downhill for about 200m until you reach the water line.

Even with a couple of Sherpa’s helping it took two trips to relay the gear to the water’s edge. Once underwater the mine shaft continues for a similar distance (15-20 min swim) and down to a depth of 55m. The water is ~14’C and gin clear, in the beginning. The visibility quickly drops to zero, so as can be seen in Rick's video, you don’t have long to admire the coal wagons at the end of the tunnel. An interesting dive, but one best suited to the experienced (and enthusiastic) drysuit wearing, trimix qualified rebreather cave diver.