Cocklebiddy Cave is one of many hundreds of caves that dot the Nullarbor ‘karst’ – the largest arid area of limestone in the world. The entrance to Cocklebiddy Cave is an example of a collapsed ‘doline’ – a sinkhole created when the cave roof collapsed to reveal a system of massive underground caverns and more than 6km of underwater passages.
Reaching new depths
Cocklebiddy has been the object of numerous cave diving expeditions over the years. Since the 1960s Australian and international teams have gradually pushed further into the cave, setting new world records for cave diving distances. Although the world record set at Cocklebiddy Cave in 1983 (6250 metres) has since been broken, expeditions to map and photograph the cave continue to offer opportunities for better understanding and protection of this fragile karst environment and the unique animals that dwell in the Nullarbor caves.
Viewing Cocklebiddy Cave
Due to unstable rock at the entrance, Cocklebiddy Cave is CLOSED to public entry. Visitors can walk down into the doline to view the entrance, which leads immediately to a large, steep and rocky chamber over 300m long. Do not go beyond the entrance barrier.
Most of the Nullarbor caves are difficult or dangerous to locate and enter. Visits to caves on the Nullarbor are restricted to speleological (caving) clubs and for research, monitoring and management. Within Western Australia, the Parks and Wildlife Service issues the required entry permit to visitors from approved organisations.
Cocklebiddy cave is located 12km west of Cocklebiddy Roadhouse and 10km north of Eyre Highway. The highway turnoff and route to the cave are not signposted. The unsealed track from the highway winds northwards across bluebush plain to the cave entrance. It occasionally splits into several tracks in places where there is the risk of becoming bogged when wet, but converges again. Suitable for two-wheel drive when dry.