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++++++ COVID-19 UPDATE ++++++

Hi everyone,

As you all know COVID-19 has become a serious problem that affects all of us. All non-essential travel is to stop for the short to medium term and it is likely further restrictions are coming.
Some background for Chillagoe:-
It is remote and therefore if we minimize people going there, then we minimise the spread of COVID-19;
Chillagoe has a lot of elderly and indigenous residents – categories of people who are most at risk;
National Parks has advised me that as of now ALL CAVING ON NATIONAL PARKS IS RESTRICTED UNTIL WE ARE OTHERWISE NOTIFIED. That means we cannot cave on National Parks without a very good reason and without discussing it with Mick Cockburn first.
There is a road block set up by Queensland Police just past the town itself. Only people travelling for ‘essential purposes’ can pass and head on out towards Mungana. I have spoken to the officers in charge of the road block and have been advised that cavers will not be allowed to pass.

While the situation is fluid and could change tomorrow the above makes it a really bad time for club members to head to Chillagoe without a good reason. Please be mindful of this and of the government advice and stay at home.

The Chillagoe Caving Club is now required to have a policy to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic as it relates to our facilities and caving generally. The following has been decided as a community safety focused approach:-

All Club members are to minimize their travel to Chillagoe and their use of the Clubhouse facilities. Caving and use of Club facilities should only be undertaken if there is a good reason for doing so. Recreational caving is not considered a good reason at this time.

If you do need to use Clubhouse facilities then the following will strictly apply:-

You MUST contact the Clubhouse Warden (Paul Osborne) prior to heading to Chillagoe.
No more than six people will be permitted at the Club grounds in Chillagoe at any one time (excluding the caretakers).
You must either camp or use the Schoolhouse building for accommodation;
You are not to enter the Caretaker part of the Club grounds;
Access to the bottom section of the Clubhouse is strictly limited to use of the tackle room. If this is required then Clare has a key and you must disinfect whatever you touch.
Use of fridges and freezers is limited to the fridge in the BBQ shed and the freezer under the old schoolhouse. Use them ONLY IF ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY. Bring your own fridge if you can.
The kitchen is not to be used to cook and the rest of the Clubhouse is not to be used to socialise. You must bring your own stove/cooking facilities to be used at the schoolhouse or in the camping grounds.
You must use the amenities block and bring your own toilet paper. The toilet in the Clubhouse is not to be used by members.
You must take all rubbish with you when you leave and dispose of it yourself.
If the Clubhouse is accessed then users must disinfect the areas they have been in, each and every time (e.g. door knobs and handles, benches, etc).

Once again please consider why you are travelling to Chillagoe and what your reasons are. Consider the effects on others – the potential for spreading COVID-19 and the consequences of having an accident etc while driving or caving. Do you really need to potentially burden our hospitals or services if you were to get hurt…. Please stay at home if at all possible and stay healthy and safe.

Kind regards,

Winfried Weiss


Chillagoe Caving Club
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Comment on Facebook

Siân Emily Baruksopulo Peter Carruthers

Happy New Year everyone!!! We hope you got well into 2020 and look forward for a good caving season.
We still wait a bit with the official club weekends for the cooler climate, but want to start in April. Here are the dates for the year. We tried to put them on long weekends in order to get the most out of the trip to Chillagoe.
Write the dates down, get excited, and come caving!😀

April 10-13 Easter weekend
May 9-10 AGM
June 6-7 no public holiday
July 17-19 show weekend
August 22-23 no public holiday
October 3-5 queen's birthday weekend

See you soon!
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2 years ago
Chillagoe Caving Club Public News & Events

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Just been down to the ASF Council meeting. The Council is very appreciative of the Clubs effort in making the Congress field trips a huge success. I have received numerous letters and cards expressing thanks and appreciation. For the volunteers involved it was challenging but a lot of fun and satisfaction in an event well staged. As President, I cant thank those volunteers enough. It was such a pleasure working with such a great team. ... See MoreSee Less

Just been down to the ASF Council meeting. The Council is very appreciative of the Clubs effort in making the Congress field trips a huge success. I have received numerous letters and cards expressing thanks and appreciation. For the volunteers involved it was challenging but a lot of fun and satisfaction in an event well staged. As President, I cant thank those volunteers enough. It was such a pleasure working with such a great team.
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Our Caving Club is one of the larger caving clubs in Australia, and has been nationally and internationally recognised for our member activities, and high standard of our caving publications.

The Club had its inaugural meeting on April 23rd, 1973, with 16 persons present – many of whom are still associated with the Club. The intention of forming the Club was to bring together the active cavers already in the area, to enable them to share their knowledge, expertise and equipment, and to foster caving as a sport and science – particularly in the Chillagoe area.

We became an Associate of the Australian Speleological Federation not long after the Club was formed, and became a Corporate Member in 1995. The Club is incorporated under the Queensland Associations Incorporation Act (1981).

Over the years, the members of the Club have carried out thousands of hours of research into cave formation, karst management, flora and fauna and many other fields either as a sole Club project or in conjunction with visiting researchers. It has always been one of the tenets of the Club that this information needs to be passed on to the younger generations so that not only will the skills involved not be lost, but also that the research will continue in the future as the older cavers become “armchair cavers”.

The Club maintains a most happy relationship with the Queensland National Parks and Wildlife Service, who are also involved with caves in Chillagoe – they operate daily tours of selected tourist caves for which no special equipment is required.

The Club has an established Clubhouse in Chillagoe which is used as a meeting place, a tackle centre, and is available for accommodation both for members and visiting cavers.

Cavers are adventurers, explorers, scientists, palaeontologists, geologists, surveyors and many others that like the challenge of finding something that no one has ever seen before. Chillagoe Caving Club is a focal point for these people to meet, share information, socialise and go caving together.

Exiting the first extension



Bunkhouse/multi-purpose building

Amenities Block

Camping Area

School Group Having Dinner

Our Clubhouse is situated in Chillagoe on Cathedral Street opposite the Primary School and the Police Station. It consists of a 6 acre property with a caretaker’s residence, our Clubhouse, and the old Chillagoe school building (refurbished into accomodation and multi-use area).

Our facilities include:-

  • Kitchen (including fridges and freezer)
  • Meeting and lounge area
  • Toilets and hot showers
  • Bunk accomodation
  • Camping areas
  • Tackle room (with helmets and SRT gear for rent)


We are located at 1 Hill St, Chillagoe

The club welcomes members and guests to use the facilities and charges a nominal fee for the use. Information on the fees can be found on this page (under ‘Documents’ > ‘Membership forms’ > ‘CCC Fees‘) or requested by email.

The Clubhouse Warden is currently Paul Osborne (0417 713 166) and the Caretaker is Clare Mullins (0429 323 867).

If you are intending to use the facilities please let Clare know so she can make things ready. Please check in with Clare on arrival.

The Club also welcomes school and adventure groups. The site is considered ideal as exclusivity can be provided. Group rates can be provided and all group bookings are by formal arrangement with as much notice as possible so as we can provide the level of facilities requested.


The town of Chillagoe is located approximately 210 kilometres west of Cairns. Most of the road distance (all but a very few kilometers) is now sealed. The climate is generally quite warm during the middle of winter with cold nights, and ranging to hot and humid during summer. Summer also sees the heaviest rain, with most of the annual 800mm occurring between December and March.

Chillagoe was and is a centre for the gold mining industry. Mining began about 1900 producing mainly copper and lead (small amounts of silver came from Muldiva). In recent times gold was mined at Red Dome and also some copper ore was sent to Mt Isa. The last large mine, Red Dome closed several years ago after virtually exhausting its resources. Today, a new underground gold mine operates at Mungana.

Chillagoe has an airport, keeping the town in touch with the coast through virtually all weather conditions – especially important when the roads are closed during the Wet Season. There is also a District Hospital with a resident Matron just up the road from the airport, which is convenient for the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

Dances, Rodeos, Race Meetings and similar activities are held on a regular basis in the town, and it is worth keeping in touch with the townspeople (via The Hub) to find out what is going on.

National Parks runs regular guided tours through certain caves, and they have done an incredible job of creating a non-intrusive method of lighting the caves they visit. Caves currently open are Royal Arch, Donna and Trezkinn. Donna and Trezkinn are lit, while lights (provided) are required to be carried for Royal Arch. Trips can be booked through local motels and through The Hub.

The Hub can be contacted on (07) 4094 7111 or via their website at

A bus service goes from Chillagoe to Cairns three times a week – on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. the following website has all the details you will need to book passage:-

And for those that can afford it – Chillagoe also has a small airstrip which can be serviced by Far North air charter services upon request. Flying to Chillagoe, and being able to see the limestone bluffs from the air, is an awesome experience.

Chillagoe itself can be traversed by walking as all the important amenities are close together. It is a picturesque town with lots of history, amazing rock formations and of course, two pubs.

Chillagoe Accommodation

Chillagoe Cabins
Ph: 07 4094 7206)
(Email: [email protected])

Chillagoe Tourist Village
(Ph: 07 4094 7177)
[email protected])

Chillagoe Eco Lodge
(Ph: 07 4094 7155)
(Email: [email protected])

Post Office Hotel
(Ph: 07 4094 7119)
(Email: N/A)

Chillagoe Creek Homestead (Camping only)
(Ph: 07 4094 7160)
(Email: N/A)

Chillagoe Hotel Motel
(Ph: 07 4094 7168)
(Email: [email protected])

Chillagoe Guesthouse
Ph: 07 4222 1600 or 0408 515 267)
(Email: [email protected] )

Balancing Rock

Limestone Cliffs

Beautiful Stalactites

Swimming Holes

Landscape for Adventure


The Organ Loft – Cathedral Cave

Limestone Cliffs

Paul Osborne

Winfried Weiss

Many of the caves are within the National Park areas and require a permit to visit or cave within the National Park. CHILLAGOE CAVING CLUB has an annual permit which allows members to participate in caving expeditions.

CHILLAGOE CAVING CLUB has an introductory caving course for new members which includes subjects such as safety, underground navigation, route planning and how to minimally impact on the cave by your visit.

The club provides training and guidance for all levels of caving and has an active program for cavers to achieve greater competency.

Many of the caves have some vertical component requiring either freeclimbing or the use of wire ladders or ropes and descending/ascending equipment.

The Club has discovered and tagged nearly 600 cave entrances to date and there are still new caves being found.

Caving in Far North Queensland is very different from caving in in many other parts of Australia. Perhaps the most striking difference is the pleasant temperatures that one experiences. Caves in FNQ typically have an air temperature of 21 – 22 degrees and are very pleasant to spend time in. It’s being outside that can be hot, unpleasant and prickly! Our caves also tend to be a little shorter and have more entrances than other regions, due to the tower karst nature of our landscape. Primary karst regions include Chillagoe, Mitchell Palmer, Broken River and many small limestone outcrops dotted in between. There are also large areas of limestone further west such as Camooweal and around Lawn Hill Gorge.

What to bring caving:

  • Day pack
  • Water bottle (s) at least 2 litres
  • Lunch pack for an underground lunch and snacks
  • Harnesses and personal SRT (Single Rope Technique) equipment. (the Club has 8 sets of SRT equipment for hire on a daily basis for new members)
  • Helmet (the club has a limited number of helmets for hire on a daily basis)
  • Head torch and spare batteries. (The brighter the better)


Club Weekends:

We gather on the second weekend each month to go caving together. These club weekends are a great opportunity to come together and cave with other members. It is also the best time for people new to the club to come. The exact dates are shown under ‘upcoming events’.

Chillagoe Caving Club maintains close relations with other clubs and cavers around the world facilitating club participation in international caving expeditions. Some of our affiliated groups are as follows:



To contact us regarding Club Memberships, Campsite booking or for anything else please fill in the form.

Our postal address is:

Chillagoe Caving Club Inc,
Post Office Box 92, Cairns, 4870