new posts
UER Store
location db
db map
terms of service
privacy policy

UER Forum > UE Encyclopedia > Cave Clan (Viewed 19760 times)
Entry: Cave Clan
originally posted by siologen

[last edit 2/19/2017 12:48 PM by Doug - edited 4 times]

Cave Clan:- ( )

Definition: Large group of Australia wide explorers who explore anything abandoned and below ground.

As Quoted from
'The Cave Clan was formed by three Melbourne people back in early 1986. On January the 26th, a trio of explorers (Dougo, Sloth and Woody) ventured out to explore the Diamond Creek Mines in the northeast of Melbourne. Talk of starting a group of explorers who explore Melbourne's underground started from this day, and the name Cave Clan was chosen shortly afterwards.

We started exploring mines, caves and soon included stormwater drains. These days, the Cave Clan have explored just about every type of artificial tunnel or chamber there is: bridge rooms, gas pipeline tunnels, purification tanks, sewerage discharge tunnels (disused), optic fibre tunnels, train tunnels, and many unnameable tunnels and cavities under the City. '

Over the last 31 years the Cave Clan has seen over 8000 explorers going underground all over Australia.

Branches in Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane and Canberra all flourished and over the years group sizes in these cities have fluctuated between 100+ members and near non existence.

Australia pre-September 11, with its more laidback laws and society was an ideal location for exploring underground and indeed topside. The generally good weather is also a positive factor. Post S11 has seen much of the Cave Clan head deeper underground avoiding media and publicity.

The first drains explored include the famous Northcote Golfcourse Drain, Mummy Drain and GOD. Since then Melbourne has acquired over 150 explorable drains and nearly 120 other tunnels and cavities, not to mention dozens of abandoned topsides and structures.
Drains in Melbourne are characterised by their large sizes, odd features and incredible lengths (Dungeon drain for example is nearly 8kms long.)

In 1989 Dougo (one of the founders of Cave Clan) started 'Il Draino' a subscription zine dedicated to the underground antics of the Cave Clan. While the first 5 odd issues where almost a parody, the zine evolved into a tome of valuable information and great humour and to this day has seen 95 issues.
Through Il Draino, expos were organised along with parties; nominations for The Clannies were posted along with expo reports, interviews, location reports and photos.

The Clannie Awards started in 1989 as a joke. It soon became a reality with the first awards ceremoney being held in The Chamber in Anzac Drain.

Since then we have seen a Clannie awards night held once a year ever since, in the Anzac Chamber with the exception of 2004 & 2009 when rain moved it to topside locations, and in 2014 where the awards were moved to another drain (Mini 10th) when the Water Authority placed security guards at the outlet to Anzac Tunnel. The Clannies are held to honour, in a humorous fashion, all the good things about exploring. Awards are given based on Nominations and subsequent voting for various things including 'Best Individual Effort', 'Funniest Situation', 'Best Drain', 'Most Hardcore' and of couse the 'Gold Clannie', a gold painted Bowling Pin, awarded to the person voted as the most worthy explorer for that year.

33317.jpg (69 kb, 853x576)
click to view

Clannies, held at the Chamber in Anzac.

The Cave Clan thrives on its own initiative. It does not have a leader, although it has always floureshed most strongly under the guidance of Dougo, one of the three founders, and is in itself a very organised disorganisation.

33318.jpg (57 kb, 855x573)
click to view

Cave Clan explorers (with car) down Melbourne's Mini Tenth Drain.

Sydney Branch.

The Sydney Branch of Cave Clan started in May 1991 after Sydney explorer Predator found a Cave Clan Sticker down his local storm drain.
Having written to Dougo in Melbourne, it was decided that the Cave Clan should be represented in Sydney and Predator along with fellow explorers Diode and Mullet set out to find locations under and around Sydney. The first drains found by Predator included the famous Fortess and Rocktop. Over the years the locations in Sydney have grown to over 500, all archived in the infamous Known Doc.

The Sydney branch didnt take off with the verve that Melbourne did. Sydney drains are smaller and less user friendly and it wasnt until a sudden influx of interest in early 1998 that the Clan in Sydney became comparable to that of Melbourne, and it wasnt until around 2002 that the Sydney Clan came close to equalling Melbourne.

In 1999 The Sydney branch hosted the first of its own awards, for Sydney explorers only, (whereas the Clannies honoured explorers nationwide). These awards were called The Golden Torch Awards or GTAs and were first held up the Glebe Island Silos. After the Silos were demolished, the GTAS moved to the Anzac Rifle Range Bunkers in Sydney's South and have so far racked up 12 years of awards presented in in a similar fashion to the main Clannie awards.
33319.jpg (62 kb, 855x558)
click to view

The Golden Torch Awards at Anzac Rifle Range Bunker.

While melbourne thrived on printed paper for years with Il Draino etc, Sydney waz always a more internet organised group.
33320.jpg (58 kb, 573x864)
click to view

Your Taxes Drain, just outside of Sydney


The Adelaide Branch of the Cave Clan took off in and around 1992, lead by Zorga and others who paved there way through the South Australian capital finding all sorts of great locations. Adelaide provided a solid contigency for the 1994 and 1995 Clannies, but by 1997 where dieing in numbers, almost dissolving completly only to pick up again and flourish even more under the direction of the likes of Durgin, Elfen and Pizzy Q.

33321.jpg (33 kb, 338x500)
click to view

Eli's Tomb Drain, Addelayed (as they call it)


The Brisbane Clan was the last to get its act together, with Melbourne explorers finding excellent drains there in 1990, but little local interest until around 1996 when Azza and Possum appeared with drains like Toadie and Aquacave to compliment the likes of Burfords Batcave which had appeared almost by itself in 1994.
Even then the Brisbane Clan didnt really kick of until Dsankter came onto the scene around 2000. Since then the Brisbane Clan has thrived, all be it in a far more low key fashion, more befitting to the stealthy methodology that is required when traversing your way under the noses and over the heads of Brisbane civilians.
33323.jpg (34 kb, 386x600)
click to view

Bridgeroom tunnel, Brisbane.


The Cave Clan popped up in canberra around 1993, lead by Fil and Sick Puppy. Inhabited mostly by variations upon the 6ft RCP, Canberras drain offered a lot to any explorer who didnt mind seeing excellent features moulded around concrete circles.
The Canberra Cave Clan was the first branch to get online, but not for itself as such. The old site, 'Stormdraining in Australia', now sadly offline was the first representative of underground Australia, appearing in 1995 and providing mostly text based info on the Cave Clan all around Australia at the time.

In 1999, Fil moved to Melbourne, essentially ending the Cave Clan's presence in Canberra, where people still explore, but not under any particular moniker.
33322.jpg (47 kb, 401x600)
click to view

Temple of Doom in Secret Squirrels Drain, Canberra.

Tasmania, particularly Hobart has proven to be an excellent location for exploring (Hobart and Domain Drains are amoungst the best in Aust), but the a brach of the Cave Clan has never taken off there, while a very small and rather limited branch appeared in Perth, Western Australia.

In 2005 the various branches of the Cave Clan united, online, as the Cave Clan and references to state branches were mostly phased out. While most members went along there were some who challenged the change and in the end while the Clan as a whole continued, the Sydney Clan stayed partly separate.

Modify this entry  | Remove this entry
UER Forum > UE Encyclopedia > Cave Clan (Viewed 19760 times)

Add a poll to this thread

This thread is in a public category, and can't be made private.

All content and images copyright 2002-2021 UER.CA and respective creators. Graphical Design by Crossfire.
To contact webmaster, or click to email with problems or other questions about this site: UER CONTACT
View Terms of Service | View Privacy Policy | Server colocation provided by Beanfield
This page was generated for you in 109 milliseconds. Since June 23, 2002, a total of 658431151 pages have been generated.