PLANETCAVER

Welcome to the Planetcaver blog, featuring stories from caves and underground explorations around the world, from the point of view of a beginner caver. The Planetcaver has explored underground places in 35 countries and 504 locations (365 natural in 29 countries and 140 man-made in 21 countries) and has written about 28 other places. You can also click on the map on the left to see where in the world they took place.

There's also a "map of maps" -- a map of caves that I have drawn a cave map on on the right (151 maps). There's also a long list of those maps as well as a list of 3D models that I have created. The Planetcaver articles appeared originally in the Blogspot Planetskier series, at TGR posts, or at the Relaa website. See also the articles about skiing, urban exploration, climbing, cycling, flying, swimming, and saunas.

All caving-related articles:

The Usmi shelter cave in Hyvinkää
I was inspired to go here by Antti Huttunen's article in Retkipaikka. There's a forgotten, hard-to-access rocky hill and cliff area in Hyvinkää: Usminkalliot. With a cave!
Full story

May 2024, Usminkallion lippaluola, Hyvinkää, Finland; Usminkallion lippakolo, Hyvinkää, Finland; Usminkallion lipparako, Hyvinkää, Finland
Caving (Basic, Rock, Rock-Gneiss, Morphology-Crack, Surveying); Caving (Basic, Rock, Rock-Gneiss, Morphology-Crack)

Bijambare Caves
My first "proper" Bosnia and Herzegovina caves! The Bijambare caves. Wonderful karst caves, and in the largest one there are massive halls and massive tunnels. Well worth visiting if you're near Sarajevo!
Full story

May 2024, Srednja Bijambarska, Krivajevići, Bosnia and Herzegovina; Gornja Bijambarska, Krivajevići, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Caving (Basic, Rock-Limestone, Morphology-Karst)

Dobrun caves
It was a good try. I think. Or maybe I should have pushed harder. But ... it was getting difficult to stay on the slope, even with some smaller trees around me. But in the end I turned around, and did not reach the Dobrun cave in the mountains of eastern Bosnia and Herzegovina... the slope was loose gravel, and getting steeper on every step. No sign of paths. I do wonder though, I could *see* the cave but not reach it! And reportedly monks have lived in the cave, is there another path?
Full story

April 2024, Dobrun Cave, Dobrun, Bosnia and Herzegovina; Dobrun Party Cave, Dobrun, Bosnia and Herzegovina; Dobrun railway tunnel, Dobrun, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Caving (None, Rock-Limestone, Morphology-Karst); Caving (Basic, Rock-Limestone, Morphology-Karst); Swimming (Outdoor, Waterbody-River); Urban-Exploration (Tunnels)

Back in the K.O.R.S.O.
Me: "Last time I was here was 35 years ago." Receptionist: "Not much has changed since then.". But, Korso's swimming hall still rocks. Small but functional.
Full story

April 2024, Korson uimahalli, Korso, Vantaa, Finland; Korson siirtolohkareen luolanen, Korso, Vantaa, Finland
Swimming (Indoor, Waterbody-Pool); Sauna (Normal); Caving (Basic, Rock, Morphology-Boulders, Rock-Gneiss)

Rafter's cave in Perućac
Rafter's cave was a surprise find, a sudden realization of a sign on a parking spot in Perućac we pulled onto. A cave! By this incredibly beautiful river, Trina, marking the border between Serbia and Bosnia.
Full story

April 2024, Rafter's Cave, Perućac, Serbia; Rafter's Cave Side Cave, Perućac, Serbia
Caving (Basic, Rock, Rock-Limestone, Surveying, Morphology-Erosion, Morphology-Karst, )

Brisbane area caves
I'm visiting Brisbane this week for work. Before returning, I have a weekend to look around. Surely there are caves? I have been to Australia before, for skiing and climbing... but not visited any caves. And I'm desperate for "collecting" another country that I've caved in :-)
Full story

March 2024, Capricorn Caves, The Caves, Queensland, Australia; Undara Lava Tubes, Queensland, Australia; Jenolan Caves, New South Wales, Australia
Caving (None)

Mount Beerburrum Bat Caves
Mount Beerburrum is part of the Glass House Mountains National Park, on the east coast of Queensland, Australia, an hour north of Brisbane. These striking formations are old volcanic plugs that are left standing higher when other rock material around them has eroded over millions of years. But I'm here because Google Maps tells me that there's a "Bat Cave" on the side of the mountain.
Full story

March 2024, Mount Beerburrum, Beerburrum, Queensland, Australia; Mount Beerburrum Bat Caves, Beerburrum, Queensland, Australia
Hiking; Caving (Rock, Rock-Limestone, Morphology-Karst, None)

Springbrook's Natural Bridge
Can you see them? Glow worms, in their natural habitat! We had just been in the artificial glow worm cave, and wanted to check out a natural bridge in the Springbrook National Park. But it turned out that the natural bridge was also a waterfall, a cave with a waterfall, and home to plenty of nature's own glow worms. Very nice!
Full story

March 2024, Natural Bridge, Springbrook National Park, Springbrook, Queensland, Australia
Caving (Basic, Rock-Unknown, Morphology-Erosion); Hiking

Capricorn Caves
Capricorn Caves is a limestone cave under a hill a town called The Caves, Queensland, Australia. This is a small town about 30 kilometers north of Rockhampton. A wonderful little town... with The Caves elementary school, The Caves bar, etc. But the cave! Such a nice place to visit. It is a commercial show cave with a variety of tours, from the basic tourist walking tour to more adventurous tours. I did both actually, was lucky to be able to reserve a slot in the adventure tour as well as they only do them if there's enough participants.
Full story

March 2024, Capricorn Caves, The Caves, Queensland, Australia
Caving (Basic, Rock, Rock-Limestone)

Tamborine Mountain Glow Worm Caves
The world's only man-made cave with glow worms. Nice. Wish we had this in somewhere in Vantaa, maybe in one of the big garden complexes. Anyway, it really is nice that they try to maintain a population and show it to tourists. The glow worms are real, of course, though they live in an artificial cave where the caretakers release some insects every day.
Full story

March 2024, Tamborine Mountain Glow Worm Caves, Tamborine Mountain, Queensland, Australia
Caving (Man-Made, Basic)

Meeting the locals Australian cave fauna
It has always been a dream for me to meet the locals when I get a change to visit some caves during travel. The humans, of course, but also the ones that have been there even longer than we have, from the little critters to some bigger ones, and maybe even some plants. It turns out that dreams can come true, as I got to see some amazing things on my recent trip to Australia. But also, nightmares can come true, too...
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March 2024, Capricorn Caves, The Caves, Queensland, Australia; Cave, Mt. Etna Caves National Park, The Caves, Queensland, Australia; Mount Beerburrum Bat Caves, Beerburrum, Queensland, Australia; Natural Bridge, Springbrook National Park, Springbrook, Queensland, Australia; Tamborine Mountain Glow Worm Caves, Tamborine Mountain, Queensland, Australia
Caving (Basic, Rock); Caving (Basic, Man-Made); Caving (None)

Paradise Caves at the Sunshine Beach
Paradise Caves. So near (maybe just 1m from the drip line) but so far. There was only three ways in, one covered by tide, and the other two were rock ledges sloping towards a cliff. And the rain and the sea swell had made everything more slipper than I liked. Turned around.
Full story

March 2024, Paradise Caves, Noosa Heads, Queensland, Australia; Sunshine Beach, Noosa Heads, Queensland, Australia
Caving (Basic, Morphology-Erosion, Rock-Unknown); Swimming (Waterbody-Sea, Beach)

Grotta San Giovanni Mystery
Grotta San Giovanni is near Lecco and Lago di Como, in northern Italy. As you can see from above, the views are wonderful! But there's a mystery: did this cave inspire Leonardo da Vinci's painting Madonna (or Virgin) on the Rocks?
Full story

January 2024, Grotta San Giovanni, Lecco, Italy; Grotta San Giovanni side cave 1, Lecco, Italy; Grotta San Giovanni side cave 2, Lecco, Italy; Grotta San Giovanni cemetery side cave, Lecco, Italy
Caving (Basic, Rock, Rock-Limestone, Morphology-Karst); Urban-Exploration (Other)

Popova Shapka
Popova Shapka is one of the major ski resorts in North Macedonia. Perhaps THE major resort even. At the time I was there, however, in early season it had not yet opened. Wanted to see it though.
Full story

December 2023, Popova Shapka, Tetovo, North Macedonia
Skiing (None); Caving (None)

Popova Shapka mini-cave
On my trip to North-Macedonia, I drove by an interesting rock formation on the way to the Popova Shapka ski area above the town of Tetovo. I did not have time to explore other caves, and this one wasn't much of a cave either. But in Finland it would qualify as a cave. A small crack in an eroded rock feature sticking out.
Full story

December 2023, Guri i Sidollit mini-cave, Popova Shapka, Tetovo, North Macedonia
Caving (Rock, Rock-Unknown, Morphology-Crack, Basic)

Caves of Castel Gandolfo
I had an opportunity visit Castel Gandolfo recently. While I had been there briefly before, it was clear that there'd be more to explore. Castel Gandolfo sits on the rim of the lake Lago Albano, and also near Lago di Nemi. These lakes are beautiful places but also with interesting geology, both being volcanic craters.
Full story

November 2023, Arte e Vino, Castel Gandolfo, Italy; Grotta Neolitica, Castel Gandolfo, Italy; Piccola Grotta Neolitica al Lago, Castel Gandolfo, Italy; Minuscola Grotta al Lago, Castel Gandolfo, Italy
Caving (Man-Made, Rock, Basic); Caving (Rock, Rock-Volcanic, None, Morphology-Erosion); Caving (Rock, Basic, Surveying, Rock-Volcanic, Morphology-Erosion); Caving (Rock, Basic, Rock-Volcanic, Morphology-Erosion)

This is the 1th set of articles. The next sets are set 2, set 3, set 4, set 5, set 6, set 7, set 8, set 9, set 10, set 11, set 12, set 13, set 14, set 15, set 16, set 17, set 18, set 19, set 20, and set 21.

The Planetcaver articles appeared originally in the Blogspot Planetskier series, at TGR posts, or at the Relaa website. See also the articles about skiing, urban exploration, climbing, cycling, flying, swimming, and saunas.