Deepest cave in the Southern Hemisphere

Report from a New Zealand Speleological Society expedition (leader Kieran McKay) in the Southern Alps and I thought you'd be interested:
Fantastic news from Kieran McKay this morning.
Have just arrived back from our 7 day Nettlebed [Cave] epic. Well I won't drag this out....we have done it!! Stormy Pot and Nettlebed are now one, we have a cave system 1200 metres deep and the deepest in the southern hemisphere!! The connection point is at the end of the yellow passage, we dug into a rock pile there, found a small shaft going up, I climbed this, and at the top there was a very narrow crack with a strong draught blowing through. I dug at this crack for an hour or so and eventually managed to squeeze through. One the other side I found myself in a small chamber I instantly recognised as the spot we used as ……second camp in Stormy Pot, the Rovers Return camp at the end of Coralation Street. At last!! We were pretty ‘stoked’ that’s for sure!! This is the culmination of many thousands of man hours over 40 years with the exploration of Nettlebed, then more recently with the exploration of Stormy Pot itself by Troy Watson, Neil Silverwood, Aaron Gillespie, Chris Whitehouse and I. A big thanks to Toby Reid from Reid/Heslop helicopters, Andrew Mckenzie from Absolute Wilderness, Sport NZ who helped to start this process back in 2010 when they gave us a grant which helped us find Stormy Pot, then NZ geographic [magazine] came on board and sponsored an expedition that helped to put another piece of the puzzle in place and got us closer to Nettlebed. In October Red Bull Media house supported an expedition that resulted in a positive dye trace and a smoke connection between the two caves. On the results of this Red Bull expedition we knew exactly where to look and made the connection. In the next few weeks the team will be getting together for the first through trip after which we will be more than happy to take others...
Paul Williams

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