Explorer Conor Moore dived to the dark and dank depths of Lake Eacham to discover…something unexpected.

Highlights
  • Diving in a volcanic crater
  • Exploring the unknown depths of Lake Eacham
Below The Surface Of Lake Eacham

Lake Eacham is an old volcanic crater that formed around 10,000 years ago. Over time it’s been filled with groundwater and has lush tropical rainforest lining its banks. Growing up in Cairns there were tales of Lake Eacham being bottomless, connecting to another crater nearby through underground passages. So, after many years looking down from the surface, we decided to go down for a closer look.

We chucked on our dive gear and made our way to the water – it was freezing! Well, cold by Cairns standards anyway. We swam out, released the air from our BCDs and made our way down. The first thing I noticed was how little I could see. Algae in the water made visibility very poor and we had to stick almost shoulder to shoulder, so we didn’t lose each other. 

The visibility was so bad that the bubbles we blew were sometimes the only way to know which way was up! At around 15m we hit a thermocline – a layer where water temperature changes greatly. It was too cold. We were shivering and had to end the dive. 

Though we couldn’t finish the dive, we were back a few weeks later. This time the water was much warmer – once again, we descended into the depths. 

This time we found old wooden boats – a relic of the 1930s when boating was allowed on the lake. 

We also found an odd collection of money jars, perched on an unsuspecting rock. 

Our finds had certainly not answered any questions we’d hope to have answered, in fact I think it left us with more than when we first began.

Essential Gear
  • Sunscreen
  • Towel 
  • Wetsuits if you’re diving! 
  • Diving gear 

 

How To Get There

From Cairns, Lake Eacham can be reached by heading up the Gillies Range. At the top of the range, turn left onto Wrights Creek Road and follow to the end.

Activities
  • Swimming
  • Diving
  • Kayaking
  • Birdwatching
  • Photography
  • Bushwalking

 

Skill Level

Diving at Lake Eacham can be considered difficult due to poor visibility, cold water and a lack of visual 

Distance Covered

Dived to 28m