Sarakata River Caves

There are many tributaries of the Sarakata River in the jungles of Santo, the main river whose mouth is on the West end of the main town Luganville. One of these tributaries sinks into the karst and makes brief appearances on the surface no less than 7 times over the course of approximately 1km where it finally emerges at the Tourist Blue Hole. The system was discovered, explored & mapped by local divers and CDAA cavedivers between 1994 and 1997.
The Sarakata Resurgence has been listed on another page as it is a separate tributary.

The following descriptions follow the course of the tributary upstream from the Tourist Blue Hole.

Tourist Blue Hole Cave rated. Small resurgence leading to Three Way 12 metres deep 85 metres to next blue hole passage 2-3 metre diameter.

Three Way Sink Cave rated. Small sinkhole 11 metre diameter has 1 out flow and 1 in flow depth 9 metres 85 metres down stream to Tourist Blue Hole 80 metres up stream to Pump Sink passage 2-3 metres diameter

Pump Sink Cave rated. Small sink 4 metre diameter 6 metres deep 80 metres downstream to Three Way

Champagne Hole Cave rated. Small resurgence leading to Cliff’s Sink 6 metres deep 50 metres to Cliff’s Sink 3 metre passage

Fifty Four Rated as sinkhole in shaft and penetration beyond restriction. 54 metre deep sinkhole minimum 3 metres diameter. Low flat restriction at base leads to 3-5 metre diameter passage heading toward Clam Shell 500 metres of passage going from 56 metres to 42 metres in depth.

Clam Shell Penetration rated. Solution pipe leads to main stream way. Max depth 42 metres down stream short distance to restriction, up stream to The Drinking Place 600 metres away passage 3-5 metre diameter. Depth goes from 42 metres to surface at Drinking Hole.

The Drinking Hole Penetration rated. Sink leading to Clam Shell requires side mounts 600 metre traverse. Starts at 1 metre deep, ends at 36 metres deep. Passage 3-5 metres in diameter.

Bush Rope Hole Penetration rated. 20 metre descent via ladders to stream way below. A short duck leads to a 60 metre long cave leads to a lake and passage way with numerous side passages. Max depth 18 metres. Passage varies between 1.5 – 3 metres diameter

General Conditions Water – Moderate flow, Clear, fresh, drinkable. Flow & site access becomes a problem during wet season (March, April, May). Water temperature 23-24 oC.