Josh Richards may not have decades of caving experience under his belt, however what he does have is a love for Wombats and the desire to act like one at times. Joking aside, Josh’s thirst for adventure started whilst diving as a kid with his father,
Joking aside, Josh’s thirst for adventure started whilst diving as a kid with his father, continuing into a military career as a soldier, becoming a multi-agency dive instructor via the navy and ultimately a Royal Marine. Beyond that, Josh is also a comedian, a science geek, and has even been a candidate with a one way ticket to inhabit Mars!
Josh joins me to talk about his journey through life and its various stages leading up to his discovery of The Engelbrechts east extension with his ‘dive wife’ Matt Aisbett.
Englebrechts cave history
1865 – Originally described in a publication by Julian Tenison-Woods, the cave system was referred to as Vansittarts cave.
1885 – Carl Engelbrecht’s purchase of a flour mill located nearby, which he converted into a whiskey distillery (good man!) used the cave as a dumping ground for his waste products. This led to the cave system being referred to as the Engelbrecht cave.
1929 – the land on which the cave is located was purchased by the then District Council and the cave was sealed off.
1969 – The council invites expressions of interest to open the cave for potential tourism. Reportedly, it was not suitable for tourist development and remained shut.
1979 – The Lions Club of Mount Gambier commenced a project to beautify the cave to the tune of $10,000
1995 – Engelbrecht Cave was added to the South Australian Heritage Register
2019 – Dive buddies Matthew Aisbett and Josh Richards mooch around the end of the east cave system and find access to an enormous previously undiscovered cave system running under the centre of town.
2022 – Josh joins me on the show to reflect on many of his life adventures and what is now known as the Engelbrechts east extension.
You can find an excellent video on Josh’s Youtube channel as he narrates his way through the extension.