Both Ewens Ponds and Picaninnie Ponds are two popular freshwater diving sites in the south eastern region of Australia. At the Picaninnie Ponds, you can dive, swim or snorkel across the chasm and swim down to check out underwater creatures and plants.
The best part of the Picaninnie Ponds is its crystal clear waters, which gets slowly filtered naturally through the limestone. This process has occurred for thousands of years and it has resulted in the formation of limestone forming underneath the pond water.
Piccaninnie Ponds Conservation Park, Mount Gambier
The pressure from the uprising of freshwater to the surface has resulted in the erosion in the limestone. This in turn resulted in the chasm formation. The Picaninnie Ponds also boast a large underwater cavern known as the Cathedral. This was also formed due to erosion.
Divers can get many picturesque views of its beautifully sculptured limestone walls. The chasm at the Picaninnie Ponds also has an abundance of green algae on its white walls.
With a clear underwater visibility of up to 40 metres, this pond is one of the spectacular and stunning freshwater diving sites in South Australia. As one of the largest freshwater springs, this pond is a popular diving destination amongst both novice and experienced divers.
A permit is required to snorkel and dive at Piccaninnie Ponds and can be issued on a single or annual basis. The Fee for snorkelling is around $14 for a single permit and $54 for an annual permit and for diving is $37 for a single and $76 for an annual permit. You must purchase your permit before arrival and they can be purchased from National Parks SA.
The diving time slots are for 60 minutes and there is a limit of 2 sessions per person, per day. Bookings are essential. Diving permits are only issued to divers who are current financial members of the Cave Divers Association of Australia (CDAA) and rated at sinkhole category.
The Picaninnie Ponds truly represent the region’s unique geology and spectacular hydrology.