Piccaninnie Ponds Conservation Park

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Piccaninnie Ponds Conservation Park
South Australia
Cave diving scene at Piccaninnie Ponds showing two divers
Cave diving at Piccaninnie Ponds
Piccaninnie Ponds Conservation Park is located in South Australia
Piccaninnie Ponds Conservation Park
Piccaninnie Ponds Conservation Park
Nearest town or city Donovans
Coordinates 38°03′03″S 140°56′11″E / 38.05083°S 140.93639°E / -38.05083; 140.93639Coordinates: 38°03′03″S 140°56′11″E / 38.05083°S 140.93639°E / -38.05083; 140.93639
Established 19 December 1991
Area 8.62 km2 (3.3 sq mi)[1]
Managing authorities Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources
Website Piccaninnie Ponds Conservation Park
See also Protected areas of South Australia

Piccaninnie Ponds Conservation Park is a protected area of 862 hectares (2,130 acres) located in southeastern South Australia near Mount Gambier.


The park adjoins Discovery Bay in South Australia’s Limestone Coast and conserves a wetland fed by freshwater springs in a karst landscape.[2] It is 491 km southeast of Adelaide and 30 km south-east of Mount Gambier.

It is close to the border with Victoria and is part of the Discovery Bay to Piccaninnie Ponds Important Bird Area, identified by BirdLife International as being of global significance for several bird species.[3] It is a listed Ramsar site.[4] The park contains a walking track through coastal woodland to a viewing platform overlooking the wetlands.[5]

Recreational diving[edit]

Piccaninnie Ponds is a popular site for both snorkelling and cave diving. It contains three main features of interest to cave divers. The ‘First Pond’ is an open depression about 10 metres (33 ft) deep with a silt floor and much aquatic life, the ‘Chasm’ is a sinkhole with a depth of over 100 metres (330 ft), and the ‘Cathedral’ is an enclosed area with limestone formations and a depth of about 35 metres (115 ft).[2] Underwater visibility is excellent and may exceed 40 metres (130 ft). Snorkelling and cave diving at Piccaninnie Ponds is by permit only.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "CAPAD 2012 South Australia Summary (see 'DETAIL' tab)". CAPAD 2012. Australian Government - Department of the Environment. 6 February 2014. Retrieved 6 February 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "Piccaninnie Ponds - 5L072". Richard "Harry" Harris. Archived from the original on February 11, 2012. Retrieved 9 October 2013. 
  3. ^ "IBA: Discovery Bay to Piccaninnie Ponds". Birdata. Birds Australia. Retrieved 2011-06-18. 
  4. ^ Peddie, Clare. "Piccaninnie Ponds now a wetland world wonder". The Advertiser. Retrieved 24 January 2013. 
  5. ^ Limestone Coast brochure

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]