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Piccaninnie Ponds Conservation Park

Piccaninnie Ponds Conservation Park
Nearest town or city Donovans
Area 862 hectares (2,130 acres)[1]
Established 19 December 1991
Managing authorities Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources
Official site Piccaninnie Ponds Conservation Park

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


  • Description 1
  • Recreational diving 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • Further reading 5
  • External links 6


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 south-east 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

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 m deep with a silt floor and much aquatic life, the ‘Chasm’ is a sinkhole with a depth of over 100 m, and the ‘Cathedral’ is an enclosed area with limestone formations and a depth of about 35 m.[2] Underwater visibility is excellent and may exceed 40 m. Snorkelling and cave diving at Piccaninnie Ponds is by permit only.

See also


  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. 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

  • Horne, P.; (1985), CDAA Research Group Report No. 3: Piccaninnie Ponds Mapping Project, November 1984 – April 1985 (ISBN 0 7316 7208 9) OCLC: 27574762.
  • Horne, P; and Harris, R.; (2009), Piccaninnie Ponds Collaborative Research Project: Exploration and General Research Activities, May/June 2008 and Oct/Nov 2009 (with South Australian Department of Water, Land and Biodiversity Conservation (DWLBC) and the South Australian Department for Environment and Heritage (DEH)).

External links

  • Piccaninnie Ponds Conservation Park (official National Parks South Australia webpage)
  • Ponds Conservation Park Diving and Snorkelling Guidelines (PDF download)
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