Piccaninnie Ponds celebrated
Date posted: 29 January 2013
Long a favourite spot for divers, snorkellers and walkers, the remarkable Piccaninnie Ponds have been formally recognised as a wetland of international importance.
Home to a spectacular underwater world, the internationally renowned cave diving destination was announced as the 65th site listed under the Ramsar Convention.
The Ramsar Convention aims to halt the worldwide loss of wetlands and to conserve, through wise use and management, those that remain.
More than 20,000 visitors each year enjoy the national biodiversity hot spot, an 862 hectare karst wetlands site which supports at least seven nationally threatened species including the critically endangered orange-bellied parrot and the endangered Australasian bittern.
Piccaninnie Ponds’ crystal clear waters have been slowly filtering through limestone and forming the Ponds’ features over thousands of years. The freshwater rising to the surface under pressure has eroded a weakness in the limestone to form an area known as The Chasm. This same process has formed the divers’ favourite large underwater cavern known as The Cathedral, creating its majestic white walls of sculptured and scalloped limestone.
The site is also enjoyed by walkers, who can walk along the beach to see freshwater springs bubbling up on to the sand and can take a trail through coastal wattle, beard heath, silky tea-tree and cutting grass to a lookout with views of the wetland.
Piccaninnie Ponds Conservation Park is located 32km south east of Mount Gambier or 482km south east of Adelaide. Access is via Piccaninnie Ponds Road.
Find out more about Piccanninie Ponds.