Piccaninnie Ponds Conservation Park

Explore the spectacular underwater world of Piccaninnie Ponds which have been recognised as a wetland of international importance. Snorkel across the top of The Chasm and peer down into the dark depths below or dive down into the large underwater cavern known as The Cathedral.

The crystal clear waters have been slowly filtering through the limestone and forming the Pond's features over thousands of years. The freshwater rising to the surface under pressure has eroded a weakness in the limestone to form The Chasm. This same process has formed the large underwater cavern known as The Cathedral creating its majestic white walls of sculptured and scalloped limestone. Be sure to visit the Lower South East Marine Park which also offers plenty of diving experiences.

On land, take a walk along the beach and see the freshwater springs bubbling up onto the sand. These springs are used by birds for freshwater and are also a favourite spot for shellfish.

There is also a walking trail through coastal wattle and beard heath to the ponds outlet. The walk then leads inland via boardwalks into silky tea-tree and cutting grass to a lookout where views of the wetland and bamboo reed and bulrush can be seen.

Please note that this campground has been restored to a wetland and is now closed for camping.


Piccaninnie Ponds Conservation Park is located 32km south east of Mount Gambier or 482km south east of Adelaide. Access is via Piccaninnie Ponds Road.

Opening times

Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Bookings are required for snorkelling and diving.


Fees apply for diving and snorkelling. Bookings are required.

Fire information

Wood fires and solid fuel fires are prohibited throughout the year.

Gas fires are permitted other than on days of total fire ban.

Below high water mark: wood fires and solid fuel fires are permitted below high water mark, other than on days of total fire ban. 

Find out more information about fire restrictions.

Contact us

Phone: (+61 8) 8735 1177

Important information

A permit is required to snorkel or dive in the ponds. Scheduled timeslots are available. Conditions apply, bookings are essential.

Beware of strong currents and undertows on beaches.

As the average water temperature can be between 10-15 degrees Celsius, a wetsuit is recommended.

This park may be closed on days of extreme fire danger.

Brochures and maps

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