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Piccaninnie Ponds is a world famous unique pond system that holds a fantastic envoronment for divers and snorkellers. The main attraction at the ponds is the The Cathedral and The Chasm.
Entry to the water is via a pontoon approx 30m from the carpark. A bench chair is situated just off the pontoon. A shelter and bench seats are provided back at the carpark for gearing up, and toilets are also situated at the carpark.
Snorkellers can swim over to the Chasm and peer down through the clear water into the spectacular depths below, while divers can dive down to the dogleg of the chasm. (Diving below the dogleg, or 36.4m is strictly prohibited). The water is very clear, giving effectively unlimited visibility, with the temprature around the 15 degree Celsius mark, thus exposure suits are recommended for swimmers.
Divers can then enter through 3 entry points on their right into the beautiful white cathedral with its sculptured and scalloped limestone walls. As the name suggests, their's nothing small about this enclosed environment. The observant diver may be rewarded with the sight of an eel or two swimming along the ledges of the walls. Whilst the cathedral is 40m deep, be careful not to exceed 36.4, as if inspected - you could earn yourself a holiday from the CDAA.
Pics is a relatively easy dive, however there are some dangers with the site that are easilly avoidable once they're understood, thus a minimum of a CDAA deep cavern dive rating is required to scuba dive this site.
A maximum of 4 divers, and 4 snorkellers are permitted at any one time. (Thus a maximum of 8 people in the water per session/booking). Booking are required, and time slots are to be strictly adhered to. Dive slots are spaced 3hrs apart, to allow any silt or growth that is stirred up from previous divers to settle, thus giving nice clear water for the next divers.
This site is best dived in the warmer seasons as rain may cause sediment runoff to enter the ponds, and effect visibility considerably.
With the chasm, the cathedral, the attractive aquatic weed growth and the many native freshwater fish, eels and shrimp there will be no problems filling in your hour's time slot if you choose to visit here.
|Depth:||36.4 max allowable. (Unknown max)|
|Dive:||CDAA Sinkhole required unless snorkelling.|
|Location:||15 mins east of Port MacDonald|
|Other:||Diving and Snorkelling access to site via booking through Parks SA only! Permit required.|