First stop on our recent South Aus dive trip was Ewens Ponds in Mount Gambier (watch this space for Rapid Bay, Second Valley, Port Noarlunga, Edithburgh and Port Hughes – whew~!)
Ewens Ponds are a series of three spring fed freshwater waterholes connected by shallow slow moving channels. The visibility in this underwater world is breathtaking – as you emerge from each channel the ground drops away revealing the extent of the next pond, and it feels like you’re flying through space. The channels themselves are a tonne of fun – sort of like an amusement park for divers, with the stream pushing you through, just tuck in your elbows and enjoy the ride!
We were so taken by the ponds that we rearranged our travel plans to stop by for a night dive on our return trip and it was well worth it, with eels sitting amongst the reeds and freshwater crays scuttling away everywhere we turned.
The site requires a booking via an online permit system. Water is about 15C year-round, so a wetsuit (or drysuit!) is a must. Navigation is simple, although a little harder at night – a daytime exploration dive highly recommended. Take your time and don’t rush – the booking is for 1 or 2 hours, so make the most of it!
You will likely need to take a bit of weight off for freshwater, and be careful not to hit the bottom as you first descend – the water is so still that silt and sediment will take ages to settle. The best bit about diving here (other than the insane viz!)? You don’t need to wash your gear afterwards!