Piccaninnie Ponds wetlands
Piccaninnie Ponds Karst Wetlands is a beautiful place to visit and one of international importance, being Ramsar listed in 2013. It is located in the 862 hectare Piccaninnie Ponds Conservation Park, 32 kilometres south east of Mount Gambier.
The Piccaninnie Ponds Conservation Park contains the world famous Piccaninnie Ponds and the recently acquired and restored Pick Swamp.
It is a place of amazing beauty, with more than 30 vegetation associations, including freshwater lakes and swamps, coastal dunes, silky tea tree thickets, grasslands and woodlands. The wetlands support 61 species of conservation significance including the critically endangered Orange-bellied Parrot and provide habitat for 20 migratory bird species.
Take a walk along the beach and see the freshwater springs bubbling up onto the sand. There is also a walking trail through coastal wattle and beard heath to the pond's outlet and then via board walks inland to a lookout.
Under the ground, it is renowned for its spectacular underwater world. There is a vast underwater cave system including a large cavern with white walls of limestone known as The Cathedral. Snorkelling and diving are allowed by permit.
The Ramsar listing of this area is an amazing achievement, not only for the wetlands, but the staff, volunteers and community members who have worked hard on the restoration and care of the area for the past decade.
Piccaninnie and Ewens Ponds included in international water project
The unique features and beauty of the regions Karst rising spring systems and wetlands is again getting international attention.
Natural Resources South East was excited to have world renowned fresh water photographer Michel Roggo from Switzerland in the region who spent time exploring Piccaninnie and Ewens Ponds as well as other popular sites.
Michel is part of the International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP) with his ‘Freshwater Project’ dedicated to documenting fresh water environments with a particular focus on underwater photography.
The Freshwater Project seeks to promote the conservation of freshwater systems and help educate people about their importance through photography.
“Often the focus is on the ocean. But freshwater is also a place for amazing ecosystems and humans are very connected to fresh water since we need it to survive. The freshwater waters of the South East have such a high interaction with the landscape” said Mr Roggo.
Michel’s project will see him visit only 30 unique freshwater places from around the world over four years. So far he has visited places in Siberia, Slovakia, Brazil, Greenland, China and even in the deserts of Oman.
We are hoping Michel will return to the region in the future where he will hold an exhibition of his photos during his time here. It will be great for the community to come and see and learn.
Mr Roggo said "I first heard about Piccaninine Ponds about ten years ago. It was great finally experience it, though for me, I really enjoyed Ewens Ponds. It is wonderful. I even spent some time in a small plane taking photos of the wetlands which really shows their importance. I am very pleased to include this region in my project and finally place a site pin in Australia."
To view ‘The Freshwater Project’ visit: www.roggo.ch/thefreshwaterproject
Michel's photo samples of his visit are now available - http://www.roggo.ch/thefreshwaterproject/piccaninnie.htm
To learn more watch this video of Piccaninie Ponds featuring Natural Resources South East Wetland Ecologist, Steve Clarke.