Kilsby Sinkhole Snorkel

by Steve Klein


Kilsby Sinkhole Snorkel

LOCATION Mount Gambier, South Australia

DEPTH 15-60 Meters

WATER TEMP 15 Degrees


Water will be very cold and very deep



Google Map data © 2024 Imagery © Airbus, CNES / Airbus, Maxar Technologies

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Kilsby Sinkhole Snorkel

LOCATION Mount Gambier South Australia

DEPTH 15-60 Meters

WATER TEMP 15 Degrees


Water will be very cold and very deep


Kilsby Sinkhole

Kilsby Sinkhole

Located on private property near Mount Gambier, snorkelling in the Kilsby Sinkhole’s 60m deep crystal clear water is like exploring another world. The cavernous landscape is quite different to nearby Ewens and Piccaninnie Ponds. Beginner snorkellers are looked after on this tour. You also learn how the Kilsby Sinkhole has been used for decades by the Defence Department and as a training site for police divers.

What Can I See?

What Can I See?

  • No wildlife – unless you spot the introduced pet turtle or see the birds that live in the walls of the sinkhole above the water.
  • Amazing light show as rays of sunshine cut through the water to the bottom
  • Rock features
  • If you float on your back, you get amazing views looking up to the top of the sinkhole.
Getting Ther

Getting There

Kilsby Sinkhole is located on private property 15 minutes south of Mount Gambier in southeast South Australia. Mount Gambier is about 5 hours from both Melbourne and Adelaide.

The last few kilometres of the drive to Kilsby Sinkhole is on a dirt road which is suitable for 2wd cars.

Snorkel Entry

Where & How do you get in?

You need to walk down a paved ramp then get down a couple of small ladders to reach the pontoon at water level. The ladders maybe have 4 rungs, so it is easy to put your gear down, climb the ladder and reach up to collect your things.

Best Season

Best Season

You can only snorkel at Kilsby on a designated tour which generally run late morning and early afternoon. If you can do the snorkel on a sunny day you will see the sinkhole at its best as the rays of light shine through the water.


Potential Hazards

Despite the unique nature of this snorkel, it is relatively safe. The main issue is the cold but your tour includes a 7mm wetsuit, gloves, boots and hood to keep you warm. If you are not a strong swimmer, there are additional flotation aids available and the guides will look after you in the water.

How Busy/Crowds

Because access to the site is by tour only, you won’t have to worry about crowds of people. Snorkelling groups are limited to 8 people and there is plenty of room to spread out in the water.

Recommended Gear

If you have ever wanted to take pictures underwater, a sinkhole is the place to do it because the visibility is so good. If you have a camera, definitely bring it along. Your guide will make sure your camera gets to the water safely as you make your way down the ladders.

If you feel the cold, have something warm to wear afterwards.


Like other sinkholes in the area, you can expect the visibility at Kilsby Sinkhole to be 50m+

The information for each snorkel spot is provided by people who have snorkelled there. However, snorkelling conditions change daily. Please be aware that wind, swell, tides and cloud cover can all affect visibility and your experience in the water.

Disclosure: Please Note That Some Links In This Post May Be Affiliate Links, And At No Additional Cost To You, We Earn A Small Commission If You Make A Purchase. Commissions Go Toward Maintaining The Snorkel Spots Website.

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Kilsby Sinkhole Guided Tours

You need to book a tour to snorkel, dive or see the Kilsby Sinkhole as it is on private property.

The snorkel tour includes all your gear. You can use your own facemask and snorkel but you have to use their wetsuit/gloves/boots/hood and fins. Weight belts are not permitted for snorkellers.

The tour runs for about 2 hours which includes a look a the sinkhole, a talk where you learn about the history of the sinkhole, getting dressed for the snorkel and approximately 45-50 minutes in the water.

Facilities at Kilsby Sinkhole




Picnic Tables


Foot & Drinks


Gear Hire



About the Snorkel

We had already snorkelled at nearby Ewens Ponds and Piccaninnie Ponds so we couldn’t wait to tick off the third of the sinkhole snorkels around Mount Gambier.

Kilsby Sinkhole has some interesting history. It has been used for decades by the Department of Defence for developing deep water hardware and by the police for training their divers. Today, as well as being available for recreational snorkellers, divers and free divers, the water is also used to produce gin.

Unlike Ewens and Piccaninnie Ponds, you need to go down to get to Kilsby Sinkhole and there isn’t the green vegetation you get at the other two sinkholes either. Kilsby has much more of a cave vibe going for it which adds to the fun.

As we slid into the water we had the same rush you get with all sinkholes at being able to see so far. The visibility is virtually unlimited, so you get amazing views to the bottom and off into the distance away from the main hole.

For us the highlight was seeing the sun break through the morning cloud and rays of light shine right to the bottom of the pool. It was like a laser show or theatre spotlight. You could swim into the beams and feel part of the show, it really was a spectacular and beautiful experience.

We had seen images of people swimming in the beams of light, but nothing beats actually being the person in light. It is a truly magical experience.

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