After the Great Ocean Road we found ourselves in a city called Mount Gambier. Not many people would look twice at Mount Gambier. We were told to check out a little area called Ewens ponds, we weren’t sure what to expect. About two hours out of the city we got our our google. Turns out Ewens ponds are 3 natural limestone sinkholes just south of Mount Gambier. We were told to swim in them, but its currently winter so we thought that was insane. BUT then we read people go scuba diving in them and we knew that was the way to go. We called a local dive shop, and the guy told us he would meet us at another sinkhole where we could rent equipment. It turns out sinkholes in mount gambier are similar to seven eleven or walgreens in that they are at every corner. After driving down multiple country roads we found ourselves in the middle of nowhere. Sure enough we come to this guys portable dive shop. He has a giant van loaded with dive gear that he brings to the varieing sinkholes you can dive in. He gives us his schpeel, takes pictures of our dive cards and license plates, and sends us on our way. We drive for another half hour and find ourselves at Ewens ponds.
We find ourselves in a gravel parking lot adjacent to a field of sheep. The ponds are hardly visible due to vegetation. We Strap on our gear then prepare for 50 degree water. We enter the water and immediately understand the appeal of this little known area. The visibility is ridiculous. You can hardly tell the difference between vision above and below water. You can see 30 meters in front of you clearly. This almost makes us forget the temperature. Almost. The flora and fauna is stunning. You can clearly see dozens of fish darting around and at least 50 shades of green. A current guides us through the 3 connecting springs. With a depth of about 9 meters we have total mobility in the water. The remarkable thing about Ewens ponds is you can actually see photosynthesis happening to the plants underwater. We float motionless inches above the vegetation watching the little bubblers bubble themselves to bubble heaven. The ponds are full of endangered species, including the golden pygmie perch and the spiny crayfish euastacus bispinosis. We were fortunate enough to see the spiny crayfish. It was giant, almost the size of a lobster. Thomas, ignorant to the crayfishes “endangered” classification, came inches away from grabbing the damn thing. Its a real good thing he didn’t. After two runs through the ponds we were smelling tomatoes, ground beef, beans, and peppers; because it was too damn chili to be in that water.
After dropping off the equipment we had lunch by an inactive volcano! Then made our way to town to pick up bananas for a special night time rendezvous. At around 6 pm we headed to yet another sinkhole. Umpherton sinkhole is a sinkhole that was turned into a beautiful garden. If you go around sunset, and bring bananas, you may be lucky enough to encounter the never-elusive bushtail possom. Thomas and I lucked out again because we saw half a dozen of them. Bushtail Possums are ADORABLE, and they are bananas for bananas. The possoms ate the bananas right out of our hands. We started off by feeding them small bits from our palm, but after an incredibly hungry mother possom scratched my finger, we switched to feeding them whilst holding the entire banana. They were so cute, and also really mean. The hungry mother and a male possom fought over the bananas constantly. Greedy little bastards. Regardless 10 out of 10 would do it again. I refuse to go to any area without bananas on the off chance I encounter a bushtail possom.
It turns out sinkholes are pretty dope. Also, don’t tell my mom I got scratched. She will be on a plane over here the minute she finds out.