Site Open: 
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CDAA Site Rating: 
Basic Cave
Mt Gambier SA
Site Owner: 

Graham Kilsby

Access Notes: 

Current booking arrangements 2021 (please refer to Site Users Guide for further access rules)

Subject to the below booking conditions the standard price per diver is $30.

From 1/3/21 the dive slot duration will revert to two hours, as it was pre-Covid19.
Slot times are 8am-10am; 10am-12noon; 12noon-2pm; 2pm-4pm; 4pm-6pm.

- Divers may access the property (this refers to the whole property not just the dive site) no earlier than 30 minutes before your confirmed dive slot time. Divers are not permitted past the ramp gate before their dive slot time. 
- Divers must ensure the pontoon is clear of all equipment before their dive slot time so that it is freely available for the next booking. Kilsby's require you to have left the property before 30 minutes after your confirmed slot time ends.
These requirements are to manage the number of people on site at any one time.

- We have been asked to ensure that the outside gate is closed behind you.

Please ensure that site owner requirements are adhered to at all times.


1) As CDAA requires exclusive diving access to the water, we are charged a minimum fee based on booking all spaces for each dive slot. From 1/3/21 this will be $360 (12 x $30/person).

2) The current arrangement is that CDAA will fund one weekend or adjoining public holiday dive slot per month at a loss on a first-in-first-served basis. This means that for the first group that nominates/books a weekend or adjoining public holiday timeslot, CDAA incurs $360 but charges those members wanting to dive only $30 each.

3) For mid-week or any other weekend/public holiday dives CDAA requires members pay the whole cost of the booking ($360).

4) The first group making a mid-week or any other weekend/public holiday booking is responsible for payment of the full cost.

5) All dives booked are advertised to the membership and the booking slot will be available to book online.If others join a mid-week or any other weekend/public holiday dive the cost is shared across all divers.Those booking on later will be required to pay an additional amount to share the cost, with balances for any eventual overpayment refunded after the dive.

Members are to refer to the CDAA forum for any updates:

Any queries email




Site Description: 

KILSBYS HOLE (or "Kilsby Cave/Sinkhole" - official CEGSA Inc. cave number 5L46) was one of the first sinkholes to be dived in Mount Gambier, with activities commencing in the late 1950s. During the 1960s, the sinkhole attracted a large number of people who flocked to the site, often with minimal training, to enjoy the crystal-clear water filled chamber which extended off the sinkhole's south-western side.

After a tragic double-drowning in the sinkhole in April 1969, the feature was closed to recreational divers, and the Adelaide-based Weapons Research Establishment (later the Defence Research Centre Salisbury) took on a lease for secret "Barra Sonobuoy" sub-marine-detection tests which were held there.   These were discontinued in the 1970s, and the first authorised civilian dives in the feature after  that time  commenced in 1983, when research-oriented members of  the CDAA formed the Research Group so that a cohesive (and concerted!) effort at mapping this large feature could be made.

During the later years of the 1980s, several additional (but smaller) research opportunities occurred and renewed access negotiations commenced with the land-owner (Mr. Ross Kilsby) and his son, Graham.  Later, with the pending relinquishing of the lease by the Commonwealth Government, the South Australia Police Department's Underwater Recovery Unit expressed its interest in taking on the lease rights for diver training purposes, and lengthy negotiations between the CDAA, the Police and  Mr.  Kilsby commenced  in  earnest,  resulting in  an agreement  being reached  which enabled CDAA members to visit the site under certain conditions.

Bearing in mind the past history of the site in the public's eyes, and the concerns of both the land- owner  and  the  lessees  about  diving safety and  liability aspects  (while  they wish  to provide an opportunity for CDAA members to enjoy one of the best sinkholes in Australia, and even the world), it is hoped that all members will realise how important it is for them to unreservedly accept the agreed access conditions in the interests of maintaining good relations with all parties. These conditions are NOT negotiable at this time and are required by both Mr. Kilsby and the Police Department; departures from ANY conditions could result in loss of access to the site for ALL members and will undoubtedly result in action being taken against the diver/s concerned!

Provided that all divers abide by the access agreement and act in a responsible manner, Kilsbys Hole has once again become the source of great pleasure for trained deep cavern divers.

Please remember that continued access to this sinkhole will ONLY be possible if every-one follows the rules; there can be no room for inconsiderate divers who do not care about other members' access to this unique feature.

In 2007 a new lease agreement was drawn up directly with Mr Kilsby the landowner. This has offered the CDAA increased access times as well as opening up this site to deeper dives with the use of trimix gas. This has resulted in a new indemnity being drawn up which must be signed by all members wanting to dive there.