Located in the heart of the Mount Gambier township, the site is named after Carl Engelbrecht, a German immigrant who settled in Mount Gambier during the 19th century. A private tour operator manages the site on behalf of the City of Mount Gambier, and runs regular tours of the sinkhole and dry caves for members of the public. The facility includes a café, a tour desk, viewing platforms, toilets and range of open spaces with varying degrees of shelter for picnics and associated activities.
For divers, Engelbrechts Cave has two main submerged cave passages - one running in an easterly direction and one running in a westerly direction.
The West passage is Advanced Cave rated and extends about 340 metres from the doline's opening, with a maximum depth of 12m. To access the water, there is a long, steep stairway of cut limestone blocks leading from the viewing platform inside the western tourist cave which goes down the small entrance pool.
Upon entering the first sump, divers must navigate a narrow restriction at the base of the pool in single file. As the first sump can become contaminated by storm water after heavy rain, visibility can range from crystal clear, to zero. The first sump is approximately 100 metres in length, with divers required to navigate another flat, vertical restriction to access the inner air chamber at its Western end. This air chamber consists of a large rock-pile surrounded by a crescent shaped lake.
To access the second sump, divers are required to climb over the rock-pile. Alternatively, if the water level is high enough, divers can "swim" around the rock pile to the right hand side. The second sump is typically crystal clear, and in addition to the main passage, also boast several interesting side passages for divers to explore. At the termination of the main passage in the second sump is another large rock collapse, with a small pool that has enough room for 2-3 divers to surface.
Site Access Requirements:
- Collect key from Lady Nelson Visitor Centre - 35 Jubilee Hwy East, Mount Gambier. Key can be collected during business hours.
- Key to be returned to Lady Nelson Visitor Centre at conclusion of diving - can by returned after hours.
- Due to the current COVID-19 situation, diving at this site is permitted between 3 PM and 8 PM daily.
- All divers must sign in at the site on arrival, and sign out on departure.
- Gates to be shut and locked behind you at all times.
Please note there are only two keys for this site - please be considerate in the amount of time you hold them.