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Dr Richard Harris OAM premiers “My Underwater World”

Abbie Tiller

South Australia’s Limestone Coast in the spotlight

Two thousand and nineteen Australian of the Year, Dr Richard Harris OAM, is sharing his underwater world in a documentary featuring megafauna fossils that have been unseen for millennia.

The cave diver, made world-famous for his heroic efforts in the Tham Luang cave rescue, takes viewers on a unique journey back tens-of-thousands of years inside the underwater caves that only the most trained divers can access.

The documentary titled ‘My Underwater World’ premiered nationally on Channel 9 over the weekend and is now available to view on 9NOW.

Promoting the Limestone Coast and its attractions, the Malinauskas Labor government through the South Australian Tourism Commission has partnered with local content production company, 57 Films who worked with Richard’s film company “Speleopix” to create the documentary which showcases the unique geography and sinkholes in the state’s south-east.

While the documentary aired over the weekend, 57 Films is in discussions regarding possible international distribution of the documentary, which would showcase the unique Limestone Coast to audiences around the world.

In 2018, Dr Richard Harris OAM drew the world’s attention for his crucial role in the rescue of a junior football team who became trapped in a cave system in northern Thailand. He, together with fellow Australian technical diver Craig Challen OAM, were jointly awarded 2019 Australian of the Year as a result of that rescue.

‘My Underwater World’ is shot at underwater caves near Mount Gambier, and showcases Kilsby Sinkhole, which is world-renowned as one of the best sinkhole dive sites due to its crystal-clear water and breathtaking visibility.

Located 15 minutes from Mount Gambier, it is the only site of its kind that welcomes snorkellers, free-divers and open water certified scuba divers under the supervision of a licensed and industry-qualified guide.

As one of the many natural wonders on offer in the region, Kilsby Sinkhole – among other sinkholes in the region including Umpherston Sinkhole/Balumbul – provide a unique tourism drawcard for the Limestone Coast. They feature in the SATC’s Southern Ocean Drive Road trip, one of six itineraries promoting destinations and attractions across the state which target the valuable self-drive market.

Latest data for the year-ending March 2024 shows visitor expenditure in the Limestone Coast is at $524 million.

Tourism Minister, Zoe Bettison, said the premiere of ‘My Underwater World’ will help showcase South Australia as a must-see destination which offers unique natural wonders like the Naracoorte Caves and the sinkholes in our state’s south-east.

“This special documentary, and the worldwide recognition of Dr Richard Harris OAM, is an exciting opportunity to put one of our state’s tourism gems in the spotlight,” she said.

Dr Richard Harris OAM said the underwater caves near Mount Gambier, just four hours from Adelaide, offer one of the most premier diving locations anywhere in the world.

“People would drive through the Limestone Coast and have no idea what is beneath their feet – kilometres of some of the most pristine water-filled tunnels in the country,” he said.

“The opportunity for genuine original exploration still exists on this planet, and, by- and-large the only place to do that is in caves – and that’s what brings me back every single time.”

In announcing his first short film on Instagram, Harris said “However humble, it’s nice to see something on the screen at last. Who says you can’t give up your day job to pursue your passion!”



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