Free diving Lake Eacham

Lake Eacham has long been a popular spot for sporting enthusiasts from all different walks, but there is a new trend taking to its crystal clear shores – and this one involves holding your breath. Tanya Snelling finds out more:

Five minutes with … Lisa Mattes from Apnea Cairns


  1. What does apnea mean?

Apnea is ancient Greek (apnoea) and means “not breathing”. In this context, it describes freediving, diving on one breath.


  1. Why do you freedive in Lake Eacham?

The lake has perfect conditions for freediving. You can access its 65m depth within a few minutes of swimming, there are no currents or big waves disturbing your relaxation and you also won’t have any boats coming too close to you, except for the odd kayak here and there.

  1. 65m, wow – how deep can you go?

I have freedived to 47m in the past, and if you do the first level course, you will freedive to a maximum of 20m.


  1. How long can you hold your breath?

My personal best in static apnea (floating on the surface, face down) is 5.22. You can easily train to improve your own breath holding times, just make sure to stick to rule number 1 – always dive with a buddy, even if you are in your bath tub.


  1. Why do you keep doing this, don’t you feel the need to breathe?

Freediving is like meditation for me – and one that always works. Once you are in the water, you forget about what bothered you before, things to do later, you are just here in the now and that is a truly blissful feeling.


Images: https://www.facebook.com/ApneaCairns/

Written by Tanya Snelling. Originally published June 14, 2017.