Underwater museum in a bottomless lake in Novonikolayevka

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Novonikolaevskoe lake

Just 20 years ago, the village of Novonikolayevka could not boast an influx of vacationers on hot summer days. But one day everything changed and now this place can be called a local resort, a mecca for divers and a man-made underwater museum.

Novonikolaevsky quarry

At Novonikolayevsky quarry since the middle of the 20th century granite has been mined. Next to it there is still an active factory for processing this stone. Even at the entrance to the enterprise there is an improvised monument – a large piece of granite. 

Video – Lake in Novonikolaevka (russian)

How the Novonikolayevsky quarry became a lake

In the early 1990s, the quarry begins to slowly flood with groundwater and ceases to function. One day during a big downpour, a dam separating the nearby Wet Sura River bursts. Water from the river floods the quarry, after which it turns into a lake.

Novonikolaevskoe lake
Novonikolaevskoe quarry-lake

The lake at the site of the Novonikolayevsky quarry resembles a heart. The water in it is clear and cold. It may not get warmer than 5 degrees at any time of the year (at the bottom).

I’m even sure that the water here is not blooming. It’s clear to a couple of meters deep.

The area of the lake is about 400 square meters, no one measured the depth exactly. According to some sources it is more than 20 meters, according to others it is over 50 meters. The second figure is more realistic – because here for many decades granite was intensively mined, the development must be deep. And this makes it the deepest body of water in the Dnepropetrovsk region.

And if you consider that according to stories of divers somewhere deep there are cracks because of which you can not see the bottom – then Novonikolayevsky lake gets the nickname “bottomless”!

The shores here are rocky, precipitous and high. Only in a few places there is a normal shore from which you can enter the water.

Lake in Novonikolaevka Dnipro Ukraine
Lake in Novonikolaevka Dnipropetrovsk region, Ukraine

Where there is a normal shore, to go into the water you have to use the stones. This is not very pleasant action – as they are slippery, there are large boulders and while swimming, I ran into a large stone at a shallow depth – as a result of broken knees. 

But where there is a beach – you enter the water by improvised steps – and it’s deep. The risk of hitting a rock is minimal. There are many places where the water is deep near the shore. That’s why you have to be careful when diving. 

According to some stories, fish don’t take root here because there’s not much vegetation or food, but others say there are huge catfish that can scare even a grown man. There are also stories of six-meter-long crawlers. Crayfish live here. They find shelter on the stone ledges of the quarry in the silt and the locals dive for them.

Underwater museum on the lake

The lake at the site of Novonikolayevsky quarry is beloved by divers. They flock here almost from all over Ukraine (certainly from the Dnepropetrovsk region). And it is the divers who have equipped the museum at the bottom of the lake and its ledges. They brought here a lot of things – a cabin from a truck, tires, trees, toys. They sunk a cistern, a Zaporozhets and a Ziguli, a motorcycle. 

At the bottom you can see a garden of trees with mussels on the branches. 

And the ledges are full of things lost by tourists. The first ledges are at a depth of 9-10 meters. 

The day I was at the lake, the divers were also having their own swims. 

Entertainment at Lake Novonikolayevskoe

The lake is privately owned and it is forbidden to swim here. But that doesn’t stop people. 

I saw a bungee cord – people were jumping from it. People were kayaking – obviously they brought their own kayaks. There’s also a campground here. You can rent a gazebo and roast meat on the grill. The gazebo costs 1000 UAH for 1 day. Each pavilion has its own pier and directly from it you can dive and swim. If you don’t have a gazebo you can ask to go to the pier – it will cost you 150 UAH (entrance fee to the territory). There used to be a bathhouse here and you could also rent a cabin in winter. 

There is a kiosk with beer and all sorts of snacks.

Near the camping site is the beach – a large trampled area where people relax. Parking lot for cars.

Nature in Novonikolaevka Dnepropetrovsk region Ukraine
Nature in Novonikolaevka, Ukraine

In addition to divers, cyclists also come to the lake. They have a route here – from Dnieper to Zelenyi Gai and beyond. 

There have been tragic incidents on the lake – that’s why you have to be careful in the deep water. 

In summer, Novonikolayevsky quarry is an ideal holiday near the metropolis with clean, cool water and new sensations. 

How to get to the Novonikolayevsky quarry

Google Maps coordinates48.3177045, 34.8623949.

The address of the lake – Karyornaya street, 1, Novonikolaevka village, Dnepropetrovsk region.

  • Get on your own transport on the highway T0421 from Dnipro through Sursko-Litovskoe, turning to T0444;
  • From Shinnik from Dnieper buses number 265 and number 218 go every hour.
Bus schedule 265 Dnipro
Bus timetable 265
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Jenya Travels

My name is Jenya. I travel around Ukraine and the world and tell stories.
In simple language, without nerdiness and dry facts - interesting about uninteresting places.
I have been to more than 100 places on the map!

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