Nestled in the heart of South Australia’s Limestone Coast lies the charming town of Mount Gambier, a hidden gem that is often overlooked by travellers. However, those who venture to this quaint town are rewarded with breathtaking natural wonders, unique cultural experiences, and a vibrant food scene. From the stunning Blue Lake to the fascinating Umpherston Sinkhole, Mount Gambier has something for everyone. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the top things to do in Mount Gambier, so that you can plan the perfect trip to this beautiful town. So, pack your bags, grab your camera, and get ready to discover the best that Mount Gambier has to offer!
For a unique, photogenic experience, head to Mount Gambier’s Umpherston Sinkhole. Once a huge limestone cave, this sinkhole was created when the roof collapsed in 1886. Now, it’s a beautiful, green space, and you can take an easy, short walk to the bottom. At night, you might spot possums making their way into the floodlit garden.
In the 1970s, the Umpherston Sinkhole had fallen into disrepair and was used as a refuge pit, but thanks to the lobbying efforts of locals, it has been saved and restored to its former glory. In addition to flower displays and hanging vines, the area is a popular Instagram spot with almost 6000 hashtags. You can take your Instagram photos here, and you’ll be the envy of every neighbor!
The Umpherston Sinkhole is a fascinating sight, and you can visit it any time of the day or night. The sinkhole is open from dawn to dusk, and you can spend an hour or two contemplating the beautiful landscape and the many wildlife in the area. Possums are known to inhabit this sinkhole, so you can also bring fresh fruit to feed them. You’ll find lots of possums in the area, so bring some snacks – there’s no shortage of fae.
The Blue Lake
The Blue Lake is a large monomictic crater lake located in a dormant volcano maar near Mount Gambier in South Australia. It is one of four crater lakes on the Mount Gambier maar. If you visit the lake, you’ll see why the place is so famous. Among the four, the Blue Lake is the most beautiful, so it’s definitely worth a visit.
Another popular attraction is the Blue Lake, a natural geological feature that was formed when the mud volcanoes cooled and then reformed. The Blue Lake, located a mere 15 minutes from Mount Gambier, is the perfect place to spend the day, or even a weekend. The cave garden is also worth a visit. It’s also a good base to explore the surrounding coastal region. There are several walking tracks for the entire family, including one right by the Blue Lake.
There’s a 3.6-km footpath around the lake and viewpoints from which to admire the lake. During autumn, the lake turns a deep turquoise color and remains that way until February or March. Visitors can take a boat ride on the lake and even take it on a small pontoon. Visiting the Blue Lake is definitely a must when in Mount Gambier. While you’re there, make sure to spend some time here, as you’ll want to come back.
The Valley Lake
The Valley Lake is a crater lake and a great place for family fun. The lake is a monomictic volcanic crater lake located south of Mount Gambier and is surrounded by a park called Davidson Drive. Facilities like toilets, BBQs and a children’s playground are available on the lake’s shore. The lake is popular with tourists and locals alike, and visitors can also find a range of sporting facilities and amenities at the park.
The Valley Lake in Mount Gambier is an iconic Australian monomictic volcanic crater lake, and is surrounded by the Davidson Drive Park. Davidson Drive Park has a playground and several picnic areas. There is a boat ramp for those who wish to enjoy a day on the lake. There is a boardwalk that extends 100 metres from the car park to Mount Schank, a great spot for viewing birds. It is also an excellent vantage point for the town and region around Mount Gambier.
The crater-lake complex is considered an important geological site in Australia. It provides a unique experience for visitors interested in studying volcanic activity. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and it is home to the Devil’s Punchbowl, Australia’s largest and most pristine example of a type of crater. You can also enjoy the picturesque mountain scenery around Mount Gambier. You may even catch a glimpse of the Southern Cross, the famous Victorian landmark.
The dormant volcano of Mount Schank is located in the southeast corner of South Australia near Mount Gambier. James Grant first spotted it on 3 December 1800 and named it after the Admiral John Schank, the designer of Grant’s ship HMS Lady Nelson. Despite the volcanic region’s proximity to the coast, it is worth a visit regardless of its remote location. There are a number of things to do in Mount Schank, including visiting the nearby Mount Gambier and exploring the region’s historical sites.
If you’re a keen hiker, Mount Schank has several hiking trails that will suit your skill level and your budget. You can hike to the summit for spectacular views, but be aware of the high risk of high winds. If you’re not comfortable hiking in such terrain, you can make the descent to the crater. The trail is well marked, with many signs and information boards along the way. There are also plenty of other activities that you can do while visiting Mount Schank.
If you are planning a trip to Cave Gardens in Mount Gambier, Australia, you’ve come to the right place! Moovit provides live directions and free maps to help you find your way. Find the best routes, stations, and timetables to get to Cave Gardens in Mount Gambier, Australia. You can even see which bus stops are closest to your destination! This free transit app is great for planning trips to Cave Gardens, and it can help you get to your desired destination faster.
The Digital Garden will feature light installations positioned throughout the Cave Garden, and will feature international companies, including Studio Toer from the Netherlands. Firefly Field, a large-scale replica of the natural phenomenon, has previously been displayed in Shanghai, the Faroe Islands, and Diriyah. It will feature 200 floating LED lights. Another work of art will be curated by Kaylene Whiskey, a Melbourne-based artist whose colourful desert pop-art has been featured in galleries and museums around the world.
The Centenary Tower in Mount Gambier is a unique structure that has been standing on top of the mountain since 1904. At the top of this tower, you can see the volcanic landscape and the lake-dotted countryside. If you’re in the area, you might also want to visit Mount Gambier’s wine region. Its Victorian-era architecture has been kept intact, and it has been a tourist destination since 1904.
Located at 190 metres above sea level, Mount Gambier’s Centenary Tower offers panoramic views of the town and the surrounding area. From up here, you’ll see the ocean, sand dunes, and volcanic craters. The tower was built on 3 December 1900 and named after Lieutenant James Grant aboard the HMS Lady Nelson. You’ll also find souvenir shops and eateries at the top of the tower.
The stunning Engelbrecht Cave is a sinkhole cave system located in the heart of the mountain. Located deep underground, this cave offers guided tours and a lake to dive in. This cave is a must-see for anyone who has ever dreamed of diving in a cave. This is the ultimate adventure in Mount Gambier! But what makes it stand out from the rest is its beautiful scenery and the fact that you can actually go through the whole cave system in one day!
There are two access points into the cave and you can climb the stairs to get there. The cave isn’t as large as the Umpherston Sinkhole, but you can enjoy the view from a viewing platform. Often, qualified scuba divers visit this cave to explore its underground water system. To get to the cave, it is a good idea to arrive at least a couple of hours early for best viewing and planning.
Piccaninnie Ponds Conservation Park
If you’re looking for a great place to go on a day trip to South Australia, you’ll definitely want to check out Piccaninnie Ponds Conservation Park in the city of Mount Gambier. Previously known as Piccaninnie Ponds National Park, this 862 hectare park is a perfect place to do so. You can expect to see plenty of native animals and beautiful landscapes, as well as plenty of wildlife.
For a true underwater experience, take some time to explore the area around Piccaninnie Ponds Conservation Park in South Australia. This world-class diving site is a popular attraction. There are also 79 species of birds, including the elusive fairy penguin. The wetlands are also home to three freshwater obligate fish and seven species of diadromous fish. The park is a unique place to explore, and is listed on the Ramsar Convention, which recognizes areas of international significance.
The site is located about 30km south-east of Mount Gambier and near the border with Victoria. There are two main ponds, separated by a weed covered wall, and connected to the sea via a narrow channel through coastal marshland. It’s not recommended for snorkelling, but it’s an ideal place to see dolphins and other wildlife. Regardless of your age, you’ll be glad you did.
Best places to Eat in Mount Gambier
Mount Gambier is a charming town located in the southeastern corner of South Australia. It is known for its stunning natural attractions, such as the Blue Lake and the Umpherston Sinkhole, as well as its vibrant food scene. Here are some of the best places to eat in Mount Gambier:
- Fodder Fodder is a popular cafe located in the heart of Mount Gambier, serving up delicious breakfast and lunch options. They have a great range of coffee and tea, as well as a menu featuring locally sourced ingredients. Their signature dish is the Fodder Breakfast, which includes bacon, eggs, roasted tomatoes, and sourdough toast.
- The Barn The Barn is a steakhouse and grill located just outside of Mount Gambier. They serve up a range of meat dishes, including beef, lamb, and chicken, as well as vegetarian options. The Barn also has a great selection of local wines and beers to complement your meal.
- Metro Bakery & Cafe Metro Bakery & Cafe is a family-run cafe that serves up delicious, homemade baked goods and light meals. They have a great range of breads, pastries, and cakes, as well as a breakfast and lunch menu featuring fresh ingredients. Their coffee is also highly recommended by locals.
- Sorrento’s Cafe & Restaurant Sorrento’s Cafe & Restaurant is a popular Italian restaurant located in the heart of Mount Gambier. They serve up a range of classic Italian dishes, including pizza, pasta, and risotto, as well as seafood and steak dishes. The restaurant also has a great selection of local and international wines.
- Bay Blue Espresso Bar Bay Blue Espresso Bar is a popular cafe located near the Blue Lake. They serve up a range of breakfast and lunch options, as well as coffee and tea. The cafe has a great outdoor seating area, making it the perfect place to enjoy a coffee and take in the beautiful surroundings.
- Jens Town Hall Hotel Jens Town Hall Hotel is a historic hotel located in the heart of Mount Gambier. They have a great pub menu featuring classic pub dishes, as well as a range of local and international beers on tap. The hotel also has a charming beer garden, making it a great spot to enjoy a drink on a sunny day.
- Cafe Melzar Cafe Melzar is a cozy cafe located in a converted house in the heart of Mount Gambier. They serve up a range of breakfast and lunch options, as well as coffee and tea. The cafe has a great atmosphere, and the staff are friendly and welcoming.
The Best Places to Stay in Mount Gambier
Mount Gambier, located in the southeast corner of South Australia, is a charming town with plenty of natural attractions and cultural experiences. Whether you’re visiting for a weekend or a longer stay, finding the right accommodation is key to making the most of your trip. From cozy bed and breakfasts to luxurious hotels, there are plenty of options to choose from in Mount Gambier. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the best places to stay in Mount Gambier, so that you can find the perfect home base for your trip.
- Commodore on the Park Located in the heart of Mount Gambier, the Commodore on the Park is a 4-star hotel that offers comfortable and spacious rooms. The hotel has an on-site restaurant and bar, as well as a fitness center and outdoor pool. With its central location, the Commodore on the Park is a great option for those looking to explore the town on foot.
- Clarendon Chalets For those looking for a more secluded retreat, the Clarendon Chalets offer private, self-contained accommodation surrounded by tranquil gardens. Each chalet features a fireplace, spa bath, and outdoor terrace with barbecue facilities. The chalets are located just a short drive from Mount Gambier, making them a great option for those looking for a peaceful escape.
- The Old Mount Gambier Gaol For a unique and memorable stay, The Old Mount Gambier Gaol offers converted prison cells that have been transformed into comfortable and modern accommodations. The gaol is located in the heart of Mount Gambier and features a range of rooms to choose from, including standard cells, deluxe cells, and even a honeymoon suite. The gaol also offers guided tours, providing guests with a fascinating insight into the building’s history.
- Colhurst House Colhurst House is a charming bed and breakfast located in a beautifully restored heritage mansion. Each room is uniquely decorated and features luxurious amenities such as a spa bath and fireplace. The bed and breakfast also offers a range of packages, including a romantic getaway package and a gourmet food and wine package.
- Quality Inn Presidential Located just a short drive from Mount Gambier, the Quality Inn Presidential is a 4-star hotel that offers spacious and modern rooms. The hotel features an on-site restaurant and bar, as well as a fitness center and outdoor pool. The Quality Inn Presidential is a great option for those looking for a comfortable and convenient stay.
10 interesting facts about Mount Gambier
- Mount Gambier is located on a dormant volcano, which last erupted over 5,000 years ago. The volcano is now known as the Blue Lake and is one of the town’s most popular tourist attractions.
- The Blue Lake changes color from a dull gray to a vibrant blue each year, typically around November. The reason for the change is still unknown, but it is believed to be due to a change in temperature and water chemistry.
- Mount Gambier is home to the Umpherston Sinkhole, a stunning garden that has been built in the middle of a limestone sinkhole. The garden features a range of exotic plants and is a popular spot for weddings and events.
- The town has a thriving arts community, with a range of galleries and public art installations throughout the town.
- Mount Gambier is home to the Tantanoola Caves, a series of limestone caves that are open to the public for guided tours.
- The town has a rich history of forestry, with many of the buildings in the town made from locally-sourced timber.
- Mount Gambier is a popular destination for birdwatchers, with a range of rare and endangered bird species found in the area.
- The town is also a hub for agricultural production, with a range of crops grown in the surrounding area, including potatoes, onions, and wheat.
- Mount Gambier is home to the Engelbrecht Cave, a unique cave system that can be explored on guided tours.
- The town hosts a range of festivals and events throughout the year, including the Mount Gambier Show, the Fringe Festival, and the Blue Lake Festival.