Surrounded by crater lakes on the Limestone Coast of South Australia, Mount Gambier is a popular stop on the drive between Melbourne and Adelaide. This vibrant country town is home to the famous Blue Lake that changes color throughout the year. Follow the walking trail around its rim to access the viewing platforms, with the cobalt blue of the lake changing to a deep grey in winter. Be sure to climb to the top of the Centenary Tower that stands at the summit of the town and offers impressive views of the volcanic landscapes.
Another natural wonder in Mount Gambier is the Umpherston Sinkhole, a stunning sunken garden that is set within an eroded limestone cave. It was designed in the late-19th century by James Umpherston and today features terraced gardens, tree ferns and sculptures depicting the geological processes that formed the sinkhole.
It’s just a short drive from Mount Gambier to the Tantanoola Cave that is famed for its spectacular stalactites and stalagmites. Join a guided tour to discover the geological history of the cave or venture further to the World Heritage-listed Naracoorte Caves that lie around one hour’s drive from Mount Gambier. They are home to fascinating fossils of extinct animals and colonies of southern bent-wing bats, with the opportunity to get your adrenalin pumping on an adventure caving tour.
On the road between Naracoorte and Mount Gambier is the small town of Coonawarra, which is surrounded by a picturesque grape-growing region. Be sure to stop in at the historic Wynn's Coonawarra Estate that was founded in 1891 and is now the region’s largest vineyard.