AT’s guide to the best cheap accommodation for summer and Christmas holidays


Mt Gambier

Why do we rate it?
Mount Gambier is like something out of a sci-fi flick with mysterious sinkholes, craters and caves dotted around town.

Where is it?

Mt Gambier is 450km south-east of Adelaide, a 5hr 30min drive via the Princes Hwy.

Where to stay

The Barn offers suite and self-contained accommodation set on five acres of gardens, with the Steakhouse on site for a hearty meal among locals. Nearby, the Clarendon Chalets are surrounded by a walnut grove, gardens and farmlands. The four cottages have cathedral ceilings, lofts and separate living areas.

How much is it?

The Barn’s brand-new family suite is $260 a night for four people. The two-bedroom self-contained family apartment is less luxe but only $190 a night for four. The Clarendon Chalet’s basic studio is $135 a night for two people. The garden chalet, sleeping up to seven, is $170 a night. All chalets include breakfast.


Book at least six weeks in advance to secure a room over Christmas, otherwise The Barn and Clarendon Chalets have plenty of January availabilities.

What to do

Visit the brilliantly turquoise Blue Lake, snorkel through the reeds in Ewens Pond and admire the crater garden in Umpherston Sinkhole. The view at the top of nearby extinct volcano Mount Schank is well worth the climb. In town, Mt Gambier Gaol and the HMS Lady Nelson at the visitor centre are worth a visit.


The Barn //
Lot 690 Punt Rd.
(08) 8726 9999;

Clarendon Chalets //
Clarke Road.
(08) 8726 8306;

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