Wineries & Vineyards
The Coonawarra wine region is home to more than 24 cellar doors and is renowned for producing rich and vibrant cabernet sauvignon and shiraz wines from the grapes grown in its unique terra rossa soil (red soil made from the clay of weathered limestone). Start your wine trail through the region at Wynn Coonawarra Estate, DiGiorgio Family Wines, and Hollick Estates.
Robe’s terra rossa soil combined with its cool climate location on the coast produces premium chardonnay and shiraz wines that are unique to others in the region. The seaside town is also home to a couple of cellar doors worthy of a visit. Find Karatta Wines cellar door in downtown Robe in the historic Wilsons Saddlery Building. Governor Robe Wine’s cellar door is housed within Attic House on the main street of Robe – enjoy the local art on display, cheese platters and tastings.
Local Produce & Breweries
The Limestone Coast is an epicurean delight – well known for its fresh seafood, boutique wines, dairy products, lamb and beef. Stocking up on all that’s on offer while you’re in the region is a must. Start with the delicious range of cheese, yoghurt and farm-fresh Jersey milk available at Robe Dairy. Sink your teeth into the award-winning Wagyu beef in the Tasting Room at Mayura Station for the ultimate paddock-to-plate experience. Pick up the best seasonal and local produce from the Limestone Coast Food Farmers’ Markets in Robe and Naracoorte, or visit the Mount Gambier Farmers’ Market. And when in Robe, stop by Robe Town Brewery to sample a craft beer flight and take a tour; it’s also home to the only wood-fired brewing kettle in Australia.
Attractions & Activities
No trip to the Limestone Coast is complete without exploring the many geological wonders of Mount Gambier. Visit between November and February to see the magnificent Blue Lake change from a grey blue to a vibrant turquoise-cobalt blue. The 72-metre-deep watery wonder is held within a crater formed by the eruption of an extinct volcano – one of two in Mount Gambier. Walk the 3.7-kilometre trail around the perimeter of the lake to admire it up close from one of the many vantage points.
Mount Gambier is also home to the enchanting Umpherston Sinkhole, a sunken oasis of hanging vines and lush gardens planted within the crater of a collapsed limestone cave. For an entirely different experience, snorkel or dive the glass-like waters of Kilsby Sinkhole – a 65-metre-deep limestone cavity located on a family farm; then head to Piccaninnie Ponds within the national park to find the three natural spring diving locations: the First Pond (10 metres deep), the Cathedral (35 metres deep), and the Gigantic Chasm (100 metres deep).
The World Heritage-listed Naracoorte Caves are one of the world’s most important fossil sites. Let a guide take you through the underground chambers to view the stalactites and stalagmites, fossils and limestone formations. Spot the giant marsupials that have been recreated into life-sized models based on the fossilised remains of the extinct animals in the Wonambi Fossil Centre.
Travel back in time along Penola’s Petticoat Lane past the working herb and vegetable garden with rose and lavender plantings and step inside the 19th century historic timber and stone cottages that still stand today. Visit the Penola Coonawarra Visitor Information Centre to organise access to the charming cottages to uncover the stories and experiences of the past generations that occupied them.
A treasure trove of sandy beaches and clear blue waters await you along the Limestone Coast. Head to Long Beach in Robe to drive your car onto the sand and mark your territory for the day. You’re spoilt for choice in Beachport: for snorkelling, sandboarding and calm waters visit Salmon Hole; Glenn Point for idyllic swimming spots and top-notch fishing; and for consistent swells make haste to Surf Beach. Or for total seclusion, explore the many beaches of Southend, including those found within the northern end of the Canunda National Park (check safety conditions before swimming).