A thriving town set in an ancient landscape of lakes, craters and mysterious underground waterways, Mt Gambier is a playground of natural formations dotted with historic buildings.
A thriving town set in an ancient landscape of lakes, craters and mysterious underground waterways, Mt Gambier is a playground of natural formations dotted with historic buildings. The most famous is Blue Lake, the clear waters of which are filtered through subterranean limestone. Each year in November its colour changes from sombre blue/grey to brilliant turquoise, before resuming its winter hue by March.

The abundance of underground water in the region makes for lush and vibrant surrounds, with beautiful parks and gardens, great wine, fantastic local produce (particularly dairy) and natural experiences. Diving under Engelbrecht Cave in a guided tour is amazing; the underwater limestone, while an important product to many industries, has formed elaborate caves and crevices, begging to be checked out. A little easier to visit, Umpherston Sinkhole (right), created from a collapsed chamber and landscaped by James Umpherston in the late 1880s, is very peaceful and often full of possums. And for accommodation with a difference, Mt Gambier Gaol offers budget overnight stays; if this is too much, just take the tour.

Where? // 449km (5.5hrs) southeast of Adelaide, and around the same distance due west of Melbourne.

Did you know? // Blue Lake is the only lake in the world that changes from a sombre blue/grey colour to brilliant turquoise each summer.

 

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