Run out of ideas for the long weekend? Try driving over the border to Mount Gambier, South Australia. You'll find plenty of things to do in this historically volcanic area.
Blue Lake Holiday Park: LOT 100 Bay Rd, Mount Gambier SA If you enjoy the outdoors and don't want to spend too much money, pack a tent, bring some friends and book a site in a caravan park.
You will feel like you're living in a tiny town. We enjoyed this park also because there was a table tennis table and the owner had a golden retriever that we could pat when they rode around on their buggy. Furthermore, it's only a walk across the road from the Blue Lake, one of the main attractions in Mount Gambier.
Our site cost $60 per night for four adults. Check rates and availability here.
Blue Lake: John Watson Drive, Mount Gambier Despite being across in the camp, we didn't decide to explore the lake until mid-way through our long weekend.
We knew you could walk around it, but it felt more like a suburban stroll along the perimeter, rather than a hike within nature. The lake was large and impressive, but it wasn't as immensely blue as we expected.
I believe it looks a deeper blue when it is sunnier. It was still amazing to see, but a shame you can't go down closer! For more walks, there are smaller crater lakes nearby, see more information here.
The Cave Garden in town in Mount Gambier encapsulates the attraction of the Mount Gambier area also known as the Limestone Coast.
The garden is located within a little sinkhole, with stairs leading down and various platforms to eye the unique attraction. Apparently during wet weather, there is even a small waterfall.
We visited at night as we heard there were projections and light shows. It is something different, but it was raining so we tried to watch from our car. When we did go to see the garden, it was a little too dark to appreciate its beauty, but the lights did make it feel very magical. Read more about the shows here.
You can also go around the edges and get some lovely photos from viewing platforms or the side areas.
Mount Schank: off Post Office Rd, Mount Gambier
We almost didn't go to Mount Schank, a dormant volcano, despite its high ratings on TripAdvisor. The photos didn't look too amazing but we had some time to spend, and you never know until you try.
We're glad we made the decision to go as we realised it's quite hard to for photos to do justice to this place. The crater formation means it is hard to capture the entire view and portray its sense of depth and size.
We walked around the top edge of the crater, but we did see some people walk down the floor of the crater. We didn't want to struggle coming back up, so we lived through these people instead.
It was a little scary at some parts being at the edge of a crater, but overall it is fairly secure as long as you don't walk too close. It was a great view looking down and amazing seeing people on the floor look like ants.
Naracoorte Caves National Park: 89 Wonambi Road, Naracoorte
If you're looking for something a bit more interactive, try adventure caving at Naracoorte Caves! It's about an hour's drive from Mount Gambier and is home to South Australia's only World Heritage Listed site.
We had a fun tour guide who took us walking and crawling through caves. There were a few areas where she got us to try squeeze through cave holes (and not get stuck), which provided some fun photo opportunities.
If this doesn't sound like your thing, you can join a standard cave tour here.
Princess Margaret Rose Cave Tour: Princess Margaret Rose Caves Rd, Mumbannar
If you want to stop somewhere on your way back to Melbourne, explore the Princess Margaret Rose Caves in Lower Glenelg National Park, Victoria.
After the tour, we also took a short walk around the area and were treated to some lovely views of the Glenelg River.
There are plenty of activities to do around the Limestone Coast, exploring the unique geological features of the area. It makes a perfect getaway just out of Melbourne or Adelaide for those looking to get out of town!