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A Camping Weekend in Mount Gambier

Home > Melbourne > Adventure | Gardens | Long Weekend | Outdoor | Walks | Lists
by Mon's Adventure (subscribe)
Documenting roadtrip adventures and foodie outings. See more at monsadventure.com!
Published September 13th 2016
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.

Blue Lake Holiday Park, Mount Gambier
Table tennis action


The kitchen was a bit small and always busy, so try and bring some of your own cooking gear. Luckily we had our own portable stoves so we could cook and enjoy the outdoors.

Blue Lake Holiday Park, Mount Gambier
Cooking and eating outdoors


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.

blue lake mount gambier
The Blue Lake


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.

Cave Garden: James St, Mount Gambier
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.

Umpherston Sinkhole: Jubilee Hwy E, Mount Gambier
Umpherston Sinkhole is like a much larger and more impressive version of the Cave Garden. The sinkhole is enormous and the gardens are beautifully landscaped.

umpherston sinkhole
The luscious green gardens


Even when the gardens are packed with tourists, if you just take a seat somewhere and take in the surrounds, it is still extremely peaceful.

umpherston sinkhole
Towering trees


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.

Mount Schank
Walking along the edge of a dormant volcano


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.

naracoorte caves
Underground adventures


We signed up for the beginner adventure caving tour, the Stick-Tomato Cave running for 90 minutes. This cost $60 per person, however the advanced tours cost $100 per adult.

naracoorte caves
A rare moment of light


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.

naracoorte caves
Hoping I don't get stuck!


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.

Princess Margaret Rose Caves
The Wedding Cake formation


The limestone formations are more magnificent and extravagant than the Naracoorte Caves.

Princess Margaret Rose Caves
More unique formations


They run guided 45 minute tours for $20 per adult. For times please check here - and don't forget to factor in a South Australian time difference when driving from Mount Gambier.

Glenelg River
Glenelg River


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!
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Why? Explore the unique activities around Mount Gambier, known for its historically volcanic landscape and crater lakes
Where: Around Mount Gambier, South Australia
Cost: $60-$150
Your Comment
The gardens and caves are incredible, Mon - great photos too!
by Elaine (score: 3|4124) 399 days ago
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