If there is one word I would use to describe the Umpherston Sinkhole, that word would be amazing. Located in Mount Gambier, it rivals the town's main attraction of the Blue Lake. Not only is the Umpherston Sinkhole a sight to see during the day, it becomes a native habitat at night.
The natives that occupy the sinkhole would be cute furry possums that come out at night, roaming up the stairs and around the ground, or sitting snug in their burrows in the wall. They are extremely friendly and receive crowds of all ages congregating the sinkhole carrying bags of goodies. These goodies are the main reason the possums look forward to our company, however what they give back to us is priceless. What other opportunity can you get to be able to pat wild possums and witness baby ones clinging to their mother's backs?
Feed me, please? Image Courtesy of Sarah Henschke
The items on the menu can vary. I suggest the safest option would be to bring fruit, especially grapes! Even that loaf of bread that won't be used in time, especially the two crusts that normally get thrown away, would be perfect for a possum feast. The possums are always friendly and hungry; hence what makes this a great night out with family and friends.
During the day, you wouldn't even have a clue that the possums were ever there. The sinkhole, once a cave formed from limestone until the top chamber collapsed, is now a stunning garden that you are able to walk down the levels till you reach the bottom. You basically feel like you're inside a rock, with the steep rock face surrounding the beautiful garden below. Once at the bottom, take a look up and be engulfed by what nature has to offer.
Beautiful views of the Sinkhole garden. Image Courtesy of Sarah Henschke
Named after James Umpherston, who first established the garden in 1884, the Sinkhole has since been restored after the death of Umpherston in 1900 to retain his legacy. The Umpherston Sinkhole is a magical place that is great for a relaxing day out, an adventure for the night, and well worth the visit when visiting Mount Gambier.
Image Courtesy of Sarah Henschke