The cosmopolitan vibe of South Australia’s second-largest city is offset by a swathe of natural wonders, some of which you’ll find right in the heart of town.
Rich in volcanic history, this place is chock-full of geological treasures, from the mysterious sapphire waters of the Blue Lake to the emerald underground gardens of Umpherston Sinkhole.
With some of the best parks, hikes, mountain biking trails and cultural attractions in the region, this is a city that punches well above its weight for adventure and arts lovers alike, and with some of the finest foodies in the region, you’ll never go hungry around here either.
The Blue Lake.
The mysterious and very aptly named Blue Lake is a genuine icon in every sense of the word, and no visit to ‘The Mount’ is complete without taking a little time to gaze into this cauldron of coolness.
From November to March, the steel greys of cooler months mysteriously transform to bright cobalt blues that are so vivid it’s had the science world talking for generations.
Nestled in one of three extinct volcanic craters, it’s a great spot to stretch your legs around the 3.6km road and walking track.
Tucked conveniently in the heart of the city, the spectacular Umpherston Sinkhole has been dropping jaws for generations!
Formed by millions of years’ limestone corrosion, this masterpiece of Mother Nature is a perfect spot to hang out when the heat’s on, with cool green glades offering a sweet little sanctuary in summer.
Home to a stunning hydrangea displays, you’ll find it’s also inhabited by some pretty lovable locals, with possums emerging daily at dusk.
No doubt about it, Kilsby Sinkhole is like another universe... as sheep graze on the working sheep farm above, the underworld is as surreal as it is spectacular!
On a sunny day you’ll find phenomenal water clarity as stunning light pierces the abyss, pulling crowds for decades, with freedivers and scuba divers drawn by it's incredible water clarity.
The only site of its kind in Australia that welcomes snorkellers, freedivers and Open Water certified scuba divers under the supervision of qualified guides, this giant chasm descends 65 metres and is revered by those in the know.
These days, snorkellers can also enjoy the show from the surface (with a guide) - and if getting wet isn't your bag, the local Kilsby gin just might be... Aficionados will tell you it's as crisp and clear as the water down below!
As Mount Gambier's eldest sibling, Mount Shank stands sure and sturdy at 100 metres above sea level.
A rare South Australian example of volcanic activity in modern geological times, Mount Schank slightly outdates Mount Gambier, which is the most recent example in Australia.
A stroll along the 2km trail around the dormant crater's rim delivers incredible views of Mount Gambier and surrounds, with a series of limestone steps making this a moderate climb for all ages and abilities.
Little Blue Lake.
Plonked inconspicuously between two dormant volcanoes (Mount Schank and Mount Gambier) and just a stone’s throw from its bigger, bluer brother, the Little Blue Lake is the perfect spot to chill on a hot summer’s day!
At about 40 metres wide, up to 47 metres deep and ringed by cliffs on all sides, the water here is clean and clear, and after taking the stairs into this cool little cauldron, experienced swimmers can leap and laze from the floating pontoon below.
Engelbrecht Cave offers a fascinating glimpse into the subterranean world beneath streets of Mount Gambier, with guided tours between two stunning caverns lasting between 45 to 60 minutes.
Tours run on the hour, with times varying by season, with a handy on-site café on hand to rest your weary legs and refuel between attractions.
Home to a menagerie of farmyard favourites for the whole family to pat, feed and frolic with, Echo Farm is all about reconnecting with nature!
Whether you're strolling at your own pace or taking a guided tour, meeting the locals and unearthing a little history while you’re here is sure to tucker out your little ones and have them talking all the way home.
Riddoch Arts & Cultural Centre.
An absolute must for art lovers, with an ever-changing calendar of local artists exhibiting alongside works of serious national importance in the Riddoch Art Gallery & Cultural Centre.
Here in the State’s foremost regional collection you’ll find over 1,500 items, from paintings and prints depicting the people and history of the Limestone Coast to a significant collection of Aboriginal and 20th Century Australian art.
Valley Lake Conservation & Wildlife Park.
Drive down into the Valley Lake area and enjoy the Conservation Park, with koalas and kangaroos.
Children will love the Adventure Playground.
Bring a picnic and discover Brownes Lake. This was the site of Mount Gambier's original botanic gardens and the area is picturesque all year round, but especially in Autumn.
You'll find covered shelters and 16 free gas barbecues within well-kept picnic areas. The expanse of grassed areas caters for many family activities & water sports on the lake. You can also give disc golf a go at the Crater Lakes Disc Golf Course.
The Conservation Park presents indigenous species of flora and fauna in an environment very similar to that which would have originally been found in the area.
The area is serviced by a network of walking tracks, all of which lead to lookouts, providing excellent viewing and photographic opportunities as well as the chance to enjoy the local flora and fauna.
Speak to a Mount Gambier Local.
We know visitors have the best time when they have all the information. Below is just a few frequently asked questions about time best spent in Mount Gambier, but if you still have a question left unanswered, then the team at Mount Gambier Visitor Centre would love to hear from you!
Mount Gambier Visitor Centre
Monday - Friday 9am-5pm
Weekends & Public Holidays 10am-4pm