Sunday, November 04, 2012

Mt Gambier - Volcano City

Mt Gambier is a beautiful city at the south-east corner of South Australia near the border with Victoria. Locally the region is called the Limestone Coast obviously because of the volcanic nature of the area and the subsequent limestone deposits.

We had never been here before, so it was lovely to visit and see all the beautiful gardens and the main features related to the city's volcanic history.

At the edge of the city is the Blue Lake, an ancient volcanic opening which is now filled with beautiful blue water ... the town's drinking supply. Underneath the city is a vast system of caverns, and waterways, many of which are frequented by scuba divers who explore the caves. On the surface are numerous sink holes where the tops of caves have collapsed creating holes of varying depths. Several of these have been turned into public parks with chairs, tables, and free gas barbecues.

There are dozens of walking paths around the city and nearby areas. It's truly a lovely part of South Australia, but unfortunately, in November (southern hemisphere Spring) it's still chilly, so it's obviously a cooler place unsuited to dry, hot weather people like us.

Click on the photo strip to see the following examples of Mt Gambier, with a description of each from the top down:

  1. A park at the edge of the Blue Lake has a block of limestone with a small solution tube (water and acid eat through the limestone leaving a circular hole)
  2. Christina stands at one of the viewing platforms erected in the 1800s
  3. The Blue Lake taken from a lookout some kilometres away
  4. Inside the Umpherstine sink hole which is now a public recration area
  5. Looking into the Umpherstine Sink Hole
  6. Bottle brush flowers are plentiful in the Umpherstine Sink Hole Park
  7. A possum lives in a cave at Umpherstine Sink Hole and is obviously accustomed to visitors of the two legged variety
Today is our last day at Mt Gambier and we had for the Coorong before going to Adelaide and then back up the Stuart Highway to Alice Springs.