The Mount Gambier visitor guide is the most useful booklet you can aquire. There are plenty of them at the Visitor centre, and you will probably be able to find them at nearby visitor centres.
What is so good about it?
Well, it lists all the sights in Mt. Gambier and surrounds. What I like, is they are put under headings, like Cemeteries, Antiques & Collectables, Heritage walks & drives, museums and heritage sites, arts, crafts, galleries & souvenirs, markets, short & long drives, short & long walks, wineries, the list goes on. I find this very helpful!
What I found the most helpful was a list of Laundromats in the city, where the Banks were, Internet access, library, Bus & Taxi services and much more.
Who ever put this FREE BOOKLET together, knew just what the tourist needs to know when visiting.
An excellent publication!
This is what I really like when walking around towns & cities with plenty of heritage buildings.
In Mt. Gambier, you can pick up a leaflet which has a heritage trail to follow, but if you don't, and are just wandering the historic area, you will find infront of the heritage buildings, signs with a photo and a description of the building you are viewing. I love this idea, and I have found it so helpful when writing reviews on here.
In my photo, you can see the smallish sign infront of the building.
The park is a lovely open space for picnics while the wildlife reserve won me over. Trying to get through the entry gate (it's free) past a prying overbearing emu was a bit disconcerting but there are well laid out trails to walk around and there are many bird species on show as well as kangaroos, most of whom are quite tame. I'm not recommending that you approach them of course, it's just that you can get quite close for photography purposes.
Fondest memory: It was great to see people acting in an appropriate manner at this facility and simply letting the animals do their thing. I had to keep moving to get a photo of this bird though they have learnt not to fly away, making happy-snapping much easier.
The lake itself is available for some water sports though it isn't huge.
Umpherston isn't really a cave - it's a mostly dry sink hole, in which a garden has been planted in the bottom, but it is a cavern and does have rock overhangs.
Fondest memory: Umpherston is always one of the places in Mt Gambier which gives me the fondest memories - at night it's for the possums, by turns shy, yet inquisitive, and some are downright bold and would climb up your leg if you don't give them something to eat fast enough.
And in daytime, I enjoy going there to admire the gardens, so pretty that it's no wonder couples often get married down there. Very picturesque for photos.
Another example here of some attractive architecture featuring quoins, not too far from the fountain as it turns out.
This is the old town hall which has an art gallery in the downstairs area. I have to say that the exhibition on show while we were there was less than celubrious but, as with all galleries, it pays to check, you never now what you'll see.
Interspersed between modern development, Mt. Gambier has some lovely heritage.
Fondest memory: The fountain intrigued me. Captain Robert Gardiner presented this art work to the people in 1884. What is just as significant is that he was the great grandfather of a person who become world famous as a ballet dancer and starred in movies, Sir Robert Helpmann.
The fountain is said to be the first large marble one contructed (in Melbourne) in the colonies.
Behind the park are two splendid hotels, one with the lovely wrought iron work and the other in neo-classical mode.
These were a surprise, and a pleasant one at that. A sinkhole right in the middle of town. Site of the original water supply but the water from here actually ends up in the Blue Lake from where it is pumped today.
An imaginative project to landscape this limestone cave-in certainly gets my vote. The lovely floral display is also floodlit at night and from November to late January Christmas lights and a Nativity scene are a feature.
The only downer is that some reprobates who don't put their rubbish in bins seem to think it's a great place for disposal of same. Fortunately, filters have been set to strain such things before they get through to the Blue Lake.
What is my favourite thing about Mt. Gambier? Well, it wasn't the Blue Lake! Now, before I went there I knew that November to March is the time to visit if you want blue, so it came as no surprise that, when I was there in October, it was only bluish.
What did come as a surprise was that there were four lakes, although one, the Leg of Mutton Lake, would barely fill your bath tub.
Fondest memory: What I would recommend you get excited about is Valley Lake, a body of water whose colour (brown) is nothing to get vibes about but, what it does have is access and a wonderful, user-friendly park and nature reserve.
A first point of call for me would always be the Blue Lake.
It's so beautiful and I never tire looking at it, whatever the season, and whatever its current shade of blue.
There are walks you can take around its perimeter, far above the surface (since the lake itself is within a deep volcanic crater) and there is a caravan park just across the road.
I rather enjoyed this building in the main street (Commercial Street) which is now an Art Gallery (not sure what it was in the past).
The tower lights up nicely at night.
Fondest memory: Another of nice spots I like at Mt Gambier - the Cactus garden right by the Blue Lake (near the Blue Lake City Caravan Park)
Favorite thing: Mt Gambier is surrounded by lush green pastures, rolling hills, cows, sheep and generally a lot of farms of varying descriptions.