Well what can be said about the Blue Lake that hasnt already been said?? Not much at all I am afraid. Everyone that has read the other tips on it know that it is the city's water supply and that it contains 36,000 MILLION litres of water and the average depth is 80 Metres. it is world famous for the changes of colour it goes through all year. There is a 3.6 km road that circumnavigates it and a walking trail just as long
The Umpherston Sinkhole was originally beautified by James Umpherston. Today it is one of the most popular attractions in th eMt Gambier area.The landscaped gardens surrounding the sinkhole is a relaxing place to have a family picnic or barbecue with covered areas to protect you from the weather. Once a cave this sinkhole was created when the top of the chamber fell into the floor of the cave, creating a perfect environment for the present day gardens.
Lady Nelson is a fully integrated tourism complex that offers all the information you need to help make you stay enjoyable. The complex is a community project built of local limestone and timber.
A free admission theatre screens the film "Across the Green Triangle" continuosly. The film depicts the story of Mt Gambier's history and industry.
The Lady Nelson was a small 60 ton brig built in 1799 She was the first vessel to sail along the entire Southern Coastline of Australia In 1825 she called into the Island Of Baba where her crew was murdered by natives and the ship run ashore and burnt.
It is open 7 days a week 9am to 5pm South Australian time
We found this a nice spot for a picnic, with a large children's playground and plenty of birds & swans around. Also next to the Parking area there's a wildlife park (free entry, the perimeter all fenced off) where an 'up close and personal' encounter was had with a Koala, just sitting in the sun on one of the railings overlooking the marshland on the shore of Valley Lake inside the park.
Take heed of the signs at one part of the shore of Valley Lake though.... the ground/sand really is like quicksand. My husband got a 1.5 metre long stick, and with no effort at all, was able to push it right into the ground until only 10 cms protruded out.
Number one to see in Mt Gambier, apart from the caves, is of course the magnificent Blue Lake (even during the months when it is no longer blue, but grey - March - about October, though at the moment it is April and still blue). It's a good starting point for your explorations, and then you can go on to see the adjacent green Valley Lake (which is often used for water skiiing and has a playground, picnic areas, and even a little wildlife park next to its shoreline) and beside that, Browne's Lake (which as you can guess, is brown).
The Lady Nelson centre, besides being a great tourist information centre where you can find out all you need to know about the area, then sit in their auditorium and watch an informative short video on the region, is also a tourist attraction in itself, and not to be missed.
Inside the Lady Nelson ship replica is a maritime sound and light show with great special efffects - then the show continues on in another part of the building.
My favorite part is a tiny moving, speaking holograph of a woman called Christina projected into a bottle, who tells the story of the first settlement of Mt Gambier.
The Volcano simulator, also pictured, has both sound & smoke.
Great for all ages.
Many tourists miss out on some great hidden parts of the Lakes area, simply becuase all they think you can do is walk around the crater of the Blue Lake. But there is so much more and more exciting too!
The big hump of a hill that you can see from the town is called the Sugar Loaf. If you park your car at Potter's Point, which is behind the Lake's Resort Motel, you can walk over the Sugar loaf. From there you can chose 3 tracks - down to the oval of Tenison College, around the back near the Cemertary in the pines, or the ultimate challenge, the Stairs. They are steap and nasty- but only if you push yourself. You can definately take your time and make it in one piece! They will take you up to an easy walking track to the Centenary Tower. From here you can go back, or continue down the paved path from the Tower. From here follow the road back to the main Blue Lake lookout, go up yet another lot of steps, then a nice easy walk around the back of the old hospital to the car. This is but one, there are so many little tracks around the lakes, a good one starts at the main Blue Lake parking area. You will discover many little secrets of the area.
Most people to Mt Gambier ask firstly 'where is the blue lake' and secondly 'what is that funny tower for'?
Centennary Tower was built to commemorate 100 years since the discovery and naming of 'Gambier's Mount'. this soon after became Mt Gambier. You can walk up here, it is a little step, but paved all the way, and also walk all around the area. You know the tower is open for visitors when the flag is flying. If it is open you can walk up the stairs to the top and look out with a telscope to the town. A great view of the town and surrounding area.
Each October we have 'the show' a regional agricultural and country show. We have rides that are scary and come from the cities, plus country stuff like horse jumping, cow parades, sheep dog trials, plus indoor competitions like photography, roses, baking, cooking, colouring in competitons for school kids and much more. I remember as a child entering my cup cakes in the show and not getting anything!! i thought they were pretty good!
The cave in the middle of the city. The cave is really a sinkhole, you can walk down into it and when we have had a lot of rain the waterfall is quite spectacular. The council have recently completed an upgrade of the area with better fencing and railing and more visitor information.
Admitedly, Mt Gambier, and Australia for that matter, is not very old at all. About 210 years or so. That pales in comparison with your european cities or south american ruins. Anyhow, if you like semi- old stuff, then go to the Town Hall, on the eastern end of main street, Commerical Street, just near the main corner. It looks especially good at night when all lit up.
The Town Hall is still our administrative centre, with part of it dedicated to an Art Gallery. It recently had quite substantial renovations done to it and the back of it which overlooks the Cave Gardens is quite a site. Pics to follow..........
Everyone that comes to Mt Gambier has to see the Blue Lake. It really is Blue! November to May is the best time to see it, when it changes to a bright vibrant blue. The rest of the year it is a dull greyey colour. The towns people drink this water, and I drive past it most days so it is not really that big a deal to us, but you will be impressed!
Contrary to other member's pages on Mt Gambier, the water level is dropping and has been gradually over many years. So much so, that we actually had water restrictions imposed upon us for the first time ever - can you believe!
Tours leave every hour from the corner of Bay Rd and John Watson Drv and cost A$6. For your money you get to see inside the old brick pumping station and take a lift down a former wellshaft to the pumping machinery area about 5m above the surface of the lake. Water is only pumped during off-peak hours so it's quiet, apart from the chatter of the tour guide.
The tour lasts around 50 minutes.
The Umpherston Sinkhole is part of a public park alongside Jubilee Highway East. It was the dream of Umpherston, the original owner of the land to turn the sinkhole into a garden retreat for the enjoyment of all but he never lived to see it come to fruition. In honour of his vision, the sinkhole was taken over from the neighbouring timber mill and turned into the pleasant area that can be seen today.
I came here in the middle of the day but from dusk nocturnal Possums can be hand-fed.
The pubs have particularly good Mt Gambier limestone construction, combined with Victorian architecture, which is an unusual combination to see in Australia where most Victorian buildings are either of wood or brick with wrought iron lace work like this ( and are in other cities such as my home city of Ballarat)