Situated in the heart of the city the cave gardens were the original water source for early settlers. Famous for its roses (which werent out when we were there) it makes a nice setting for a picnic. There are suspension platforms that you can walk out onto for a nice view.
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.
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!
My thanks to MelZ1974 and to my friend Kate-Me, for letting me know that this existed and shouldn't be missed.
You need to go to see the lakes. The color changes over time and is at its bluest in November. No one really knows why this lake is so blue, there is only speculation. Regardless of the reason, the sight is spectacular, as is the scenery around. Its oneof the only places I've ever been able to look out and just see a cluster of three or four mountains rising out of the plains off in the distance. There is a path that goers all around the canyon rim, but it is several miles long and would take the best part of a full day.
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.
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
For a town of our size, which isn't very big, Christianity is very well catered for, with most significant sectors represented. St Pauls is the major Catholic Church (not the only one) but is the biggest in the town. During the busy wedding season there can be up to 4 a day here.
What would a visit to Mt Gambier be without seeing the Blue Lake? There are 4 seperate lookout areas along the edge of the crater all offering good photo opportunities. The lake is at it's bluest around the summer months. The Blue Lake tour guide said the blue colour was from calcium carbonate leaching into the water from rocks underground.
I also recommend taking a drive around Valley Lake, the perfect spot for a picnic.
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.
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
You should definately pay a visit to the 'Lady Nelson Tourist Discovery Centre' It will give you a wealth of information about the region, some interactive displays, and helpful guides who will tell you where to go and what to do.The boat is a scale replica of the Lady Nelson which someone sailed to South Australia in!?
This is an interesting and informative tour about the Blue Lake. At the conclusion, an elevator will take you from the rim of the crater right down to the water's surface. This is the only way you can actually see the water from the water level - and it's just as blue down here as from far above at street level.
The Englebrecht cave right on the main Jubilee highway inside the Mt Gambier township is a nice cave to see (cave divers use the under water part of it) or you can also drive to Nelson (approx 20 minutes away) and see the really nice Princess Margaret Rose Caves (these are said to be the best in the region) Each cave is different and I found them all great.
The Tantanoola cave, another nice one, is also quite close to Mt Gambier.
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.