Dingley Dell is a pretty little cottage that once belonged to Adam Lindsay Gordon [poet]. Adam saw this stone cottage with a shingle roof, and decided to buy it when it came up for sale. This he did. This was Gordon's only true home where he found peace to write.
The Dingley Dell cottage is a museum which houses the most important collection of Gordon-related artifacts in the world. Amongst the many items, is the baton, handcuffs and leggings Gordon used as a police mounted trooper.
The cottage Dingley Dell Cottage is open 10am-4pm daily
The Port MacDonnell Historic Trail led us to the Woolwash Interpretive Centre.
The historic Trail is a walk or drive where we saw old homes and businesses and natural wonders of historical significance to the local area, one of these was the Woolwash Interpretive Centre.
Here interpretive signs told me all about the wool wash.
We saw quite a few old cottages of different designs, one of them had a cut out so we could see how the wall was made out of the local stone.
Along the South Eastern coast of South Australia, we came across the Admella Discovery Trail.
Here it was again at Port MacDonnell.
The Admella Discovery Trail’s self-drive touring route covers a 130km radius of Mount Gambier. The Trail officially begins at Cape Banks Lighthouse near Carpenter Rocks, where I read a brief account of the disaster and saw the memorial cairn, then climbed the observation deck to view the treacherous Admella Reef. You can walk along the beach where survivors landed and rescuers gathered if you wish.
At Port MacDonnell, it is the District Maritime Museum which houses a large Admella collection.
21 maritime themed interpretive trail markers recount the tale of the wreck of the Admella. It was a horrific week for survivors who remained on board, in sight of land, while volunteers struggled to rescue them from the stricken steamer.
It was one of the worst maritime disasters in Australian History. Only 24 passengers and crew survived, 89 lost their lives after spending up to eight days clinging to the wreckage in treacherous seas a mile offshore.
Port MacDonnell is where we came to visit South Australia's most southerly point at Cape Northumberland.
We drove to the look-out and had a look at the sign, and then at the wonderful view. Thankgoodness it wasn't a windy day, I imagine you would nearly be blown away. Next to the lookout is some of the most beautiful coloured cliffs we saw in the area, and some wonderful eaten away cliffs, fantastic scenery!
Coastal carvings are rocks that have been carved by the Southern Ocean over thousands of years. Now, they are sitting in the ocean away from the mainland.
At Cape Northumberland, there are a few of these. Camel Rock was excellent, it really looked like a Camel, and Rhino rock was quite good too! Others that can be seen here are, Frog, Crocodile, Lobster Pot Rocks and a Map of Australia Reef can all be seen from the Lighthouse area at Cape Northumberland. We saw them all, but now I am not sure which is which....All were good!
If you enjoy viewing unusual rugged coastline, then you will enjoy this scenic drive. I loved what I saw and walked quite a bit of the way. Around each corner of coastline was a surprise, I never knew what I was going to find.
Off shore reefs, rock formations out to sea, rugged and colourful cliffs, Birds, and if you come at night, Fairy Penguins. The Fairy Penguins return to their colony at sunset and can be seen from the Cape lookout.
At Cape Northumberland is the 1858 lighthouse monument (the first mainland lighthouse in South Australia) and 1882 lighthouse. It is one of the most spectacular locations to have an uninterrupted view of the sunrise and sunset of the Southern Ocean.
All along the beachfront at Port MacDonnell is lawned area, with shelters for picnics.
There are three beaches along the Port MacDonnell waterfront, only one of them is good for swimming, the other two are shallow and have seagrass. Fishing is good from the Jetty and from the rockwall.
The Port MacDonnell Jetty is where Saint Mary MacKillop boarded the ship SS Penola on 22 June 1867. for the journey to Adelaide where she established the Cathedral Hall School.
Not what I expected to find at Port MacDonnell, after all, Germany was a long way away, even during the war years, yet, on display infront of the Custom's House, IS a German Mine.
This Mine was washed ashore here in 1943.
You can read the information about it from my photo.
This is an excellent mural depicting scenes from local history. They must have some very talented people living here, as 416 local residents took 8.5 weeks to do the painting.
It is painted on the outside walls of the Town Community Hall, so you must walk around it to see all the murals.
ON the west wall, the Mural is of the Jetty and Coastline, and the southern wall is a collage of people and industries of the town.
Now, this building was quite a surprise, mainly because of its size compared to the rest of the village, it was huge!
I found it was the old Customs House, although now it was used as a Bed & Breakfast, described as "luxurious apartment bed & breakfast," check out the website.
Why it was so huge, was because Port MacDonnell was the second busiest port in South Australia.
When Mt. Gambier developed, then became the necessity for a nearby port which just happened to be Port MacDonnell.
The Customs House was built in 1862 by Mr. Francis Reynolds for £2605. It housed the Harbour Masters Office, Customs House, Court House, Post Office and residence, school teacher’s residence and Police Station and residence, no wonder it is such a big building! Prison cells and stables were built at the rear of the building, although the stables have now been demolished.
After completion, Captain Edward French opened a shipping agency and warehouses.
Port MacDonnell began to prosper with Wool, Wheat, Potatoes, Flour, Wattle bark (for tanning), Hay, Hides and Tallow being exported through Port MacDonnell. This brought in a lot of revenue from customs and was second only to Port Adelaide.
Built on such a grand scale, it was the only one of its kind in South Australia.
Since 1958 it has had many owners, being used at different times as a restaurant, accommodation and private residence.
We came from Mt. Gambier to Port MacDonnell, a distance of 27kms as part of a day trip.
At the entrance of Port MacDonnell, we saw a giant limestone sculpture that looked like a wave. Sure enough it was, and another sculpture done by Ivo Tadic, we had seen some of his sculptures in Mt. Gambier.
It is known as "Bay Wave" and weighs around 50 tons and contains enough limestone to build an entire medium sized house!
The Bay Wave was a community project involving local businesses, contractors, tradesmen and even the local school children who sculptured the shells that make up part of the finished project.
TAKE A DRIVE OR A WALK AND LOOK AT ALL THE ROCK FORMATIONS IN THE AREA. YOU WILL BE AMAZED AT WHAT YOU SEE
As you drive up the right of the jetty, you will go past the lighthouse. I am not sure if you can go inside and walk up to the top, but it is a nice spot to look out over the bay anyhow.
There are many pelicans, turns, gulls and other birds at Port Mac. A drive towards the light house to the right of the jetty will reap most reward.