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Naracoorte caves, Limestone Coast

Natural wonders in the Limestone Coast national parks

See world Heritage-listed caves, significant wetlands and a unique ecosystem. You’ll also find Australia’s biggest volcanic region.

A special place
The Limestone Coast is undeniably special. Explore World Heritage-listed caves, significant wetlands and a unique ecosystem; it’s all here for you.

You’ll find Australia’s biggest volcanic region and the nation’s only geo-park on the Limestone Coast. The landscape is amazing. It has dozens of old volcano cones poking out of the ground in six internationally recognised sites.

Snorkelling at Piccaninnie Ponds

Cave divers and snorkellers flock to Piccaninnie Ponds and its underwater limestone caves. 

Crater Lakes
Explore the Limestone Coast’s lakes, rivers and water-filled caves. Canoe, dive, snorkel, go yachting or fishing - the choice is yours.

The jewel in its crown is the Blue Lake. At 75 metres deep, this mysterious lake changes colour throughout the year. From November to March, its waters turn a brilliant blue, fading to grey at other times. Take a walking tour of the lake. 

Valley Lake crater is perfect for a family outing. Kids will love the wildlife park, boardwalk and adventure playground. There are barbecue facilities and picnic grounds, so take your lunch and enjoy the atmosphere.

Natural heritage
Walk inside volcanic craters, explore lava caves or pitch a tent and camp under the stars. Giant kangaroos, monster-sized wombats and marsupial lions called the Limestone Coast home for more than half a million years. Their fossils, which are on display at the Naracoorte Caves, are in excellent condition. This is the only place in South Australia on the World Heritage list!

The sinkhole at the Cave Gardens in Mount Gambier was the original source of water for early residents. Today, it's a beautiful picnic spot, famous for its roses. Cave divers and snorkellers flock to Piccaninnie Ponds and its underwater limestone caves. Snorkel across the top of “The Chasm”. At around 60 metres deep, this cavern has good visibility, due to its limestone filtered waters. You may come face to face with eels, pygmy perch and tortoises.

Remember you must be CDAA qualified and have a permit to dive at Piccaninnie Ponds. A snorkelling permit is also required for both sites.

Glenelg River is the perfect place to see native wildlife. Keep an eye out for emus, koalas, kangaroos and possums. If you are lucky, you may spot an elusive red-tailed black cockatoo or even a platypus. 

Canoeing is a great way to see Glenelg River. Take your own canoe or kayak or hire one when you arrive. Paddle down the river and stay at one of the many campsites along the way. 

Go fishing in the river. Dinner could be a giant mulloway, bass, southern black bream, yellow-eye mullet or salmon. 

National parks
The Little Dip Conservation Park near Robe features a number of small lakes and offers a detailed look into the region's Aboriginal history.

South Australia’s second largest coastal park stretches north from Carpenter Rocks to Southend. The rugged coastline of the Canunda National Park, features huge limestone cliffs, offshore reefs and “mobile” sand dunes.

Four-wheel drives (4WD) will get around most of the parks. Get out of the car and explore the area by following the many walking tracks. 

Wetlands and wildlife
The Limestone Coast is a superb place for birdwatching. Butcher's Gap Conservation Park and areas near Salt Creek, Parnka Point and the aptly named Pelican Point are all prime locations.

Other great birdwatching spots include Bool Lagoon and Hacks Lagoon near Naracoorte. The lagoons are home to rare and endangered wildlife, including the southern bell frog, blue-billed duck and brown bittern.

Don’t leave the Limestone Coast until you’ve seen the Coorong. It’s a remarkable ecosystem and unique to this state. It stretches more than 100 kilometres down the coast; only a thin strip of sand dunes hold back the Southern Ocean from this series of shallow, saltwater lagoons. This internationally significant national park is also home to many species of migratory birds

Limestone Coast - the great Australian road trip

Cruise down easy, winding trails, relax and breathe-in the ocean air. Stop at Robe and immerse yourself in coastal scenery.

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