06 May 2020

Welcome to the Limestone Coast, home to the Umpherston Sinkhole.

Descend into an underground oasis – Mount Gambier’s Umpherston Sinkhole – on a three-day road trip through South Australia’s Limestone CoastFrom a mysterious azure lake to prehistoric caves and volcanoes, the Limestone Coast is home to some of South Australia’s most spectacular natural wonders. Grab your explorer’s hat and start the journey. 

Day One

ARRIVE AT ROBE

Robe obelisk, Limestone Coast
Robe obelisk, Limestone Coast

Three-and-a-half hours’ drive away from Adelaide or six hours’ drive away from Melbourne lies the seaside town of Robe. Boasting beautiful beaches, a stunning range of boutiques, restaurants and high-end accommodation, Robe has something for everyone, whether you’re arriving in a Range Rover or trusty Commodore.

Stay the night at Aloha Robe and wake up with a morning stroll along Long Beach stretching 14km of sandy-white bliss or drive right on to the sand and spend the day enjoying the surf. Take a quick dip, then stroll along the beautiful Obelisk Coastal Trail, passing Robe’s historic Old Gaol Ruins, jetty and marina. 

Cool off at Robe Town Brewery, then grab dinner

Robe is close to a number of great wineries, but for a truly unique drinking experience, you can’t go past the Robe Town Brewery. Under the eaves of the hand-made cobbled brew house, beer is made in true ye olde style with straw filtration, wood-fired kettles and open fermentation. Their limited release Moby Dick Ambergris Ale (not for the faint-hearted) is made with ambergris – the secretion that forms in the gut of a sperm whale to assist with digestion. Enjoy. Post-beer, sample the smorgasbord of local seafood on offer (Robe is famed for its crayfish) or tuck into a well-deserved feast at Robe’s Vic Street Pizza.

Day two

VISIT MOUNT GAMBIER'S BLUE LAKE AND UMPHERSTON SINKHOLE

Umpherston Sinkhole, Mount Gambier
Umpherston Sinkhole, Mount Gambier

Spend your morning discovering geological wonders in Mount Gambier, just an hour-and-a-half’s drive away from Robe. Once an active volcano, the 72-metre-deep Blue Lake is now filled with cobalt water which mysteriously changes shade during spring. Walking trails surround the lake, enticing you to get out of your car and experience its striking blue water up-close.

Mount Gambier’s Umpherston Sinkhole is a beautiful sunken garden, right in the middle of town. Once an underground limestone cave, a giant crater was formed when the chamber’s roof collapsed many years ago. Over time, the sinkhole was transformed into a picturesque garden. It is now blanketed with flowers, plants and lush green grass. Travelling with the family in tow? Here's our guide to the ultimate family-friendly trip to Mount Gambier.

VISIT THE PICCANINNIE PONDS CONSERVATION PARK OR THE NARACOORTE CAVES

Naracoorte Caves, Limestone Coast
Naracoorte Caves, Limestone Coast

A trip to the Limestone Coast wouldn't be complete without a visit to the Naracoorte Caves. Join a guided tour, where you’ll be led through underground chambers dripping with glistening stalactites and stalagmites. Feast your eyes on fascinating fossils and limestone formations or kick things up a notch with an adventure caving tour. Afterwards, explore Naracoorte, home to cafes, a popular swimming lake and heritage trail for history buffs.

Alternatively, explore the spectacular underwater world of the Piccaninnie Ponds, just over 20 minutes’ drive away from Mount Gambier. The National Park contains three diving hotspots, all fed by crystal-clear natural springs. The ‘First Pond’ is about 10 metres deep with lush surroundings. The ‘Cathedral’ is an enclosed area with a depth of 35 metres, while the gigantic ‘Chasm’ is an incredible 100 metres deep. Please note, you’ll need a diving licence to snorkel or scuba dive.

Day three

SIP AND SAVOUR THE COONAWARRA

Brands Laira, Coonawarra
Brands Laira, Coonawarra

Known affectionately as Australia’s other Red Centre, the Coonawarra’s limestone-rich terra rossa soil produces world-famous cabernet sauvignon and shiraz. Despite its small size, the region boasts over 24 cellar doors. Spend the best part of a day sipping at Rymill Coonawarra, Brands Laira and Katnook Coonawarra Cellar Door.

TASTE THE LEGEND AT MAYURA STATION

Mayura Station, Limestone Coast
Mayura Station, Limestone Coast

The Limestone Coast’s gentle rolling hills and lush green pastures produce unparalleled-quality, award-winning Wagyu beef. At Mayura Station, diners can indulge in The Tasting Room, where they’ll learn tricks of the trade from the chef before tucking into the most exclusive cuts, usually unavailable for purchase in Australia due to overseas demand.

Linger Longer

Three days is just enough time to take-in the Limestone Coast’s natural wonders, but there’s so much more to explore in South Australia. Continue to feed your curiosity and check out our guide to the best outdoor adventures in South Australia.

LET’S STAY IN TOUCH

Sign up for our newsletter and get top stories, exclusive offers, events and free travel inspiration straight to your inbox!

Newsletter signup
COVID-19 Outback roads
;