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  • Mt Schank blog photo

    One geological feature in Mount Gambier, only 10 in the world

    One geological feature you must visit in Mount Gambier… only 10 worldwide.

    While Mount Gambier is best known for the gorgeous Blue Lake, there’s one feature that’s just as unique – the Kanawinka Geopark.

    It’s Australia’s most extensive volcanic province, and one of only 10 in the world. We’re lucky to have the first (and biggest) Geopark right on our doorstep, in the south east of our state. Kanawinka Geopark is recognised worldwide as a significant geological area.

    In total, the flows cover an area of some 23,000-square km, extending north to the hills beyond Ballarat. The south-east boasts a small section of the geopark. This area is known as the Newer Volcanics Province, and features nearly 400 individual eruption points, most of which occurred between 4.5 and 2 million years ago.

    The Kanawinka Geotrail

    The craters and limestone precinct, for example, takes in three major sites: Mount Gambier’s Crater Lakes Complex, Mount Schank, and the Mount Burr Range, which includes Lake Leake and Lake Edward.

    Visitors to the Blue Lake can extend the experience by exploring the volcanic area estimated to have been formed 28,000 years ago. It incorporates the Blue Lake, Valley Lake, Brownes Lake, and Leg of Mutton Lake. Test your fitness around the 3.6km road and walking track, circumference.

    Take a short 10-minute drive to Mount Schank, the area’s youngest volcano.

    Protruding 159 metres above sea level, you can’t miss it. Follow the signage that will take you on two walks – either one to the top of the volcano or descend steeply to the crater floor. The rim offers fantastic views of the surrounding countryside, coast and the nearby geological formations. You’ll see the remains of the lava flow and the changes in the rock formation caused by heat and steam.

    And, there’s Mount Burr Range that has 15 volcanic eruption points. It’s the most westerly point of the Kanawinka Geopark. No trip to the area is complete without visiting Lake Leake – an open crater with a gently-sloping ash ring. Fish, boat, windsurf, and water ski in this beautiful area.

    The park for everyone to enjoy.

    Why not start your adventures with us before moving onto Warrnambool or Colac. There are many cute small towns dotted around in the Kanawinka Global Geopark. If you’d like more information on the area, we can give you our local insight.

    You’re not going to want to miss this. It’s a once in a lifetime experience, that’s so close to you.

  • Just one of the sights you can see

    Natural phenomenons in Mount Gambier

    4 unmissable natural phenomenons in Mount Gambier

    When it comes to travelling, there’s something that many of us are guilty of. We go ‘big’, quickly booking overseas trips, instead of exploring what’s right in front of us.

    Case in point: we have craters, lakes, caves and sinkholes in our own ‘backyard’. The great thing about this is, you can travel in those couple of weeks off work – without having to go far… and still to do something new and interesting.

    If you’re travelling from Kangaroo Island, the Great Ocean Road or the Grampians, do yourself a favour and don’t just stopover for a day. Make Mount Gambier part of your trip.

    Pull out your Mount Gambier map and mark these top places to see, brought to you by mother nature herself.

    1. The Umpherston Sinkhole
    When the top of the chamber fell to the floor of the cave, the sinkhole naturally took shape. This majestic ‘sunken garden’ is free to visit and there’s an undercover shelter with seating, so pack an afternoon picnic. Stay until dusk to see the possums http://inthegarden.net.au/umpherston-sinkhole-cave-gardens/

    2. Tantanoola Caves Conservation Park
    Picture mystical caves with pink toned caverns set in a cliff face. This is what you’ll experience at Tantanoola Caves. Thought to have formed by the pounding of the seas, the caves should not be missed. Also, check out the Engelbrecht Cave. https://www.environment.sa.gov.au/parks/find-a-park/Browse_by_region/Limestone_Coast/tantanoola-caves-conservation-park

    3. Piccaninnie Ponds Conservation Park
    Love snorkelling, scuba diving and exploring caves? Swim through the stunning coastal spring, Piccaninnie Ponds. It’s a spot that’s been internationally recognised for attracting unique bird species. And, if you like water sports, try surfing at nearby Beachport and Robe. https://www.environment.sa.gov.au/parks/find-a-park/Browse_by_region/Limestone_Coast/piccaninnie-ponds-conservation-park http://surfunation.com.au/surf-spots/surf-beach-beachport/

    4. Canunda National Park
    While not located right near Mount Gambier, it’s less than an hour away. Featuring a plethora of local birdlife, great surf breaks, and the chance to catch a bite, Canunda is best experienced with a four-wheel drive. Go bushwalking, snorkelling, fishing or simply relax. Spend an action-packed day here before heading back to Mount Gambier. https://www.environment.sa.gov.au/parks/find-a-park/Browse_by_region/Limestone_Coast/canunda-national-park

    Other attractions that’ll send nature enthusiasts wild include bird-filled lagoons and dunes of The Coorong https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coorong_National_Park and a series of lagoons and sea lakes in Lake Alexandrina.

    For a local’s tips and advice on seeing any of these attractions, we’re happy to help. Our accommodation puts you short distances from these hotspots.

    Forget flights and airports this time. Get out on the open road and start exploring.