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.