Mt Gambier

Mt Gambier

The attraction that really pulls in the tourists and gets people talking is the awe-inspiring Blue Lake. One of three lakes that make up the Mt Gambier Crater Lakes complex (the others are Valley Lake and Leg of Mutton Lake), Blue Lake lives up to its name in late November, when its water turn a dazzling turquoise blue- the result of a chemical equation and the refraction of light. This is an amazing wonder of nature that has to be seen to be believed- it is particularly impressive on a sunny day. The lake fills the crater of Mt Gambier volcano and is 1 kilometer wide at the widest point. There is a 4 kilometre long road and walking track that goes around its circumference that will take you to the best lookouts and viewing points on the banks of the lake. You are also able to go down the original dolomite well shaft where water used to be drawn from in the early days. This is done in a glass paneled lift which gives impressive all round views as you descend and ascend.

Another attraction within the town is the Umpherston Sinkhole. This was once an underground cave, but the top caved in and left a large depression. It 1886 James Umpherston converted it into a lush garden, which over time has been looked after and added to become the attraction it is today. Floodlit at night, large numbers of possums come out and feed, to the delight of watching visitors.

Beneath the city lies a huge complex of limestone caves that promise adventure and discovery for experienced scuba divers. They enter the water in one of two chambers within Engelbrecht Cave, and from there head off to explore the underground system- a system they have been successful in mapping over the years. Those of us who cannot dive will have to make do with a 45-minute tour of Engelbrecht Cave, where you can view the underground water that in about five hundred years will have filtered through to the ocean.

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