South Australia is a diverse state made up mostly of dramatic arid and semi-arid country known as the Outback. There are areas of greener land towards the beautiful coastline and along Australia’s longest river, the mighty Murray. – by Marc Llewellyn
First stop: Journey starts in Mount Gambier
Getting to Mount Gambier from Warrnambool takes about 2 and a half hours, it’s quite a long drive. There’s a small airport at Mount Gambier which is the reason why we are heading there to meet your guide for journey in South Australia. Mount Gambier is known for it’s limestone and volcanic landscape as well as crater lakes. We make a brief stop at 2 significant sights in Mount Gambier which is the Blue Lake and Umpherston Sinkhole.
The Blue Lake
There’s a mysterious story with this lake, the lake turns into BLUE during the months of December through to March every year and it turn to a darker grey from April through November, I wasn’t that lucky to witness the beautiful blue lake as the time I visited Mount Gambier was in June. But it’s still spectacular to just take a panorama view of the blue lake at the look out point.
There are theories behind this mysterious colour change but what scientific believe is the colour change is mainly because of the water temperature of the lake. There’s a walking trail of 3.6km long around the lake which can be really fun if you have the time to do the walking trail.
It’s really interesting to find there’s a sunken garden in Mount Gambier city, it wasn’t a very big garden but it’s really nice to take a walk through the garden.
The Umpherston Sinkhole was made into a garden by James Umpherston in 1886. The sinkhole is open from dawn to dusk and, as the sun sets, the Umpherston Sinkhole comes alive with hundreds of possums as they come into this tranquil garden to feed.
Second stop: Coonawarra – Wineries & Vineyard
After spending about 1.5 hours in Mount Gambier, depart for Coonawarra – Australia’s red wine centre located in the Limestone Coast of South Australia, the wine region is known for their award-winning red wines. If you enjoy rich, colourful wines like me, you will simply love the Coonawarra. What makes it perfect for grape growing is the region’s terra rossa soil (red soil containing limestone). Its Cabernet Souvignon is internationally renowned and its Shiraz isn’t far behind as well.
Enjoy a beautiful lunch over the wineries at Hollick Winery and Restaurant and get some wine tasting!
Hollick Winery and Restaurant
Address: Ravenswood Lane, Coonawarra, SA 5263
Check out more about Hollick Winery and Restaurant here: www.hollick.com
Next: Make a stop at Naracoorte Caves National Park
Join their Victoria Fossil Cave tour, the duration is 1 hour and it departs 10.15am and 2.15pm. It’s a very informative and fun tour inside the cave, here you can view the delicate wonders of calcite, or explore a 350,000 year old fossil bed of amazing diversity. It’s very experiential and fun tour, especially the kids would love it!
Last: Conclude Day 1 roadtrip at Robe
Robe, one of the historic town, is located on Guichen Bay, was once the third largest part in the State but is today more famous as a seaside destination offering great seafish, restaurants, cafes and accommodation. The town is also a major fishing port and it’s the base for the lobster fleet, with about 30 lobster boats operating from October to April.
Oh did I stay is famous for it’s beach? So yea, if you’re visiting the town during Summer, be gear up and prepared ahead of the crowd! There’s so much to do at Robe, from water to land to sky, check out what you can do at www.robe.com.au
Accommodation: Robe Lakeview Motel
A very pretty and nice cottage motel right in the heart of small town of Robe. Here, you can enjoy a good morning breakfast at your room with a spectacular view over Lake Fellmongery. Book your stay at their website www.robelakeviewmotel.com.au or check our their Facebook page @LakeviewMotelAndApartments
Day 2: First Stop – Coorong National Park
Make a visit to Camp Coorong (Ngarrindjeri) for a guided tour in the museum. Here, you get to learn the heritage and culture of the Ngarrindjeri. To understand more about the Ngarrindjeri, Camp Coorong offer various activities for group or any individual who wish to learn more about Aboriginal History, Arts, Crafts and the natural environment within the Ngarrindjeri region.
You can stay here if you want to, there’s a fully equipped kitchen and dining room with conference facilities within Camp Coorong. The fees and charges are vary depending on the activities, Adult groups (per person/night) is at about AUD$31 and Student groups (per person/night) is at about AUD$26 and for Children it’s AUD10 per child/night.
There are more activities like Walking Trail (2 hours), Ngarrindjeri Bastket Weaving, Northern End of Coorong Tour and Southern End of Coorong Tour as well as Night teaching sessions and last but not least, the Museum Tour (1 hour guided tour) is cost AUD50 per session (up to 20 people).
For more information about Camp Coorong, visit www.ngarrindjeri.org.au
After Coorong, make a stop to Strathalbyn.
Grab your lunch at this lovely town, walk around the heritage town, experience the heritage buildings, antique stores and galleries in the town. Chill and Relax in one of the cafe and enjoy a blissful lunch.
Strathalbyn to Goolwa.
Depart for Goolwa after lunch at Strathalbyn. Discover Australia’s first Cittaslow Town, Goolwa was once a thriving river port. It’s a town tailored for watersport worshippers. You can plot a voyage of discovery on your own vessel or aboard hirecraft which range from power boats to yachts and canoes. Charter craft also cruise the Lower Murray and the Coorong.
Apart from there, pay a visit to The Steam Exchange Brewery, we did a beer and gin tasting and it is a very nice place to chill especially during Summer, it will be crowded and pack!
The Steam Exchange Brewery
Address: The Goolwa Wharf Precinct 1 Cutting Road, Goolwa SA 5214
Visit their werbsite at www.streamexchange.com.au for more information.
Last: Conclude Day 2 at Middleton
There’s nothing much to do at Middleton, but you can book a stay at this amazing Beach Huts Middleton! Here, you can experience a quaintness and charm like no other. It’s located just an hour’s drive from Adelaide on the beautiful coastline of the southern Fleurieu Peninsula, relax on the deck of your self-contained cabin, and experience the happening in the small village atmosphere. You can get to the beach within a walking distance from the huts.
The hut is so beautiful that you wouldn’t want to leave and just relax in the room.
Do make a stop here and book your stay at their website at www.beachhuts.com.au
Day 3: Embrace on Winter Whale Watching Tour!
Depart from Beach Huts Middleton to Victor Harbor, it takes about 30 minutes drive. Book the Winter Whale Watching Tour with The Big Duck Tours before you departs there, and meet their representative at the Granite Island Causeway.
The Big Duck Boat Tour is Victor Harbor’s spectacular ocean adventure experience. Explore inaccessible areas of coastline in an 11.3m expedition-style rigid inflatable boat (RIB). Since it’s an ocean adventure, what you will see during your boat trip, is entirely count on the sea creatures and your luck!
If you’re lucky enough, you may spot dolphins, seals, seabirds and (in season), one of my trip highlight, the Humpback Whales in their natural environment!
Be prepared for seasick if you’re on an adventure to see whales, because when the boat engine stop, it’s really shaky against the waves especially.
Final Stop: Adelaide
It takes about an hour drive from Victor Harbor to Adelaide Central, first stop we made is Adelaide Central Market. Follow Adelaide Central Market Tours to understand the historic and heritage market. Adelaide Central Market – home to a huge range of fresh produce and 80 plus specialist stalls. Mark, our guide of the tour, has 30 years experience as a chef and 20 years as a stallholder which allows him to provide visitors with the opportunity to interact with suppliers, producers and retailers whilst receiving a level of history and product knowledge.
Accommodation: Peppers Adelaide
Peppers Adelaide has been designed with your needs in mind. Enjoy a comfortable personal space with modern amenities that is ideal for both business and leisure.
Book your stay with Peppers Adelaide at your website www.peppers.com.au
The hotel is quite close to the central and it’s within a short walking distance to Rundle Mall, one of the shopping district in Adelaide city.
Rundle Mall is home to a bronze sculpture of a group of life-sized pigs, officially known as ‘A Day Out’ by Marguerite Derricourt. The pigs seem indifferent to their celebrity as they enjoy a day out in the city. The four pigs won Adelaide City Council’s Rundle Mall National Sculpture Competition for the upgraded Rundle Mall in 1997.