Never heard of the Limestone Coast in South Australia? Don’t worry, neither had we. So here is a quick little guide to a few key spots to check out on your next road trip through SA.
Although we were only in South Australia for a month, and having visited the Limestone coast before we explored the Fleurieu Peninsula or drove all the way west into the Eyre Peninsula, this little pocket of the world had a big voice, and a lot to say.
Mount Gambier is home to many world renowned fresh water sinkhole site for scuba divers and free divers, who venture here just to say they’ve lived in Mount Gambier.
On the other hand, you have the cute and charming town or Robe along the southern ocean drive with beautiful beaches, an Obelisk that’s about to fall into the sea, and our most favourite camp spot in all of South Australia.
Your guide to road trippin through the Limestone coast of South Australia
If you’re coming through Victoria then this should be a no-brainer when it comes to getting here, as Australia’s most famous road, the Princes Hwy, wraps all around Australia.
So head west out of Melbourne and find yourself crossing the border into South Australia into the first major town in the limestone coast in South Australia, Mt.Gambier
Use our South Australia guide to plan the rest of your road trip
Yes. it is the largest rural town anywhere east of the Victorian border, and yes it is beautiful.
The main draw card to Mt.gambier is as previously mentioned, the many fresh water sinkholes that are spread out, hidden within the landscapes.
They are what the cenotes are to Tulum in Mexico. And attract the same large crowd from all over the world as Tulum does.
The Blue Lake, a massive 72m deep crater that sits on top of an ancient, and extinct (hopefully) volcanic landscape is rumoured to be the site of the last volcanic activity anywhere on mainland Australia.
The Blue Lake supplies the town’s drinking water, sitting on a limestone bed that provides visitors with a 3.6km walking track around the lake. Luckily Laura and I visited the lake during the summer months when the lake turns a piercing cobalt blue colour which was very stunning to admire.
There are a number of other sinkholes and caves scattered around the limestone coast in south australia:
- Engelbrecht caves – boardwalk system above the fresh water cave
- Naracoorte caves – 800,000 years old and one of the worlds most important fossil sites
- Cave gardens – original source of water for the early settlers
- Umpherston sinkhole – was once a cave formed through the dissolution of limestone
- Blanche caves – home to the southern bent-winged bat
- Hells hole – 25m deep and the most impressive karst anywhere on the limestone coast
- Princess Margaret Rose Cave – known as the underground wonderland
Mount Gambier accommodation
Your choices are always limited when travelling through slightly smaller towns, and everything ranging from motels, hotels, to air bnb’s and even free camping.
That being said we stayed in neither of these options as our home was on wheels; we did however use our trusted Wikicamps to find our free camp-spot for the night
Port Macdonell isn’t usually high on the list of places to visit on the limestone coast for anybody at all but it deserved a mention in this article because it was so beautiful and gave us incredible early morning views of our first nights stay on the limestone coast in South Australia.
Using our wikicamp guide we scored an incredible nights stay in a car-park just off Finger Point road, not too far from the furthermost southern point in all of mainland South Australia.
Only 5 minutes out of the towns city centre it is very easily accessible.
We did however wake up the following morning to a local fellow and his dog who made us aware, as he pointed to the rocks below that a young man had been taken the weekend before by a Great White Shark as he was abalone diving amongst the shallow reef.
Suffice to say we did not venture back out in the water, despite Laura’s plea’s to go stand-up paddleboarding beforehand.
What to do in Robe
Sitting in the tucked away western corner of the Great Australian Bight is the very popular tourist town of Robe.
Friends of ours advised us to go here and admittedly we weren’t all that impressed on our first visit, not much to do and very little attractions or sights, but I guess we were still looking for something to take our breath away.
It wasn’t until passing through the second time on the way back we realised how quaint and cute this place was.
The Cape Dombey Obelisk sits on the edge of town and a 5 minute drive from the centre of town, a red and white triangular structure that’s not far off falling off the cliff and into the water.
Stroll through the main strip and shop to your heart’s content at the many local businesses and cafes offering outdoor dining.
Yes this was our favourite part of Robe and not because were raging alcoholics either.
The interior designer of this place must have been watching a western cowboy movie when they decorated this place, but it works!
A $12 beer tasting platter with a selection of 4-5 beers locally brewed and kegged here in Robe made for a great exit out of Robe town in the late afternoon.
Robe Brewery doesn’t open until midday, so dont be turned off if you find nobody welcoming you at 11am.
This was our favourite Robe tourist attraction because we could buy any 4 beers to take away so long as they had a ‘stubby’ symbol next to the item on the menu.
If you want to know what to do in robe, or more specifically where to find your next cup of coffee look no further than Mahalia cafe.
Given it’s only around the corner from the Robe brewery, you can freshen yourself up with a warm cup of Joe after your beer session.
Mahalia Cafe address – 2 Flint st. Robe
Chris and Laura Travels acknowledges Aboriginal people as the First Peoples and Nations of the lands and waters we live and work upon and we pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging. We acknowledge and respect the deep spiritual connection and the relationship that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have to Country.