Coonawarra Wineries - Naracoorte to Penola is a 100km round trip. Leave Naracoorte mid-morning and head towards Penola and see some of the great wine of Coonawarra's famous strip of rich red soil sitting atop of the limestone beds, which has produced some of the finest drops of wines. With a reputation of great quality and unique flavour, Cabernet Sauvignon has become well known in the regions Coonawarra drop, which has won more Jimmy Watson trophies for Australia's best one year-old red wine than any other wine region. This measures roughly 20km long and 2km wide with Riddoch Hwy running through the centre. Making it a ideal day trip. Why not stop at Penola for a leisurely lunch at the pub or one of the cafes. There are roughly 25 cellar doors to visit, which include vineyards like Wynns, Di Giorgio, Penly estate, and Zema estate, just to name a few.
Penola - Visit the Information Centre on arrival and then explore Penola and the many unique shops and cafe's. Why not adventure where Australia's first Saint Mary of the Cross MacKillop and Father Julian Tenison Woods centre. With the many mementos and the schoolhouse rooms where Saint Mary taught her children to follow in her footsteps. Make sure you pop into the fabulous shop 'Never Too Old' on the main street with it antiques and collectables, you never know what you might find there.
Mount Gambier - which is built on the slopes of a dormant volcano and has many things to explore. Firstly, this small city has two State Heritage areas; the Cave Gardens Reserve and the Volcanic Complex, comprising of the Blue Lake, Valley Lake, Brownes Lake and the Leg of Mutton Lake. The Blue lake is the main water supply, which is a dormant volcano and is well known for its seasonal colour change. From steel grey in winter to a beautiful turquoise in the summer and every shade in between. With colours of purple, dark green and the most fabulous deep blue. Where you can drive or walk around with lookouts all around the rim of the lake. Maybe do a tour to the water level, via the pumping station. The Valley Lake and its surrounds are popular all year round with its large areas for barbecues and playground with water sports a great area for the visitors and locals too. Visit the Umpherston Sinkhole, which is open all day and night and is quiet spectacular and where a lot of weddings are held, and the Engelbrcht Cave where divers can explore beneath the city streets. Just behind the main street/corner is the Cave Gardens with just a short walk down to the suspended viewing platform for an amazing view. There are also many, many shops and plaza's and eateries to visit.
Mount Gambier to Port MacDonnell - which is roughly 1.5 hours from Naracoorte via Mount Gambier. Port MacDonnell, which is Australia's most southern rock lobster capital is the hub of the blue water fishing paradise and is steeped in maritime history. Port MacDonnell is one of the largest rock lobster fleets in the southern hemisphere. This is where keen fisherman go where we have seen first hand some of the best tuna and lobsters are caught in its chilly waters. Mmm, and do they taste yummy! The locals call Port MacDonnell 'The Bay', and is a favourite destination not only for fisherman, but also for surfers, swimmers and divers. Make sure you drive up to the cliff's and see some of the fantastic views.
Costal Drive from Beachport to Kingston via Penola and Millicent - Head from Naracoorte to Penola and take the road to Beachport for a lovely day at the beach. Beachport is a unspoilt seaside villiage with so much beauty. Sometimes you can see the southern right whales, which is common for this area. Have a swim or just take a leisurely walk around some of the lovely shops and cafes that Beachport has on offer. Then head towards Kingston S.E. Once you arrive at Kingston make sure you visit "Larry" the Big Lobster, take a photo or two. Then if you are game, Kingston is well known for driving on the beaches and feel the sea breeze in your hair. Take a swim, sunbake or maybe spot sea lion seals or even a dolphin. You can also climb to the top of the Cape Jaffa Lighthouse for spectacular ocean views. If you have time maybe do some surf fishing of the beach. Kingston has a large surf fishing competition, which is held every year in January or early February and can have hundreds of entrants. Then head on back to Naracoorte.
Padthaway to Bordertown - Take the Riddoch Hwy heading towards Adelaide and maybe visit some of the wineries in this area. Seppelts grew the first grapes in this distict in 1964 and has flourished to thousands of hectares of vines, vineyards like Penfolds and Padthaway wines are also in this area. Padthaway is also well known for its farming area's due to the rich terra rossa soil. Then take a leisurely drive to Bordertown where former Prime Minister Bob Hawke was born. Bordertown is also well known for Australia's only colony of the White Kangaroos. This is also where the Claytons farm is. The faithfully-restored farm has the largest thatched roof woolshed in the Southern Hemisphere and showcases the pioneer life of the original Wiese settle family. This homestead was built in 1885, and is a wonderful place to visit. You may want to visit the Bob Hawke Gallery, or even drop a line into the Recreation Lake and catch your supper.
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