It’s no lemon. Your cheat sheet to SA’s Limestone Coast

The Limestone Coast teems with incredible natural wonders.

How does this region not earn more attention??

Put simply, this glittering patch of southeast SA hoards a treasure chest stuffed with incredible natural wonders.

And that’s just the start, as you’ll soon discover. It’s time to reveal all…

Naracoorte Caves National Park is among the highlights of this attraction-rich region.

Tell me more about these natural gems…

We’ll start with incredible Blue Lake in Mt Gambier. Planted within an extinct volcanic crater, the lake mysteriously varies colour depending on the time of year. It’s an essential photo op and the perfect setting for a scenic walk.

Also in Mt Gambier is Umpherston Sinkhole, a striking feature that once was a limestone cave before it collapsed. Now it’s a picturesque sunken garden, so keep that camera handy for more snaps.

Engelbrecht Cave is worthy of a stop while in ‘the Mount’, but the biggest underground attraction in this region is Naracoorte Caves in Naracoorte. This is SA’s only World Heritage wonder, and it’s full of fossils and stunning stalactites and stalagmites.

For more adventures below the surface, head to Tantanoola Caves near Millicent. Its story of discovery is captivating.

The Pool of Siloam at Beachport also commands attention. This salt lake is suited to swimming, and isn’t photo shy.

In a previous life, Umpherston Sinkhole was a limestone cave before it crashed like a stock market.

What else will give the camera a workout?

In the northwest part of the region is the popular seaside town of Robe, home to the dramatic cliffs of Cape Dombey. These are ideal for framing prized pics, particularly from designated lookouts. Make sure to include the landmark obelisk in some of those shots.

Port MacDonnell is SA’s southernmost town, and off its coast is a series of funky formations, including Rhino Rock and Frog Rock.

Or if you like your travel pics to be dripping with cheese, metaphorically speaking, check out the Big Lobster in neighbouring Kingston SE.

Head to Cape Dombey at Robe and uncover postcard-worthy views.

Any national parks worth exploring?

Mother Nature was in a cheery mood when it came to crafting Coorong National Park, accessed from Kingston SE. This long, thin strip of turf is flanked by water on both sides and features epic sand dunes, a wetland of international significance, and myriad bird life. It’s rich with Aboriginal culture, too.

Also surrounded by water is Canunda National Park near Millicent. Explore a rugged coastline revealing towering limestone cliffs and alluring beaches that draw surfers.

Conservation parks abound in the region, so nature lovers should check out the National Park South Australia website for more info.

Sand dunes dominate the long, thin strip that is Coorong National Park.

You just mentioned beaches. Are there any others worth visiting?

Robe is the place to go. It has a series of beaches to suit a wide assortment of water-based fun, including swimming, surfing, and kayaking. Crowds flock to Town Beach, Long Beach attracts surfers, and West Beach suits more experienced board riders.

A half-hour drive south of Robe is the historical town of Beachport. It’s home to Surf Beach, which lives up to its name.

Among other options, Port MacDonnell has a cluster of beaches that welcome swimming, surfing, diving, and more.

Long Beach in Robe is a sparkling stretch of sand.

I hear there are some great wineries in these parts?

You heard correctly. The biggest name is Coonawarra, just minutes from Penola. Its terra rossa soil is ideal for producing distinctive, rich reds – led by cabernet sauvignon and shiraz – and dozens of wineries are clustered here for effortless cellar-door hopping.

Further north and easily accessible from Naracoorte is Padthaway where shiraz and chardonnay lead the way. And emerging from the shadows are the wine regions of Robe, Mt Benson, Wrattonbully, and even Mt Gambier.

The answer is in the soil: Coonawarra reds are distinctive, and tasty.

What’s the region’s signature dish?

With so much coastline, it shouldn’t surprise that the answer is ‘seafood’. To be more specific, southern rock lobster is a specialty, generally from October to May.

The towns of Port MacDonnell, Beachport, Robe, and Kingston SE are prime spots to savour delicious seafood.

In Beachport you can even try to catch your own dinner along the renowned Beachport Jetty. Its waters attract a wide range of fish species, including salmon and whiting.

Or for a different dining experience, head to the Tantanoola Tiger Hotel. Here, you can get your mitts on quality pub grub and regale in the cracking yarn about the legendary ‘tiger’ that is responsible for the pub’s name.

Southern rock lobster is a specialty of the region.

Rain, rain won’t go away; could you recommend somewhere to play?

Whether it’s too wet, windy, or hot – or just a damn fine day – there is ample history and culture to immerse yourself in. Try some of these attractions:

Lady Nelson Visitor Centre, Mt Gambier: Comprehensively explores various historical themes through a wealth of engaging displays.

Riddoch Art Gallery, Mt Gambier: The state’s largest regional gallery. Keen focus on local and 20th Century Australian art.

Mary MacKillop Penola Centre, Penola: Enjoy a saintly experience loaded with inspiration.

Yallum Park, Penola: Step back in time at this grand, well-preserved Victorian homestead.

Sheep’s Back Museum, Naracoorte: An excellent journey detailing the history of the Australian wool industry.

Millicent National Trust Museum: More interesting local heritage to lap up.

Port MacDonnell & District Maritime Museum: Coverage of the area’s shipwrecks is particularly fascinating.

Dingley Dell Cottage, Port MacDonnell: A great glimpse at the life of famous poet and politician Adam Lindsay Gordon.

When the saints go marching in: Mary MacKillop Penola Centre in Penola is among the Limestone Coast's leading attractions.

What is there to do with the kids?

Among top picks is the Valley Lake area in Mt Gambier. It’s home to a free wildlife conservation park with kangaroos and koalas, an adventure playground, and the Centenary Tower where sparkling views are on offer from up high. Throw in free barbecues, and you have the perfect picnic spot.

In warmer months, Millicent Swimming Lake is super inviting for a refreshing dip.

What about something a bit different?

Admire the incredibly detailed sculptures within Father Woods Park, near Penola. Carved from trees, these creations are well worth checking out and are dedicated to the pioneering efforts of a former resident priest.

The impressive carvings at Father Woods Park near Penola deserve a look.

Where’s the best place to stay?

With us! BIG4 parks are planted in prime Limestone Coast locations. Take a peek below.

Isn’t it time you headed to the coast? Book your BIG4 break now.

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