Mount Gambier is mostly known for Blue lake as well as other geographical anomalies, which I’ll talk about in this blogpost.

Mount Gambier is Australia’s most geographically unique city, but not many people know about it. Mount Gambier lies on top of a dormant volcano. I know – I didn’t believe it either at first. A volcano? In Australia!? It turns out that the dormant volcano is only one of the features that makes Mt Gambier interesting. It’s geographically one of the most unique locations in Australia. It’s relatively isolated on the South Australia coast, about 450km south east of Adelaide. It’s only about 17km away from the Victorian border. With a population of just under 30,000, I think of it as a large town, however it is classified as South Australia’s second most populated city. To find out about the best things to do in Mount Gambier, check out my blogpost here.

Satellite Imagery of Mt Gambier
Mount Gambier from Above

Blue Lake / Waawor

It’s safe to say that without blue lake, Mt Gambier as a city wouldn’t exist. It’s the main source of water and has an integral role in Aboriginal Dreamtime and European settlement. Every November it goes from a dull blue to an electric blue, almost overnight. There are a few theories on why it does this, but it’s most likely to do with temperature changes on the surface of the lake. The photos in this blogpost were taken in the middle of summer, so it’s what you can expect from November through to February. You can’t swim in the lake but you can either hike or drive around it to visit the various lookouts. Make sure to check out the informational signs along the way. There’s a 45min Aquifier Tour where you get to see Blue Lake up close at the extraction point.

Volcanoes! In Australia?

I didn’t know that there were any volcanoes in Australia. We were taught in school that the the country is too far away from tectonic plates to have much volcanic or seismic activity at all. There are four lakes including blue lake that make up the Mount Gambier volcanic ‘maar complex’. It’s said that an eruption happened about 5000-6000 years ago, and that it’s a dormant volcano rather than extinct. That means an eruption is still possible in the future, however it’s very unlikely.

Caves in Mount Gambier

There are a few caves to visit around Mount Gambier, such as Tantanoola Caves, Engelbrecht Cave, Princess Margaret Rose Caves. There are some opportunities to go scuba diving into the flooded caves. There is an extensive network of underground water reservoirs and natural tunnels.

To find out about the best things to do in Mount Gambier, check out my blogpost here.

If you want to book accommodation at Mount Gambier Gaol, click here.

Other places to visit near Mount Gambier

Pink Lake near Meningie and Ashville

My travel Guide to Coorong National Park

My post about the big lobster in Kingston SE

My blogpost about the best things to do in Mount Gambier.