Here are 7 of the best things I would recommend to do in Mount Gambier.

I spent two days in Mount Gambier during my roadtrip from Sydney to South Australia. In that time we were able to visit some of the interesting features that make Mount Gambier so unique. I think it’s a location that will be promoted more as a tourist attraction in the future – at the moment it’s relatively unknown. Check out my blogpost about Mount Gambier volcano and geographical features here.

 1. Waawor / Blue Lake

Blue Lake is one of the mots beautiful lakes in Australia. It’s known as Waawor in the local Aboriginal language. You can either drive or walk around it. There are a few lookouts to stop at. I would recommend picking up a meatpie and other snacks from a local bakery to have a picnic at one of the lookouts. There’s also grassy areas on the outskirts of the lake to enjoy the afternoon, one is called Blue Lake Reserve.

2. Valley Lake

Near Blue Lake is the Mount Gambier Valley Lake. There are a few walks to do in this scenic valley. Also a great place for a picnic! I’ve seen some amazing photos here taken in autumn, when many of the trees planted change colour. There’s also a wildlife park here. It’s a decent place for birdwatching near the water.

Close up photo of Super Fairy Wren
Super Fairy Wren

3. Cave Gardens

In the centre of Mount Gambier you will find Cave Gardens. From the lookout platform you can see down into the dark pits of a 27m cave. It was once used as a water source for the town. During most of the year you won’t be able to see water sitting in the cave, however during and after rain there is a waterfall that streams into the cave. A local I talked to here said it’s quite a thing to see!

4. Pine plantations

This may not be a typical tourism recommendation, but I always find pine forests relaxing and interesting to explore. We stopped a few times on the outskirts of Mount Gambier to check out the state forests. There isn’t a specific location I can share, but keep an eye out on your drive in to Mount Gambier and you’ll find a few. This region, and much of the way from Mount Gambier to Sydney is filled with pine plantations.

5. Centenary Tower

Up above Valley Lake stands the proud Centenary Tower. It’s the highest point in the South Coast South Australia region. Opened in 1904, it’s styled to look like a castle turret. There is a small fee to enter the tower. To get here park at Lions lookout, and do the 400-500m hike.

6. Umpherston Sinkhole

One of a few sinkhole caves in Mount Gambier, this is the most interesting to visit as it’s been cultivated and turned into a lovely green garden. It was formed when a limestone cave collapsed, which left fertile soil behind to create a garden. It’s open day and night.

7. Spend a night in prison

One of the unexpected delights of Mount Gambier is the Old Mount Gambier Gaol. We stayed here a night for the novelty of it all. Check out my blogpost about Old Mount Gambier Gaol here. 

Exercise Yard


To make it easier for you to navigate I’ve compiled the locations listed above in google maps.

Getting around Mount Gambier

You will need a car to get around Mount Gambier easily. There’s easy parking in most places, as it’s a very small city / large town. The only spot I had trouble with was when visiting Cave Gardens, where I was still able to get a park less than 5min walk away. It can get busy at some of the lookouts at Blue Lake I’m told (if there’s a tour bus for example). If you want to check out unique accomdation at Mount Gambier, click here.

Photo of my car, parked near Blue Lake
Parking around Blue Lake

More to visit Near Mount Gambier

There are a few other great places I visited near Mount Gambier. Check the blogposts out below.

My travel Guide to Coorong National Park

My travel blog about the town of Robe, South Australia

My post about the big lobster in Kingston SE

To find out more about Blue Lake and the volcanoes of Mount Gambier check out this blogpost.