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Before European settlement, the Boandik Aboriginal people, the original inhabitants of the area called it ereng balam or egree belum meaning Home of the Eagle Hawk. Mount Gambier's crater was sighted in 1800 by Lieutenant James Grant from the survey brig, HMS Lady Nelson, and named for Lord James Gambier, Admiral of the Fleet. In 1839 the Henty brothers, the first non-indigenous people to discover the Blue Lake, brought herds of cattle to farm and graze the abundant land. They met resistance from the Buandig people and after five years, having never officially laid claim to the land, were forced to leave when the lands were granted to Evelyn Sturt, the brother of the explorer Charles Sturt.
On 9 December 1954, Mount Gambier was officially declared a city on the assent of the Governor of South Australia and is the second largest city in the State.
Aquifer Tours

Aquifer Tours

Offer guided tours of Mount Gambier’s Blue Lake and Pumping Station.
The tours which last for approximately 45 minutes takes visitors in a glass lift down the original well shaft that water was once extracted, through a tunnel to enable a very close view of the Lake. Theories both scientific and folklore about the colour change of the lake will also be put forward. We describe how the city of Mount Gambier is supplied with crystal clear water from the Blue Lake that is located within an extinct volcanic crater.
Snacks, refreshments and locally hand crafted souvenirs are available at the Tours reception facility.
John Watson Drive, Mount Gambier
Opening times
January 9am to 5pm (Thursday twilight tours at 7pm).
February to May 9am to 2pm (Easter 9am to 5pm).
June to August 9am to 12pm.
September to October 9am to 2pm.
November to December 9am to 5pm (Thursday twilight tours at 7pm).
Closed Xmas day. Contact The Lady Nelson Visitor and Discovery Centre for further information 08 8723 1199

Blue Lake

The extinct volcano which the town of Mt Gambier was named after contains the Blue Lake. For most of the year the water is a steely blue colour but come November, within a day or two it changes to a vibrant deep blue colour and remains like this for around 3 months when it will once again gradually change back to its steely blue. There is a 3.6Km road and walking trail around the rim of the lake with many viewing points.
John Watson Drive, Mount Gambier
Blue Lake
Blu Lake Rotary Lookout

Blue Lake Rotary Lookout

The Lookout has excellent panoramic views of the Blue Lake and Pumping Station, including Mount Schank and the southern coastline of the district. Tours of Pumping Station to see the Blue Lake at close proximity are available most day.
John Watson Drive, Mount Gambier

Cave Gardens

In the centre of the city is a sinkhole that was the original source of water for the early settlers. You can walk down into the cave and also walk out onto suspended platforms for a breathtaking view into the cave.
Watson Terrace, Mount Gambier

Cave Gardens
Centenary Tower

Centenary Tower

Walk up the tower which is 190 metres above sea level for impressive views of the lakes, city and the surrounding countryside. The foundation stone for the tower was laid on 3rd  December 1900, to commemorate the 100 years since Mount Gambier was sighted and named by Lieutenant James Grant aboard HMS Lady Nelson. If the flag is flying, the tower is open.
Off Bay Road, Mount Gambier

Engelbrecht Cave

Thanks to the Lions Club of Mount Gambier who spent around $10,000 over a three year period to cleanup 100 years of rubbish and landscape the cave, it is now one of the Limestone Coasts most interesting Cave sites. There is a viewing platform and most of the cave is now accessible to Divers. In the visitors hut are maps of the survey work done by the Cave Divers Association and also a Video of the divers in the western Cave network.
Jubilee Highway West, Mount Gambier
Engelbrecht Cave
Mt Gambier Crater Lakes

Mount Gambier Crater Lakes

Brownes Lake, Valley Lake, Leg of Mutton Lake and the world famous Blue Lake are all included in this area.
All the lakes water levels are lower due to the lack of rainfall during the last 20 odd years. Both Leg of Mutton and Browne's Lake are dry, as they were back in the early 1800s. The Valley Lake with its wildlife park and boardwalk where you can view indigenous species of flora and fauna, adventure playground, 16 free gas barbecues, well kept grassed picnic grounds and shelters, provides great facilities for all. There are many short walks in this stunning area with numerous photographic opportunities.
Bay Road, Mount Gambier

Piccaninnie Ponds Conservation Park

Piccaninnie Ponds is a popular cave diving and snorkelling area. Permits are required before you dive and are available at the Department for Environment and Heritage office at Mount Gambier on 08 8735 1054. Visibility can be up to 40 metres, providing you stunning underwater views.
Camping prices: $5.00 per vehicle, per night (up to five persons per site).
Sinkhole diving prices: $55.00 annual permit and $25.00 single dive.
Snorkelling prices:
Adult $32.00 annual permit, $7.50 single dive.
Child $19.00 annual permit, $4.50 single dive.
Pensioner/Student $25.50 annual permit, $6.00 single dive.
27 kilometres south-east of Mt Gambier off Nelson Road.
Piccaninnie Ponds Conservation Park
The Lady Nelson

The Lady Nelson

The centre has been built around a full scale replica of the HMS Lady Nelson, from which Lieutenant James Grant sighted and named Mount Gambier in the year 1800.
Free information packs provide detailed information on the local area. There is a Geology room with an interactive model of a volcano. Also here you can watch a video showing divers exploring the depths of the Blue Lake. On the Cave walk, step onto the glass floor to see fossils and kangaroo bones.
Enter HMS Lady Nelson to hear Lieutenant Grant tell about his discovery in 1800 of the area. Also learn about what life was like way back then on his ship.
Jubilee Highway East, Mount Gambier Ph. 08 8724 9750 or Toll free 1800 087 187

The Old Courthouse

The Old Courthouse today, is the venue for Mock Trials by Adult groups and schools with original courtroom furniture, but was once the centre of law enforcement for the region. It was originally opened in 1865 and remained in use until 1975.
42A Bay Road, Mount Gambier. Ph. 08 8725 5284
The Old Courthouse
Umpherston Sinkhole

Umpherston Sinkhole

Umpherston Sinkhole is more widely know as The Sunken Garden. The sinkhole was formed when the top of the chamber supporting topsoil collapsed. The topsoil which is now on the sinkhole’s floor is a perfect environment for the sunken garden.
It is open at all times and each evening the area comes alive with possums as they venture into the floodlit gardens to feed.
Jubilee Highway East, Mount Gambier. Ph. 08 8724 9750 or Toll free 1800 087 187

Blue Lake Golf Links

Mount Gambier's only public, licensed golf club. The course is an 18 hole par 70 with a total length of 5638 metres. It has an Australian course rating of 68. The golf course is set on the side of the Mount Gambier Crater Lakes.
Grant Avenue, Mount Gambier, South Australia  Ph. 08 8725 6198
GPS -37.84712S, 140.76696E
Blu Lake Golf Club
Mt Gambier Golf Club

Mount Gambier Golf Club

Mount Gambier Golf Course is an 18 hole par 72, with a total length of 6,014 metres and has an Australian Course Rating of 71. It is located five kilometres from the centre of the city on Attamurra Road.
Attamurra Road, Mount Gambier. Ph. 08 8725 7739
GPS -37.81775S, 140.81940E

Barreta Estate

Clake Road, O.B. Flat. Ph 08 8726 8053

Haig Vineyards

Square Mile Road, Mt Gambier. Ph. 08 8725 5414
Local Wineries

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