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The Limestone Lap An Adelaide to Mount Gambier Road Trip

The Limestone Lap: An Adelaide to Mount Gambier Road Trip

A journey from Adelaide to Mount Gambier promises an eclectic mix of experiences across South Australia’s diverse landscapes.

You can stop by Hahndorf, a charming town steeped in German heritage, swim in the crystal-clear waters of Robe, and even swing by the haunted Old Tailem Town for a spine-tingling ghost tour.

The road to this scenic paradise can be quite the journey but fret not because we’re here to jazz things up and make your trip a total blast. We’ll spill the deets on where to crash, chill, and experience the best activities along the way!

Things to Know

Distance From the Adelaide CBD: Around 620 kilometers

Best Time to Visit

Mount Gambier from November to April

The best time to visit Mount Gambier is between November and April when the weather is warm and the Blue Lake transitions from a steel grey hue to a mesmerizing blue. During this period, rainfall is also minimal.

Where to Stay

Address: 98 Main Street, Hahndorf, SA 5245

Contact Details: +61 8 8388 7888

Pricing: $$


The Hahndorf Old Mill Hotel is a beautiful heritage-listed building. It brims with an old-world charm while offering modern comforts, making it a perfect place to crash before continuing with the trip.

Upstairs, there are cozy spots for solo travelers or pairs, providing comfortable hotel Spa Rooms furnished with a queen-sized bed and a delightful corner for relaxation.

For larger groups, the Family Chalet is a gem. Able to accommodate up to four people, it boasts a mix of a queen bed and two singles, along with a convenient kitchenette.

Address: 17 Fourth Ave, Naracoorte, SA 5271

Contact Details: +61 8 8743 4374

Pricing: $$


The Avenue Inn is the spot for a chill stay, as it’s in a leafy locale far from the racket of highways and crowds.

They have the necessities down for a cozy stay, offering a Standard Queen Room decked out with handy amenities like a toaster, minibar, and air conditioning.

For traveling groups, the 2 Bedroom Apartment – Family setup is your best option. It has a queen-sized bed, a bunk bed combo, a whole kitchen setup, a lounge boasting a 58″ Smart TV, and a dining table to gather around for group feasts.

Address: 2 Commercial St W, Mount Gambier, SA 5290

Contact Details: (08) 8726 7000

Pricing: $$


Since its establishment in 1862, the Mount Gambier Hotel has revamped its decor and amenities game, rocking a fusion of historical glamour with a splash of trendy modern design and amenities.

As for the rooms, the Standard Queen Room is the sweet spot, with a spacious crib equipped with a work desk, a queen-sized bed, a 55-inch flat-screen smart TV, and a snack bar full of bites and refreshments.

Guests rolling with their crew or fam should opt for the Family Suite, an accommodation game changer with the same amenities but with 2 additional rooms and more luxe bathrooms.

Where to Eat

Address: 72 Mount Barker Rd, Hahndorf, SA 5245

Contact Details: (08) 8388 7160

Pricing: $$


When in Hahndorf, the German Inn is your best bet for homemade German delicacies. They’ve been around since 1829, so you know the flavors they whip up are top-notch.

A few must-taste grubs here is the farm-fresh pork from Hahndorf Hill, seasoned to perfection with local spices for that extra oomph. Freshly baked pretzels slathered in butter and different German sausages are also fan-faves.

For the sips, their latte and cappuccino are iconic, but if you visited for an authentic German feast, going with their imported German brews, like Schöfferhofer and Erdinger, is a no-brainer.

Address: 5 Memorial Dr, Coonawarra, SA 5263

Pricing: $$


Otellia should top every foodie’s list, as it’s renowned for its fine wine and farm-fresh food that’s also mouthwatering.

They have tartlets with whipped ricotta, asparagus, and rhubarb for starters. For something fancier, you can go with their wood-roasted scallops paired with their homemade ponzu sauce and toasted laver.

In terms of mains, their Pizza No. 2 brings the heat with a combo of tomato, mozzarella, Shephard’s Lane ham, mushrooms, artichokes, and olives. This ‘za is best eaten with a glass of 2023 Riesling from Mount Gambier, a smoky and citrusy blend.

Address: 2 Victoria St, Robe, SA 5276

Contact Details: (08) 8768 1954

Pricing: $$


When it comes to seafood, the posh and laid-back Sails at Robe is almost untouchable.

The crowd-fave is their Southern Rock lobster done up in half portions, grilled to perfection with your choice of garlic butter, Thermidor, or au naturel with a tangy cocktail sauce.

If you want an all-out seafood fiesta, pick their seafood platter. The platter is packed with king prawns, oysters, ocean trout fillet, grilled and battered fish, lobster pate, and even more fresh oceanic treats.

Address: 10 White St, Robe, SA 5276

Contact Details: 0415 993 693

Pricing: $$


Robe Town Brewery crafts an extensive range of lip-smacking brews made with low-tech methods. What sets them apart is they’re the only wood-fired brewery in Australia!

The best-seller is their classic Robe Town Pale Ale, a soft and breezy choice with gentle hoppy aromas and a hint of malt flavor—perfect for that refreshing sip and Robe’s seafood.

And then there’s the Bonnie Owl, a session pale ale bursting with fruity passion fruit scents and an unexpectedly fuller taste, all thanks to its secret and unique yeast strain.

We suggest swinging by on Fridays when the brewery buzzes up with live music and tempting burgers!

What to Do

  • Beerenberg Farm: 2106 Mount Barker Rd, Hahndorf, SA 5245
  • Wolf Blass Gallery Museum: 62 Main Street, 62 Mount Barker Rd, Hahndorf, SA 5245
  • Hahndorf Farm Barn: 2282 Mount Barker Rd, Hahndorf, SA 5245


Hahndorf is a top-tier pit stop for travelers heading to Mount Gambier. Its German heritage shops and restos are too remarkable to pass, and the town’s rustic atmosphere also adds to its appeal.

One of the spots you must visit here is the Beerenberg Farm, which lets you stroll through their fields, pluck juicy red strawberries straight from the vine, and savor the sweet taste of your hand-picked fruit.

If wine is more of your thing, Wolf Blass Gallery Museum is where the magic happens. Here, you can take your knowledge up a notch with masterclasses, workshops, or guided tours focusing on the process of producing a perfect bottle of vino.

For animal lovers and farm enthusiasts, Hahndorf Farm Barn is your spot. The farmers here will let you play with their donkeys, ostriches, cows, and deer, while those who want to get hands-on can milk and feed some of the critters, including a few reptiles!

  • Delta Force Paintball: Lot 264 Ferries McDonald Rd, Monarto South, SA 5254
  • Monarto Safari Park: 63 Monarto Rd, Monarto, SA 5254


The next stop, Monarto, has the ultimate combo for thrill-seekers and animal lovers alike.

Delta Force Paintball is bringing the heat with movie-worthy game zones featuring movie-themed battlegrounds (Wild West, Tomb Raider, and more) with missiles and even an arena with a massive Black Hawk chopper.

Travelers who prefer a wilder activity should pop by Monarto Safari Park, a 1,500-hectare open-range zoo with an epic African adventure that’ll take you on a ride through the uncharted beauty of Etosha. 

What you’ll see on this trip are hippos, herds of antelope, scimitar-horned oryx, giraffes, and southern white rhinos roaming freely across vast stretches of Etosha’s arid lands.

From adelaide_haunted_horizons

Address: Old Tailem Town Pioneer Village, Princes Highway, Tailem Bend, SA 5260

Contact Details: (08) 8572 3838

Pricing: $$


The country’s largest pioneer village, Old Tailem Town, draws in visitors from across the globe who seek ghostly encounters led by paranormal experts from Adelaide’s Haunted Horizons.

Their 2-hour ghost tour takes you through spine-tingling spots and encounters: shadowy figures, eerie touches and whispers in an old church, and dilapidated buildings that cast a gloomy and dooming feeling over visitors.

For the true thrill-seekers, the 4-hour ghost tour and hunt is where the real spooky action kicks in. This tour explores the town’s scariest buildings after dark, beginning with chilling ghost stories and exclusive spine-chilling ghost footage!

Address: Naracoorte, SA 5271

Pricing: $$


Naracoorte is your ultimate ticket to the ancient world, as the town has Naracoorte Caves, an 800,000-year-old World Heritage wonder that provides different types of escapades.

If you have kiddos, Stick-Tomato Cave is the top pick. The cave is perfect for a breezy self-guided stroll with well-lit chambers that even the tiny tots can enjoy.

Those who are huge fossil fans should beeline to the Victoria Fossil Cave. This UNESCO-recognized site boasts a treasure trove of fossils.

You’ll see these fossils by completing a 1-hour scenic stroll through stunning speleothem chambers while your guide dishes out fascinating facts about bone accumulations, digging methods, and ongoing research.

  • Brand’s Laira: 14860 Riddoch Hwy, Coonawarra, SA 5263
  • DiGiorgio Family Wines: Riddoch Hwy, Coonawarra, SA 5263
  • Ottelia: 5 Memorial Dr, Coonawarra, SA 5263
  • Redman Wines: 14830 Riddoch Hwy, Coonawarra, SA 5263
  • Wynns Coonawarra Estate: 77 Memorial Dr, Coonawarra, SA 5263
  • Zema Estate: 14944 Riddoch Hwy, Coonawarra, SA 5263


The Coonawarra Wineries Walking Trail is a wine connoisseur’s dream, stretching 5 kilometers and showcasing six exceptional wineries.

One of the stops is Brand’s Laira, an iconic winery nestled amidst the famed ‘terra rossa’ strip of Coonawarra with vines that date back to 1893. The trail also has DiGiorgio Family Wines, famous for premium wines, local cheese, and olive oil.

In addition, the trail has Ottelia, known for creative blends, Redman Wines, which have been producing top-quality reds for over 110 years, Wynns Coonawarra Estate, the biggest in Coonawarra, and Zema Estate, renowned for their reds and pruned vines.

  • Cape Jaffa Lighthouse: 32 Marine Parade, Kingston SE, SA 5275
  • The Big Lobster: Princes Hwy, Kingston SE, SA 5275


Kingston has a plethora of tourist sites, but two are absolute standouts.

First is the historic 150-year-old Cape Jaffa Lighthouse, a structure reaching 41 meters high that’s now transformed into a museum. It still has the iconic Chance Brothers lanterns that can cast their glow up to 40 kilometers.

Next is The Big Lobster, locally referred to as ‘Larry.’Adventurers who love taking snaps of quirky South Australian structures will have a blast with this gigantic sculpture standing tall at 17 meters.

From Millicent Museum

  • Lake McIntyre: Saleyards Rd, Millicent, SA 5280
  • Millicent Museum: 1 Mount Gambier Rd, Millicent, SA 5280


As you draw closer to Mount Gambier, Lake McIntyre will provide you with a tranquil spot to blow the travel exhaustion away while also doubling as a birdwatching site.

The lake has native trees, observation platforms, a boardwalk, a picturesque bridge, comfy seats, and over 50 species of water birds. You also don’t have to spend a single dime as access to the area is completely free.

After kicking back by the lake, history buffs can step back in time at the famed Millicent Museum, housed in a historic 1873 primary school building.

Inside, you’ll find a room with shipwreck memorabilia, an exhibit of restored buggies and other machinery, and an impressive collection of old horse-drawn carriages.

  • The Beachport Jetty: Beach Rd, Beachport, SA 5280
  • Pool of Siloam: McCourt Road, Beachport, SA 5280
  • The Lobster Pot: 3 Beach Rd, Beachport, SA 5280


Before you head to Mount Gambier, stopping by Beachport is highly suggested.

In this coastal town, you can head to the jetty and hook a variety of salmon, whiting, and garfish. Bring bait like cockles, cray tails, and shrimp for a higher chance of reeling free dinner or lunch.

Once you’re tired of fishing, the Pool of Siloam, a salt lake seven times saltier than the sea, is perfect for a dip. The lake’s elevated salt levels result in highly buoyant water, allowing for minimal exertion on your part!

And lastly, head to The Lobster Pot to score Beachport’s top seafood goodie. This store’s top-seller is their Southern Rock lobster, freshly caught daily, and can be bought live, cooked, or snap-frozen!

  • Umpherston Sinkhole: Jubilee Hwy E, Mount Gambier, SA 5290
  • Little Blue Lake/Warwar: John Watson Drive, Mount Gambier, SA 5290 


Ah, you’ve finally reached Mount Gambier—the jaw-dropping spot where natural wonders culminate.

You should start your journey at Umpherston Sinkhole/Balumbul, a magical garden born from a collapsed cave. Admire it from above, then wander down to see hanging vines and flora that’ll make you feel like you’ve stepped into a fairytale.

The next stop is The Blue Lake/Warwar, a majestic body of water in a volcanic crater. This magical lake changes hues like a living canvas—in November, its light blue colors transform into a breathtaking and deep shade of turquoise.

You can stroll around the 3.6-kilometer track encircling the lake, and don’t miss the underpass between the Blue Lake/Warwar and the Leg of Mutton Lake/Yatton Loo—it offers a mind-blowing spectacle.

What to Expect From Mount Gambier Climate

What to Expect From Mount Gambier Climate
  • Spring: Mild and transitioning, with temperatures around 11°C to 19°C (52°F to 66°F) from September to November. Nature starts blooming, showcasing vibrant colors.
  • Summer: The summer months from December to February bring comfortable temperatures averaging around 24°C (75°F) with occasional peaks around 33°C (91°F). Expect pleasant weather and sunshine.
  • Autumn: Gradual cooling from March to May, with temperatures ranging from 14°C to 21°C (57°F to 70°F). Beautiful foliage colors emerge.
  • Winter: Cold, wet, and windy from June to August, with temperatures averaging between 7°C to 13°C (44°F to 55°F). Rainfall and chilly winds dominate.
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