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Volcanic Voyage and Lakeside Fun: A Guide to Mount Gambier

Volcanic Voyage and Lakeside Fun: A Guide to Mount Gambier

Mount Gambier is where nature’s artistry meets vibrant city life. 

Nestled amid the picture-perfect landscapes of South Australia, this unspoiled treasure of a city will captivate you with its breathtaking sights, adrenaline-pumping adventures, and warm-hearted locals.

If the travel bug has bitten you, and you’re now yearning for an adventure to this stunning paradise, our travel guide below might help you!

Things to Know

Currency: Australian Dollars (Check the current exchange rate)
Language: English
Calling Code: +61

How to Get Around in Mount Gambier

Car Rental: Embarking on a Mount Gambier adventure becomes a breeze when you opt for the convenience and flexibility of renting a car. With a range of reputable car rental companies at your service, you’ll be free to explore the city’s hidden gems and surrounding attractions at your chosen pace. 

Taxis: Taxis are available in Mount Gambier, and you can easily find them at designated taxi ranks or by calling a local taxi service. This mode of transportation is a good option for short trips within the city or when you prefer not to drive.

Public Bus: Mount Gambier’s bus network covers different city areas and can be an affordable option for getting around. Timetables and route information can be obtained from the local bus services or the Mount Gambier Visitor Center.

Bicycle: Mount Gambier is a bike-friendly city with cycling paths and routes. You can bring your bicycle, but if you want a more convenient trip, simply rent one in the various bike-renting shops scattered across the city.

Best Time to Go

For an ideal Mount Gambier getaway, plan your visit during spring (Sep to Nov) and autumn (Mar to May). These delightful periods offer favorable, dry, but not scorching hot weather perfect for outdoor trips.

Where to Stay in Mount Gambier

Wendy’s Retreat

Website: https://wendysretreat.traveleto.com/
Address: 3 Callahan Pl, Mount Gambier SA 5290
Phone: 0413 137 054
Book Here

The seasonal outdoor pool of Wendy’s Retreat is what makes this spot special for us. Plus, the well-equipped rooms here fuse the distinct style of vintage furniture and trendy wall colors—the typical features of a homelike lodging.

The windows are large too, allowing mellow sunshine to enter. If you’re in the mood to break a sweat, Wendy’s Retreat’s fitness center has up-to-date gym equipment.

The Mount Gambier Hotel

Website: https://www.mountgambierhotel.com.au/
Address: 2 Commercial St W, Mount Gambier SA 5290
Phone: (08) 8726 7000
Book Here

The Mount Gambier Hotel is old but gold. Constructed in 1862, this proven and trusted accommodation is one of Mount Gambier’s best.

The hotel showcases elements of Victorian architecture, which was popular during the 19th century. Its rooms are characterized by ornate details, decorative facades, and a sense of grandeur. 

The Commodore

The Commodore

Website: https://www.thecommodoremtg.com.au/
Address: Cnr Jubilee Highway and Penola Rd, Mount Gambier SA 5290
Phone: (08) 8724 6400
Book Here

The Commodore’s Executive Spa Suites were the decisive factor for us. Marketed as luxurious accommodations, these suites exude an ambiance of romance and intimacy that appeals to privacy-seeking travelers.

Other rooms are worth mentioning too. Their sleek lines, clean forms, and focus on functionality and minimalism give them a soothing and chic appeal.

Where to Eat in Mount Gambier

Wild Ginger Thai

Address: 17 Commercial St W, Mount Gambier SA 5290
Phone: (08) 8723 6264
Pricing: $$

The colors and flavors of Thailand are on full display at the electric Wild Ginger Thai. Their food bursts with the combined tang, zest, and spiciness of Asian ingredients.

If you want a safer and classic choice, this resto’s Pad Thai and Mee Goreng are the way to go. If you want to try our route, a riskier gastronomical adventure, have a taste of their sleeper hits: Thai Larp Salad, Drunken Noodles, and fried ice cream!

Bahn Kubo Restaurant

Bahn Kubo Restaurant

Address: 39 Commercial St W, Mount Gambier SA 5290
Phone: (08) 8725 3580
Pricing: $$

Bahn Kubo’s Asian cuisine comes from different countries with distinctive culinary styles. This means you’ll have more options in this funky restaurant. 

Our favorite here is their Tom Yun Fried Rice topped with king prawns. Its balance of savory notes and salty, meaty cuts make it a fulfilling meal best paired with peach iced tea. 

The aromatic Panang Beef Curry is also a terrific choice. Just note that it’s very spicy.

Cafe Melzar

Address: 5/7 Englebrecht Ln, Mount Gambier SA 5290
Phone: (08) 8723 1760
Pricing: $$

Our team’s sweet tooths and coffee enthusiasts had a great time in this quaint cafe. Perched on the sunny and tranquil side of Mount Gambier, Cafe Melzar offers a lot of things, but our favorite has to be the fantastic breakfast

Their Banoffee Delight and buttermilk pancakes can make your early-day mood lighten up. Follow every bite with their aromatic and richly flavored black coffee, and you’ll know why this cafe is a highly-rated one.

Thymes at the Lake

Address: 17 Lake Terrace W, Mount Gambier SA 5290
Phone: (08) 8723 9754
Pricing: $$

The authentic French culinary marvels served by Thymes at the Lake are certified gastronomic bangers. 

This restaurant exudes elegance and style, from its graphite-colored walls to the grandiose windows overlooking Mount Gambier’s sweeping landscapes.

But we have to say the highlight of Thyme at the Lake has to be their dishes. For starters, their succulent Honeyed Kataifi & Avocado Prawns and mouthwatering Pan Seared Scallops contain elusive flavors only the world’s best chefs can produce.

Foodie Bar

Foodie Bar

Address: 93 Commercial St W, Mount Gambier SA 5290
Phone: (08) 8723 1126

Foodie Bar’s dishes exemplify the simple but sublime quality of Australian cuisine. Serving burgers overflowing with juices and meaty goodness and delicious egg and bacon rolls perfect for early birds, this restaurant deserves all the praise it gets.

If you need help choosing what culinary delight you’ll eat here, we suggest going for their chili omelet. This is a basic dish made grand by the addition of high-quality ingredients like rare mushrooms and exquisite cheese.

What to Do in Mount Gambier

Swim at Little Blue Lake

Address: 338 Mount Salt Road, Mount Schank SA 5291

Arguably Mount Gambier’s centerpiece, Little Blue Lake is a sinkhole perched between two dormant volcanoes, making it an extraordinary tourist site you shouldn’t miss.

The serenity of this spot is also worth the drive, with only trees and wildlife surrounding it. 

If you’re in the mood for a swim, this is our top pick. However, keep in mind that this Lake is deep, and it’s not recommended for novice swimmers. 

Head to the Umpherston Sinkhole

Address: Jubilee Hwy E, Mount Gambier SA 5290
Phone: (08) 8724 9750

Often referred to as Sunken Garden, this jaw-dropping sinkhole formed thousands of years ago when the roof of a cave collapsed.

Today, the Umpherston Sinkhole is filled with lush greenery and rare flowers. As we descended into the sinkhole, we were greeted by a stunning landscape that seems to defy its subterranean origins—and possums! 

Check the Cave Gardens

Address: 1 Bay Rd, Mount Gambier SA 5290
Phone: 1800 087 187

With a depth of 27 meters, the Cave Gardens is an enthralling underground destination showcasing the geological wonders that put Mount Gambier on the map. 

Like the Umpherstone Sinkhole, this one was also created by the collapse of a cave. Their main difference is the size since the Cave Gardens is smaller than the Umpherstone Sinkhole.

Climb the Centenary Tower

Address: Elliott Dr, Mount Gambier SA 5290
Phone: 1800 087 187

From the earth’s depths, let’s now go above ground and onto majestic heights. Mainly used by tourists as a vantage point to see the surrounding lakes and volcanic craters, the Centenary Tower is an undisturbed and mystifying structure from the olden days.

This iconic tourist site was built in 1904 and remains a testament to the architectural ingenuity of its makers. If you want to maximize your experience, make sure to visit around sunset because this is when the landscapes turn golden.

Take a hike at Mount Schank

At Mount Schank, our team had the time of our lives as we took the 1,038 limestone steps to reach this dormant volcano’s otherworldly peak.

At the peak of the volcano, a breathtaking sight greeted us—the boundless horizon of the countryside stretched out before our eyes, offering a priceless vista of Mount Gambier’s unrivaled natural charm.

Relax at Echo Farm

Address: 249 Tollner Rd, Mount Gambier SA 5290
Phone: 0481 574 663

The Echo Farm’s best offering is farmland respite—a day without the city’s bustle and smoke! The only echo you’ll hear at Echo Farm are the sounds of mooing cows, tweeting birds, and the soft wind as it rustles tree branches.

If total relaxation isn’t your style, you can opt to explore every corner of the farm by bike or foot. Every nook and cranny offers something new: a pristine pond, a nest of honeyeaters, or a hidden spot with a bewitching view.

Explore the Valley Lake Conservation Park

Address: Davison Dr, Mount Gambier SA 5290
Phone: (08) 8724 9750

Valley Lake Conservation Park is hard to top: it has cute koalas and kangaroos, exhilarating water activities, and nature’s unblemished enchantment.

The view is also worthy of a lengthy Instagram caption that uses several synonyms for the word “beautiful.”

The core of this undisturbed hub of flourishing biodiversity has to be Valley Lake, a 26-hectare lake with mirror-like waters reflecting the vibrant hues of the surrounding landscape.

Where to Shop in Mount Gambier

Redgum Country

Address: 1/59 Commercial St E, Mount Gambier SA 5290
Phone: (08) 8723 2063

Are you ready to be a fashion trendsetter? Redgum Country sells some of the finest women’s apparel you’ll see in Mount Gambier, and the best part is you don’t have to break the bank to look chic and drop-dead gorgeous if you shop here!

They sell affordable clothing perfect for any occasion, from dashing office attires to head-turning casual apparel. 

For us, though, the star of the shop is their leather boots. They’re comfortable, properly priced, and glamorous!

INTERSPORT Mount Gambier

Address: Shop 1/7 James St, Mount Gambier SA 5290
Phone: (08) 8725 7582

Playing sports is fun, and first-rate sporting equipment and apparel make it better! INTERSPORT Mount Gambier sells up-to-date athletic attires appropriate for all ages and any game—basketball, netball, cricket—you name it!

The gym buffs of our team had a blast scoring premium weightlifting equipment here, and based on their well-toned muscles, we can say the products are worth every penny.

Mount Gambier Marketplace

Address: 182/248 Penola Rd, Mount Gambier SA 5290
Phone: (08) 8724 8798

At Mountain Gambier Marketplace, you can shop until you drop. This shopping mall boasts a wide variety of stores and shops for your daily necessities and luxuries. 

This shopping haven is also conveniently set in the town center. It’s near accommodations, eateries, and tourist sites, making it a terrific stop before your next destination.

Best Neighborhood to Visit in Mount Gambier



The exquisite wines produced by this suburb are a must-try! In addition to this, Moorak is a dairy village surrounded by sweeping grasslands, colonial churches, and astonishing brick homes, making it look like a neighborhood from a bygone era.

For a complete experience, go to the higher grounds overlooking Moraak’s green plains during sunset or sunrise. 

What to Expect from Mount Gambier Weather

Summer (Dec to Feb): Average temperatures range from 15°C to 25°C (59°F to 77°F), occasionally reaching up to 30°C (86°F). It’s mostly dry and warm, perfect for activities such as swimming and hiking. Just stay hydrated and protected from the heat.

Autumn (Mar to May): Temperatures gradually cool down, ranging from 10°C to 20°C (50°F to 68°F). Rainfall increases, creating a mild and temperate season that’s still terrific for outdoor adventures.

Winter (Jun to Aug): Temperatures range from 5°C to 14°C (41°F to 57°F). Winter in Mount Gambier brings light to heavy rain and occasional fog, creating a moody atmosphere.

Spring (Sep to Nov): Temperatures rise gradually, ranging from 8°C to 19°C (46°F to 66°F), with increasing sunshine. Spring offers mild weather, blooming flowers, and rejuvenated landscapes.

Apps to Download for a Mount Gambier Trip

Uber: used for ride-hailing and food delivery
iOs | Android

TheFork: for restaurant booking
iOs | Android

Moovit: picks the best routes to Mount Gambier
iOs | Android

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