Must See Mt Gambier and Adelaide - what shouldn't I miss?
April 8, 2009 7:36 PM   Subscribe

SouthAustraliaFilter: I live in Melbourne and am driving to Adelaide over the Easter weekend via the Great Ocean Rd and stopping in Mt Gambier for one night. I know about the Blue Lake in Mt Gambier - what other essential things should I do/see in the area?

I will also be in Adelaide for three/four days. I haven't been there since I was a kid, so I will be happy just to explore a city I don't really know anything about - except that it has a lot of churches and pubs.

What are the essential things I should do/see in Adelaide and surrounds?

What places should I stop at on the way between Mt Gambier and Adelaide?
posted by crossoverman to Travel & Transportation around Australia (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I really enjoyed the Blue Lake. When I drove that trip in reverse, we stopped in Robe which was sort of interesting because it was tiny, right on the water and had a huge lighthouse. They claim it's the "most exciting place in SA" and I'm not sure about that. Beachport was also a good place to stop, some interesting whaling history there. Adelaide is nice and sleepy and full of nice people. I'm from teh US so mucking about in Cleland was great to see pseudo-wildlife but the view from Mount Lofty is also pretty terrific and there's a neat little cafe up there and some trails to walk around on. Do not neglect Larry the Lobster on your drive.
posted by jessamyn at 8:06 PM on April 8, 2009

Best answer: Some suggestions here. I like the story of the Tantanoola Tiger.
posted by tellurian at 8:15 PM on April 8, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks, Jessayn - I forgot about Larry the Lobster! I remember seeing him when I was there as a kid. I will definitely check out Mt Lofty and Cleland.

Now to Google wineries...
posted by crossoverman at 8:23 PM on April 8, 2009

Response by poster: And I misspelled Jessamyn. *headdesk*
posted by crossoverman at 8:31 PM on April 8, 2009

Hahndorf is nice, if you don't mind a bit of a drive from the city (about 30 minutes drive from Adelaide) - you could also probably drive through it on your way into Adelaide. There are a few wineries in the same area (Adelaide Hills). If you can stand to drive further, the Barossa is even nicer (about 1.5 hours drive from Adelaide), lots of things to see there. The nocturnal tours at Warrawong wildlife sanctuary are pretty cool, if you're into that sort of thing.
Visit the Coorong on your way across. It's pretty big, difficult to miss!
posted by kisch mokusch at 8:48 PM on April 8, 2009

McLaren Vale wineries are a bit closer to town than the Barossa, and there are some nice places to eat down that way as well (Star of Greece at Port Willunga is one of them.)
posted by Wolof at 11:21 PM on April 8, 2009

Best answer: Seconding McLaren Vale - it's a beautiful place. Also if the weather is nice you could go to the beach. Port Noarlunga beach has a jetty, a reef (accessible at low tide either by swimming out from the beach or from the end of the jetty) and a surf beach called Southport at the southern end. It's my favourite beach in the world.

Now, for wineries in McLaren Vale I recommend:
Chapel Hill
Wirra Wirra

Also in McLaren there is a wonderful farm called the Olive Grove. Really really nice olives.

In the city, go to the Exeter Hotel on Rundle Street for a good Cooper's beer on tap. If you like footy, Port Adelaide are playing Melbourne at AAMI Stadium (aka Football Park) on Sunday.

Go down to Port Adelaide - I haven't been there for a long time but apparently it's looking pretty good these days.

Now, in Mt Gambier, I'm pretty sure there are some limestone caves near there - ah yes, Tantanoola.
posted by awfurby at 1:31 AM on April 9, 2009

The funny thing about the Giant Lobster is that it's too big - there was a confusion between Imperial and Metric measurements and when the Lobster arrived on a truck it was too big to go on the roof (which was where they intended to put it).
posted by awfurby at 1:33 AM on April 9, 2009 [1 favorite]

Seconding Robe. It's a really interesting part of SA, and has a great history. See the Coorong before it's no more.

Adelaide Hills, Aldgate, lovely time of year- go to the Aldgate cafe while you are there- it's excellent.
posted by mattoxic at 4:55 AM on April 9, 2009

Best answer: You are going to pass one of the most awesome places I have ever been in my life.

Ewans ponds (YT) is a small stream filled with fresh clear water which emerges from the underground aquifer.
Seen from above it doesn't look like much a small stream in the middle of farmland. But go to the top of the stream with goggles, a snorkel and preferably a wetsuit, jump in and you are in another world.

the water is so clear you feel like your flying, you float through long green valleys that suddenly drop away to deep blue basins full of fish. You'll get vertigo as you float over the edge of the basins.

nearby Pikininie ponds is also great, but you are supposed to have permits to swim there, which are expensive and complicated (at least they were last time I was there)
We swam without permits but you can get i a lot of trouble

ewans ponds doesn't require a permit
posted by compound eye at 5:59 AM on April 9, 2009

Also, not a suggestion but here is a 10 minute video I shot out the window driving from Adelaide to Melbourne.
posted by jessamyn at 7:32 PM on April 9, 2009

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