Mt Gambier is located on the slope of another long extinct volcano about 450 Km south-east of Adelaide. The geology of the area is predominantly limestone resulting in an abundance of caves (over 800) and sinkholes (over 50) in the area. In fact the whole limestone coast as it is called is a bit of a Mecca for cave divers, snorkelers and spelunkers.
Mt Gambier was also much more interesting than we expected. It was a cool rainy morning when we arrived and the local markets were just hanging in there under dripping, saggy stall-tents.
There were plenty of good coffee shops to choose from and once caffeinated we checked out the local arts centre and stumbled quite literally, into a large sinkhole/cave replete with waterfall located right in the centre of town.
Up the road we entered primo South Australian wine country. We recently toured the Hunter wine area of New South Wales which was obviously under strain from the drought, but here things were moist and verdant. And, just a moment….is that not my favourite wine grower? Wynns Coonawarra estate. Kelly….throw out the anchor!
By the time we had tag teamed (because no dogs allowed) a tour of the cellar door and debated which two bottles of my favourite wine we would buy, we had dilly dallied into the late afternoon. And there were plenty of other vineyards worth checking out all within a few minutes drive.
Wanting to make a little progress forwards we drove on up the highway to a tiny town (more of a locality really) called Willalooka. Here we settled into another free campsite located on an abandoned, post apocalyptic basketball court area. It was spartan but quite nifty really, with a local tavern nearby and a clean public toilet with free shower.
Kelly and I have decided that although the facilities (laundry power and wifi) at caravan parks are useful, we both much prefer the space, relative solitude and quirkiness of finding free camp sites such as tonight’s. So far this trip we have payed for a total of 1 nights accomodation, and thoroughly enjoyed every single free camp site.