The Victoria Fossil Cave findings

Top 5 Things on the Limestone Coast

Us with a thylacoleo carnifex

 

When you get there you’ll know, because most of the roads and houses on the Limestone Coast are a creamy white colour.  The limestone was formed by the accumulation of various deposits of marine life and shells over millions of years when the area was under the ocean.  About a million years ago, the sea retreated and allowed nature to take its course to create sinkholes, caves, salt lakes, and pockets of beautifully fertile red soil that is renowned for producing great wine and agriculture.

 

It took us about two weeks to complete the limestone coast from Nelson in Victoria to the mouth of the Murray River, and while we saw many things, here are our top five favourite destinations in this beautiful region of South Australia.

 

 

The Princess Rose Margaret Cave and Naracoorte Caves

These caves were both formed from limestone and exhibit excellent crystal formations that have developed over hundreds and thousands of years.

 

 

The Princess Rose Margaret Cave is a small gem with a fantastic story behind it, while the World Heritage Naracoorte Caves are historically significant as they contain fossils dating back to almost half a million years ago.

 

Coonawarra Wine Region

What’s not to love!?  This famous wine region is soaked in history and is considered to produce the best cabernet sauvignons in the country.  We recommend the small, boutique cellar doors instead of the big names.

 

 

Mount Gambier & the Blue Lake

Unlike the tap water, Mount Gambier does not leave a bad taste in your mouth.  The town is easy to navigate, has a great selection of pubs to tickle all fancies, and it is home to the beautiful Blue Lake.

 

 

Beachport & Post Office Rock

We weren’t expecting much of Beachport but it ended up being one of our favourite places on the Limestone Coast.  Go for a stroll on South Australia’s second longest jetty and explore beautiful Post Office Rock before having a refreshing dip in the Pool of Siloam, a salt lake that is seven times saltier than the sea.

 

 

Robe & the Mahalia Coffee Tour

There is an air of hospitality in Robe, with the main street lined with pubs, cafes, pizzerias and restaurants.  We ended up trying much of the fare and were thoroughly impressed with the goods – great coffee at Union Café, supplied by Mahalia Coffee, delicious pizza topped with fresh ingredients at VicStreetPIZZA, and a succulent ‘parmi’ at the Caledonian Inn.

 

 

We had a great time at the Mahalia Coffee Roasting House with a tour through the roasting house and a great chat with Mahalia that exposed her love and passion for coffee and providing a great product.

 

A war memorial park in the centre of Naracoorte

Town Profile : Naracoorte

After a spooked night at a roadside rest area (it’s amazing how your mind can play tricks on you), we entered Naracoorte tired, unwashed and with a bag of laundry.

 

The town was thick with the promise of rain, but there were still lots of people bustling about along the two main streets that run adjacent to each other, with the library and memorial park in between them.

 

 

Naracoorte was established as a government settlement in 1847, combining the two small towns of Kincraig and Naracoorte.  It grew as a service town for people travelling to and from the Victorian Gold Rush in the 1850s but these days, it’s just another relaxed town with a few pubs, and it’s main concern is conserving the Naracoorte Caves National Park and Bool Lagoon.

 

PLACES OF INTEREST

Naracoorte Caves

South Australia’s only World Heritage area, Naracoorte Caves is the location of one of the world’s most valuable fossil sites, dating back to around half a million years ago!

 

Check out our post on the Naracoorte Caves.

 

The Swimming Lake

The Swimming Lake is a free attraction that is open between December and March.  The lake is seven times bigger than an Olympic swimming pool and has surrounding barbeque facilities, playground and amenities block with showers.

 

 

The Laundry Hub

This colourful Laundromat lets you clean your clothes while browsing sweet-smelling homewares.  All the machines have built-in detergent dispensers so you don’t need to bring your own.

 

Washing a load is $5 and the dryers cost $1 for 7 minutes.  Internet is also available at a fee.

 

Library

The library was opened in 1978 and was also the visitor information centre until 1986.  Located in the centre of town on DeGaris Place, this quiet location is great for some reading or blogging.  They offer free wifi and temporary memberships.

 

We worked in the library for a few hours and watched the ceiling drip as it bucketed down outside.

 

FOOD & ACCOMMODATION

Van Leuven l’Artisan Bakery Patisserie

We stopped in at a bakery that looked heavily influenced by France, with blue, red and white flags fluttering outside the window. It was thoroughly charming inside – a very happy and smiley lady behind the counter with a thick French accent served us.

 

We shared a chicken and leek pie, as well as a sausage roll.  Both were flavorsome  succulent and devoured within minutes.

 

 

BIG4 Naracoorte Holiday Park

81 Park Terrace – 08 8762 2128

Centrally located, it has ensuites, air-conditioned units, both powered and unpowered sites, as well as mini golf and train rides.