An enthralling coastal adventure awaits along the windswept shores of South Australia’s spellbinding Limestone Coast. Steeped in natural history, enchanting natural phenomena and magical coastal scenery, the world is your oyster on this journey along the coast. From prehistoric caves to sparkling volcanic lakes paired with some of the best beaches in South Australia – the hardest part is heading home.
Fall in love with South Australia’s alluring coastline on the adventure of a lifetime with this epic list of places to go in Robe and the Lime Coast.
One of the geothermal wonders of the Limestone Coast is a sparkling Little Blue Lake, nestled within the serene surrounds of a volcanic sinkhole. A popular swimming hole for locals and passing travellers, this beautiful little lake resides within the Kanawinka volcanic zone, lying between two dormant volcanoes in an open paddock. A fantastic place to cool off on a balmy South Australia afternoon, enjoy the spoils of this luxurious lake and its charming ethereal ambience. Once upon a time in summer, Little Blue Lake would spring to life, flaunting its dazzling cerulean blue facade for all the world to see. Sadly, in recent years the lake remains more pine green than blue, yet it does little to dampen the aura of this otherworldly delight. One of SA’s undeniable hidden gems, the lake lies a mere 15km southwest of the state’s second largest town – Mt Gambier.
The grandeur of the Umpherston Sinkhole is palpable the second you grace its opulent lands. An enchanting sunken garden shrouded in luxury, lust in admiration at its palette of greens, a mosaic of angelic flora depicting a real-life Garden of Eden. A former karst cave turned garden, seawater slowly corroded its limestone exterior causing its roof to collapse, exposing a massive sinkhole. In 1886, former Scottish farmer James Umpherston had the vision to transform the sinkhole into a beautiful garden, yet after his untimely demise, the garden quickly fell into disrepair. Ken Norton and the department of forestry eventually picked up the slack, with Ken dedicating 33 years of his life to transforming the site into the majesty laid bare before us today. A place of peace and perfect harmony, igniting your senses like a lucid dream. As day turns to dusk, the garden transforms, with hundreds of hungry possums gathering in the trees. Bring some snacks or something for the barbie, kick back and watch it all unfold, right here in the heart of Mt Gambier.
Transcend into the underworld of a time bygone at the otherworldly 800,000-year-old Naracoorte Caves. Standing tall as South Australia’s only world heritage listed site, the caves are celebrated for their significant collection of Australian megafauna fossils, helping piece together the storied past of Australia’s unique megafauna. For over 500,000 years many unsuspecting animals met their fate, falling through the cracks, unable to escape. Nowadays scientists can reconstruct many of these fascinating discoveries, helping depict the earth’s evolutionary history and the incredible animals that once roamed these lands. A popular tourist attraction, 28 caves currently reside within the borders of the Naracoorte Caves National Park, with four open to the public. Marvel at the impressive display of stalactites and stalagmites in Alexandra Cave or learn about the remarkable animals that once lived here at the Victoria Fossil Cave. Explore the eerie halls of the self-guided Stick-Tomato Cave or uncover interesting facts about the critically endangered southern bent-wing bats on the Bat Tour (Blanche Cave and Bat Centre).
No Limestone Coast adventure would be complete without first lapping up the spoils of some of South Australia’s most revered beaches. Featuring over 400 km of epic South Australian coastline, you can guarantee to find a gem or two along the way.
Robe’s Long Beach is the great Aussie all-rounder. Pearly white sands and sparkling turquoise waters are staples of this quintessential South Australian Beach, featuring over 12km of pristine coastline. The perfect place for a swim or spot of beach cricket, here you can recline in the shallows at this family-friendly beach.
Uncover the best of both worlds on one of Robe’s great coastal walking trails. The brand new 12km loop trail takes guests on a journey for the ages traversing soaring coastal cliffs, the Obelisk Lighthouse, the Blowhole, the Old Gaol, Factory Bay, and many other historic attractions. The trail kicks off at Long Beach and follows the coast west up past the Robe Jetty to the point, before winding south past Factory Bay and looping back around. It’s fair to say the former path had seen better days, with upgrades made to accentuate user experience, improve safety measures, and design a new path to accommodate the wider community. New access points have also been installed to improve quality of life – linking up with sections of the town, the town’s beaches, and Robe’s magnificent coastal scenery. A fantastic introduction to the pristine scenery and old-world charm that help breathe life into this beautiful little town.
A 600m long curvaceous beach residing in the small coastal town of Beachport boasts one of the best natural swimming holes in South Australia. Get lost in the splendour of this scenic water hole, blessed with sparkling crystalline waters and an alluring turquoise complexion. The swimming hole is sheltered from the elements by a curving beach rock reef 30–50 m offshore, in turn creating a fantastic little pool perfect for young families.
One of the most underrated beaches on the Limestone Coast is the serene surrounds of Southend Beach. A popular beach for 4WDing, you can scale the entire coastline from Southend to Beachport in the luxury of your own car. Popular with locals and travelling families revel in the majesty of this secluded beach, a wonderful place for a quiet swim and some Grade-A shell collecting.