Stroll through the Umpherston Sinkhole, a 19th-century garden in the dramatic setting of a collapsed cave. This scenic, peaceful location in Mount Gambier offers a green and shaded place to relax, as well as the chance to spot some nocturnal wildlife.
The sinkhole is one of many eye-catching geological formations in Mount Gambier, a town in the Limestone Coast region of South Australia. The crater was formed after a cave collapsed, then, in 1886, James Umpherston added the beautiful terraced gardens that you can see today. Pause before entering the sinkhole to admire the sculptures that are inspired by the geological history of the region.
Follow a path that winds around the edge of the limestone walls and take a break on the stone benches to admire views of the plant-lined crater. Amble along the rows of flower beds, which are lined with hydrangeas and tree ferns.
Experience the magical atmosphere of the gardens at night, when the sinkhole comes to life with some furry visitors. Floodlighting keeps the attraction open to human visitors too, who can watch as dozens of possums flock into the gardens for a dusk feeding.
Make use of the attraction’s free barbecue spot, which allows guests to come and cook while immersed in the beauty of the gardens. A sheltered area makes this a tranquil place to come and escape the sun while still enjoying the natural beauty of the heritage site.
Experience similar geological formations throughout Mount Gambier. The Cave Gardens in the town center double as an event venue during the Fringe Festival, while the Blue Lake changes color throughout the year. The Naracoorte and Tantanoola caves offer visitors the chance to take a trip underground.
The Umpherston Sinkhole is open at all times of day and has extensive facilities, such as a picnic space, public toilets and a parking area. Enter the attraction for free. It can be easily reached from Mount Gambier and Murrawa train stations, which are under 10 minutes’ drive away.