This section is dedicated to take away all your "I wish someone had told me that before I went!" experiences. This way, you can spend less time settling in, and more time making new friends in your chosen hostel. We share our insider knowledge of tips, tricks and important things to look out for in Mount Gambier.
Backpackers who want to wander a bit off the well-worn tourist trail should jot Mount Gambier onto their ‘must visit’ list. This busy, medium-sized regional centre is South Australia’s second-largest city and a good spot to visit when traveling by road between Melbourne and Adelaide. Although there aren’t a lot of backpacker hostels in Mount Gambier, those that do exist are well-maintained and a very good value. Like most of regional Australia, residents of this town are very friendly and down-to-earth. So if you want to experience traditional country hospitality without traveling too far from civilization, this could be a good place to hang out for a while. The Mount Gambier area is also popular with backpackers who want to earn some extra travel cash doing some fruit-picking or working on local farms. For more information about casual and short-term work, speak to your hostel’s manager, who might even be able to recommend some places.
Being a large regional centre, Mount Gambier offers plenty to see and do in its environs. If you’re an art-lover, the Riddoch Art Gallery is well worth a visit. The city is also very historic (for Australia), and there are a few museums that you might find interesting. Making use of the city’s free bike hire is a good way to explore the local area.
Most backpackers visit Mount Gambier to experience its wonderful, natural attractions such as the famous Blue Lake, which changes color at different times of the year, and various other smaller lakes. There are also plenty of nature reserves to visit where you can enjoy hiking and looking for native animals and birds. Some of the best local places for nature-lovers include the exquisite Cave Gardens, Umpherston Sinkhole, Valley Lake Wildlife Park and a few nearby national parks.
A major attraction in the Mount Gambier area is its amazing collection of limestone caves; many consider it to be one of the world’s best areas for cave-diving – an exciting and fascinating sport in which, as its name implies, you dive in water-filled, underground caves. If you’re a bit of a dare-devil, you might even like to give it a spin. Be sure, however, to ask at your backpacker hostel or the local tourist information centre for more detailed information. If you’re not so adventurous, there are more conventional but equally satisfying ways to see some of these incredible and exquisite underground wonderlands. Some of the best of these are the beautiful Naracoorte Caves, Tantanoola Caves, Engelbrecht Cave, and the Princess Margaret Rose Cave.
Mount Gambier is situated approximately 450 kilometers southeast of Adelaide and 420 kilometers west of Melbourne. It is easily accessible by both car and public transportation.
Written by local enthusiast for Mount Gambier hostelsCarsani