Mount Gambier

Trip Start Sep 15, 2010
Trip End Oct 30, 2010

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Where I stayed
Blue Lake Holiday Park

Flag of Australia  , South Australia,
Tuesday, September 28, 2010

After bidding Samantha Bob and Joan a fond farewell, we set off early on a dull Tuesday for the last leg of our Australian adventure, to Melbourne. It's hard to believe that this part of the trip is almost over. Looking back, we seem to have packed a lot into a short time.

Decided to take the inland  rather than the coastal route, as we thought it might be more interesting, as it was. We traveled through lush fields and wooded areas, making good time. We reached Mount Gambier (439 kilometres from Adelaide) in good time to visit the TIC, where we were directed to the Blue Lake Holiday Park, which is in a beautiful setting near the Blue Lake, a volcanic crater lake. After checking in and staking out our space, we went back into town. Claire went to the library, (quite a lively space with lots of kids running around), to check email, and Tim went in search of dinner supplies.

Mount Gambier is a really interesting little town, surrounded by several caves and some volcanic lakes.  In the centre is a collapsed cave which has been incorporated into a rose garden, with a walkway around the edge.

Tim was determined to buy a new small suitcase, to which end we went to the small mall in the downtown area where we found The Reject Shop. This is a huge discount store which has branches all over Australia. We found a nice little wheeled suitcase for $30AU, and a knife to replace the one we left behind somewhere on our travels. The stores closing, we headed back to the Caravan Park to cook our Goolwa fish, which had been vacum packed to retain freshness. Very nice.

Up early next morning to cook the last of our eggs and bread (Aussie Man's French Toast, without the VB) and do a load of laundry. Managed to check out just before the 10:00 deadline, then down the hill to check out the Blue Lake, which supplies Mount Gambier's water.  We were lucky to find it almost blue (the colour depends on the time of year, with summer being the best time to see its true colour). There are many explanations for the blue colour. Here is one from an old brochure :'The most likely theory is that light is scattered by calcium carbonate which saturates the lake. As the temperature rises at the surface level it causes them to precipitate out as extremely fine particles of a similar wavelength to blue light. This causes a scattering of the light at the blue end of the spectrum, making the lake appear blue.

After an interesting tour of the sunken rose garden, set off for Melbourne along Highway A1 towards Hamilton. We were interested to see a sign on a house which read "Go Hamilton Cats!"  It was a lovely drive with trees on either side and a creek running beside the road, and very few signs of habitation.
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