Australia - Mt Gambier

Trip Start Dec 05, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Sunday, May 21, 2006

Day 1

Leaving Adelaide and heading south we made our way towards Mt. Gambier. The leaving Adelaide part was not as simple as it sounds, a huge hill lay in front of us and Gizmo struggled to climb it - perhaps he didn't like the early mornings either! As we crawled up the hill at what seemed to be no more than a walking pace cars raced by us in the outside lane, its a good job Gizmo doesn't have a superiority complex!

We took the coastal road to Mt. Gambier, via Kingston, with thick trees and bushland lining the road as we travelled. Suddenly a huge 6ft red kangaroo leapt out in front of the van and bounded across the road, immediately followed by another equally as massive. We slammed the brakes on to try and stop before the kangaroos passed and as we slowed a third followed the first two....then a fourth.....we were still slowing and praying that there would not be a fifth. Luckily there wasn't, if there had been it would have met a messy end!

Continuing along the coastal road we popped to 'Policeman's Point', a small viewing spot where flocks of pelicans are supposed to reside. There were none. Either someone was lying to us or the pelicans had gone fishing, we left straight away.

The scenery was increasingly 'English' as we proceeded through to Mt. Gambier, the intermittent rain becoming testament to the surroundings. It did however produce a stunning double rainbow which lit up the countryside as we trundled towards our destination (PIC). There was also a Giant Lobster en route, we've no idea why but it made for an interesting picture (PIC)!

We reached our campsite as the sky darkened and set up camp for the night. Mt. Gambier was more of a stop off than anything but it did have a few attractions that we would visit the following day.

The cold night crept in as we ate our dinner and crawled into bed; a sheet, blanket and duvet (or doona as they call it in Oz) doing their best to keep us warm.

Day 2

Up at 8 and out by 10 we headed straight for the nearby Blue Lake. A stunning lake at the top of a mountain near to the campsite. The lake is actually formed in the crater of a dorment volcano and is a great source of pure water for the Mt. Gambier region. The lake gets its name from a vibrant blue colour that it displays during the summer, before returning to a more greyish colour for the rest of the year (PIC).

Our next stop was the tourist information centre in Mt. Gambier , which also doubles as the 'Landy Nelson' Exhibition. This is an interactive exhibition based around a replica of the Lady Nelson ship which was built in the 1800's and sailed to this region of Australia. The exhibition features a section on the pre-historic animals from Australia and some of the native animals, it then explores the aboriginal lifestyle and includes its 'showpiece' attraction of a 'talking ghost' of a white woman who spent most of her life with aborigines - it is quite an impressive display (PIC). The exhibition then contines with a feature on the geology of the region and how the blue lakes were formed by a volcano (PIC), before finally reaching the Lady Nelson replica and a talk from the captain of the ship who speaks about the way of life on the open water 200 years ago (PIC). The exhibition is a great way to pass an hour or so, and the entry fee wasn't too steep. The highlights are definitely the 'talking ghost' and the replica ship.

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