One of the lesser known regions of South Australia, the Limestone Coast is just as beautiful as any of the other peninsula’s you find heavily featured on their tourism pages.
Full of stunning white sand beaches, water that is a mixture if bright blue and green, and landscapes that are full of caves, sinkholes and underground cenotes created on a volcanic plain, there is so much to explore in this little pocket of SA.
What is the Limestone Coast?
The Limestone Coast is the coastal part of South Australia that runs from the Victorian/South Australian border in the east, all the way to Lake Alexandrina and the Murray River Mouth in the west. It is said to have taken 26 million years to create the Limestone Coast, and the wait was definitely worth it.
Making up one section of South Australia’s Southern Ocean Drive, there are so many natural wonders here, as well as more than 40 cellar doors, offering delicious wines and local produce for you to try.
The best places to visit along the Limestone Coast:
One of the biggest towns along the Limestone Coast, in fact pretty much a city in the country of South Australia, Mount Gambier is a can’t miss in this region. Full of beautiful gardens that have been built in sinkholes, underground caves, and lakes that seasonally have some of the bluest water you have ever seen.
Some of the top attractions in Mount Gambier include –
- Umpherston Sinkhole – a huge underground sinkhole that has been turned into a beautiful garden in the middle of the city
- The Blue Lake – that during the summer months of the year has some of the most azure blue lake water you have ever seen
- Little Blue Sink Hole – a swimming hole in the middle of the South Australian countryside
- Engelbrecht Cave – one of the best caves in the region, with all kinds of underground tunnels and treasures to explore
Known for it’s rocky coastlines and stunning views over the ocean, Carpenter Rocks is a very small beach town along the Limestone Coast that is often overlooked for it’s more well known neighbours. However, Carpenter Rocks was one of our favourite stops along this stretch of coast.
Head to Cape Banks Lighthouse for some pretty epic views of the Southern Ocean, before heading down to Lighthouse Bay where you can find the remains of a shipwreck that has washed onto the shore. The SS Admella was an Australian passenger steamship before it was shipwrecked on a submerged reef in 1859.
This might have been one of our favourite places along the Limestone Coast, and we probably would have stayed for heaps longer if it hadn’t been so extremely windy on the days we tried to visit. Beachport has without a doubt some of the brightest, most beautifully coloured sea water along the Limestone Coast. It is absolutely beautiful and just willing you to jump in for a dip!
Beachport is also home to one of the longest jetties in Australia.
Some of the beaches around the town also make up park of Beachport Conservation Park, with huge white sandy beaches, walking trails around Woolley Lake, as well a panoramic views across the ocean. The beaches in the conservation park are quiet and peaceful, and you can often find that you have one all to yourself.
One of the bigger towns along the actual coastline, Robe is a great place to base yourself if you’re planning to stay for a while. Kind of right in the middle of the Limestone Coast, it’s surrounded by great beaches, huge conservation parks, as well as a larger township offering anything you might need for your stay.
From Robe you can also head inland to visit South Australia’s only World Heritage listed site – the Naracoorte Caves National Park. The caves officially gained their World Heritage status in 1994 due to it being the home to 21 fossil sites that have preserved the bones of megafauna that became extinct approximately 60,000 years ago.
Also in the region, Tantanoola Caves Conservation Park is another popular spot for exploring SA’s cave systems.
Little Dip Conservation Park
An unexpected stop for us, but one that turned out to be a lot of fun! We hadn’t actually heard of Little Dip Conservation Park before and we just followed the signs in Robe to come across it. If you have a 4×4, follow some of the sandy tracks off the main road to find some of Robe’s most beautiful and practically untouched beaches.
One of the highlights in Little Dip is definitely Stoney Rise, a beautiful rocky little beach at the end of one of the relatively easier tracks, with bright water and a jaggard coastline. If you’re going to try out some of the more adventurous 4×4 tracks that take you around the park, make sure you’re prepared by adjusting your tyre pressure and preferably carrying recovery tracks on you, to help you out if you get stuck.
There are lots of camping spots around Little Dip as well, but only if you’re camping in a tent or swag – it wouldn’t be a good idea to take a caravan or camper trailer into the park, as most roads are marked 4×4 ONLY.
Originally just known as Kingston, the town name was changed to Kingston S.E (or Kingston South East), to differentiate it from another town called Kingston in northern South Australia, now known as Kingston-On-Murray.
This coastal town is best known for Larry The Lobster – also known as The Big Lobster, another in Australia’s collection of BIG THINGS around the country. Sitting along the road, out the front of a local restaurant, Larry stands at 17 metres tall, and has been watching over the town since he was built in 1979.
While you’re in Kingston make sure you hit up some of the local eateries to try some of the local seafood, with crayfish being particularly popular in the town. There are heaps of local fishermen in the area, so you know that you’re getting some of the freshest seafood around when you order in Kingston S.E.
Coorong National Park
Stretching for more than 130 kilometres, Coorong National Park is a huge wetland area, which includes the very unique Lake Alexandrina. This lake is where the Murray River finally reaches the ocean, after winding it’s way across three states and thousands of kilometres across Australia’s country.
Visit the Murray River Mouth to see where the fresh water and salt water mix together in a very unique blend of colours before running into the ocean. One of the best ways to view both Coorong National Park and the Murray River mouth is by jumping on a cruise with Spirit Australia Cruises. These guys take you right up to the mouth of Lake Alexandrina, while sharing interesting information about the region and it’s ever changing landscape.
Coorong National Park is also home to impressive sand dunes, beaches you can drive your car on, as well as being an important breeding site in the region for a huge number of different species of birds, ducks and swans.You will find a whole range of different bird wildlife when you visit, who are normally sticking together in large flocks.
Where to stay on the Limestone Coast
There are lots of different options of where you could stay as you road trip along the Limestone Coast. You could easily base yourself in one town for your stay and then do day trips out to each of the different hot spots, or you could jump your way along the coastline staying in a different spot each night.
Our recommendations for places to stay along the Limestone Coast:
Robe Holiday & Caravan Park
If you like to stay right in the heart of the action, check out Robe Holiday & Caravan Park. Sitting right along the beach in the heart of Robe, you’re in easy walking access to everything you could need during your stay. Use your G’Day membership for a discounted stay as well!
Address: 70 – 80 Esplanade, Robe || Ph: (08) 8768 2237
Find out more: Robe Holiday & Caravan Park
Little Dip Conservation Park Camping
There are lots of campgrounds around the Little Dip Conservation Park that you can stay at for a small fee. Campsites need to be booked prior to arrival and the different sites have their own rules and regulations, but you can find all the information you need on the National Parks and Wildlife Service South Australia website.
There are four different campgrounds around the park, at Stony Rise, Long Gully, Old Man Lake and The Gums. It’s around $16 AUD per night to camp at any of these sites.
What’s your favourite beach along the Limestone Coast?
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