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Self Drive2017-09-14T16:14:43+00:00

Taking a “roadie” is the term we use for Road Trips.

They are effectively what is known as self-drive experiences. Whether it is a day trip or a full on 4WD hit the outback kind of experience Australia is the place for doing it your way.

Once you have arrived in Mount Gambier it is easy to map out drives full of “oh wow” moments. The options are only limited by your imagination and interest areas. We have a few ideas for you, but in Mount Gambier, it is only natural that you will wander off track when something interesting appears!

DAY TRIP: NORTH

North Drive

To the North is a diverse drive which offers everything from the home of a Saint to pre-historical
dinosaur relics, ancient caves and the famous Coonawarra and Wrattonbury wine regions.

This drive takes you 1 hour to drive from Mount Gambier at furthest point. Allow a full day to ensure you can enjoy all the attractions on offer, and there are many!

The drive takes you through and past pine forests where you can often spot kangaroos on the sides of the road. Watch for emu in the open spaces too.

In the logging town of Nangwarry is the Forestry and Logging Museum, open on Sundays and Public Holidays. Further on you will arrive at Penola. This is a must stop town, with art galleries, wine tasting and an array of interesting stores. It is also the home of the Saint Mary McKillop interpretive centre.

Back on the road and you pass the Coonawarra* wine region, the vineyards and their cellar doors are a delight to see in any season. Heading to Naracoorte, keep an eye out for the Fathers Wood Park. A unique tribute of carvings about the life of Father Tenison-Woods, who made a profound difference in the region.

The world famous Naracoorte Caves and Interpretive Centre are a few kilometres from the Naracoote township. When you arrive in Naracoorte check out the historic town. Fit in a visit to the world famous Minijumbuck, where a friendly welcome is assured.

Wine Country

*We suggest you save the Wine regions for a separate day trip to allow a chance to roam from winery to winery and enjoy not only the wines themselves but soaking up the history and taking in a leisurely lunch.

Coonawarra is only a 30 minute drive from Mount Gambier, so a return trip to wander from vineyard to vineyard will deliver a memorable experience.

West Drive

Your Westward trip should include time in Millicent, where you can explore museums, galleries and Lake McIntyre with its boardwalks and amazing birdlife.

Head West to discover caves, forests parks and coastline and of course, history.

This drive has much to offer, it can be a short trip to Glencoe, with the Old Woolshed experience.

The Tantaloola Caves are well worthwhile, though smaller than others in the region, they are spectacular and provide full disabled access.

If you feel like venturing on, head to Beachport and be amazed at the headland and landscape formed by the power of the ocean.

For an interesting return visit drive through the wind farms of Woakwine Range to Blackfellows Caves and down to Port MacDonnell, returning to Mount Gambier.

South Drive

Heading South from Mount Gambier is filled with options to wander down side roads and discover natural wonders, walks in reserves with only wildlife for company and arrive at the historic seaside town of Port Mac Donnell.

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Shipwrecks

Here you can step back in time and learn of the tragic shipwrecks* on the coast or visit the cottage that was once home to Poet Adam Lindsay Gordon.

Head right up to the spectacular cliffs of Cape Northumberland, or go left to travel east and enjoy the coast and visit the Ewans Ponds.

Popular Tourist Drives

With its excellent range of accommodation and dining, Mount Gambier is also the ideal base for self-drive exploring. Spontaneity often rules when it comes to road trips, but there are also several well-plotted journeys.

This starts at Penola’s Woods Mackillop Schoolhouse on the corner of the history-laden Petticoat Lane, before sharing significant glimpses into the past at Portland and Hamilton, Victoria.

This is a heritage and nature-based touring route of 130 kilometres in and around Mount Gambier. The trail passes through Robe, Beachport, Millicent, Carpenters Rocks, Port MacDonnell, Mount Gambier, Nelson and Portland.

It follows 21 maritime-themed interpretive trail markers which emotively recount the tale of the Wreck of Admella. Your walk will recount the 1859 shipwreck which claimed 89 lives, while the Great South West Walk has been developed as a bushwalking trail that can be tailored to various fitness levels.

You can sample shorter sections of the trail just over the border at Nelson where the Glenelg River meets the sea, or brave the entire 250km loop that officially starts and finishes in Portland.

Visitor information centers have the full map of the trail.

“Cars weren’t built to make great time.
They were built to HAVE A GREAT TIME!”