Mount Gambier’s Umpherston Sinkhole/Balambul
Mount Gambier is full of gardens, and the Umpherston Sinkhole is definitely a unique garden to visit. There is plenty to see here, possums to feed, and it’s well worth a visit when you are in the area.
Umpherston Sinkhole is free to enter, there is ample parking and there are picnic areas both inside and surrounding the area. Entry to the sinkhole is via a set of stairs, and there are platforms to view the gardens at different levels. The sinkhole is a collapsed former limestone cave, and was converted into a sunken garden by James Umpherston in 1886 – this is a piece of Mount Gambier history.
Take time to view the garden from above before heading down to the base, where you can wander amongst hydrangea flower terraces, bask on the lawns, and explore nooks and overhangs behind curtains of hanging vines.
There are numerous possums that live in the sinkhole, and they’re happy to come out for food – take some fruit with you. Don’t feed the possums bread or meat, there are signs warning you regarding this. When we visited we found they turned their nose up at lettuce and carrots, but went absolutely mad for blueberries! You’re more likely to see the possums around dusk, but they’ll come out at any time of day if there’s food on offer.
There are numerous benches and picnic tables, and even a barbeque down there. On hot days, the overhangs and foliage make this a wonderful escape from the heat. There are plenty of photo opportunities and plenty to explore. Look for beehives high in the limestone cliffs, swallows flitting in and out, and mossy grottoes.
There are lush lawns and shade trees surrounding the sinkhole with toilets, some playground equipment and more picnic shelters and barbeques on offer. You can walk all the way around the sinkhole with several view points to look down into the garden.
The sinkhole gardens are open from dawn to dusk, and are spectacular at any time of day. Remember there are several steps to enter the sinkhole, so accessibility is limited. When we visited there were several strollers parked at the top and they appeared to be safe whilst families carried babies and smaller children down the steps.
Visiting in winter is just as beautiful as shown by the photos below!
Jubilee Highway East, Mount Gambier. Open dawn to dusk.
For more information and all enquiries please visit the City of Mount Gambier website.
At Play & Go Adelaide we make every effort to provide accurate information to the best of our knowledge at the time of publication. We recommend confirming times, dates and details directly before making any plans as details may be subject to change.
As per all our Play & Go reviews, this is not a sponsored post and our review is done completely independently.
Image Source: Play & Go Adelaide 2023
More to See & Do in Mt Gambier:
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