From quaint seaside towns and sprawling vineyards to natural wonders, the Limestone Coast is full of pleasant surprises.
Here are 10 reasons why you should check out this stretch of South Australian coast.
1. Natural wonders
Formed by tonnes of marine life falling to the sea floor, the Limestone Coast stretches south from the Coorong at the Murray River mouth and east to the Glenelg River and is a treasure trove of natural wonders including the Blue Lake at Mount Gambier (it fills the crater of a dormant volcano).
2. Travel back in time
Discover the rich fossil history of Naracoorte Caves.Tour the cave system to see stalactites and stalagmites and reconstructed skeletons of megafauna that roamed Earth half a million years ago.
3. Go inside a sinkhole
Mount Gambier's Umpherston Sinkhole was the original source of water for early residents. Today, it's a great picnic spot, famous for its cave garden and roses. Also known as The Sunken Garden, it was created when the top of the chamber of a cave collapsed. Beautified by James Umpherston around 1886, the sinkhole comes alive with possums at dusk.
4. Size is everything
The Limestone Coast has more than 400 kilometres of coastline with one of the world’s longest jetties in Beachport and the world’s largest crustacean, The Big Lobster, in Kingston South East.
5. Miracle mile
At Penola you can walk in the footsteps of Australia’s first homegrown saint, Mary MacKillop. There are opportunities to delve into the history of this extraordinary woman.
6. Wine not?
The region’s wine industry, founded in 1891, is now is home to the Coonawarra, Wrattonbully, Mount Benson and Padthaway wine regions, with more than 40 cellar doors to choose from.
7. Jazz it up
Mount Gambier is known for its Generations in Jazz festival held in May when more than 4000 musicians come together. With trumpet hero James Morrison in charge, it’s the ultimate three-day boogie.
8. Gastronomic delights
The Limestone Coast Real Food Trail links more than 47 producers, farm gates, cellar doors, restaurants and cafes. At The Cheese Factory Restaurant in Meningie enjoy views of Lake Albert, or learn cheese-making at the community-run museum.
9. Head to the seaside
Robe is one of the region’s top seaside towns with eateries, art galleries and boutiques. Port MacDonnell is Australia’s southern rock lobster capital, a seafood and bluewater fishing paradise.
10. Get wrecked
More than 100 ships have sunk off the coast (track them with the Southern Ocean Shipwreck Trail). The state's worst maritime tragedy was the loss of the Admella and its 89 passengers and crew in 1859.
For more, visit www.southaustralia.com
This story originally appeared on The Senior