You will need transportation to get around to see the sights. There is basic public transport and some sights can be seen within walking distance of the town centre. It may be easiest, however, to hire a rental car for a time if you wish to see some of the sights near the town.
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Revision as of 10:31, 12 November 2008
Mount Gambier is located midway in South Australia between Adelaide and Melbourne. It is near the Victorian border.
Visitors can get to Mount Gambier by car (450 kilometres from Melbourne and Adelaide). Bus services run from both cities.
You will need transportation to get around to see the sights. You can hire cars from the Mt Gambier airport.
If you wish just tyo stay in town, you will not need a car. the hotel strip on Commerical street east is a 15 mkinute walk from the Town Centre. If you are just in Mt Gambier overnight for a party or a night out, it would pay to stay at one of the local pubs, you won't have to go very far.
Sights such as the Blue Lake can be driven or walked around.
There are limited bus services around Mt Gambier. There are also two taxi companies, Blue Lake Taxis and Vears Taxis. Both are in the same price range. There is a taxi rank outside the Old Post Office/opposte the Cave Gardens on Bay road and another outside the Lakes Village on Helen street. Friday and Saturday nights it is reasonably easy to catch a taxi.
Blue Lake -- The Blue Lake is located in the crater of a volcanic crater and is the main source of water for the city. During the year the color of the lake changes from an ocean grey color to a bright iridescent blue. The Blue Lake is one of three crater lakes located on the southern edge of the city: the others are Valley Lake and Leg of Mutton Lake. There are picnic grounds around Valley Lake and Leg of Mutton Lake and some easy climbing trails around this area. Boating and water-skiing activities occur on Valley Lake.
Mt Schank -- is an extinct volcano located about 15 minutes drive towards the sea from Mt Gambier. It is an easy climb and you can descend into the crater.
Limestone Caves & Sinkholes -- This region is famous for the sinkholes found in many places. Extraordinary dives take place in some of these sinkholes but if you intend to do this, make sure you get a guide as some of the caves contain noxious fumes and have claimed lives. Umpherston Sinkhole is located in the town itself and contains a pleasant garden that is well tended.
Wineries, Located a short 50 kilometers north of Mount Gambier is Penola and the Coonawarra wine region. This famous wine producing region is approximately 1 kilometer wide and 17 kilometres long and is home to some of the very best red wines available. Wine sampling is free and the cellar door staff are always friendly, well informed and passionate about the wines.
Oatmill Cinema is open from 10am daily, depending on session times. Movies shown are on par with the times they are shown in the cities. Movie marathons are held Sunday nights on long weekends. Bring cash, the Oatmill doesn't accept EFTPOS or credit.
The Lady Nelson is the local tourist information centre and are full of useful information. You can find in on Jubliee Highway, just look for the giant boat. Also has a special tourist walk, but not really worth the money unless it is a rainy day.
Bowling Alley is located in the Odeon complex - look for the big bowling pin. Despite the fact that the Odeon looks pretty run down, the bowling alley is good fun and cheaper than the city prices.
Karingal Carting is the go-carting centre for Mt Gambier. Out on Jubliee Highway West, a go-cart license will set you back a whole $2 and then you are charged in 15 minute blocks. Good fun for kids of all ages.
A temporary Ice skating rink is set up in the Showgrounds during winter.
The annual Mt Gambier Show is held on the second last weekend of October. It is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday, but Thursday does not have rides and stalls open. Thursdays are free, as is Saturday nights after the fireworks (about 9pm).
Live gigs are common Fridays and Saturdays, check the chalkboards outside the pubs for more details. Often these gigs are cover or tribute bands. well known acts who play in Mt gambier are advertised well in advance and will often play at Shadows or the Showground. Open mic nights are also held are different locations.
The Sir Robert Helpmann is the theatre complex in Mt Gambier. Dance and local talent galas are often held here, live bands are not unless they are targetted to the older generation. The Sir Robert Helpmann is located in the Civic Centre, which also houses the library. For details about what's on, visit the Civic Centre during business hours Monday to Friday.
Commercial Street is the shopping street of Mount Gambier. Despite the small size of the city, this street is quite long. It takes about 15-20 min to walk from one end to the other. Stores on this street change often and most are not open on Sundays. Best shops at Priceline, Chapman's Newsagency and Toy Stampede.
Centro Lakes Village hosts about 40 stores including a supermarket, K-Mart, the Reject Shop and Angus & Robertson. Has a large food court although there is little variety in the food for sale. The Lakes Village is open Sundays after 11am.
Variety Stores There are numerous variety stores in Mt Gambier. Go-Lo and Ned's located on Commerical street West, Cheap As Chips on Helen street, the Reject Shop can be found in the Lakes Village. A large Target can also be found on Sturt street (entrances from Compton street and Ferrers street).
Markets Saturday is the Rotary Market on Julibee Highway East next to Harvey Normans (it is part of the former Fletcher Jones site). Sthe Blue Lake Market is held Sundays on Commerical street West opposite Vansitart Park.
Resturants in Mount Gambier are reasonably cheap when compared to city prices.
Belgornio's An authetic Italian resturant with woodfired pizzas.
Charlie's Diner All you can eat resturant on Jubliee Highway West. It has two dinner sittings (5.30 and 7pm). A Charlie Chaplain themed resturant, very popular with the locals.
South Eastern The first pub on Commerical Street East. Has a beer garden and a drive thru bottle shop.
Golden Chopsticks The best Chinese resturant with good service.
Spud Train A train shaped vending van which serves baked potatoes. Look for the waving oversized potato/man on the weekends.
McDonald's, KFC and Hungry Jacks are all located on Penola road between Commerical Street and Jubliee Highway. Subway is located on Commerical street East and in the Lakes Village. Red Rooster is located on Jubliee Highway East. McDonald's in the only 24 hour resturant.
Domino's Pizza can be in the Woolworth's Petrol Station, opposite the Federal Hotel. Pinky's Pizza can also be found on Commerical street East. Pizza Haven is on Commerical street West and has the best take away pizza. They also have a drive thru.
For late night snacks, the Cave Garden Deli is open late on Saturday nights. It is next to the Cave Gardens sinkhole in town. they also sell Domino's pizza (but be warned, it's a bit chewy at 4am). The 24 Hour Mobil on Commerical street East/Crouch street does Boss Dogs and besides McDonald's are probably the only source of food in the wee hours.
Shadows Entertainment Complex Mt Gambier's longest lasting night club. Considered to be a 'dive' by the locals, but has cheap drinks, a reasonable size dance floor and top 40+ 1990s-200s hits. .Entry is free before midnight, after midnight it costs $8. Often gets busy about 2am when the other pubs have closed for the night. Before 11.30pm it is very quiet and a good place to have some quiet drinks.
The Gambier Hotel also known as The G. the G has been voted as one of Australia's best pubs and is the most upmarket you'll find in The Mount. Sometimes has a cover charge depending on the entertainment.
Flanagan's Irish Pub also known as 'Flannie's'. Good meals and often has a live band. It gets crowded very quickly as the pub is rabbit-warren like.
Alexander's Entertainment Complex is a bar/pool hall. Popular with the younger crowd, is basically just a big hall with a bar in the middle. Gets very noisy very quickly.
Clarendon Lodge & Chalets 4 Self-contained Chalets set between 650 walnut trees, picturesque lawns and gardens and only 5 km to Mt Gambier's Blue Lake.
Old Gaol, 25 Margaret Street, tel: (08) 8723 0032, (toll free:1 800 626 844, email: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org), . This is an old jail that has been sectioned off into 27 rooms. $20-66.
Jubilee Motor Inn AUD 55/room  180 Jubilee Highway East, Mount Gambier, South Australia, tel: 08 8725 7444, Fax Number: 08 8723 0355, Email Address: email@example.com.