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Across the state border from the south east of Victoria into South Australia, The Limestone Coast forms part of Australia’s most extensive volcanic province, the Kanawinka Geopark. Millions of years ago nature’s chemistry blended sand dunes and limestone deposits into a labyrinth of caves and sinkholes – extremely intriguing!
It stretches along the Southern Ocean from Port Macdonnell to the south and Kingston S.E. to the north before the famous Coorong. There are endless beaches and picturesque seaside villages with alluring beauty, changing colours and intriguing contrasts.
From October to late May, seaside towns along The Limestone Coast come alive with the buzz of Southern Rock Lobster season, with boats heading out daily to haul their prized catches. You can sample local Southern Rock Lobster delivered fresh from the pot to your plate, along with locally farmed spring water Barramundi, Salmon and smoked Trout. The adventurous can even try diving for your own Rock Lobsters or Abalone.
Home to one of the largest Rock Lobster fishing fleets in the Southern Hemisphere, Port Macdonnell was once a prominent trading port. It is a favourite destination for keen anglers, surfers, swimmers, hikers and divers.
There are a couple of historical buildings of note – Customs House built in 1863 and Adam Lindsay Gordon Cottage, the poet’s retreat, at Dingley Dell Conservation Park near Port Macdonnell. Learn about shipwrecks, Little Penguins and the town’s historic port at the Port Macdonnell Maritime Museum located right in town.
The famous Ewens Ponds and the Ramsar listed Piccaninnie Ponds are only a short drive away and are great for snorkelling and diving with clear fresh water offering wonderful visibility. While nearby Mount Schank, Australia’s youngest dormant volcano, is worth a climb to the rim of the crater to take in the magnificent views.
With sweeping sandy beaches on one side and rugged coastal scenery on the other, Beachport is a popular spot for holiday makers. It boasts the second largest jetty in South Australia, 772 metres from one end to the other, (that I can vouch for as I walked out and back). Beachport jetty attracts a large number of anglers keen to catch their dinner.
The waterfront is surrounded by landscaped gardens with a walking trail and great picnic facilities. There is a curious Norfolk Pine in the middle of the round-about in town which is decorated with old colourful bicycles that I found of interest.
Take the Bowman Scenic Drive extending from the lighthouse along the rugged coast of the Southern Ocean and walk down to the beach or view the sea from one of the many lookouts. Just outside, Beachport is a unique salt lake called Pool of Siloam, that has lovely grassy banks and a small pier. The high salt content makes swimming very easy because the water is extremely buoyant.
Also worth a drive, is Woakwine Cutting, Australia’s biggest one-man engineering feat, created to drain swampland for pastoral use. An absolute marvel.
The historic seaside resort town of Robe oozes charm, set amid stunning beaches, rugged cliffs and tranquil lakes. Robe was once one of the largest ports of The Limestone Coast and remains proud of its shipping history, and museums, cottages and historic walking trails bring the local maritime culture to life.
You can pick up a scenic self drive map from the Visitors Information Centre in town and visit the many points of historical interest such as:
A popular activity at any time of year, in and around Robe is to four wheel drive along the 12 kilometre fabulous Long Beach. Here you can swim, surf, fish or take a long walk. Guichen Bay is also very popular for swimming, fishing, sailing or kayaking. If you have no luck with the fishing, go to the Robe Marina at Lake Butler and watch the catch of the day around noon.
Situated on the safe and calm waters of Lacepede Bay and home to the infamous ‘Larry the Lobster’, Kingston S.E. is an ideal place for a family holiday. Proclaimed in 1858, this once bustling shipping port is steeped in history, that can be learnt from a self-guided walk around town or by a visit to the Kingston Museum.
Kingston S.E. has beautiful, serene sandy beaches, ideal for swimming, fishing, windsurfing and sailing. Visitors have the freedom to drive on the beaches to both the north and south of the township, where you may spot dolphins or seals as they swim past.
The historic Cape Jaffa Lighthouse, built in 1872, was located off the coast of Cape Jaffa, but is now relocated to the Kingston S.E. foreshore. It provides spectacular views of the coast. Located on a small island adjacent to the Apex Park is Kingston’s Analemmatic Sundial, that can tell the time of day by casting your own shadow on the markers of the sundial.
The Limestone Coast is a beautifully diverse and unique part of Australia that enthralled me at every turn. For those of you who are after adventure mixed with history and intrigue then The Limestone Coast is for you.
Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 6 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now in her early 60s. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Kathy enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, photography, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.
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JohannaApril 4, 2014
Another interesting spot. Yes, definitely a guide book coming on I can see :) Love the photo of you beside the bicycle tree Kathy, and hope that you are doing some bicycling too ;)
KathyApril 4, 2014
No cycling for me, but lots of walking. We do regret that we didn’t bring a bike with us as there have been plenty of bikeways. I really enjoyed this coastline. I found the volcanic history most interesting.
Rae HilhorstApril 4, 2014
Love the penguin’s xx
KathyApril 5, 2014
Yes I couldn’t resist the penguins!
Pinky PoinkerApril 6, 2014
The penguins are gorgeous. I’m presuming you are enjoying some tasty seafood on this journey Kathy? Not penguin of course.There is just so much to this gorgeous country of ours and you’re doing a fab job in highlighting the fact. x
KathyApril 6, 2014
Pinky we have been partaking in some very delicious seafood. The oysters are to die for! This is a magnificent country as I am discovering and I’m so happy to be sharing it with everyone.