The Limestone Coast can be found along the very south east of South Australia. This stunning region of the country share a border with the state of Victoria and is also positioned near the Fleurieu Peninsula and the Murraylands regions. It is an area of diversities, which are evident through its quaint little coastal towns and its incredible ocean views. Driving the edge of the Limestone Coast is a truly amazing driving experience, that will take you past and through ever-changing scenery, stunning landscapes and spectacular mountainous terrain.
Joining the list of one of the country’s best natural wonders, along with masterpieces such as Uluru and the Great Barrier Reef, the Limestone Coast is a completely natural formation that has enjoyed the absence of human interruption. The roar of the ocean is the creator of this brilliance, working for years on end to carve these magnificent cliffs. These stunning cliffs stretch all the way from the banks of the Glenelg River to Port MacDonnell and Bordertown. However, this wonder and beauty does not just stretch along the coast; it can be found inland in towns such as Bordertown and Tailem Bend. These towns boast unique volcanic craters, mountain lakes and historic caves which further capture the essence of this magnificent area.
The Limestone Coast is an area steeped deeply in history, heritage culture and tradition. This is a place where the Indigenous people still hold strong connections to the land, which is evident through the traditional sites that articulate the creation of their customary lands. Tourists and visitors can visit these sites and begin to gain an easy understanding of the history and culture of this important part of history.
If you are embarking on a driving exhibition along this stretch of the coast, the best way to do it is by travelling via the Princes Highway. The route leads to the abovementioned town of Tailem Bend, offering plenty of great places to stop along the way. If you are coming from Victoria, the first of the places you will come across is the beauty of Mt Gambier. This mountain is not directly situated on the coast, but it still acts as an excellent starting point to your adventure here. This region is known as the city of ‘craters, lakes and caves’, mostly owing to its position on the slopes of an extinct volcano. Mt Gambier is an historical town, whose streets are lined with beautiful heritage buildings, which are surrounded by magnificent crater lakes and open caves. This is a destination that offers something for every nature lover out there, with never a dull moment in sight.
Begin to head towards the coast and you will come across the quaint coastal village of Beachport. As the name suggests, this town is surrounded by ocean and is also home to Lake George. These features make this town an ideal destination for safe swimming, great surfing, fishing and windsurfing. It also marks the beginning of the Bowen Scenic Drive; a drive that allows you to explore the coastal dunes in a way you may have never thought possible.
Tale some time to discover the Coorong National Park and you will eventually come to Kingston S.E., a small fishing village that attracts many who are wishing to escape the crowds.This quaint seaside village is also home to Mana Creek Reserve which is a great picnic hot spot for the whole family to enjoy.
If you keep following the Princes Highway directly from Kingston, you will be heading directly along the coastline. This is essentially the best way to experience the true beauty of the Limestone coast, as the view is a bird’s eye one and the roads are smooth enough it almost feels like you are cruising. Absorb the wonder of the naturally sculpted cliffs and enjoy the wind wisp through your hair. Travel at your own desired pace and take in all your surroundings, while taking the time out to discover the multitudes of towns that can be found around every twist and bend.
Your coastal journey will draw to a close when you reach the tiny, by quaint town of Meningie, which is nestled on the banks of Lake Albert. This region has traditionally been sued for farming, while traditions still remains strong when it comes to Indigenous ties to the land. This culture can be seen through the local museum and cultural centre which is open for the public at convenient times, year round. If you follow the highway along a little further, you will come to the hub of Tailem Bend. This town serves as a junction for three major Australian Highways and is pleasantly nestled right near the mighty Murray River. Although it is a small town, it still acts as a great resting stop and place to reminisce your memories of the Limestone Coast so far.
Merge off Princes Highway and you will begin to discover Dukes Highway, a road that will take you into the hidden heartland of the Limestone Coast. Hidden treasures can be found here, nestled amongst native vegetation, crop fields and endless rows of vineyards that contribute to the peaceful atmosphere here. Drive through the historical towns that are speckled throughout the route and enjoy the welcoming and friendly atmospheres. Be sure to stop in the farming town of Keith, which is home to Mt Monster Conservation Park. This park is home to a diverse range of Australian wildlife that lovingly call the scenic landscapes home.
Another great town to stop in is Bordertown; a place where white kangaroos frolic freely. Absorb the local history as you explore the Historic Clayton Farm or the National Trust Museum. As its name suggests, this town borders the Victoria state line and for some, may mark the end of your Limestone Coast adventure. However, if you have a little extra time on your hands, head south and uncover the heart of the coast, Narcoote. Here you will find a world heritage listed fossil site, Bool Lagoon as well as an abundance of wetlands. The town is also surrounded by three premium wine growing regions, which makes it the ideal place for you to sit back, relax with a glass of wine and reflect on your exploration of this spectacular area.
The Limestone Coast ffers a great driving experience, that will take you on a journey of vibrant contrasts between coast and hinterland. This is a magnificent experience that you will never forget and a true highlight of South Australia.