At the bottom end of Lower South Australia, Mount Gambier is thelargest town of the district, close to the Victorian border and thefamous scenery of the Great Ocean Road. Mount Gambier's scenery isnothing to be sneezed at either, beautifully set on the slopes of the extinct volcano from which the town takes its name. The volcano's maincrater is also the town's major drawcard, holding the brilliantlycoloured waters of the amazing Blue Lake. During the warmer months,the lake mysteriously changes colour from a wintery steel grey toa striking blue that simply has to be seen to be believed. The five kilometre scenic drive which circumnavigates the lake provides manyexcellent vantage points to soak in the views, as well as access to themountain's wildlife reserve, walking trails, and generous scattering ofpicnic areas.
The actual township of Mount Gambier is pretty to look at as well, boasting many fine Victorian buildings (particularly the grand old hotels on the main street), together with well-kept parklands and gardens. Places to stay and eat are in also in abundant supply, as areother things to do in and around town. The helpful tourist centre on the Jubilee Highway is an attraction in itself, featuring a replica of the Lady Nelson among other local memorabilia.
On the coast 28 kilometres directly south of Mount Gambier, the oncethriving town of Port MacDonnell used to be South Australia's second busiest port, exporting large amounts of wool and wheat duringthe 1860's and 70's. The impressive two-story customs house, is one of a number of imposing buildings bearing witness to it's early prominence. These days, Port MacDonnell travels at a much gentler pace,concentrating on the more peaceful pursuit of rock-lobster fishing. Thetown's lobster fishing fleet has grown to the largest in the state, andduring the afternoons between October and May, fresh lobster can be bought straight from the jetty on their return. Not far from the outskirts of town, there are several worthwhile walking trails skirting the area's rugged coastline and wetlands. Further out, more enthusiastic hikers canfollow a steep trail to the crater of the extinct volcano Mount Shank.
Less than fifty kilometres north-west of Mount Gambier, Millicentis a bustling commercial centre, surrounded by the largest soft-pineplantation in the country. The town makes the ideal base for visitingthe nearby Canunda National Park, famous for its enormous sand dunesystem and abundant coastal flora and fauna. Millicent's excellent visitors centre (also houses the award-winning National Trust museum and Admella Gallery) at the southern end of George Street can provide camping permits and further park information.