Day 13: Penola >> Mt Gambier

Today, we made just a short journey south from Penola (bye Coonawarra wine region) to Mt Gambier. (Because of everyone’s Australian accent, it still took me a while to figure out whether it was Mt “Gambia” or Mt “Gambier.”)

I wanted this stop on our itinerary, as one of my new colleagues lives here, and we’d never met face to face. So Adam and I parked Sherwood on the edge of picturesque Vansittart Park in the heart of Mt Gambier to enjoy a picnic lunch among the autumn colours with Tara:

I so enjoyed catching up with her in person. Our first familiar face of the trip! And Tara gave us some excellent after-lunch tips for exploring her town, the second-largest town in South Australia.

Bidding Tara farewell, Adam and I walked the 3.6-kilometre circuit around Blue Lake, true to its name, which sits inside a volcanic crater. Blue-tiful!

Adam then walked around another crater lake, Valley Lake, while I had a work meeting in Sherwood from the Hoo Hoo Lookout.

The Zoom interview I conducted was not without its technical difficulties (embarrassing, as the digital nomadic lifestyle had been running smoothly until then). And me temporarily without my tech expert! Thankfully, my client was patient and understanding, and we got it done in the end.    

At dusk, and at Tara’s recommendation, we visited the Umpherston Sinkhole. OMG! It was sooooo cool! I don’t think I’d ever seen a sinkhole, and it was gorgeous. The greenery, the flowers … the big hole! And tame possums that you can feed apples and carrots. (Historically, I have not been a fan of possums, despite Australians’ seeming affection towards them. I am often afraid one is going to drop from a tree and attack me walking home down Robertson Lane in Kirribilli. Give me squirrels any day.) But these possums … pretty cute.

We free-camped at a nearby rest stop just outside Mt Gambier, greeted by a friendly guy travelling alone, making his way home to Perth – his van a bit more primitive than Sherwood. Spent the evening doing a bit of work, blogging, and relaxing with bottle of Redman Last Row Old Vines Shiraz from Coonawarra.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *