Four cultural experiences on the Limestone Coast prove that this South Australian region has more to offer than just its geological wonders.
Deep blue sinkholes, long-stretching beaches and ancient crystal caves – the Limestone Coast is mainly famous for its unique landscapes. Every year, nature enthusiasts choose the region as the destination for their next outdoor adventure. But there is more to South Australia’s diving and hiking hot spot.
Its vibrant art scene, fascinating heritage sites, world-famous wineries and polarizing festivals make the Limestone Coast an underrated cultural hub that is only waiting to be discovered.
Opening Image: South Australian Tourism Commission/Adam Bruzzone
Get inspired by the local art scene
For generations, the beautiful geographical features of the region have inspired local artists. Their work is displayed in countless galleries and museums like the Riddoch Arts and Cultural Centre in Mount Gambier. Learn about the Limestone Coast’s history through paintings, sculptures and prints, and marvel at an extensive collection of Aboriginal and 20th century Australian art. According to John Riddoch himself, the gallery has always been a place for more than “the portraits of grizzly old men”, so get ready to discover a one-of-a-kind fusion of modern exhibitions and historical artworks.
If you are seeking for a less traditional way of discovering the local art scene, simply pay a visit to the township of Millicent. Here, you can find its famous murals on almost every corner of George Street. The vibrant colours and detailed motives have transformed this once average Aussie town into a must-see for street art lovers.
Enjoy the Coast’s wines and cuisine
With its six different wine regions, the Limestone Coast is home to some of Australia’s finest wineries. Its most famous creation? Coonawarra’s Cabernet Sauvignon, often named one of the best Cabernets world-wide. Enjoy a glass or two at Upstairs at Hollick, one of Coonawarra’s oldest winery restaurants, with a view over the vineyard, and indulge in high quality Australian dishes.
Discover history and heritage
Do you want to learn more about Aussie history, but are tired of spending hours in a museum? Strap on your hiking boots and explore Kingston Heritage Trail. This self-guided tour leads through a town founded by none other than James and Archibald Cook and lets you experience the little seaport through the eyes of the first European settlers. Discover an old jail, Cape Jaffa Lighthouse, the Cooke brothers’ stores and more.
If you are hungry for more history afterwards, pay a visit to Yallum Park. This hidden gem, located west of Penola, is said to be Australia’s best-preserved Victorian house. With its antique furniture, original wallpapers and beautiful ornaments, the two-storey villa offers visitors a close insight on home life in the late 1800s.
Celebrate the Coast’s culture at local festivals
Attention, Australian jazz fans! If you come to the Limestone Coast during May, don’t miss out on the popular Generations in Jazz festival. Every year, thousands of spectators and performers travel to Mount Gambier to be a part of this popular musical event that has made itself a name both locally and internationally. See your favourite jazz artists live, attend workshops with other students or even take part in competitions.
Not a fan of music? No problem. Only days after Generations in Jazz wraps up, the Penola Coonawarra Arts Festival opens its doors. From artists, to authors, filmmakers and even more musicians – this festival gives them all a place to display their work.
But most importantly it shows one thing: The Limestone Coast is not only a destination for outdoor enthusiasts, but has also transformed into one of South Australia’s most vibrant cultural hubs.
If you enjoyed reading about Cultural Experiences on the Limestone Coast, check out this articles about Adventure and Nature in South Australia.
Travel to the Limestone Coast
Rex flies to Mount Gambier! Book your flights here.