One of the most well known attractions in Mount Gambier is the Umpherston Sinkhole and Gardens. I’d seen them shared on social media hundreds of times prior to arriving, and had a pretty good idea of what to expect, but they still completely blew my mind.
Nothing prepares you for the sheer size, and beauty of this place and we spent the better part of an hour and a half exploring it all, enjoying the company of many possums and taking plenty of photos. We even went back a couple of days later (and then a third time!) as we’d enjoyed it so much, which speaks volumes.
Where is the Umpherston Sinkhole?
You’ll find this place not far from the centre of Mount Gambier itself. There’s a few car parks that you can pull up in, with a short walk to the sinkhole, which is surprisingly big, and completely stunning.
What does it cost?
This place is 100% free, which is awesome as it would be easy to charge money for people to see or enter it. It really is a special place though, and when you don’t have to pay to see it you can’t ask for more!
Umpherston Sinkhole History
In 1886, James Umpherston made the Sinkhole into a garden, and not long after it fell into a bad shape. Ken Norton re-invigorated the idea and along with the help of many volunteers turned it into the stunning garden that we know today.
There must be a ridiculous amount of work that goes into keeping the gardens in the shape that they are every time you visit, and it certainly does not go un-noticed when you wander through.
Take your time here
We had a great time exploring the entire sinkhole slowly, and carefully. There’s running water, a small ‘cave’ that you can walk into (behind the stairs as you come down), with more beautiful plants and scenery than you can poke a stick at.
You can feed the possums
We were told to take some fresh fruit (only fresh fruit), and to visit towards the end of the day, and you’d get to see, and possibly feed some possums. This advice was spot on, and we arrived at about 6:30PM, to see a big possum sitting over the top of the entry, waiting for a feed.
We spent a long time feeding this possum, and several others chunks of apple and also orange. They are incredibly gentle in taking the food, and seem very tame, with lots of people touching them and receiving limited reaction.
Of course, they are wild animals so treat it with caution, but our kids were over the moon by this experience.
Overall, the Umpherston Sinkhole and Garden is completely worth a look, even if you are just calling through. It’s free, easy to get to, has decent parking even for larger rigs and even if you’ve seen hundreds of photos of it, you’ll still be surprised at how beautiful it really is.
Have you been to the Umpherston Sinkhole in Mt Gambier? What did you think of it?