Limestone Coast Attractions
The Limestone Coast region of South Australia features a number of attractions.
Coorong National Park
Coorong National Park (300 sq.km) was established mainly to protect its rich bird life and fascinating coastal scenery. A long, narrow lagoon, never wider than 3 km, and shallow saltpans are sheltered from the surf by the high sand dunes on the long Younghusband Peninsula. The area is frequented by cormorants, pelicans and ibises.
Address: Box 105, Meningie, SA 5264, Australia
Useful tips: Access from Adelaide on the Princes Highway (Highway 1), going southwest, to Meningie (160km) or Kingston, then south along the coast. The best time to visit is Sep.-May.
The little township of Meningie (pop. 800) is a good base for excursions in Coorong National Park and for exploring the shores of Lake Albert and Lake Alexandrina.
At the south end of the Coorong coast is the little holiday resort of Kingston SE (pop. 1500; not to be confused with Kingston on the Murray River). Originally called Maria Creek after a ship wrecked in the bay, it was given its present name after Governor GS Kingston built a hostel here in 1840. It is now a lively holiday resort (hotels, motels, caravan/camping park) and a good base from which to explore Coorong National Park. There is an interesting Pioneer Museum run by the National Trust.
Cape Jaffa extends into the Southern Ocean and features a prominent lighthouse, which attracts many visitors.
The attractive little town of Robe (pop. 740) has many well-preserved old buildings. In earlier days it was an important wool-exporting port, and in 1857 over 10,000 Chinese disembarked here on their way to the goldfields in Victoria. Robe is an increasingly popular holiday destination.Some two dozen buildings in the town are under statutory protection. Karatta House was the summer residence of the governor of South Australia in the 1860s. The former Customs House contains an interesting museum of local history. Other notable old buildings are the Lakeside and Caledonian inns.The coast round the town is particularly beautiful. There are safe beaches in Guichen Bay and also stretches of rugged cliffs carved into bizarre shapes by the fierce surf from the Southern Ocean. On the numerous lagoons and coastal lakes large numbers of birds can be observed.
Bordertown (pop. 2300) lies on the Dukes Highway 300km southeast of Adelaide, near the borders of Victoria. In the mid-19th C it was an important supply center for the goldfields of western Victoria. It is now the center of an agricultural area (wool, wheat, milk).From nearby Mount Monster there are fine views.
Pinnaroo (pop. 750) has a museum of agricultural machinery and a research institute concerned among other things with developing resistant and productive cereal strains.
Round Pinnaroo are a number of protected areas of the endangered mallee scrub vegetation (Biliatt Conservation Park, Scorpion Springs and Mount Saugh).
Naracoorte (pop. 4800), founded in the 1840s, is one of the oldest inland settlements in South Australia. The local economy is based on cattle, sheep and wheat.
Naracoorte Caves National Park
Three out of the 60 caves of the famous Naracoorte Caves are open to the public. The Alexandra and Blanche Caves have spectacular stalactites and stalagmites, while the Victoria Fossil Cave, also containing stalactites and stalagmites, is famous for the fossils of giant Ice Age marsupials and the skeleton of a giant wombat which were found here in 1969. The Bat Cave is the home of a large colony of bats.Naracoorte Caves are listed on the United Nations World Heritage listings for the excellent fossils that are buried within the rock. There is a diverse variety of fossils, of particular interest are the fossils of the so-called Megafauna (giant marsupials).