Region: South East and Limestone Coast

The area to the south east of Adelaide is often referred to as the Limestone Coast. Forged over 26 million years by the primal forces of the ocean and the movement of tectonic plates, the area's landscapes are diverse - from coastal lagoons in the north, to volcanic craters and mountain lakes, such as the Blue Lake at Mount Gambier in the south, to the terra rossa' soils of the Coonawarra inland, which have provided the ideal environment for producing world class wines.

The limestone after which the region is named not only visible in the jagged coastal seascape, but inland in the spectacular caving sites at Naracoorte.

The region has gained a reputation in recent years as a culinary delight which is complemented by a relaxed, friendly lifestyle enjoyed by the locals.

Over the years, the Limestone Coast has provided inspiration for a number of well-known writers. Among them is the man regarded by many as the nation's greatest lyric poet, John Shaw Neilson. Another famous poet who lived in the region is the balladeer Adam Lindsay Gordon, who is the only Australian to be installed in the Poet's Corner of Westminster Abbey.

How To Get There

The Limestone Coast begins just over an hour's drive south from Adelaide via Princes Highway, to the south of the Murray River. The Coonawarra is a comfortable fivedrive from Melbourne and a four hour drive from Adelaide. They are on the scenic route between Adelaide and Melbourne via the world renowned Great Ocean Road.

By air: Mt. Gambier airport serves the region. Regional Express (REX) Airlines flies to Mt. Gambier daily from Adelaide and Melbourne.

Best Time To Go

There is no particular season better suited to visiting the Coonawarra and Limestone Coast than another. Special events such as festivals generally fall between April and October. The Coonawarra Vignerons Cup, South Australia's 'best country race meeting' is held in January every year.

Coonawarra After Dark, held each April, is when the Coonawarra wineries open their doors to visitors at the peak of the grape harvest. Tours of the working winery includes the ability to meet and chat with the Wine makers and watch the grape harvesters in action.

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