Mt. GAMBIER with a toddler

The year was 2020. Unforgettable for the whole World. Fortunately, Corona Virus did not have as big an effect as other countries on the Northern Hemisphere.

Living in Adelaide doesnt feel like Australia anymore. What I mean by that is, daily life in Adelaide in unlike the textbook description of Australia:

  • Australia is a country habitated mainly on the coastal areas.
  • Logs are one of Australia’s main exports along with wool and dairy products. (I’ve never seen logs in Adelaide)
  • Cows and sheep graze on the rainy highlands.
  • Australia is a land of odd looking mammals, like possums, kangaroos
  • Australian landscape is a mixture of everything, it has big cities, hills, mountains, rivers, as well as barren lands and deserts and caves!
  • Anywhos, so our journey in a Kia Karnival 8 seater, 5 adults, one toddler and LOTS OF food. (We do not believe in wasting money on saltless and spiceless food)
  • It took about 6.5 hours from Adelaide to Limestone Coast Tourist Park. Most of the drive was through Pine forests and I finally saw pine tree farming and logs processing factories. Cows and sheep were chilling and eating in the rain…dad and husband both randomly stopped the car and the cows herded together. They assumed, the cows were friendly. I had other thoughts…
  • It was raining cats and dogs for the first two days of the trip.But that did not stop us from visiting the Umperstone Sinkhole, The Blue Lake (which was navy blue) and a short trip to the city centre. We needed to get eggs, toothbrush (which I forgot, while trying to put together the million things needed to travel with a toddler.
Umperstone Sinkhole was magnificent. We found out it was discovered on a family property. At one point, one third of it was filled with water and they used boat. Eventually the water dried up and the owners turned it into a Victorian Garden retreat. No mention of Indigenous origins and we couldn’t find any.The day ended watching an Indian movie, a rare occassion when the whole family actually watches movie together!Engel Brecht Caves is something Hasib and I couldnt visit as Zayyan was too small a toddler to visit the 100+ steps below into the caves. Shockingly, Engel Brecht caves is in the middle of a residential area. The entrance is a small homette turned cafe. Never did I ever imagine, I’d find caves in random places across a modern city!The rest of the day was raining non stop for at least 8 to 9 hours straight, no kidding. We quickly went out in the evening to the Mt. Gambier Marketplace for some quick shopping and ended the day watching Anaconda. The next day we went to Tanatoola Caves, about 30 minutes drive from Mt. Gambier. It was second visit in a cave. The first being at Kenyir Lake, at Malaysia. Tanatoola gave me goosebumps. The entire cave was filled with limestone stalagtites and stalagmites. The tour guide showed us a 2 centimeter growth of a stalagtite, which was 90 years old. The cave was found by a boy, who lost his rabbit and discovered the cave while searching for it. The caves felt like a two story luxurious apartment of a millionaire, and it could’ve easily housed people. We could find no information about indigenous origins.
The Tanatoola area was also known to have housed a phantom cat at one point, which was killed with guns.Naracoorte National Park and Caves is what we targetted about Mt. Gambier.
Here, I mainly visited the Stick tomato wet cave and the museum simulation with prehistoric animals. Mom  dad and husband visited the Victorian fossil cave. Sister and I walked around eating ice cream and playing with Zayyan waiting for their arrival. We had a picnic lunch with bread and fried chicken (Yup, home made)The day was finally Sunny at Naracoorte, so we rushed back to see the Cave Gardens, Blue Lake and Valley Lake. Due to terrible weather conditions, we did not have much time for each. But it was enough to visit them all in half a day.We ended the day at our caravan park in our little cabin. It was time for home and my bed, the next day 🙂

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