It’s no surprise for a region called the Limestone Coast to, find, through the simple weathering and hollowing of the rock caves and other natural curiosities. Visitors to Mount Gambier have the opportunity to get up close and personal with one of these amazing features – the Umpherston Sinkhole.

The Umpherston Sinkhole (or the Sunken Garden) is one of the most spectacular gardens located in the Mount Gambier region.

Umpherston sinkhole was once a typical limestone cave that formed by the corrosion of limestone rocks by seawater waves and the sinkhole was naturally created when the chamber’s roof collapsed.

The Umpherston Sinkhole was made into a garden by James Umpherston in 1886. The sinkhole is open from dawn to dusk and, as the sun sets, the Umpherston Sinkhole comes alive with hundreds of possums as they come into this tranquil garden to feed.

The sculptures at Umpherston Sinkhole are inspired by the geological processes of the region that resulted in the formation of sinkholes.

The Umpherston Sinkhole has a long ramp at the entry point followed by an array of enclosed steps. From these steps, you can see the first real views of the sinkhole. As you proceed further into the sinkhole, you will be able to see the stunning garden and its picturesque landscape. From the area of this sinkhole, you can see the terraces in the garden. Once you descend to the floor of the sinkholes, you will see the fountain, hydrangeas and tree-ferns around the area.

The sinkhole offers an array of scenic spots in a gorgeous setting amid a beautiful garden. Visiting the sinkhole will certainly offer you a very unique experience. The garden is open every day and remains open until late in the evening. Bring along some snacks and watch the possums emerge at dusk.


Mount Gambier’s Cave Gardens are a great place to visit if you love nature and the outdoors. This beautiful garden offers a wide array of things to see, do and explore.

Take a break from the sightseeing and historic tours and come here for a relaxing couple of hours. The Cave Gardens feature a beautiful sinkhole, several lookouts and a suspended viewing platform at the
Visitors to Cave Gardens can enjoy a scenic walk to the lookouts and the viewing platform to enjoy a broader view of the garden.

Enjoy the spectacular beauty of this manicured garden by looking down from the suspended viewing platform, as from, here you will get a broader view of the garden and the caves.

After a recent re-development project, the area has undergone many changes. Some of the recent re-development works include water filtration, new viewing platforms and floodlighting. For the holiday season, the Cave Gardens are decorated with Christmas lights.

During spring, the gardens are famous for their roses. The Cave Gardens are also a great place for picnicking and many newly wed couples often come here for photographs. The garden’s scenic location and lovely rose garden offers plenty of picturesque spots.

Mount Gambier is full of surprises. Jazz legend, James Morrison now call this fair city home. Drawn not only by its strong jazz tradition, James and his family also love the region’s lush green and fertile environment where, by his own admission, even he could grow a rose!




About The Author

In the Garden is an exciting new local South Australian TV program on Channel 9 this Summer & next Autumn showcasing the best ‘green’ stories this state has to tell. Check out the latest in garden trends, new plants and top tips to keep those gardens blooming.