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If you’ve ever listened to the radio in South Australia then you would have heard their jingle that goes ‘discover the secrets of South Australia’s Limestone Coast’- and you know what, it’s so true. The east coast of Australia between The Great Ocean Road and Cairns is well covered and easy to research, but believe me, South Australia will knock your socks off and (quite literally) leave you breathless.
If you’re looking for a road far less travelled, then the Limestone coast is for you and it’s guaranteed to leave all those who didn’t bother going insanely jealous. You will see all the colours nature can offer you ranging from the turquoise sea to the bright red succulents that thrive on the white rocks, as well as tonnes of wildlife.
So here are 6 stunning places that should not be missed, plus a sneaky bonus one for you!
Located about 80km south of Adelaide, this beautiful area just before the start of the Limestone Coast is famous for being a holiday destination for the locals. The water is a sparkling turquoise and a great place to surf and swim. What’s even better is that it is a hot spot for Whales migrating between May-October. I was lucky enough to see a mother and calf playing in the water thanks to this brilliant live website updated by dedicated whale watchers. So make sure you keep your eyes peeled!
Around the area are other beautiful bays such as Port Elliot and Horseshoe Bay. Take a walk around these and soak in the relaxing sea air before heading over to Granite Island which can be reached either by foot across the bridge or by the cute horse-drawn tram. It’s a leisurely walk around the island and the rock formations here are insane.
The rugged coastline of Robe combined with its neat little town is a great place to spend the day. Head to the tourist information centre and pick up a scenic driving route that takes you to some beautiful spots. The unusual red and white striped Obelisk offers great views of the rocky coast and a look round the old Gaol ruins nearby is certainly different!
For a less windswept moment, head up to the lookout point and take in the panoramic views of the town and this part of the Limestone Coast, or relax next to one of its many lakes.
If you’re looking for cliff top views and winding coastal roads along the Limestone Coast then Beachport will be right up your street! The Bowman Scenic Drive is truly stunning taking you right along the coastline with plenty of spots to stop at along the way.
Beachport was historically a whalers port so as you follow the signs to start the drive, make sure you take a look at the cairn marking where the Rivoli Bay whaling station once was and be sure to check out the lighthouse and the ruins of the old one before you start the scenic drive. Don’t forget to walk along the jetty too!
As the name suggests, this part of the Limestone Coast is home to a number of caves that have formed over time through erosion from the sea. Walk along the top of the cliffs and admire them as well as the beautiful moon-like cliff tops themselves.
This area is famed for being both a fantastic place to explore on foot as well as underwater. Historically there have been many terrible shipwrecks along this rugged part but today it is a popular fishing site. Just a few kilometres north you will find Cape Banks lighthouse to see, too.
Port Mac is the most southern town in South Australia and is famed for its Rock Lobsters. Take a stroll down the pier and learn about the history at the Maritime Museum. If you’re really lucky you might even get the chance to see little penguins coming back in for the day at the edge of town! For a delicious meal here take a seat at Periwinkles Café along the seafront.
BONUS – Sneaking over the South Australia border into Victoria
So technically these places aren’t part of the limestone coast but they are close and too beautiful not to mention. This little route is easily achievable in a day and has so much to offer.
Portland is another whale migration hot spot. Take a walk down the viewing platform at the Anderson Point lookout and keep your eyes peeled for these amazing creatures! If you don’t manage to see them then all is not lost- take a drive round to Point Danger where you will find a fantastic colony of Gannets living and breeding on the edge. Watch them swooping curiously over you and brace yourself as they plummet into the water to catch their prey.
Jump back in the car and head over to Cape Nelson to take a look at the lighthouse there. There is a small part of the Great Southern Walk that loops around so you can admire both the lighthouse as well as the coastline. To warm up grab a coffee (and a cake, of course) in Isabelle Café.
Next stop is Cape Bridgewater; a glistening beach and home to some major shipwrecks. Further along in Cape Bridgewater you will find the Petrified Forest and Blow Holes. Both can be reached from the same parking spot. The Petrified forest is not actually a forest, despite its appearance, but is actually made from limestone tubes forming from erosion.
Last but certainly not least, Cape Bridgewater is also home to a colony of seals that can be reached along a 5km path. Make sure you leave yourself plenty of time to get there and admire these beautiful creatures. If you’re visiting at the right time of year you might even get to see seal pups – what a way to end a day!