Just beyond the Victorian border is the beautiful city of Mount Gambier. Studded with volcanic lakes, limestone cliffs and native plants, Mount Gambier is home to the stunning Blue Lake.
Stare out over the cobalt blue waters in summer or watch as they turn to grey as the weather cools down. There’s plenty of lookouts for you to stop at and an abundance of walking trails winding around the lake’s banks.
Filling the crater of an extinct volcano, the Blue Lake is one of four lakes in the Mount Gambier region. In the past forty years, two of the crater lakes have dried up as the water table levels have dropped.
Recent data has been conflicting, and scientists are unable to agree on when the volcano last erupted. Estimates range from 28,000 to 4,300 years ago. If the more recent estimates are correct, the volcano the Blue Lake sits in may have had the most recent eruption on the Australian mainland.
Annual Colour Change
One of the most attractive features of the Blue Lake is that you never quite know what colour the lake might be. Between September and March, the lake is a vibrant blue, so bright you won’t believe it’s real. From April to November though it fades away and becomes a steely grey.
Scientists still debate what exactly causes the lake to change colour each year, but some suggest that it has something to do with the temperature of the water. In summer, the water surface becomes warmer, changing the way the calcium in the water reacts with its surrounds.
The water colour also changes, seemingly, depending on where you are standing. Heading to different lookouts around the lake will make it look different shades of blue. The way the sun reflects and the shadows over the water help the lake look like a quilt of shades of blue.
Blue Lake Circuit
If you’ve made the trip all the way to the Blue Lake and have some spare time, make your way around the Blue Lake Circuit. The three and a half kilometre circuit will take you about an hour to complete and loops all the way around the lake.
From the Rotary Lookout, you can see the Tower, Pumping Station and Mount Schank. There’s plenty of lookouts around the trail and ample interpretive signs along the way. You’ll learn all about the lake’s history and the surrounding area.
The Blue Lake is situated along the Limestone Coast, a long stretch of land that sits in a huge layer of limestone. The limestone has fossilised animals and plants in the region for over thirty million years. Keep an eye out for animals and plants in the limestone buildings around the lake, you never know what you might find!
The Blue Lake is a stunning natural attraction just across the border into South Australia. The beautiful blue waters draw you in, you’ll be blown away at the beauty of this miraculous region.
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