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  • Long weekend at the Limestone Coast: DAY 3

    Posted by Krystle Aunger February 22, 2014 - 580 views - 0 comments - 0 likes - #victoria  #hiking  #south australia  #caves  #Wildlife  #Camping  #Mt Gambier  #Limestone Coast  #Long Weekend  #Mt Schank  #rincess Margaret Rose Cave  #Pt MacDonnell  #Telford Scrub Conservation Park 

    Australians love a long weekend. Some would say it’s unAustralian not to make the most of one. This January long weekend we packed up our car and went camping on a 4-day 1,255kms road trip around the Limestone Coast.

     

    I’ve got four instalments of this long weekend to share! Checkout how the journey has progressed so far on DAY 1 and DAY 2.

     

    DAY 3: Geology and Fauna Expedition

     

    A volcano, cave, coast and forest feature on the agenda for day three of this long weekend road trip.

     

    Starting at Mt Schank, an inactive maar volcano about 30minutes out of Mt Gambier, there is a moderate 45minute hike required to get yourself up and into the crater of this volcano. It’s worth the effort for the views and sense of achievement. The trail on the outer edge of the volcano is well maintained and stepped to help you out on the ascent. Once at the top the crater rim walk affords panoramic views down into the crater. The trail down into the crater is, just like the sign says, not maintained. The fauna has completely reclaimed the trail at many points forcing hikers to forge new trails. Once you battle through the fauna and reach the crater clearing there is a definite sense of achievement from your efforts, plus there’s a pile of rocks which you can rearrange to leave a message for the next hiker!

     

    View from the crater rim of Mt Schank

     

    View from inside the crater of Mt Schank

     

    I’d recommend wearing long pants on this hike so you don’t finish up with bloody cuts across your legs from the dense fauna like I did! If you’re quiet on the outer volcano trail and hiking very early morning you’ll most likely spot wild kangaroos in the scrub. Keep an eye out for snakes during the summer, bring plenty of water and layer on the sunscreen as there’s no shade once you head down into the crater. Don’t let the general snake safety tip put you off the hike. It’s like saying don’t slip on the icy stairs – common sense!

     

    Dense, tall fauna inside Mt Schank

     

    This sign is not kidding. The trail is in no way maintained!

     

    Hidden in Lower Glenelg National Park just over the border in Victoria is Princess Margaret Rose Cave which houses a fine display of cave decoration. Princess Margaret Rose Cave boasts helictites, an unusual cave formation where limestone grows sideways rather than in the traditional up or down format. These caves are definitely worth a tour and in my opinion are grander than the Naracoorte Caves. Note the tour times if you’re thinking of exploring these caves. All tours run on Eastern Standard Time (+10 GMT) which is 30 minutes ahead of South Australian time (+9.5 GMT).

     

    Impressive formations deep in Victoria is Princess Margaret Rose Cave

     

    Perhaps not so much worth the drive is Pt MacDonnell. This coastal town does have very impressive coastal cliffs, which are accessible via the signed costal drive, but there’s not too much else to draw a crowd.

     

    Pt MacDonnell coastline

     

    Telford Scrub Conservation Park was the last stop on day three’s adventure trail. The 1.6km loop track through the scrub is an easy flat walk around ferns and gum trees and includes a Forest Canopy Walk. Perhaps a little too grandly named, the canopy walk is more like a glorified boardwalk over the ground ferns, but certainly not through the canopy of the gum trees. The trail is very tranquil and it’s easy to let your mind wonder as you hike through the quiet still greenery.

     

    Forest Canopy Walk in Telford Scrub Conservation Park

     

    Stay tuned for next week’s instalment of Long weekend on the Limestone Coast: DAY 4.

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