About The Area

About The Area

Mount Gambier is the second most populous city in South Australia with a population of 25,199 in the urban area, or 27,756 if associated peri-urban communities are included (2011 Census). The city is located on the slopes of Mount Gambier (volcano) in the south east of the state, about 450 kilometres (280 mi) south-east of the capital Adelaide and just 17 kilometres (11 mi) from the Victorian border, it is the most important settlement in the Limestone Coast region and the seat of government for both the City of Mount Gambier and the District Council of Grant.

The peak of the inactive volcano was the first place in South Australia named by European explorers. It was sighted in 1800 by Lieutenant James Grant from the survey brig, HMS Lady Nelson, and named for LordJames Gambier, Admiral of the Fleet. The peak is marked by Centenary Tower, built in 1901 to commemorate the first sighting, and at 192 metres (630 ft) above sea level the landmark is the city's highest point.

The city is known for its geographical features, particularly its volcanic and limestone features, most notably its Blue Lake, parks and gardens, caves and sinkholes.


There are six Reception to Year 7 (R-7) Primary schools:

  • Reidy Park Primary School;
  • McDonald Park;
  • Compton Primary School;
  • Melaleuca Park;
  • Mulga Street Primary School; and
  • Mount Gambier North Primary School.

There are two Reception to Year 12 (R-12) colleges:

    • Tenison Woods College and
    • St Martins Lutheran College.

There are two High Schools for Year 8 to 12:

  • Mount Gambier High School and
  • Grant High School.

Post-secondary education is offered by the following providers:

  • TAFE South Australia has a campus in Mount Gambier providing an extensive variety of vocational study.
  • University of South Australia has a campus in Mount Gambier which offers full-time or part-time undergraduate degrees in Accountancy, Nursing and Social Work.
  • Southern Cross University and Flinders University also have campuses offering programmes respectively in forestry and medicine.

James Morrison Academy of Music

Established in 2015, the JMA is the newest, most innovative and exciting place to undertake jazz studies in Australia.  The Academy offer a unique experience to aspiring musicians where they can work wit some of the finest jazz educators in the world.  It is performance-based education at its best, where students don't just learn about music - they learn how to make music.

Arts and Culture

The city's Civic Centre, situated around Cave Gardens is the hub of the city's arts, it includes the Riddoch Art Gallery, South Australia's major regional art gallery located in the adaptively reused old town hall complex. The complex was extended in 2011 to include "The Corner", a modern building which includes a theatre. Nearby is the public library and old post office.


Every year the town and the surrounding area, hosts nearly 3,000 young people for the Generations in Jazz Festival. Jazz artists like James Morrison, Daryl Somers, Ross Irwin, James Muller and Graeme Lyall travel to perform and adjudicate the stage band competition. Special guests have included Gordon Goodwin and his Big Phat Band


There are four Australian rules football teams competing in the Western Border Football League: North Gambier, East Gambier, South Gambier and West Gambier. The area has produced such AFL players as  Nick Daffy, Brodie and Jordan Murdoch and Matthew Clarke.

There is also a range of different sporting leagues and clubs in Mount Gambier and surrounding regions, including soccer, netball, basketball, tennis, hockey, cricket, swimming, cycling, triathlon, rifle, gun and pistol shooting, lawn bowls, ten-pin bowling, angling, archery and golf.

Motor sport is also popular, with the main facilities being the McNamara Park road racing circuit, and the Borderline Speedway, a 372 metres (407 yd) dirt track oval speedway nicknamed "The Bullring". Borderline Speedway hosts an annual Sprintcar event called the "Kings Challenge", first run in 1995 and is held in January each year a week before the Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic in nearby Warrnambool (Victoria), and two weeks before the Australian Sprintcar Championship. Borderline has played host to many Australian and South Australian speedway championships throughout its over 50-year history and is regarded as one of the best run and promoted speedways in Australia. The speedway is currently managed and promoted by former star sprintcar driver, Mount Gambier native Bill Barrows. In 2007, Borderline hosted the fifth and final round of the Australian Solo Championship. The round and the championship was won by Australia's own reigning World Champion Jason Crump.

Mount Gambier is the home of "The Alex Roberts 100 Mile Classic", a cycling event that lays claim to the longest continuing open cycling event in South Australia. The event held annually by the Mount Gambier Cycling Club.



The city has a major regional hospital, Mount Gambier Hospital out of which operates the Mount Gambier and Districts Health Service. Additionally there are a number of private health services including the Mount Gambier Private Hospital.


The city's main catchment is the Blue Lake, the volcano lake is both a tourist attraction and the city's main reservoir. Water supply, sewage collection and disposal are provided by South East Catchment Water Management Board.


Mount Gambier sits on a number of highways which connect the city to other major towns in the region, as well as to Adelaide and Melbourne.

Princes Highway (Jubilee Highway) travels through the city east to west.

  • A1 to Melbourne via Dartmoor, Portland and Warrnambool
  • B1 to Adelaide via Millicent, Kingston S.E. and Meningie

Riddoch Highway (Penola / Bay Road) travels through the city north to south.

  • A66 to Adelaide via Naracoorte and Keith
  • B66 to Port Macdonnell

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