Finally! South Australia!
We’ve stopped at Mount Gambier (which should be pronounced ‘Mont Gom-bee-air’ ...from the French for ‘half an hour behind’**), for a squizz at the Blue Lake and the very impressive Umpherston Sinkhole.
**This is probably made up.
Flashie: Why is the Blue Lake so blue?
Me: Food dye.
Flashie: Must be shit-tons of dye, then. Wanna try another explanation?
Me: Okay, because it's reflecting the sky.
Flashie: Nah, I'm calling BS on that coz I've seen it be really blue even when it's super-white cloudy. Would you like to have another go?
Me: Well......During December to March, the lake turns to a vibrant colbalt colour, returning to a colder steel grey colour for April to November. The exact cause of this phenomenon is still a matter of conjecture, but it is generally considered likely that it revolves around the warming of the surface layers of the lake during the summer months to around 20°C, causing calcium carbonate to precipitate out of the solution and enabling micro-crystallites of calcium carbonate to form. This results in scatter of the blue wavelengths of sunlight. During winter the lake becomes well mixed, and recent research indicates that during this phase of the colour cycle the lake is somewhat murkier due to the redistribution of tannins and calcium carbonate particles throughout the lake. Solar elevation has also been found to influence the perceived colour of the lake. The movement of planktonic life-forms within the lake during the seasons and during the day may additionally play a part in the colour change.
Flashie: Wow. Are you an actual genius?
Me: Quite possibly.
[Thanks Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Lake_(South_Australia)]
And then....Unperson Stinkhole!
This place just goes to show that if you've got a sinkhole lurking around somewhere, instead of leaving it to languish, get down there and start shovelling. Fill it up with plants and stuff - et viola! A sunken garden!
That's what James Umpherston did back in the 1880s when he figured that the massive hole on his property was a bit pointless and could be put to some use as a refuge from the heat of summer. Being retired, he had a bit of time up his sleeve, so he started cutting into the rock, made some steps and created a garden. No air-con for this guy! And not only that, he did it for the use of the community of Mount Gambier! What a bloke!!
Nearly 150 years later, it's constantly in use by locals, tourists and possums and is open 24 hours a day. Get thee to the hole!