Umpherston Sinkhole


The Umpherston Sinkhole (or the Sunken Garden) is one of the most spectacular gardens located in the Mount Gambier region.

Umpherston sinkhole was once a typical limestone cave that formed by the corrosion of limestone rocks by seawater waves and the sinkhole was naturally created when the chamber’s roof collapsed.

Umpherston Sinkhole Sunken Garden Mount Gambier, South Australia

Presently, the Umpherston Sinkhole is a beautiful sunken garden that offers a perfect setting for visitors to enjoy and spend some time.

The Umpherston Sinkhole was made into a garden by James Umpherston in 1886. The sinkhole is open from dawn to dusk and, as the sun sets, the Umpherston Sinkhole comes alive with hundreds of possums as they come into this tranquil garden to feed.

The sculptures at Umpherston Sinkhole are inspired by the geological processes of the region that resulted in the formation of sinkholes.

The Umpherston Sinkhole has a long ramp at the entry point followed by an array of enclosed steps. From these steps, you can see the first real views of the sinkhole. As you proceed further into the sinkhole, you will be able to see the stunning garden and its picturesque landscape. From the area of this sinkhole, you can see the terraces in the garden. Once you descend to the floor of the sinkholes, you will see the fountain, hydrangeas and tree-ferns around the area. Unfortunately, there is no wheelchair access to the garden floor.

The sinkhole offers an array of scenic spots and a beautiful garden; certainly offering you a very unique experience. The garden is open every day and remains open until late in the evening. Bring along some snacks and watch the possums emerge at dusk.

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Umpherston Sinkhole Information

Jubilee Hwy East,
Mount Gambier, SA
 Operating Hours:
6am - 1am
Phone: (08) 8724 9750
Email: [email protected]
  Ticket Prices/Admission:

Highly Recommended Mount Gambier Attractions

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10 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Hi There,

    Could you please tell me what number on Jubilee Hwy is the Umpherston Sinkhole, we are driving down from Adelaide in November and wish to book accommodation that is close.

    We intend staying for two days in Mt. Gambier on our way to the Grampians, can you recommend attractions for us (my wife and I will be bringing our bicycles with us.)

    Thanks for your help.

    David & Angela

    Thank you

    • Hi David,

      Unfortunately, i can’t seem to find an exact number listed for the Umpherston Sinkhole, but there are plenty of signs when you arrive and it is roughly 2km east of town on Jubilee Hwy East.

      I recommend checking out this Wotif page and you can then search for accommodation that is close by (use the interactive map).

      The are plenty of day trips available, but if you are only staying within the town, i’d recommend at the very least checking out The Blue Lake and Crater Lakes (all of which are bike friendly and quite nice to ride around), take a stroll through the Valley Lake Wildlife Park, as well as hiking to the top of Mount Schank. All of these can be found on our attractions page.

      I also happen to have a site dedicated to the Grampians if you are interested of what to do and see there –

      All the best and have an excellent trip!

    • Hi Amanda,

      The short answer is yes, weddings can be held at the Umpherston Sinkhole.

      From personal experience, the gardens are best viewed in Spring and Summer as the flowers are in full bloom and the sun is shining down. I have visited in Autumn when the gardens were not as spectacular and it was clouded over making the garden a little dark for photos, so I would avoid this period.

      I would recommend contacting the visitor centre directly for further information about availability, prices, etc on (08) 8724 9750.

      Kind Regards,
      Holiday Point

    • Hi Abbey,

      I think the best time to go to Umpherston Sinkhole is during dusk as this is when the possums come out for feeding. Its really fun to walk around the caves at dusk and see their little eyes peering out!

      If you are looking for the best time to photograph the sinkhole, its best to go to the sinkhole during the middle of the day (between 12-2pm) when the sun is right overhead.

      Enjoy your time in Mount Gambier!


  • Hi,
    I recently visited the umpherston park and took a photo of the twin column/wavy sculpture near the car park that is lit up at night. Can you provide any details on what it represents and who carved it please?
    Thanks Wayne.

    • Hi Wayne,

      This was a hard one! I have been to the sinkhole many times before, but have never stopped to read the sign!

      However, luckily, someone has written a blog about it when they last visited. Here it is:
      The Sculpture was completed in 1997 by Ivo Tadic, who was inspired by the geological process of rainwater dissolving limestone over millions of years, thus creating the regions sinkholes and caves. The top section of the sculpture represents sinkholes that are open to the sky. The middle section represents hidden fissures created by solution of limestone and the lower section represents limestone prior to any solution activity. The sculpture is made from Mt. Gambier Limestone, probably formed 15-40 million years ago and is composed of fragments of marine animals. The limestone blocks are strengthened by twin steel columns embedded in a concrete footing.

      Well there you go! I too learnt something new today…

    • Hi Evelyn,

      I am not aware of any rule which prohibits dogs going into the Umpherston Sinkhole, but there are possums and other wildlife that live there so it is not recommended. Dogs may scare away the possums and other wildlife which would be a pity for you and others who are visiting.