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Visitor Centre hosts Tourism Industry Evening

Visitor Centre hosts Tourism Industry Evening
13 March

Tourism industry representatives listen to a presentation from Kilsby Sinkhole
Tourism industry representatives listen to a presentation from Kilsby Sinkhole
Tourism industry representatives listen to a presentation from Kilsby Sinkhole

The Mount Gambier Visitor Centre recently held the first of its tourism industry update evenings including presentations from local tourism businesses Reef 2 Ridge and Kilsby Sinkhole. The presentations provided insight into adventure tourism opportunities.

Reef 2 Ridge is Mount Gambier’s premier dive centre, offering snorkelling and scuba dive tours and training. Owner Rob Main came to Mount Gambier just over two years ago, starting his business from a van which evolved to his current shopfront operation employing nine people.

“I came from the Hunter Valley which is considered an adventure centre for Australia, but having visited Mount Gambier I felt the opportunities here were substantial so my wife and I packed up and moved to South Australia,” Reef 2 Ridge owner Rob Main said.

The unique story of the Kilsby Sinkhole has been thrust into the spotlight by Kilsby brothers Graham and Ben who have created a unique adventure tourism business operating only a short drive from the Mount Gambier CBD.

The Sinkhole is on a working farm so the access is restricted but can be obtained through advance bookings. The response to the new snorkelling tours introduced prior to Christmas has resulted in a hive of activity at the sinkhole.

“The water temperature is consistently 16 degrees all year round and we don’t get the swell and rips or predators of the ocean,” Kilsby Sinkhole Dive Instructor Jen Will said.

Jen has experienced diving at sites all around the world and enjoys introducing beginners to snorkelling at the sinkhole.

“I love hearing the feedback from customers who have been afraid to snorkel but are now enjoying this amazing experience”.

City of Mount Gambier Manager Tourism and Economic Development Donna Foster explained how the geology of the region has created natural wonders and ideal environments for fresh water diving and cave related exploring activities.

Although the region attracts experienced cave divers such as the Australians of the Year Dr Richard Harris OAM and Dr Craig Challen SC OAM, it also offers opportunities for others to experience these wonders such snorkelling in Ewens Ponds and Kilsby Sinkhole. New abseiling experiences are soon to be on offer too, with dry caving to follow.
- City of Mount Gambier Manager Tourism and Economic Development Donna Foster

“It is so rewarding to see these products coming online and the way our agencies and the private sector are collaborating to grow our visitor economy. We are working with both the new operators and those already delivering adventure experiences, such as Engelbrecht Cave, to increase capability and capacity in the industry and share the story of our unique landscape," Ms Foster said.

“The session also highlighted the upcoming Ghost Mushroom season which is in its third year - A different kind of adventure and unique to Mount Gambier.”

Media contact: City of Mount Gambier Communications Officer Ashlea Watson on (08) 8721 2577 or email awatson@mountgambier.sa.gov.au