8 Incredible Australian Sinkholes That Are Way More Beautiful Than They Sound

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When someone says ‘sinkhole’ my first mental image is to a large, boggy hole in the earth with trash it’s sucked in — so I understand if you’re confused by the headline. I’m telling you though, when it comes to Australia, you definitely need to get that image out of your head.

For reasons I don’t fully understand because I’m not a scientist, Australia — well, actually, mostly just South Australia, but not entirely — has some natural sinkholes that are actually pretty incredible. So incredible, that they’re absolutely worth planning a trip around.

From swimming and diving to magical gardens, here are eight Aussie sinkholes you will absolutely want to visit.

#1 Kilsby Sinkhole, SA


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In the. middle of a working sheep farm 14km south of Mount Gambier on the SA Limestone Coast, Kilsby Sinkhole is considered one of the best sinkhole dive sites in the world — and it just opened to the public. You can read all about it here.

#2 Umpherston Sinkhole, SA


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South Australia’s Limestone Coast actually has a bunch of cool sinkholes thanks to ground and climate conditions. Second on our list is Umpherston Sinkhole, which has been turned into a beautiful sunken garden. We’ve detailed the perfect road trip to get you there from Adelaide which you can read here.

#3 Koonalda Cave, SA

A drive through the famous Nullabbor will reveal Koonalda Cave, and it’s pretty fascinating for a totally different reason. The sinkhole walls are covered with Indigenous Australian artwork from 20,000 years ago, which yes, makes it older than any art you’ll find in Europe.

#4 The Grotto, VIC

See? I told you they weren’t ALL in South Australia. The famous Grotto along the Great Ocean Road is a pretty famous tourist attraction. Just outside of Port Campbell, this sinkhole is a mix of blowhole, ocean-framing archway and cave that makes for some pretty spectacular photos.

#5 Little Blue Lake, SA


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As adorable as the name suggest, Little Blue Lake is once again on the Limestone Coast, and a popular swimming hole with stairs and a floating pontoon added for easy access. It’s also a very old, with age estimates dating it back between  15,000 to 100,000 years.

#6 Engelbrecht Cave, SA


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How about a whole sinkhole cave system in the middle of a mountain? Pretty epic, yes? Located in Mount Gambier, this cave system is one of the best if love a little cave hiking. It’s also a pretty unique dive site, thanks to the underground lake. Plus the walk has a few platforms for pretty epic views of the Mountains.

#7 Hell’s Hole, SA


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Seemingly in the middle of nowhere, the unique colours of Hell’s Hole in Lower Glenelg National Park are popular enough to have earned their own steel viewing platform, but there’s a good chance you’ll get it all to yourself. This huge 30-metre deep sink-hole attracts a lot of divers and people who enjoy pretty views.

#8 Naracoorte Caves

As a UNESCO World Heritage Site thanks to its Australian mammal fossils, this is not just another cave system. Naracoorte Caves are the only ones of their kind in Australia, and while some sections are closed to the public for fossil conservation and research, you can check out others on a guided tour.

(Lead image: Offroad Images / Trent John Martin both via Tourism SA)