Have you heard of the city of Mount Gambier?

A four-hour drive from Adelaide, Mount Gambier is a mere 20-minute drive from the southernmost point of South Australia.

Mount Gambier is the second most populated city in South Australia with a population of around 30,000. Off the limestone coast, this town is home to many natural attractions, and on my trip, I visited some of them – namely the Umpherston Sinkhole, Cave Garden and the Blue Lake Lookout.

Umpherston Sinkhole

Known as The Sunken Garden, the Umpherston Sinkhole definitely resembles one. On a late wintry Saturday morning, the attraction was breath-taking. Peppered with flora and fauna, the park is a remnant of a late 19th century garden of which the sinkhole was the focal point.

While small, this well-managed garden required us to take a few steps down into the sinkhole. From the top, the sinkhole literally looked like a garden that had fallen a few stories down. However, from the bottom, when looking upwards, it made me feel like a little kid looking out into a pretty world.

Even looking at the image below makes me want to go back to the peaceful Umpherston Sinkhole. I can only imagine how wonderful it’ll be to have a picnic in the sinkhole on a cool spring day.

Cave Gardens and Weekend Farmers’ Market

Cave Gardens

The Cave Gardens is located within the city centre, just next to the Mount Gambier Public Library. It boasts a small waterfall, larger than the one at the Umpherston Sinkhole, within a small sinkhole itself.

However, having arrived at the Cave Gardens after the visit to the Umperston Sinkhole, it did not seem as impressive as I had imagined it to be. Perhaps, the first attraction left such an impression on me.

As it was a Saturday, I attempted to look for the Weekend Farmers’ Market which was apparently within the vicinity. Walked around the area a couple of times only to realize that the three stalls that had a team of buskers nearby constituted the market. I think the rain caused the poor turnout at the market, which made it seem small.

Blue Lake Lookout

Blue Lake

A volcanic crater formed by a volcanic eruption almost 5,000 years ago, the Blue Lake is a key attraction in Mount Gambier. It became well-known due to its rich blue colour.

Being the town’s resource for water, the Blue Lake cannot be swum in. However, the lake’s surroundings boasts multiple walking trails to which residents and tourists alike can walk on. If you’re a geology fanatic, you’d be happy to know that there are signs with information on how the lake was formed around the lake 😉

Mount Gambier is located midway if you’re heading from Melbourne to Adelaide and is a great pit-stop! If you’re traveling along this route or are just heading to South Australia for a road-trip, why not stop by Mount Gambier? Go be amazed by nature at Mount Gambier!

A New Love for Flavored Dips – Have you tried this?

On a recent trip to South Australia, I chanced upon a dip, Black Swan’s Smoked Salmon and Avocado dip,  that was so memorable, let’s just say, I consumed three containers of this over a ten-day trip in South Australia. That’s how nice it is.

I was initially skeptical about the dip as I’m not a huge fan of avocado and its by-products (hint: guacamole). However, the smoked salmon caught my eye and I figured that a strong-flavored ingredient should be able to mask the flavor of the other – AND I WAS RIGHT.

The dip went so well with plain crackers and on toast. My form of big breakfast in Australia included Toast, Eggs, Bacon, and this dip. This dip is not too salty, which makes it a great spread as well (even with salty pairings like bacon).

A check on the list of ingredients included cream cheese and mayonnaise, which probably gave it its rich consistency. There was a hint of avocado and I was glad the smoked salmon taste wasn’t too overpowering.

Black Swan carries many kinds of dips, including Sweet Potato and Cashew, Crispy Bacon and Caramelized Onions, and I was tempted to try the others, but I kept being drawn to the Smoked Salmon and Avocado dip.

If you reside in Australia, you may want to check our your local Coles or Target! If you are vacationing in Australia, why not try it out? You may end up bringing back some to your home country, just like I did! I brought not one but four back home (only three remain).

Packed in foil to keep it cool during the flight

Best eBook Reader yet

With so many eBook applications on the market, it’s easy to fine one just by searching on the App and Play Stores. However, a particular eBook application that appeals to me is OverDrive.

A free mobile application, OverDrive provides a very intuitive experience for eBook viewing and reading. A couple of other free mobile applications I tried out (including the ‘famous’ free eBook reader) often offer a decent user experience but advertisements randomly pop up at the bottom bar. 

Despite being a free application, OverDrive comes without any advertisement. Like a conventional eBook reader, it allows me to adjust the brightness, colour scheme, font size and style, landscape columns, margins, orientation, screen timeout, page animation, and more. The bookmark feature (while many may find pretty common) is pretty intuitive as well. 

As a pure eBook application, I would already give it an awesome rating. However, the icing on the cake is that the application can be linked to my local library’s eBook borrowing system. 

Linking the application to my local library’s account was straightforward, and being able to borrow eBooks from my local library makes it even more convenient. eBooks borrowed from my local library stays on my OverDrive bookshelf for three weeks, and I am able to easily ‘return’ the eBook after I’ve finished reading it. eBooks purchased on other sites can also be added into my OverDrive bookshelf. 

OverDrive bookshelf

Apart from just being able to view eBooks, the application also supports Audiobooks and video playback. Audiobooks are slowly making a return to the book space and OverDrive has nailed it in capturing this audience as well.

As an eBook reader, OverDrive really tops it. It provides an intuitive reading experience, is easy to register and the many partnerships it has with libraries globally is something very commendable. The 4.6 star rating it has received on Play Store to date is also pretty sweet. 

Do check the application out on the App Store and Play Store today! The application can also be downloaded on Amazon, Windows and MAC PCs. 

Duel-Otters: Simple, fun and playable offline

Have you ever been caught waiting for your meal to arrive, not knowing how to engage with your meal buddy? On a different note today, I’d like to introduce a FREE game that can be found on the Play Store and App Store that’s great for two players! 

Duel Otters was introduced by a tech-savvy friend who enjoyed playing games that were quick, fun and simple to play with. 

This game has two main modes – 

  1. Individual – In this mode, you get to ‘challenge’ the game engine itself
  2. Two-player – There are two main kinds- three-wins/ endless party. While waiting for your meal to arrive, three-wins is usually sufficient.

Why I love it – 

  1. Simple games available – From hockey, ’pumping’ balloons, to matching games and even quick calculation games, these simple games can be played by players of all ages. For the competitive ones, there is also a ‘random’ mode where the game engine decides for you to which game you’ll be playing. All games should end within a minute or two and provide endless entertainment. Even the least competitive person will be excited while playing the games.
  2. Entertaining/ Up-beat Music – In a restaurant/ café setting, being able to play a simple game with slightly up-beat music is quite entertaining and is a clear conversation starter.
  3. Does not require Internet/ data connection – Games I generally dread are those that drain your battery AND require loads of data. This game is fun to play offline and if you are worried about possible data consumption, you can just change your phone’s setting to ensure that this game does not connect to the Internet while you’re not connected to Wi-Fi

I’ve played this game with my friends (ages 20+) and children (ages <10) and we’ve always had fun playing these games. 

Why not download the game today and have fun? 

Download from the game from the App Store and Play Store today!