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Mount Gambier, also known as Ereng Balam, meaning eagle hawk, is a maar complex in South Australia. It contains four lake-filled maars called Blue Lake, Valley Lake, Leg of Mutton Lake, and Browne Lake.
See the fact file below for more information on the Mount Gambier or alternatively, you can download our 21-page Mount Gambier worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- While Australia is home to the world’s longest chain of continental volcanoes, it is south-east Australia that features the country’s only active volcanoes.
- The Province has about 400 volcanoes from Melbourne to Mount Gambier, and it is the main volcanic region in Australia considered to be still active.
- Mount Gambier’s Blue Lake and the nearby Mount Schank are Australia’s most recently active volcanoes, having erupted about 5,000 years ago.
- Believed to erupt every 10,000 years, Australia still has 5,000 years more before the next eruption.
- From geographic research, results of the Mount Gambier eruption show that magma rose to the surface from a depth of 80 km and a large part of magma interacted with shallow groundwater, causing a violent eruption.
- With an ash plume of at least 5-10 km high, the eruption was classified as a size four eruption on the Volcanic Explosivity Index.
- It is also one of Australia’s youngest volcanoes and estimates of the age have ranged from over 28,000 years to less than 4,300 years.
- Hence, it is considered dormant rather than an extinct volcano.
- Mount Gambier is thought to have formed by a mantle plume centre called the East Australia hotspot.
- The mountain was sighted by Lieutenant James Grant on December 3, 1800 from the survey brig HMS Lady Nelson.
- It was then named after Lord James Gambier, the Admiral of the Fleet.
THE CITY ABOVE THE VOLCANO
- Above the volcano is a city named Mount Gambier. It is located on the slopes in the south east of the state, about 450 kilometres (280 miles) south-east of Adelaide and 17 kilometres (11 miles) from the Victorian border.
- The state heritage area includes the sides and rim of the craters that form the Blue Lake, Leg of Mutton Lake, Valley Lake, and Browne Lake. The volcanic feature known as the Devil’s Punchbowl is also included in the area.
- It is also well known for its geographical features, particularly its volcanic and limestone features, most notably its Blue Lake, parks and gardens, caves and sinkholes.
- Mount Gambier has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate. The town has warm, dry summers and cool, wet winters.
- The largest industry is the timber industry, supported by milling operations. Dairy, beef, lamb, and wool are important exports. Limestone is quarried locally, and a large Rock Lobster fishing fleet operates out of nearby Port MacDonnell.
- Gambier Town was founded in 1854 by Hastings Cunningham, one of the pioneers in the export of frozen mutton to England.
- It was proclaimed a municipality in 1876 and a city in 1954.
- In 1900, the foundation was laid for a tower on the summit of Mount Gambier to commemorate 100 years since Grant’s sighting of the peak; the tower opened in 1904.
BEST OF GAMBIER
- Mount Gambier offers great points to stop and rest on journeys as it has plenty of scenic spots to explore and enjoy:
- The Blue Lake. With its ever-changing water colour in the various seasons. The lake water turns a dense blue in November to a grey colour in April.
- Rose Gardens. Families come to picnic on the manicured lawn and spend time in the rose gardens.
- Centenary Tower. Tourists get the most scenic and panoramic views of Mount Gambier and the coast upon reaching the summit.
- Umpherston Sinkhole. Once a limestone cave, the natural vegetation turned the area into a beautiful garden.
- Engelbrecht Cave. It is one of the most fascinating cave sites in the Limestone Coast area.
- Cave Gardens. People can observe the gardens from above, and there’s also a lights show in the evenings.
- Tantanoola Caves Conservation Park. Tourists get a guided tour around the 30m-wide, 8m-high caves.
- Valley Lake. Another crater lake, but much quieter than the Blue Lake. With picnic areas and walking trails, it’s the perfect spot to relax for a while.
Mount Gambier Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the Mount Gambier across 21 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Mount Gambier worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Mount Gambier, also known as Ereng Balam, meaning eagle hawk, which is a maar complex in South Australia. It contains four lake-filled maars called Blue Lake, Valley Lake, Leg of Mutton Lake, and Browne Lake.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Aussie Talk
- The Volcano
- Great Lakes
- Cities on Volcano
- Volcanic Benefits
- Modern Community
- James Gambier
- Places Over Time
- Promoting Tourism
- Mount Gambier
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Link will appear as Mount Gambier Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, September 18, 2019
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.