Getting to Naracoorte
Naracoorte is your perfect self-drive destination, so take time to see majestic gum trees and bush, natural beauty, rich farmland, and rugged coastline on your way there.
Make Naracoorte your home base, book a few nights, and then branch out and explore the Limestone Coast and Victorian border districts.
From the North - Adelaide to Naracoorte
Naracoorte is 335km or 3.5 hours’ drive from Adelaide, South Australia. From Adelaide, take the South Eastern Freeway and Dukes Highway. At Keith, turn south on to the Riddoch Highway for Naracoorte.
Along the way:
View animals in the open range Monarto Zoo, cross the River Murray in Murray Bridge or the Swanport Bridge on the highway, then on to Tailem Bend and The Bend Motorsport Park, see the art of Coonalpyn Silos and shop for homemade goodies and crafts at Heart of the Parks at the old Tintinara railway station. At Keith, visit the Circle Work water feature and the Land Rover on a Pole. On the Riddoch Highway south of Keith, watch for the sign for Christmas Rocks: take a 5-minute climb and view the patchwork of agricultural paddocks, then on to Willalooka to visit Lyn’s Loos (the WCs playing music) and the Willalooka Tavern. The vineyards of Padthaway wine region extend north and south of the township. Call into Farmer’s Leap and Henry’s Drive winery cellar door, just south of Padthaway, for snacks, tastings and sales.
From the South
Naracoorte is 102km or one hour’s drive from Mount Gambier. From Mount Gambier, drive north on the Riddoch Highway.
Along the way:
Drive past plantation forests of pinus radiata trees, the foundation of the region’s timber industry. Call into Nangwarry Forestry Museum and see pine harvesting machinery and fire-fighting equipment. In December and January, look out for handmade road signs between Nangwarry and Penola inviting you to taste and buy plump, ripe cherries from local growers. You’ll love the landscape dotted with magnificent red gums: some of these tall, gnarled and canopied trees are hundreds of years old. Stroll around historic Penola, the Limestone Coast’s oldest town, where St Mary MacKillop founded her teaching order. Sample the famous Cabernet Sauvignon and other wines on the famous “cigar strip” of Coonawarra premium wine region.
From the East - Melbourne to naracoorte
Naracoorte is 445km or 5.25 hours’ drive from Melbourne, Victoria. You have two main choices. From Melbourne, the most direct route is to take the Western Highway to Horsham, then the Wimmera Highway to Naracoorte. For the scenic route, take the Princes Highway to Geelong, then the World Heritage-listed Great Ocean Road from Torquay. The century-old Great Ocean Road ends at Allansford, near Warrnambool. From Warrnambool, take the road to Hamilton, Coleraine, Casterton, Penola, Coonawarra and Naracoorte.
Along the way:
On the Western Highway, take rest stops and discover the delights of the historic gold rush city of Ballarat, with Sovereign Hill open-air museum; Ararat and its Gum San Chinese Museum; Stawell, home of Australia’s richest footrace the Stawell Gift; Grampians (Gariwerd) National Park, a mecca for rock climbers and bushwalkers; regional city Horsham; and Edenhope, with picturesque Lake Wallace and the treasure trove Edenhope Antiques.
On the Great Ocean Road, a wealth of experiences awaits you along the spectacular 243km road: surfing at Bells Beach, the 12 Apostles limestone formations at Port Campbell, Great Otway National Park, whale watching in the Southern Ocean, shipwrecks, waterfalls, lakes, rivers, volcanic plains and wildlife. From Warrnambool, you head to Hamilton, famous for wool and Hamilton Botanic Gardens; Casterton, home of the Australian kelpie dog; historic Penola, where St Mary MacKillop founded her teaching order; Coonawarra premium wine region, with 30 winery cellar doors; and Naracoorte.
From the West
Naracoorte is 101km or one hour’s drive from Kingston SE and 113km or 1.25 hours’ drive from Robe.
From Kingston, head east to Lucindale, home of the South East Field Days, the region’s biggest annual event in March, and on to Naracoorte. From Robe, follow the road signs across Biscuit Flat, and the Avenue Plans to the Four Mile Crossing outside Lucindale, then join the Lucindale-Naracoorte Road.
Along the way:
From Kingston, call at Reedy Creek Nursery, at the T-junction between Kingston-Millicent Highway and Lucindale-Naracoorte Road, for wholesale native trees and shrubs; and drive on to Lucindale, home of the South East Field Days, the region’s biggest annual event in March, and the Lucindale Museum; then to Naracoorte.
Naracoorte Visitor Information Centre
If you need help to plan your day trips from Naracoorte, drop into the VIC in MacDonnell Street and talk to the friendly staff and volunteers. They can help with maps, brochures and information. Or phone 1800 244 421 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Get inspired by the travel itineraries on southaustralia.com and plan your own self-drive road trip.
Premier Stateliner runs a regular coach service from Central Bus Station, 85 Franklin Street, Adelaide. The trip to Naracoorte takes about five hours, and the coach arrives at Naracoorte Battery Service, 170Smith Street. The coach also travels from Naracoorte to Adelaide.
A weekday coach runs between Naracoorte and Horsham, Victoria, and links to V-Line and coach services to and from Melbourne. Contact Naracoorte Visitor Information Centre.
Regional Air Express has regular return flights from Adelaide and Melbourne to Mount Gambier. Hire cars are available at Mount Gambier Airport, which is about one hour’s drive from Naracoorte.