While sinkholes are generally regarded as a disastrous natural phenomenon, Australia’s Umpherston Sinkhole has been transformed into a wondrous fantasy garden.
Otherwise known as the ‘Sunken Garden,’ the verdant sinkhole was formed when the ceiling of a large subterranean cave collapsed into itself, leaving a giant pockmark in the Earth. The hole began its transformation in 1886 when local James Umpherston began planting a garden in the huge shaft.
More info: Discover Mount Gambier
Umpherston Sinkhole, also known, as The Sunken Garden was once a cave formed through dissolution of the limestone.
The beauty of the Umpherston Sinkhole has to be seen to be believed. Appreciate its size and depth from the viewing platforms at the top of the sinkhole, then, walk down into the sinkhole, along the terraces and behind the hanging vines.
The sinkhole was created when the top of the chamber collapsed downwards. Now the topsoil down on the floor forms the perfect environment for the sunken garden.
Originally beautified by James Umpherston around 1886, the sinkhole is open at all times and from dusk each evening the area comes alive with possums as they venture into the floodlit gardens to feed.
A large undercover shelter with group seating and free barbecue is provided. Kiosk on site for coffee, snacks, ice creams and souvenirs.
Today the sunken garden is an almost otherworldly green space with rows and terraces of perfectly manicured greenery covering the floor of the sinkhole.