The Limestone Coast Region is located in the far south-east of South Australia, between 200 and 450 kilometres south-east of the Adelaide CBD, and between 400 and 500 kilometres west of the Melbourne CBD. The Limestone Coast Region is bounded by the Coorong District Council area and the Southern Mallee District Council area in the north, the Victorian border, West Wimmera Shire and Glenelg Shire in the east, and the Southern Ocean in the south and west.
The Limestone Coast Region encompasses seven local government areas: the District Council of Grant, the Kingston District Council area, the City of Mount Gambier, the Naracoorte-Lucindale Council area, the District Council of Robe, the Tatiara District Council area, and the Wattle Range Council area.
The Limestone Coast Region is predominantly rural, with the main city being Mount Gambier, and regional centres at Beachport, Bordertown, Keith, Kingston SE, Millicent, Naracoorte, Penola and Robe. More than one third of the population live in the City of Mount Gambier. Smaller townships include Coonawarra, Furner, Glencoe, Hatherleigh, Kalangadoo, Lucindale, Mount Burr, Nangwarry, Port MacDonnell, Rendelsham, Southend, Tantanoola and Tarpeena, with numerous small villages and coastal communities. The Limestone Coast Region encompasses a total land area of more than 21,000 square kilometres. Rural land is used largely for agriculture (particularly sheep and cattle grazing and grain growing), with some horticulture, viticulture, timber production and aquaculture (fishing and lobsters). Tourism is also an important industry.
The original inhabitants of the Limestone Coast Region were the Booandik, Cannawigra, Meintangk, Ngarrindjeri, Tatiara and Wirrega Aboriginal people.
European settlement dates from the 1840s, with land used mainly for sheep and cattle grazing, with some timber milling. Several townships were established in the 1850s, including Bordertown, Kingston SE, Mount Gambier and Penola. Growth took place from the 1850s into the 1870s, following the establishment of ports at Kingston SE, Port MacDonell and Robe. Growth continued in most areas during the late 1800s, aided by the opening of the railway line. Significant development occurred from the post-war years, aided by the soldier settlement scheme and tourism. The population of the Region was relatively stable during the 1990s at about 60,000 people, and then increased gradually to nearly 62,000 in 2011. Most of the recent growth has been in the south, in the City of Mount Gambier.
Major features of the Region include Canunda National Park, Coorong National Park, Naracoorte Caves National Park, Lower South East Marine Park, Picaninnie Ponds Karst Wetlands, numerous Conservation Parks (Aberdour, Bangham, Beachport, Belt Hill, Bernouilli, Big Heath, Butcher Gap, Calectasia, Carpenter Rocks, Desert Camp, Dingley Dell, Douglas Point, Ewens Ponds, Fairview, Finger Point, Glen Roy, Gower, Guichen Bay, Gum Lagoon, Hacks Lagoon, Hardings Springs, Jip, Lake Frome, Little Dip, Lower Glenelg River, Mount Munster, Mount Scott, Mount Shaugh, Mullinger Swamp, Nene Valley, Ngarkat, Padthaway, Penambol, Penguin Island, Penola, Picaninnie Ponds, Pine Hill, Reedy Creek, Talapar, Tantanoola Caves, Telford Scrub, Tilley Swamp, Woakwine and Wolseley Common), various lakes (including Blue, Bonney, Brownes, Butler, Charm, Edward, Eliza, Fellmongery, George, Leake, McIntyre, Robe, St Clair and Valley), Englebrecht Cave, Tantanoola Cave, several Game Reserves (Bool Lagoon, Bucks Lake, Lake Robe and Poocher Swamp), Cave Gardens (State Heritage Area), Umpherston Sinkhole, Penguin Viewing Platform, The Lady Nelson Visitor & Discovery Centre, Woolwash Interpretive Centre, Robe Sealife Centre, Teatrick Lavender Estate, various golf clubs (Beachport, Blue Lake Public, Bordertown, Hatherleigh, Keith, Kingston SE, Lucindale Country Club, Millicent, Mount Gambier, Naracoorte, Padthaway, Port MacDonnell and Robe), Mount Gambier Aquatic Centre, Bordertown Wildlife Park, Valley Lake Wildlife Park, Cape Northumberland Heritage and Nature Park, Lake Bonney Wind Farms, Woakwine Wind Farm, numerous museums (Beachport Old Wool and Grain Store, Bourne’s Bird, Clayton Farm Heritage, Kingston National Trust, Lucindale, Millicent Living History, Mount Gambier Courthouse, Nangwarry Forest, Port MacDonnell & District Maritime and The Sheep’s Back), Mary McKillop Penola Centre, Glencoe Woolshed, various art galleries, numerous wineries, TAFE SA (Bordertown, Mount Gambier and Naracoorte Campuses), University of South Australia (Mount Gambier Campus), various hospitals (Bordertown Memorial, Keith & District, Kingston Soldiers Memorial, Millicent and District, Mount Gambier & Districts Health Service, Naracoorte Health Service and Penola War Memorial), numerous beaches and several small airports (Kingston, Mount Gambier, Naracoorte and Robe).
The Limestone Coast Region is served by the Dukes Highway, the Jubilee Highway, the Ngarkat Highway, the Princes Highway, the Riddoch Highway and the Southern Ports Highway.
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