RDA Limestone Coast RegionEconomic profile
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RDA Limestone Coast Region

About the area

Location and boundaries

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.

Included areas

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.

Economic region
Limestone Coast region

Land use

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 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.

Settlement history

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.

Indigenous background

The original inhabitants of the Limestone Coast Region were the Booandik, Cannawigra, Meintangk, Ngarrindjeri, Tatiara and Wirrega Aboriginal people.