Victoria's south-western volcanic plains are part of Australia's most extensive volcanic province. The Kanawinka Geotrail takes you on a journey including Mount Eccles and the nearby tumuli.
Australia may be referred to as a relatively young nation, but the well preserved ancient landscape provides many precious windows into the past. The Kanawinka Geotrail takes you on a surprising journey through Australia’s most extensive volcanic province, with over 60 sites enabling visitors to travel back in time over thousands of years.
The Kanawinka region gets its name from the geological fault the stretches from Portland (Victoria) to Naracoorte (South Australia). Kanawinka is an aboriginal term meaning ‘Land of Tomorrow’. The area is also internationally recognised as the Kanawinka Global Geopark.
The Kanawinka landscape of south-west Victoria and south-east South Australia is a striking contrast of sweeping limestone plains stubbed with remarkable sinkholes and caves, spectacular mountains and extensive lava flows. The area features nearly 400 individual eruption points, most of which occurred between 4.5 and 2 million years ago, and several hundred caves west of Kanawinka Fault.
Approximately 20km south of Hamilton lies Mount Napier, the youngest volcano in Victoria and the highest volcanic point in the Western District Plains, with many eruption and lava flow features that are remnants from the last stages of volcanic activity 10,000 years ago. Some lava flows reach as far as the sea between Port Fairy and Portland. Mount Napier is best attempted with a 4WD.
Also part of the Mount Napier State Park are the Byaduk Caves. The Byaduk Caves are an extensive and accessible set of lava caves. The caves are reached via the Byaduk Caves Road, 18 km from Hamilton on the Hamilton-Port Fairy Road.
Walking tracks follow cave edges and have a number of viewing points to observe flora, fauna and lava features.
Your Kanawinka experience will take you from the Coonawarra in South Australia through to Lake Corangamite and the Great Ocean Road in Victoria and offers a range of visitor experiences including caves, coastal formations, beautiful Wannon and Nigretta Falls and even a visit to Mount Rouse Lookout to take in a panoramic view of the lava plain
For more information call into the Penhurst Volcanoes Discovery Centre.