Mount Schank

South Australia
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  • check the walk's official website to confirm if the track is open
  • turn back if it looks like the track is too busy when you get there

Your chance to enter the centre of Mount Schank, the youngest volcano in Australia (5,000 years old) and now a 100m high dormant volcano, with a basic ash cone and base that does not extend below the water table, so there is no crater lake.

Lookouts
Toilets
No Dogs Permitted
No Camping Permitted
Eucalypt Forest
95m
Maximum Elevation
73m
Total Climb

Getting there:

From Mt Gambier, travel south for 15km on the Riddoch Highway towards Port MacDonnell. Turn left into Post Office Road (signposted) and then left into Mountain Path Road to the car park on your right at the base of the mountain.

Maps:

Mount Schank Crater Walk

Route/Trail notes:

The easy bit, is the 1,000+ limestone planks to the crater rim. Walk left around the rim to the signposted 'track not maintained past this point' and take a right down an unmaintained and overgrown fern track that zig zags down to the centre of the crater.

Return to the rim by the same route and either turn left back to the stair or a slightly longer more rugged route to your right around the rest of the rim to the stairway and back down.

Permits/Costs:

None.

Other References/Comments:

The local Aboriginal Bunganditj people witnessed Mount Schank's eruptions over time. Their creation story about the local volcanic landscape was recorded by a local woman, Christina Smith, in 1880. It tells the tale of Craitbul, a giant, who was looking for a place to live with his wife and two sons. They camped at Mount Muirhead and Mount Schank, but were scared away from both these camps by a moaning bird spirit. They fled to Mount Gambier, leaving their camp ovens (the volcanoes) burning. After some time, water came and filled their ovens, putting them out and driving the spirit away. They continued to live in a cave on the side of Mount Gambier.

Comments

What a great trek. Get to the rim and walk around and then down a unmaintained overgrown fern trail to the centre avoiding the snakes and overhanging branches. In the centre there is no sound, not even a whisper: surreal calm. Lay one more stone on the cairn and head back to the top.

F.A.B. on 11 Mar, 2021

Where

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