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The Mount Gambier region enjoys a temperate climate, characterised by cool to cold winter and warm to hot summers. Most rainfall occurs in the winter months with Mount Gambier having an average of 711mm. Because of its proximity to the coast there is a significant maritime influence to the region’s climate. Areas near the coast exhibit less dramatic variations in temperature compared to areas further to the coast and the persistent sea breeze on summer afternoons has a moderating influence on temperature.

Some Climatic indices of interest in viticulture.
Mean annual rainfall 711 mm
Heat degree days in growing season* 1151
Mean January temperature 17.90 C
Mean daily sunshine hours in growing season* 7.7 hours
Mean annual temperature range (Feb- July) 9.20 C
*October to April  

View page 47 of this document for more detailed Climate information



The soils of the Mount Gambier have developed as a result of two significant geological processes, the migration of the coast line as a result of changing sea levels during the last ice age and recent volcanic activity along the southern margins of the South East of South Australia. This resulted in a coastal plain of low relief, in which the underlying limestone bedrock is reasonably close to the surface and in many areas has been exposed. The South East region was in the distant geological past a vast sedimentary basin, overlain by ancient warm shallow seas. Deposition of the skeletons of minute creatures (bryzoans) led to the accumulation of thick layers of limestone which underlies the whole region.

The inland movement of the coastline and its subsequent retreats led to the development of a system of stranded beach dunes running in a north- west to south- east axis, with poorly drained lagoons between. Around Mount Gambier and Glencoe, the eruption of lava exploiting a line of weakness in the earth’s crust led to the development of a number of craters and the dispersal of large amounts of ash over the adjacent areas. Over time this volcanic ash has weathered into a free draining highly fertile loam soil. The dune systems provide the sands and sandy loams and in places where limestone appears near the surface there are small patches of terra rossa, a freely draining sandy clay, a result of weathering.

In summary there is considerable variation in soils across the region ranging from the loam, flint soils over limestone around Kongorong to the volcanic loams of Glencoe and Mount Gambier to the sands and sandy loams of the areas to the east near the Victorian border.

View page 71 of this document for more detailed Soil information


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