Mount Gambier is the second most populous city in South Australia with a population of 25,199 in the urban area, or 27,756 if associated peri-urban communities are included (2011 Census). The city is located on the slopes of Mount Gambier (volcano) in the south east of the state, about 450 kilometres (280 mi) south-east of the capital Adelaide and just 17 kilometres (11 mi) from the Victorian border, it is the most important settlement in the Limestone Coast region and the seat of government for both the City of Mount Gambier and the District Council of Grant.
The peak of the inactive volcano was the first place in South Australia named by European explorers. It was sighted in 1800 by Lieutenant James Grant from the survey brig, HMS Lady Nelson, and named for Lord James Gambier, Admiral of the Fleet. The peak is marked by Centenary Tower, built in 1904 to commemorate the first sighting, and at 192 metres (630 ft) above sea level the landmark is the city's highest point.
The city is known for its geographical features, particularly its volcanic and limestone features, most notably its Blue Lake, parks and gardens, caves and sinkholes.
Mount Gambier sits on a number of highways which connect the city to other major towns in the region, as well as to Adelaide and Melbourne.
Princes Highway (Jubilee Highway) travels through the city east to west.
- A1 to Melbourne via Dartmoor, Portland and Warrnambool
- B1 to Adelaide via Millicent, Kingston S.E. and Meningie
- A66 to Adelaide via Naracoorte and Keith
- B66 to Port Macdonnell
The city has a major regional hospital, Mount Gambier Hospital out of which operates the Mount Gambier and Districts Health Service. Additionally there are a number of private health services including the Mount Gambier Private Hospital.
There are six Prep to Year 7 (R-7) Primary schools:
- Reidy Park Primary School
- McDonald Park
- Compton Primary School
- Melaleuca Park
- Mulga Street Primary School
- Mount Gambier North Primary School
Primary and Secondary
There are two Prep to Year 12 (R-12) colleges:
- Tenison Woods College
- St Martins Lutheran College
- Mount Gambier High School
- Grant High School
Tertiary education is Provided by a number of university and TAFE campuses.
- TAFE South Australia has a campus in Mount Gambier providing an extensive variety of vocational study.
- University of South Australia has a campus in Mount Gambier which offers full-time or part-time undergraduate degrees in Accountancy, Nursing and Social Work.
- Southern Cross University and Flinders University also have campuses offering programmes respectively in forestry and medicine