Mount Schank is a 100 m (330 ft) high dormant volcano in the southeast corner of South Australia, near Mount Gambier. It was sighted by James Grant on 3 December 1800 and named after Admiral John Schank, designer of Grant's ship, HMS Lady Nelson.Arrange your visit to Mount Schank and discover more family-friendly attractions in Mount Gambier using our Mount Gambier attractions planner.
Mount Schank is part of the Newer Volcanics Province, which is the youngest volcanic field in Australia. Mount Schank erupted about 5,000 years ago, around the same time as Mount Gambier. It is a very basic ash cone and the base of the crater does not extend below the water table, so there is no crater lake as with those at Mount Gambier. There are two small subsidiary craters adjacent to the main cone and some lava flows resulting from the eruption. The northern crater is circular, 300 m (980 ft) in diameter and 100 m (330 ft) deep, the older southern crater is 200 m (660 ft) in diameter and partially overlapped by the larger crater.
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.
The site is accessible from the Riddoch Highway about 20 km (12 mi) south of Mount Gambier; there is a small carpark and picnic table, and steps have been placed to facilitate the short but very steep walk to the rim of the crater. It is a fairly simple walk to traverse the rim, though the exposed situation can be treacherous in gusty weather.
Create an itinerary including Mount Schank
Mount Schank reviews
What a view, this is a dormant volcano and it looks spectacular! The walk from the carpark to the top consists of 1,038 limestone steps and is shaped like a strange ladder, very peculiar to walk...
What a view, this is a dormant volcano and it looks spectacular! The walk from the carpark to the top consists of 1,038 limestone steps and is shaped like a strange ladder, very peculiar to walk... more »
This place was great, but he walk to the bottom could do with some updating. It was still worth doing though and not that difficult. The rim walk was excellent. Definitely worth visiting.
This place was great, but he walk to the bottom could do with some updating. It was still worth doing though and not that difficult. The rim walk was excellent. Definitely worth visiting. more »
This in something. Have to see for yourself. Amazing. Remember to take water in climbing ;)
Nice walk, short but steep in some sections
Plan your trip to Mount Gambier
Get a personalized tripA complete day by day itinerary based on your preferences
Customize itRefine your trip. We'll find the
best routes and schedules
Book itChoose from the best hotels and activities. Up to 50% off
Manage itEverything in one place. Everyone on the same page.
Popular things to do in Mount Gambier
Nature in Mount Gambier
Hidden gems in Mount Gambier
Side trips from Mount Gambier
Nearby attractions in Mount Gambier
Trips in Mount Schank by other users
35 days in Australia BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA Mount Gambier Warrnambool Hay 11 days in Australia BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA Melbourne Mount Gambier Coonawarra 5 days in Mount Gambier BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA The Valley Lake The Blue Lake Tantanoola Caves Conservation Park 15 days in The Limestone Coast BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA Mount Gambier Robe Naracoorte 13 days in South Australia BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA Adelaide Robe Aldinga Beach 8 days in Mount Gambier BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA Mount Gambier