Throughout the month of May, the Mount Gambier Visitor Centre will be open after dark to host a display of glowing Ghost Mushrooms, providing a taste of Ghost Mushroom Lane currently open to view in the pine forest near Glencoe.
Ghost Mushrooms (Omphalotus nidiformis) were discovered locally by Ockert Le Roux, whose curiosity led him to work with Forestry SA and One Forty One Plantations to create a unique tourism opportunity.
In 2017 18,000 people visited the inaugural forest trail initiative leading to the glowing mushrooms. This year the concept has expanded to include organised tours in the forest and an inside display at the Mount Gambier Visitor Centre.
“The success of the Ghost Mushroom program in its first year was astounding and this indoor display provides an opportunity for those less mobile and unable to walk in the dark forest the chance to see this phenomenon up close,” City of Mount Gambier Manager Tourism and Economic Development Donna Foster said.
The Ghost Mushrooms are seasonal, first appearing in early May and finishing by mid-June. Their soft green glow can only be seen at night, in a dark environment. The indoor display has been carefully created to provide a forestry environment, with a narrative played to provide the audience with background and biological information on the mushroom. Each week fresh mushrooms will be harvested and delivered to the Visitor Centre by Forestry SA.
The Visitor Centre opening hours will be extended on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings throughout May to enable people to see the display. Book in to one of three sessions at 6:00pm, 6:30pm or 7:00pm. The fee is $5.00 per person and bookings can be made by emailing the Visitor Centre at email@example.com or by calling (08) 8724 9750. Group bookings welcome.