About The Area
Situated just 45 minutes south of South Australia's capital city, Adelaide, the Fleurieu Peninsula offers locals and visitors alike with some of the best food, wine, wildlife and events in the State.
With its temperate climate, central highlands and coastal fringes the Fleurieu Peninsula provides wine, wildlife and water in delightful abundance. More than 100 cellar door wineries, many with restaurants attached, offer the opportunity to taste some of Australia's most exciting wines and regional cuisine. Roadside stalls offer the freshest seasonal produce for your picnic baskets.
The Fleurieu Peninsula has an abundance of natural beauty. Embraced by the coast, lakes & waterways and stunning interior ranges, the landscape and seacapse is what makes this area a natural wonderland.
City of Victor Harbor
The township of Victor Harbor has long been a favoured holiday destination and lies at the end of the Victor Harbor road. Situated 80km south of Adelaide with a southern ocean frontage, the township offers an enjoyable experience for everyone.
The panoramic views of the rugged granite landmark The Bluff and the well-known Granite Island are stunning. In winter the Southern Right Whales can be seen basking at Encounter Bay, only metres from the shore line. Stunning rolling hills make Hindmarsh Valley part of the spectacular landscape.
Victor Harbor has a vibrant tourism culture with weekly markets, the Horse Drawn Tram and the South Australian Whale Centre. With great fun for the kids at Greenhills Adventure Park and Girdler Family Amusements at the Causeway, Victor Harbor is a great family place to base your holiday.
The eastern-most destination on the Fleurieu, you can find your way there using the Victor Harbor Road, or via the South Eastern Freeway through Mt Barker and Strathalbyn, or from the Princes Highway by crossing the ferry at Wellington
Alexandrina has something for everyone. It boasts natural wonders such as the Southern Lakes, Murray Mouth and Coorong, the Langhorne Creek winemaking region and engaging beachside townships such as Goolwa, Port Elliot and Middleton. In the interior, be sure to visit Mt Compass and its Food Trail, as well as historic Strathalbyn, the antiques capital of South Australia.
A big future was envisioned for Port Elliot when it was earmarked in 1854 as the major Encounter Bay outlet through which the rich agricultural bounty shipped down the Murray River would be exported. A battered breakwater is all that remains of the failed attempt to construct a safe shipping harbour but in its place is one of the sweetest beach settings in South Australia. A caravan park, bowling green, public reserve and restaurant each claim the best position around Horseshoe Bay, which is protected by several little islands not far off shore where whale sightings are a regular attraction in winter. The town itself is a model seaside village, renowned for its cafés, pubs and gift shops along The Strand, its wide choice of accommodation, and a bakery regularly draw queues. Head for the train station to catch the Cockle Train to Goolwa or Victor Harbor, follow the Port Elliot Maritime Heritage Trail on the foreshore of Horseshoe Bay or explore vantage points such as Freemans Nob and the cliff top walking path for stunning views of the Encounter Bay coastline.
Although increasingly popular as a holiday destination, Middleton's smooth, open beaches still provide the sort of natural solitude that could turn anyone into a beachcomber. It's the 'middle town' on the old railway line between Goolwa and Victor Harbor and now a thriving hamlet known for its bakery, holiday houses, bed & breakfasts, beach fishing and a rocky point that creates a good surfing break for Southern Ocean swells. It's a popular spot for sighting Southern Right Whales in winter or for enjoying the Encounter Bikeway – a shared, sealed coastal pathway that's at its most spectacular between Middleton and Port Elliot.
Australia's first Cittaslow Town, Goolwa was once a thriving river port – the last on the Murray River before it reached the Southern Ocean. It was the only place in Australia where paddle steamers and steam trains met to carry produce inland for shipping overseas. Today, Goolwa offers a steam-to-steam experience with PS Oscar W, a 100 year old authentic paddle steamer, and the Cockle Train, a steam train journey. The town still has many historical features, its present day life is as a busy regional centre with great pubs, a microbrewery, restaurants and cafés, and is a popular gateway to the Coorong National Park and the lakes system at the mouth of the Murray River.
This is where the old meets the new, with a monument at the island's highest point symbolising where Captain Charles Sturt and Collet Barker stood when he identified and mapped the Murray Mouth. Hindmarsh Island is home to the Southern Hemisphere's largest freshwater marina development, including waterfront residence, a large marina, kayaking, windsurfing, tavern, café, playground, tennis courts and a biking and walking trail. Part of the river-bound island, now connected by a bridge from Goolwa, has been incorporated into Coorong National Park because of its important bird habitats.
In winter there are whole fields of grazing black swans and in summer there are the Cape Barren geese.
The highlight of any visit is to marvel at the Murray Mouth. From Sugars Beach you can see the mouth of the Murray River – where the river meets the sea.
The Fleurieu Peninsula is a great place. Come and share it with us.