When the people of Adelaide want to go out and play, they head to the Fleurieu Peninsula. This region to the south of the city has something for everyone, from the foodie to the beach babe. So, why not hire a car, do like the locals do and go explore this wonderful region?
The Fleurieu Peninsula is about an hour’s drive from Adelaide, with Victor Harbour on the north-eastern side of the peninsula only 80 km from the city.
The first people to have lived in the Fleurieu Peninsula were the Kauma, the Ngarrindjerri and the Perramangk. The Kauma have a story about Tjilbruke, also known as Tjirbruke, one of their creation ancestors who, when his nephew was killed, carried the body down the coast to the Fleurieu Peninsula for burial. The Tjilbruke Dreaming Track starts at Kingston Park and follows the coastline down to Rapid Bay, with markers to show you the way.
Rapid Bay was also the place where Colonel William Light made his first landfall in South Australia back in 1836. He carved his initials into a boulder and there is a replica of this rock in town. (The original is in Adelaide at the South Australian Museum.)
Want to admire some arts and crafts and maybe buy a few pieces? There are galleries, artists’ workshops and studios throughout the region.
Something for beach babes
With ocean on three sides, there is no shortage of beaches on the Fleurieu Peninsula. The western side of the peninsula especially offers great sandy stretches where you can bake in the sun, go for a swim, snorkel or dive. Some of the most popular beaches are at Aldinga, Moana, Waitpinga, Christies and Seaford. Do you want to let it all hang out? Then head to Maslin Beach, the only legal nudist beach in South Australia.
Something for surfers
Australia wouldn’t be Australia without surf culture and the Fleurieu Peninsula is no exception. No matter where you are on the peninsula’s coast, you’ll soon find that perfect spot where you can hang ten.
Something for nature lovers
The Fleurieu Peninsula is the perfect place to be one with nature. Some of the protected areas here include the Deep Creek Conservation Park, the Newland Head Conservation Park and the Granite Island Recreation Park. Many of these parks allow camping and have facilities for bushwalking.
The Heysen Trail, a popular 1,200 km route that takes you through some of the most breathtaking scenery in Australia, has a section that follows along the coastline from Victor Harbour, through Deep Creek Conservation Park to Cape Jervis, the official end of the road.
At Victor Harbour, grab a map and learn more about the magnificent sea creatures of the area at the South Australian Whale Centre. Dolphins, seals and sea lions visit these waters too and many a surfer has had the chance to ride the waves along with these playful creatures.
Something for foodies
The Fleurieu Peninsula is foodie heaven, with excellent restaurants and cafés serving up the most mouth-watering meals made from fresh local ingredients. Aside from the fresh fruits, vegetables and dairy produced here, the region also offers olive oils, artisanal cheeses and other delectable treats. Don’t forget about the seafood either!
When to visit
There is no best time to visit the Fleurieu Peninsula. The beauty of the area is that it’s a year-round destination. For beach activities, summer is obviously best but if you want to see whales, be here in winter and early spring. Surf’s up in autumn. The climate is Mediterranean, with hot, sunny summer days and cool, wet winters.