25 Things to do on the Fleurieu Peninsula
The Fleurieu Peninsula is one of South Australia’s best destinations & is located a short distance from the city of Adelaide. This area is a popular tourist destination with many attractions to offer. The region stretches along the South Australian coastline from Christies Beach all the way to Goolwa Beach and up to Wellington on the northern side of Lake Alexandria and encompasses the inland regions as far north as Reynella.
There are many things to do on the Fleurieu Peninsula which has sandy beaches, wine regions and beautiful scenery. It has an abundance of food and wine festivals, art galleries, national parks and wildlife reserves. Just a stone’s throw from Adelaide, this region is easy to visit as a day trip from Adelaide but there are so many things to keep you busy that you’ll want to stay for a few days.
Here are 23 things to do on the Fleurieu Peninsula in no particular order…
1. Victor Harbor & Southern Highlights Day Tour
If you’ve got one day to uncover the gems of South Australia’s Fleurieu Peninsula, then the Victor Harbor & Southern Highlights Day Tour is your golden ticket to experiencing the best of this stunning region. This comprehensive tour acts like a highlight reel, stitching together must-see attractions, natural beauty, historical sites, and the delectable tastes of local produce and wines.
The journey kicks off with a scenic drive through the Adelaide Hills, taking you to the historical Scottish settlement of Strathalbyn. Here, you have the chance to stretch your legs, explore High Street, and perhaps indulge in some morning tea. Next on the itinerary is the paddle steamer town of Goolwa, where you’ll be treated to a quick but informative tour that includes the Wharf, Barrage, and beach—a lovely introduction to where the Murray River meets the ocean.
Victor Harbor is your next stop and it’s South Australia’s most popular seaside village for good reason. Wander through the main street to sample fresh local produce and take advantage of some free time to explore. You can dine at one of the local pubs or cafes, and even visit Granite Island where you might spot Little Penguins or, if you’re lucky, a Southern Right Whale during winter months.
Before the sun sets, the tour will whisk you away to the renowned wine-making region of McLaren Vale. Known best for its outstanding Shiraz, this part of the trip offers something for both the wine connoisseur and foodie alike. Sample local cheeses, taste exquisite wines, or simply enjoy a coffee while you people-watch on the bustling main street.
In essence, this Victor Harbor & Southern Highlights Day Tour is more than just a day trip; it’s an encapsulation of what makes the Fleurieu Peninsula so incredibly special. From its awe-inspiring landscapes to its rich history and tantalising food and wine offerings, this tour promises a day of unforgettable experiences.
2. Cactus Canyon – Sellicks Hill
Cactus Canyon is one of the most spectacular places in South Australia. The canyon is found just south of the main beach at Sellicks. Follow the esplanade up to Sellicks Hills to be treated with this view. Stay well clear of the edge as the cliffs are steep and the earth is susceptible to collapse.
3. Sellicks Beach
Sellicks Beach is one of the beaches in the region that has car access. If you don’t have a 4WD and the thought of driving on a sandy beach gives you anxiety fear not! The rock shelf just below the sand is solid making it safe to drive on for all vehicle types (even my little Ford Focus held up ok!).
Vehicle access is permitted on Aldinga, Moana, Sellicks and Silver Sands beaches between the hours of 5.30am and 12 midnight.
Beach access ramps may be monitored during December and March each year. Cars can only access the beach if drivers show a current beach permit or pay the vehicle access fee of $8. The City of Onkaparinga website has all the info.
4. Seal Island Cruise from Victor Harbor
If you’re in Victor Harbor and have a love for marine life, the Seal Island Cruise by Big Duck Boat Tours is an excursion you won’t want to miss. In just 45 exhilarating minutes, this tour gives you a taste of the incredible wildlife and scenic beauty of South Australia’s Fleurieu Peninsula. Departing from Encounter Bay—just a short drive from Victor Harbor—this eco-certified adventure takes you along the coast of Granite Island and out to the open ocean.
What makes this tour special? First off, it’s the wildlife. You’ll get up close to New Zealand fur seals and Australian sea lions basking on Seal Island, also known as “Seal Rock”. These curious creatures often swim right up to the boat, offering spectacular views and photo ops. Keep an eye out for other marine life too; dolphins and various seabirds are frequently spotted in the area.
5. Myponga Reservoir
The Myponga Reservoir Reserve is a great place for outdoor enthusiasts. There is no shortage of things to do around or on the reservoir such as walking, biking, canoeing/kayaking and picnicking.
Check out the Lookout for a grand view of the reservoir and surrounding area. Driving across the road is quite exciting too!
Don’t forget to pop into Smiling Samoyed Brewery for a beer and bite to eat after exploring.
6. Smiling Samoyed Brewery
Adventuring is thirsty work! The Smiling Samoyed Brewery is the perfect place to stop for a beer & lunch. The menu has plenty of vegan & gluten-free options and you will be welcomed by the most beautiful Samoyed dogs. Can’t get much better than that!
7. Crows Nest Lookout
For a beautiful view over the beaches of the Fleurieu, the Crows Nest Lookout is worth a stop. This lookout is found about a 5-minute drive out of Port Elliot.
Victor Harbor Region
8. Town of Victor Harbor
Victor Harbor is filled with stunning views, colonial architecture and many pubs cafes and restaurants, as well as world-class hiking. It’s a destination that will tick a lot of boxes. For the best vegan pizza in town check out Nino’s Cafe.
9. The Bluff
The Bluff is the headland out from the town of Victor Harbor. The Rosetta Trail is an 800-metre loop around the top of the bluff with panoramic views of the surrounding ocean and landscape.
10. Whale Watching
A popular activity in Victor Harbor is whale watching. Southern right whales migrate from Antarctica in winter to the warmer water off the coast of Victor Harbor to feed, mate and give birth. Whales can be spotted from June to October.
It is possible to see whales from the shore but your best chance to spot them is by taking a Whale Discovery Boatride.
11. Granite Island
Granite Island is found just 630 metres from the shoreline at Victor Harbor and it is connected by a causeway. There are actually two! The replacement was built side by side to the original structure which was beginning to become unsafe.
Take the Kaiki walking trail for a 1.9km loop around the island. The rock formations are beautiful and there are a couple of lookout points to take in the scenery.
The island is home to a colony of Fairy Penguins. During the day they are out at sea so your best chance to see one is at night. There used to be guided tours but they are currently unavailable. (I will update this page if I hear they become available.)
12. Carrickalinga Beach
The town of Carrickalinga is a quaint seaside town 79km from Adelaide. Visitors are greeted with white sand beaches, crystal clear waters and views of iconic south coast cliffs.
13. Yankalilla Bakery
Best bakery on the Fleurieu Peninsula! Port Elliot Bakery gets a lot of hype but you can’t go past the Yankalilla Bakery for delicious baked treats. The vegan selection is large and includes sweets and savouries like pies & pasties.
Check out more of Adelaide’s best vegan bakery treats.
14. Port Elliot
Famous for its bakery and Horseshoe Bay, this gorgeous little seaside town is the place the be in summer. The waves are great for boogie boarding or if that’s not your style the walking and biking trails along the coastline will give you plenty to explore.
Looking to stay in Port Elliot? The Port Elliot YHA is in a prime location and offers dorms or private rooms for a great price.
15. Hindmarsh Island
After winding its way across Australia, the great Murray River reaches the ocean just out from the town of Goolwa. Take the bridge to Hindmarsh Island to reach the river mouth. You can spot seals and plenty of birds and maybe even a pack of the cutest alpacas you’ll ever lay eyes on!
16. Second Valley
Just look at those rocks! The coastline at Second Valley is seriously spectacular! This is a great place to visit for sunset. There’s something so fun about climbing on rocks and inspecting rock pools. If you agree you will love Second Valley!
17. Rapid Bay
Rapid Bay is a popular place to visit during the summer with the campground offering very reasonable rates.
$15 long weekend$
Family rates now are $30per nite for 2Adults +2Kids.Kids under 8yrs are free.
To book please contact us via phoning or texting on these numbers:Reena – 0418833653 orWayne – 0478117661
18. Deep Creek
Deep Creek National Park is one of South Australia’s most beautiful national parks. This protected area is the largest portion of remaining natural vegetation on the Fleurieu Peninsula which provides habitat for native animals such as western grey kangaroos, short-beaked echidnas and 100 species of birds.
You can visit Deep Creek as a daytrip from Adelaide but there are also 5 campgrounds – 4 accessible by 2WD and one is hike in. There are 15 walking trails of varying difficulty. The Deep Creek circuit is a grade 4 hike and although it’s only 12km due to the serious incline in sections expect to take up to 7 hours.
The hike to Blowhole Beach is less strenuous but still a bit of a challenge on the way back up! Be prepared with lots of water and snacks and enjoy some of the best views in South Australia.
19. Port Willunga
Port Willunga has to be one of the most beautiful Adelaide beaches. The cliffs are made up of layers of vibrant red, orange, yellow and white and tell the story of millions of years of geological history. Gull Rock is a must-see feature, as well as the series of caves that have been carved into the rock. Originally they were used by fishermen to store their boats and fishing rods but now make a great place to escape the heat and have a picnic.
The most eye-catching feature at Port Willunga is the remains of a jetty that pokes out from the waves. The jetty was originally constructed in 1853 when this area was one of the busiest ports in the colony of South Australia exporting wheat and other produce. The jetty was extended in the 1860s and the pylons that can be seen today are from this secondary build. You can’t go far on Instagram without seeing this iconic Adelaide beach so don’t miss this one!
20. Waitpinga (Newland Head Conservation Park)
The Newland Head Conservation Park is another section of some of the best coastline in South Australia. The park protects two long beaches, Waitpinga and Parsons, as well as rocky headlands and surrounding coastal vegetation. The ocean at Waitpinga & Parsons is unforgiving with strong waves and rips making these beaches extremely dangerous. Do not let the pristine turquoise waters entice you THIS IS NOT A SWIMMING BEACH. Many lives have been lost at this notorious location so this spot is best enjoyed with coastal hikes or from the safety of the sand.
21. Maslins Beach
Maslins is well renowned for being Australia’s first legal nude beach. The southern end of the beach is designated for nude bathing.
Whether or not you are partial to a nude swim or not, Maslins Beach is very much worth a visit. The cliffs and rock formations are absolutely gorgeous and hard to beat on a hot summer’s day.
22. McLaren Vale Region
McLaren Vale is an internationally acclaimed wine-growing region that leads the industry in sustainability. Many vegan wines are on offer at the 80+ cellar doors sprinkled throughout the area. Two you can’t miss are The D’arenburg Cube & Down The Rabbit Hole.
A great way to see McLaren Vale is by bike. The Shiraz Trail leads through the gorgeous scenery of the vineyards from McLaren Vale to Willunga. Hire a bike or take a guided tour.
23. d’Arenberg Cube
The Cube is an iconic South Australian attraction. Featuring a gallery full of curiosities, wine-tasting and a restaurant the d’Arenberg cube is a must when visiting McLaren Vale. The cube has 5 levels to tantalize your senses including a wine sensory room, 360-degree video room and an assortment of nostalgic things to transport you back in time.
Entry is $15 including a wine tasting or $10 without the tasting experience.
Admission to the Salvador Dali exhibition is $25 for adults & $20 for kids & Guests dining in d’Arry’s Verandah Restaurant receive free admission to the Dali Exhibition. The restaurant offers a fully plant-based degustation.
24. Down The Rabbit Hole Winery
Down the Rabbit Hole Winery is one of the best things to do on the Fleurieu Peninsula. This winery is full of charm, good times and beautiful wine.
Wine tasting takes place on the cutest mint green double-decker bus. This iconic vehicle was brought all the way over from Scotland as been converted into the perfect place to drink wine. Learn about how Down The Rabbit Hole came about and the story of two passionate winemakers who made their dreams of creating wine and hosting guests come to life.
25. Port Noarlunga
Port Noarlunga is an extra special piece of coastline, with the reef here being one of the most abundant zones for aquatic life. The reef is a great spot to snorkel or dive.
Where to Stay on the Fleurieu Peninsula
There is plenty of choice for accommodation on the Fleurieu Peninsula. Here are our top picks for every occasion.
Budget – YHA Port Elliot or The Anchorage Victor Harbor
Camping – Rapid Bay Campground or the SA National Parks
Family – Big 4 Port Willunga, Victor Harbor Holiday Park, Breeze Beachfront Apartments
Couples – Seascape Retreat, Baecation on Butterworth, Sanbis Cabin
Luxury – Middleton ‘Glass House’ by the Ocean, Cliffs End Beach Shack, Waters Edge on Fleurieu, Fleurieu Coastal Retreat, Coastal Luxury Moana, The Darling of Marina – A Hilltop and Sea Getaway
Fleurieu Peninsula FAQ
Depending on where on the Fleurieu Peninsula you plan to visit you can reach the FP in 20 minutes to 1.5 hours from the Adelaide CBD.
South Australia has 7 peninsulas.
Eyre Peninsula, Fleurieu Peninsula,Yorke Peninsula, Le Fevre Peninsula, Dudley Peninsula, Jussieu Peninsula & Younghusband Peninsula.
The Fleurieu Peninsula is most famous for the McLaren Vale wine region. Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Tempranillo are the signature varieties from McLaren Vale. The Fleurieu Peninsula is also known for its spectacular coastline, Australia’s best beaches including a nude beach & whale-watching.
There are an estimated 74 cellar doors and over 160 vineyards in the region. The wineries are centred around five main areas: Currency Creek, Old Reynella, McLaren Vale, McLaren Flat, Willunga and Aldinga.
See this map for all available charging stations including Goolwa Visitor Information Centre, Port Elliot RSL Club, McCracken Country Club, Barker Reserve Victor Harbor, Breakfree Wirrina Cove, Normanville Town Centre, Yankalilla Council Chambers, Myponga Hall, Maxwell Wines, Fox Creek Wines, McLaren Vale and Fleurieu Coast Visitor Centre, and McLaren Vale Motel and Apartments.
Yes, the Fleurieu Peninsula includes the McLaren Vale wine region.