South Australia’s Fleurieu Peninsula might be difficult to pronounce but it’s super easy to fall in love with.
Here is a region brimming with the best things in life, and all within easy reach of the state capital, Adelaide.
And if you want to become an instant Fleurieu expert, you’re in the right place. We present this handy guide to a prized patch of South Australia.
Take a boat or paddlesteamer cruise from the Goolwa Wharf. Cruise times and destinations vary, so plot your course and enjoy a relaxing day out.
Or follow the self-guided Port Elliot Maritime Heritage Trail walk to combine history, pleasant vistas, and the great outdoors. Ask for more info at BIG4 Port Elliot Holiday Park.
There are plenty of sparkling stretches of sand, and many Fleurieu beaches are usually free of crowds. Try one of these beauties.
Horseshoe Bay, Port Elliot: While it’s not a crowd dodger, it’s with good reason visitors flock to this shimmering, family-oriented beach.
Middleton: Popular spot with surfers. Lessons are available with Surf & Sun.
Aldinga: Flat, pretty, vehicle friendly.
Normanville: Inviting stretch of sand; one of a paw-ful of dog-friendly beaches in the area.
Port Willunga: A white sand beauty. Relics of an old jetty make for a great silhouette in a postcard-worthy sunrise or sunset photo.
Then you’ll be rapt to know the Fleurieu is home to a world-renowned wine region, McLaren Vale. Its signature grape is shiraz but there’s plenty to get the taste buds dancing here. Top picks include Hugh Hamilton, Wirra Wirra, and d’Arenberg.
d’Arenberg has become even more appealing thanks to the addition of the spectacular Cube structure in late 2017. This five-level building takes the cellar-door experience to a whole new level, literally and metaphorically.
For something more boutique, try Langhorne Creek and Currency Creek wine regions.
That little birdy knows its stuff. There are a handful of microbreweries in the Fleurieu region, and this trio shouldn’t let you down:
Smiling Samoyed, Myponga: Sip on tasty microbrews in the company of delightful roaming Samoyeds.
The Steam Exchange, Goolwa: Inside or outside, this wharf-side setting is a great spot for a brew or two.
Goodieson, McLaren Vale: Bottles only, but what’s in the glass is class. The flavour-packed Maibock is a must try.
If you’re on a budget, you can’t go past fresh fish and chips on a top-notch beach – like Flying Fish at Port Elliot – or along the vibrant Victor Harbor foreshore area.
For a memorable Fleurieu pub experience, try the Victoria Hotel in Strathalbyn. Housed in an 1860s bluestone building, it’s a classic country pub with a touch of style. Alternatively, the Bridge Hotel in Langhorne Creek is highly regarded.
If you’re looking for something more romantic, the Star of Greece in Port Willunga serves up a fantastic Mediterranean-inspired menu complete with glittering coastal views, while the Barn Bistro in neighbouring McLaren Vale offers delectable modern Australian cuisine.
Download a copy of the Fleurieu Arts and Culture Guide, which details the history of art in the region and lists key galleries and art spaces to visit. There’s a section on key markets in the Fleurieu, too.
Sweet tooths should not miss the FruChocs Shop in McLaren Vale. FruChocs is a South Australian institution, and this shop is home to a wide range of tasty treats often at discounted prices. Yum!
There are plenty of family-friendly attractions on the Fleurieu. Here are a few highlights:
The Cockle Train: Enjoy gorgeous coastal views along this historical railway, which winds its way from Goolwa to Victor Harbor and return.
Granite Island, near Victor Harbor: Accessible by horse-drawn tram or foot from Victor Harbor’s foreshore. At dusk, you can spot little penguins on a guided tour.
Urimbirra Wildlife Experience, near Victor Harbor: Interact with a wealth of native wildlife in a bush-like landscape.
All these options below show off the Fleurieu’s magnificent coastline with sweeping outlooks.
The Bluff in Victor Harbor is a great but challenging walking option that rewards with panoramic views, while cliff-top walks near Horseshoe Bay, Port Elliot reveal rugged rocks and sea views.
Forktree Road Lookout, Carrickalinga and HMAS Hobart Lookout, Normanville won’t disappoint, either.
For water views of a different kind, try the Myponga Reservoir Lookout.
Lush fairways dominate the Fleurieu. This quartet won’t disappoint.
Victor Harbor Golf Club: the Fleurieu’s oldest course but one of its best.
McCracken Country Club, Victor Harbor: A real challenge with plenty of interest.
The Links Lady Bay, Normanville: Coastal views will provide a welcome distraction if searching for wayward balls.
South Lakes Golf Club, Goolwa: Relatively flat but still testing.
Don’t let poor weather dampen your mood. These indoor attractions will bring colour to any grey day.
South Australian Whale Centre, Victor Harbor: Loaded with enthralling interactive and static displays covering the region’s rich whaling past. Get up to speed on prime whale-watching spots while here.
Encounter Coast Discovery Centre, Victor Harbor: Full of engrossing yarns detailing local history.
Yankalilla Historical Museum: A little gem thanks to its many captivating displays and relics.
Head along to the Day Spa @ McCracken Country Club in Victor Harbor for the chance to relax and rejuvenate.
Isn’t it time you explored the Fleurieu?