There are few areas of Australia better set up for road trippers and especially for campervan and motorhome trippers.
But what the Fleurieu Peninsula is best known for is its stunning beauty. Fleurieu is a compact area, as you can see from the map the round trip is less than 330km, so you won’t be dealing with long drawn-out days on the road and it’s close enough to Adelaide to do a little or a lot. It would also be a fundamental part of a Melbourne – Adelaide road trip. If you haven’t considered this area of the country, we strongly suggest you do! and give it at least a week you won’t be disappointed.
Out of Adelaide, your first stop would be McLaren Vale for a tipple of one of their famous varieties. Nestled between the Mount Lofty Ranges and Vincent inlet on the coast. With 65 wineries in the area, you will need to do your research before you arrive to decide which ones to visit, the now-famous d’Arenberg winery cube will need to be part of your itinerary but you need to book ahead for both a wine-tasting or one of the restaurants. Shiraz makes up about 60% of the offerings.
Stay – in the heart of McLaren Vale at The Lakeside Caravan Park or if you are staying on a Friday night stay at the Big 4 Willunga Tourist Park then you will be in town for the weekly Saturday Farmer’s Market. This fertile area isn’t just good for growing grapes!
When you are ready to leave the McLaren Vale area travel south along the Main South Road to Yankalilla where you should visit Mary McKillop’s cottage. Carrickalinga and Normanville beaches are all part of Yankaililla Bay and it’s worth hanging around for a night or two to enjoy the area.
Take Tourist Drive 52 to Cape Jervis. The HMAS Hobart Memorial Lookout will be your first stop out of the blocks, take your time and travel the detours down to Wirrina Cove, Second Valley, and Rapid Bay beaches along the way, you will be richly rewarded. If you are including Kangaroo Island on this trip, Cape Jervis is where you will board the ferry.
Deep Creek Conservation Park
If you haven’t heard of Deep Creek Conservation Park before visiting it’s the sort of place you will rave about when you return home – Want to do whale watching? then July to September is the time to visit, with dozens of friendly wild kangaroos to keep you company, you will also come across the occasional echidna, and birds of more species than you can count, Yep, it’s all possible at Deep Creek Conservation Park. To unlock the seasonal waterfalls, wildflowers and many expansive vistas you will need to use the extensive network of walking tracks, however, be aware that they are rated from moderate to challenging, so make sure you can handle the terrain before setting off.
Victor Harbor, Port Elliot and Goolwa
There are a couple of ‘must-do’s’ in town. Firstly, the historic Horsedrawn Tram across the causeway to Granite Island for its views back to Victor Harbor. Secondly, the Cockle Train on the Steam Ranger Historic Railway, from Victor Harbor, you travel along the beachfront to Port Elliot and then onto the mouth of the Murry River at Goolwa.
There are a lot of amazing walks around the Victor Harbor area. They come in various lengths and ratings. Follow the link to Walking SA for advice on what suits your fitness level and available time. Or hire bikes in town and do as much as you can from the saddle.
At the lower reaches of the Murry River, you will find Clayton Bay, on the shores of the Coorong and Alexandria Lakes you will have access to fishing, and birdwatching in the Albert Wetlands and it’s the ultimate Kayaking and paddleboarding location.
From here you will either continue onto the Limestone Coast – see our How to explore the Limestone Coast blog for further information or you will head back to Adelaide.
On your way back to Adelaide stop in at Langhorne Creek , a small wine area specialising in Cabernet Sauvignon, which will be just in time as you’ve probably drunk all your Shiraz from the McLaren Vale by now! It’s only 70 km back to Adelaide from here.
Stay – Frank Potts Reserve – Basic but still OK
Have fun and when you get home, tell your friends about how lovely it is
Don’t forget to pay your respects to the traditional custodians of the land on which you travel, their elders past present and emerging.
Image credits: Fleurieu Peninsula Regional Tourism