We were so excited to visit South Australia after having spent a month on the road in our rental van, the Fleurieu Peninsula has got to be one of our most favourite places in all of South Australia.
The smallest of the three peninsulas that jet out off the southern coast of South Australia, the Fleurieu Peninsula has no shortage of incredible beaches, wine regions and historic settlements all off the coast of the southern ocean.
Everything from Port Willunga, Port Noarlunga and beyond into second Valley – the Fleurieu Peninsula offers such a huge variety of landscapes and diversity.
We’ve made this list of the top attractions and the most incredible things to do in the Fleurieu Peninsula to take all the guesswork out of your next visit.
Where is the Fleurieu Peninsula?
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There is still some debate as to where the border lies exactly however south of Adelaide towards the southernmost tip of the Fleurieu Peninsula is the boundary.
If you draw a line from Goolwa/Middleton towards Aldinga, this is the “official” Fleurieu Peninsula, but everything included in this guide is considered for all intents and purposes the Fleurieu Peninsula.
We got around South Australia with a rental van company Cruisin Motorhomes and couldn’t be happier with our experience.
The Fleurieu Peninsula coastline is separated into three distinct regions; the first of which is the Fleurieu, with the Yorke and Eyre following close behind.
Lined with beaches the entire length towards the southernmost tip like Sellicks Beach, Port Willunga & Port Elliot.. are all incredible and should form your own list of amazing things to do in the Fleurieu Peninsula.
If you’re travelling from Adelaide, head south along the coast towards Port Noarlunga and follow main roads like the A15 and A23 to have easy access to all of the incredible beaches along the drive.
Fleurieu Peninsula accomodation
This depends on your mode of travel.
For Laura and myself we chose to hire a van for our trip and stay at a combination of free camp spots, caravan parks & campgrounds.
The school holidays are the busiest time of the year in South Australia, so make sure that you beat the holiday rush and book your accommodation on the Fleurieu Peninsula
If road trips aren’t your thing, we highly recommend an Airbnb central to the Fleurieu peninsula to base yourself from, to be able to take day trips to all the spots and beaches..
The Top Things To Do In The Fleurieu Peninsula
Visit the oldest German settlement in Australia
Note: Hahndorf isn’t quite within the Fleurieu Peninsula; it’s within the Adelaide Hills. None the less we’ve included this special german town in this article as the two are separated by a relatively short drive.
Hahndorf is Australia’s oldest surviving German settlement township located in the heart of the Adelaide Hills.
Originally escaping religious persecution during World War 1, Lutheran migrants re-settled here around 1838.
Although some of the town has had a minor facelift, the original stone masonry work to the buildings and original standing pubs and restaurants like the Hahndorf Inn have been maintained.
The main street is lined with 54 trees, each of which representing the pioneer women/families who played a role in the provision of fresh produce for the early settlers.
If you’ve never been to the Fleurieu Peninsula before and you’re feeling a bit lost we recommend buying the Fleurieu Explorer full day tour as it will give you access to all of the most popular things to see at a heavily discounted rate.
Uncharacteristically South Australian, this unique German settlement retains much of its Germanic culture through their beer and European cuisine.
We’re so happy we stopped here on our journey home as it was definitely one of the most amazing things to do north of the Fleurieu Peninsula!
Strudel & Stroll
If you have the budget, make sure you have a go at making your very own Apfelstrudel (apple strudel)
Fleurieu Peninsula activities>> Start in Adelaide and see all the sights in Hahndorf, the Barossa Valley and Adelaide Hills
And if you book lunch as well you will get 10% off your mains.
Although visiting an old German settlement town sounds odd for your trip to South Australia, we made sure we added to it the end of our trip on the way back home to Melbourne.
So make sure it’s definitely added to your itinerary of the best things to do in the Fleurieu Peninsula.
For fine dining options we personally recommend Hahn and Hamlin in the main street of Hahndorf.
How to get here: Only 30 minutes east of Adelaide by car
Cost of tour: $75 Adults / $40 Children
Road trip the Southern Ocean Drive
The start of the journey begins at the border between Victoria and South Australia in Mount Gambier.
A stretch of road that wines through Robe, Coorong National Park, a stop at Port Elliot bakery and eventually into the hills near Yankalilla, Second Valley and Rapid Bay.
For more information head over to the official website of South Australia to discover the journey through the Fleurieu Peninsula.
Related Article>> Plan the rest of your trip using our South Australia travel guide
Drive on Sellicks Beach
Arguably our favourite beach and our most favourite things to do in the Fleurieu Peninsula was to driving our car along Sellicks Beach.
Only an hour south of Adelaide is a 2.5km stretch of hard sand where you can drive almost the entire length from dusk till dawn.
We drove along it countless times, almost getting bogged (watch out for the soft sand) so make sure if you drive on the soft sand your car is 4WD capable!
One of the most fun things to do in the Fleurieu Peninsula at Sellicks is to camp in the car park overnight.
We recommend the Fleurieu Explorer package to really get the most out of your Fleurieu Peninsula experience. You can purchase your tickets at the discounted rate here.
Watch the milky way core come out at night and wake up early morning to the sound of the ocean in your ears, a perfect way to visit Sellicks!
Shouldered by incredibly beautiful rugged cliff faces shaped so perfectly it looks like you’re in Jurassic park or Hawai’i.
Make sure you stay for sunset on the beach, set up a picnic rug, bring your veggie hotdogs, some mood lighting and enjoy the magic of Sellicks at sunset.
Port Willunga Beach
A little further up form Sellicks towards Adelaide is the slightly more posh suburb of Port Willunga.
Many holiday makers and locals have their beach houses along the Port Willy coastline here and no wonder because it is one of the most stunning and pristine beaches along the Fleurieu Peninsula.
Stay for the weekend at Port Willy with ocean view accommodation on the Fleurieu Peninsula
What makes Port Willy so unique are the many caves dug into the side of the cliff facing the waters edge.
These cliffs were originally used as shelter for the fishermans boats after a day on the water, protected front the elements whilst out of water.
At low tide you can even see the last remaining pieces of the old jetty just opposite the caves.
What to do in Victor Harbor
On the Eastern side of the Fleurieu Peninsula is the small town of Port Elliot, a short 10 minutes from the main town of Victor Harbor.
Horseshoe Bay is a remarkable bay with a small jetty nestled into the side of the hill with a restaurant and cafe called The Flying Fish Cafe that do great take away coffees, cakes; our favourite coffee shop in Victor Harbor.
Crystal clear waters surround the entire Victor Harbor and there’s even a walking track that leads to the top of Freeman Lookout, giving you views of Rocky bay, Green bay and Boomer beach.
Just before you get to Freeman lookout you will find an entrance to a hidden section of beach away from the crowds and much more quiet.
From this vantage point you could also look out to the rocks just off the shore and see a school of Australian sea lions playing in the shallows.
Whale watching at Victor harbor
During the winter months, migratory southern right whales make their way through the southern coast of Australia on their journey to Antarctica; and naturally so do the tourists to the shores of south australia for their annual whale watching experience.
The whales come to Victor Harbor to give birth to their young followed by a few male whales.
Whale watching is always an amazing experience down in Victor harbor and certainly one of the best things to do in the Fleurieu Peninsula.
In fact we saw more wildlife here on the Fleurieu Peninsula than anywhere else on our whole trip.
Start your whale watching journey here at the South Australian Whale Centre and see where their latest whale sighting was, it might be where you are!
Location: 2 Railway Terrace, Victor Harbor, Fleurieu Peninsula SA
Newland Head Conservation park
A popular surfing and fishing destination on the southern coast, Newland Head offers panoramic views of Waitpinga, Encounter Bay & Kangaroo Island in the distance.
Newland head lies due-east of Deep creek national parka and is only a short drive between the two pakrs if you wanted to visit both in one day.
Waitpinga campground is situated just off the coast perfect for a night spent out under the stars enjoying the sound of the waves crashing against the rock pillars.
Ensure you do not attempt to swim at the beaches here, strong rips and ocean gutters will sweep you out to shore with no lifeguards on duty here.
Location: Dennis rd, Waitpinga Fleurieu Peninsula SA
Phone: (03) 85520300
Read Next>> Use our Mclaren Vale winery travel guide so you know where the best ones are
What to do on the Fleurieu Peninsula
Down The Rabbit Hole
Situated right between Adelaide and the rest of the Fleurieu peninsula bang smack in the centre is the insanely beautiful Mclaren vale wine region.
Often overlooked and overshadowed by the more well known Barossa Valley and Adelaide hills wine region, there is something special about Mclaren vale.
If you’re flying into South Australia, we’d recommend picking up a rental car from the airport. We personally recommend and have used these guys before because they have the most competitive prices.
With over 92 wineries it is near impossible to sample every local winery in the region, but the food and wine trail of the Fleurieu makes it easy to tick off the most favourite of them all.
One of our favourites and also one of the best things to do in the Fleurieu Peninsula is to indulge yourselves in the ever so popular Down the Rabbit Hole, owned by Elise Cook and Domenic Palumbo.
Dom and Elise ventured around Australia in their VW Kombi named ‘Scout’, and since returning and having their first child have made Down the Rabbit Hole unique amongst the wineries in Mclaren Vale
Enjoy sunset over the vineyard as you relax and lounge on pillows and throw rugs lining the grass with a wine and lunch basket.
Situated on a fairly large property in Mclaren Vale the back garden and bar is backdropped by a beautiful vintage double decker aqua blue bus.
It’s inside this bus where you sit up top and enjoy a half hour wine tasting session with delicious wines grown right here in the Mclaren vale wine region of the Fleurieu Peninsula.
There are some amazing places to rent out in the heart of the wine region in McLaren Vale, super close to some of the best wineries in the Fleurieu Peninsula.
If you’re looking for a discount, if you purchase one of the wine bottles you get the wine tasting sessions for free!
If Down the Rabbit Hole isn’t the only cellar door on your list then there’s a ton of options to choose from including this McLaren vale winery tour out of Adelaide
Not only is visiting McLaren vale a must, but there are so many other beautiful wine regions that should definitely make your list of things to do in the Fleurieu Peninsula.
The Barossa valley is globally known as a wine mecca as well as the Adelaide hills north of Adelaide City.
If you’re unsure of where to go and how to get to places we recommend jumping on the Hahndorf and Barossa Valley tour where you will get as far down south as Rapid bay beach.
Visit the McLaren Vale & Fleurieu Visitor Information Centre
Location: 796 Main Rd, McLaren Vale
Phone: (08) 8323 9944
Opening hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday 11am-5:30, Friday 11am-9:30 pm with live music at night, Saturday and Sunday 11am-6pm
Cost: Wine tasting $10 p.p
Deep Creek conservation park
Nestled in the deep south of the peninsula is the deep creek conservation park; the largest protected area of natural vegetation and wildlife.
Two hours south of Adelaide, Deep creek conservation park has lots on offer. Check out the many waterfalls, over 100 species of native birds amidst the old growth stringy bark rainforest.
The southerly tip of the Fleurieu Peninsula is Cape Jervis, and whilst the beach here is incredible like most, it’s in itself secluded and isolated but primarily used as the gateway to Kangaroo Island
It is mostly known and used as the gateway and entrance to board the SeaLink ship towards Kangaroo Island.
The journey itself is very short and takes no more than 45 minutes to cross the back passage strait of the Great Australian Bight.