We were so excited to visit South Australia, and after having spent a month on the road in our rental van with Cruisin Motorhomes 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, there is no shortage of incredible beaches, wine regions, historic settlements and an awesome bunch of people
We’ve made this list of 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, but south of Adelaide towards the southernmost tip of the Fleurieu Peninsula at Cape Jervis 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 with them.
It is the first jut out of all the coastlines and quite possibly the most beautiful.
The three being the Fleurieu Peninsula, Yorke & the Eyre Peninsula.
Lined with beaches the entire length towards Cape jervis 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.
If road trips aren’t your thing, we highly recommend an air bnb central to the Fleurieu peninsula to base yourself from, to be able to take day trips to all the spots and beaches..
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The Best Things To Do In The Fleurieu Peninsula
Visit the oldest German settlement in Australia
You heard it right, Hahndorf is Australia’s oldest surviving German settlement township.
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.
Book your Van: If you’re looking to do a Fleurieu Peninsula road trip I would recommend hiring a van from these guys here
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 best things to do in the Fleurieu Peninsula!
Strudel & Stroll
If you have the budget, make sure you have a go at making your very own Apfelstrudel (apple strudel)
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.
How to get here: Only 30 minutes east of Adelaide by car
Cost of tour: $75 Adults / $40 Children
Anytime you travel internationally, make sure that you’re protecting yourself from all the things that can really ruin your trip.
We honestly never leave home without some form of insurance, it’s peace of mind the entire way knowing your covered against medical bills, lost or stolen luggage and your personals!
We use World Nomads when we travel both internationally & nationally as these guys are real winners
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
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 best things to do in the Fleurieu Peninsula at Sellicks is to camp in the car park overnight.
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 coastline here, and no wonder because it is one of the most stunning and pristine beaches along the Fleurieu Peninsula.
What makes Port Willy (as it’s affectionately known) 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.
Location: 1 Esplanada, Port Willunga SA
Port Elliot & Horseshoe Bay
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.
Crystal clear waters line the entire coastline 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.
The main beach also has a restaurant and cafe called The Flying Fish Cafe, great take away coffees and cakes.
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.
The whales come to the sandy shores of the bay to give birth to their young followed by a few male whales.
Seeing animals in the wild is always an amazing experience and certainly one of the best things to do in the Fleurieu Peninsula.
In fact we saw more wildlife here on the Fleurieu 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 SA
Newland Head Conservation park
A popular surfing and fishing destination on the southern coast, Newland Heads offers panoramic views of Waitpinga, Encounter Bay & Kangaroo Island in the distance.
Waitpinga campground is situated just off the coast perfect for a night spent out under the stars enjoying the sound of the waves crashing agains 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 SA
Phone: (03) 85520300
Fleurieu Peninsula Things to do
McLaren Vale wine region
Down The Rabbit Hole
Situated right between Adelaide and the rest of the Fleurieu peninsula bang smack in the centre is the most insanely beautiful wine region you have ever seen in South Australia.
Often overlooked and overshadowed by the more well known Barossa Valley and Adelaide hills wine region, there is something special about this place.
If you’re flying into South Australia, we’d recommend picking up a rental car from the airport and driving yourself to the wineries.
With over 92 wineries it is near impossible to sample every local winery in the region (unless of course you plan on spending 3 months alone in McLaren Vale region)
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.
Enjoy sunset over the vineyard as you relax and lounge on pillows with throw rugs lining the grass with a wine and lunch basket.
Situated on a fairly large property 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.
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 for McLaren vale winery tours right here.
Not only is visiting McLaren vale a must, but there are so many other beautiful wine regions that should most definitely make your list of things to do in the Fleurieu Peninsula.
Barossa valley is globally known as a wine mecca world round, 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 always recommend visiting the visitor centres and making a list to tick off – why not call it “things to do Fleurieu Peninsula” ..we do this with a lot of the places we visit so as to not walk away missing anything!
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
The southerly tip of the Fleurieu Peninsula is Cape Jervis, and whilst the beach here is incredible like most, Cape Jervis is in itself secluded and isolated from the rest of the Peninsula.
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.
IF YOU LIKE IT, PIN IT FOR LATER