The WeekenderTravel

The Weekender: Fleurieu Peninsula, South Australia

Horse-Drawn Tram to Granite Island, South Australia. Photographed by amophoto_au. Sourced via Shutterstock

Adelaide, it’s time to get your summertime plans underway and explore South Australia’s magical Fleurieu Peninsula.

For once Adelaidians don’t have to go far for a stunning road trip, because the Fleurieu Peninsula is just under an hour away! It’s one of South Australia’s most luscious regions filled with plenty of gorgeous wineries, hiking trails and coastal retreats.

Whether you’re seeking an active vacation to revitalise your system from all that working from home or a proper meditative retreat from the hustle and bustle, you’ll find it all here within South Australia’s Fleurieu Peninsula.

How do I get to the Fleurieu Peninsula, South Australia?

From Adelaide city, the Fleurieu Peninsula is an hour drive south and on the way to Kangaroo Island. We recommend adding Kangaroo Island to your itinerary to make it one worthwhile weekend getaway.

Here’s our ultimate guide to the Fleurieu Peninusla’s best restaurants, bars, hotels and activities.

Where to Eat in Fleurieu Peninsula, South Australia:

Normanville Kiosk & Cafe

What goes better with a hearty lunch and a coffee to match? Well, at Normanville Kiosk & Cafe, that would be a stunning coastal view! Found just a touch away from Normanville Beach, for your visit we recommend leaving the coffee until last and buying it take away to enjoy on the nearby wharf. For lunch, celebrate the adjacent ocean and order some seafood. Perhaps a juicy prawn pasta to swoon your tastebuds, matched with a freshly squeezed juice?


Normanville Kiosk & Cafe – 100 Jetty Rd, Normanville, SA 5204


Port Elliot Bakery

Port Elliot Bakery is a favourite with locals and tourists alike, always adorned with a queue which shows just how tasty their baked goods are. You’re on a holiday, so treat yourself to something naughty and delectable like their donut of the month. This month, (October 2020), their doughnut is a mouthwatering Apple Custard Creme Brûlée. Buy yourself a coffee to go with it, where you could easily dunk your baked creation for a more enjoyable experience!


Port Elliot Bakery – 31 North Tce, Port Elliot, SA 5212


Leonards Mill

Leonards Mill is a 162-year-old flour mill, featuring a lavish restaurant within. It’s a highly sustainable establishment that strives for no wastage. They yearn to utilise every inch of their produce, from nose to tail, root to leaf. As well as this, they have their own garden onsite, bringing the freshest herbs and vegetables to your plate. Their menu is a seasonal degustation of courses that are selected by the chef. Bookings are essential!


Leonards Mill – 7869 Main S Rd, Second Valley, SA 5204


Pizzateca

Pizzateca blends Italian cooking with that truly laid-back Australian feeling. Their pizzas are made by hand, cooking up the airiest crust in a wood-fire oven that’s adorned with the best locally sourced ingredients – just like their Roma tomatoes! But we recommend starting with their truffle-infused Arancini ($16) for a truly stomach-quenching entree to your lunch or dinner.


Pizzateca – 319 Chalk Hill Rd, McLaren Vale, SA 5171


Where to Drink in Fleurieu Peninsula, South Australia:

Hastwell & Lightfoot Cellar Door

There are a few cellar doors in the McLaren Vale wine region, but the most intimate of them all is Hastwell & Lightfoot. They bring together an eclectic collection of wines, including their Fat N’ Skinny Pinot Grigio and ‘Forgotten’ Rosé that you simply must try for your visit. The cellar door has just reopened after a temporary closure due to COVID-19 restrictions, but they are back up and running to wow you with some truly smooth wines. And, if you can’t make it to their cellar door, Hastwell & Lightfoot also have an online store as well!


Hastwell & Lightfoot Cellar Door – 301 Foggo Rd, McLaren Vale, SA 5171


Victory Hotel

To get the best variety of wine in the Fleurieu Peninsula, there’s no better place than Victory Hotel in Sellicks Hill. Their feasts are definitely worth a taste, but their cellar door is where the fun begins. Their wine range begins from $25 by the bottle, with most of their selection hailing from the McLaren Vale region, making Victory Hotel a prominent spot for wine tipplers!


Victory Hotel – Old Sellicks Hill Rd, Sellicks Hill, SA 5174


Forktree Brewing

For hop enthusiasts, Forktree Brewing is serving up the best brews that South Australia has to offer, as well as a quaint collection of their own beers in a spot just north of Normanville. And to match whatever paddle selection you pick, they serve up the most quintessential pub-grub food to appease all types of tastebuds. From burgers and platters and even a good dose of seafood to boot, you cannot go wrong with Forktree Brewing.


Forktree Brewing – 935 Forktree Rd, Carrickalinga, SA 5204


What to Do in Fleurieu Peninsula, South Australia:

Victor Harbor Horse Drawn Tram

There’s nothing as truly unique as the Victor Harbor Horse Drawn Tram which takes avid tourists from the shores of Victor Harbor to the small and beautiful Granite Island. It’s an island oasis, featuring a cafe and plenty of space to explore. We recommend taking the trip over on the tram and walking back along the causeway, where you can stop and view the gorgeous coastline.


Victor Harbour Horse Drawn Tram – Esplanade, Victor Harbor


Fleurieu Adventures

Bring some action to your weekend getaway in South Australia’s Fleurieu Peninsula with Fleurieu adventures, who offer plenty of activities to get your heart pumping – whether you want to learn to surf, cycle, or even jump out of an aeroplane! In fact, for something more mellow, you could even hire a bike for a starting price of $30. But, since it is summertime, how about a soothing kayak trip around the Coorong area?


Fleurieu Adventures


Take A Hike

Fleurieu Peninsula is traced with so many hiking tracks, each sporting their own special view of the world. In Goolwa, near Victor Harbor, history buffs can indulge in a heritage walk that takes you along the Goolwa Wharf and Railway Precinct and through the town where you can see plenty of historic buildings. But the more arduous and wonderful tracks can be found on the Deep Creek Waterfall Hike from Trig Campsite or even the Waitpinga Cliffs to Kings Beach.


Fleurieu Peninsula Hiking


Beach Spotting

What is the best thing to do in summer? Go to the beach, of course! And within South Australia’s Fleurieu Peninsula, you’ll find plenty of sandy spots to bask in. If you’re looking for something truly COVID-safe, try Blowhole Beach which is quite remote on the southern end of the peninsula. But for the more social, we recommend Port Elliot Beach.


Where to Stay in Fleurieu Peninsula

McLaren Vale Motel

If you must to stick close the wineries and still desire that proper holiday escape, the McLaren Vale Motel offers everything you need. They cater for both the luxurious and the frugal among us, with all room bookings having access to the beautifully decked pool. Each room comes with a flat screen TV, fridge, electric blankets and WiFi, but we highly recommend the Executive Deluxe suite which comes with your very own spa bath!


McLaren Vale Motel – Cnr Main Rd & Caffrey St, McLaren Vale


Seagrass Villas, Normanville

Looking for pet-friendly accommodation in the Fleurieu Peninsula? Because the Seagrass Villas in Normanville should be your first point of call. Their villas are perfect for couples on a romantic getaway or the budding single needing a bit of “me time”. The self-contained rooms include everything you need for a few days of retreat, as well as a spa out the back. Also, being a hop, skip and a jump from Normanville Beach, Seagrass Villas welcomes any kind of active pet.


Seagrass Villas, Normanville – 5 Jetty Rd, Normanville, SA 5204


Kings Beach Retreats

When you want exclusive beach accommodation while not being too far from the action, Kings Beach Retreats is the place to be. It is as close to nature as you can get, atop a hill that overlooks a panoramic view of the ocean. Whichever suite you book, you’ll gain an uninterrupted view of the surrounding scenery. They are also all self-sustained, with kitchenettes included for the ultimate retreat from the hustle and bustle.


Kings Beach Retreats – Lot 60 Dump Rd, Waitpinga, SA 5211


Wanting to explore more of what South Australia has to offer? For the wine lovers out there we’ve found the five best wine regions to visit around Adelaide. Or, if you’re wanting to escape to Kangaroo Island, you must not miss out on these breathtaking experiences.

We acknowledge the traditional owners of the land mentioned in our article, the people of the Peramangk and Ngarrindjeri Nation, and we recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture. We pay our respects to their elders past, present and emerging.

Editor’s Note: Hunter and Bligh was gifted by Fat N’ Skinny. All reviews are authentic and are in no way influenced by our partnership.
Feature image: Photographed by amophoto_au. Sourced via Shutterstock.
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