Getaway Fact sheets
You are here: ninemsn > Travel > Getaway > Fact sheets
Ben is set to hoon in South Australia.
Ben is set to hoon in South Australia.
Beautiful Fleurieu Peninsula.
Take a horsedrawn tramway to Granite Island.

South Australia drive

Thursday, October 26, 2000
There is a lot of typical outback to be seen on this beautiful drive, but it also has a green, fertile side with rows of grapevines and almond trees rolling right to the Murray River.

South Australia is this country's driest state. There is a lot of typical outback to be seen, but it also has a green, fertile side. On the drive from McLaren Vale to Victor Harbor are rows and rows of grapevines and almond trees rolling right to the Murray River, which ends its journey in the sea.

As you go through Willunga to Mount Compass where the annual cow race is held, a stop at Adelaide Plains Lookout gives great views.

There are roadside stalls along the way, offering excellent quality fruit, vegetables, flowers, eggs, corn, olives, chutneys, nuts and berries.

In 1838 Old Reynella was chosen as the place for the state's first vineyard. Now there are about 45 wineries in the area, many run by families who love to open up the cellar doors to let you taste their wines.

Goolwa is on the lower Murray in an area called Encounter Coast. Made up of rugged cliffs and sandy beaches, it is abundant in wildlife. In the 1800s times were good for the thriving port, with trade in wool, grain and merchandise from up-river. South Australia's first train line was laid there. Before that it was the scene of a struggle for supremacy between the British under Matthew Flinders and the French led by Nicholas Baudin. The encounter led to the area being called Encounter Bay, but the French later re-named it Fleurieu Peninsula.

Now the historic buildings are art galleries, cafes and b&bs and the Cockle train steams in and out of the old wharf area, while wood-fired paddle steamers take visitors on cruises.

Hindmarsh Island is normally home to 500 people but during holiday times the population swells to around 60,000. The bridge currently being constructed from the mainland to the island was the centre of a controversial battle between two Aboriginal tribes.

It's a popular area for fishing and yabbying and about 40 types of birds live there. Black, brown, tiger and red-bellied black snakes also live there, so be on the lookout.

Middleton has good surfing beaches and is also popular for fishing. During winter, people go there hoping to sight Southern Right whales.

Victor Harbor is a fantastically popular tourist spot. Just 85km south of Adelaide, it's to here that generations of South Australians have come for summer holidays, to renew friendships made in previous years.

Victor Harbor was settled in 1837 to service the whaling industry and was linked to Goolwa by railway. It enjoyed a time of prosperity with trade. When that died it stepped comfortably into the role of South Australia's most popular holiday destination.

It takes an hour or so to climb the 200m-high granite outcrop known as Rosetta Head or the Bluff, but the trail is good and the views of Victor Harbor, Encounter Bay and the surrounding countryside make it more than worthwhile.

Fourteen kilometres west of Victor Harbor is Glacier Rock, a 500-million-year-old boulder carved from the glaciers which once covered the entire area of the south coast.

The 630m causeway to Granite Island can be walked or you can go in a tram drawn by a team of Clydesdales. Most people go there just before sunset to watch the fairy penguins coming in for the night. The noisy little creatures always head back to the same burrow and most keep the same partner for life.

Just near Victor Harbor at Inman Valley is the 160ha Galloway dairy farm. Twelve years ago owner Carol Schofield decided to diversify and began a yabby farm, from which she now provides yabbies to many of Adelaide's top restaurants. Visitors can rent a rod and fish in a pond or tank, take their catch home or throw it back.


From McLaren Vale to Fleurieu Peninsula.


Galloway Farm yabbying in the Inman Valley is $3 per person per pole.
Victor Harbor horsedrawn tramway rides to Granite Island start at $5 per adult.
Granite Island nature park guided penguin tours cost $8.50 per adult.
Please note prices are valid at time of transmission and to the best of our knowledge are inclusive of GST.

More information

Galloway Farm: Ph: (08) 8558 8215
Victor Harbor Tramway: Ph: (08) 8552 8177
Granite Island Penguin Tours: Ph: (08) 8552 7555
Goolwa Tourism: Ph: (08) 8555 1144
Victor Harbor Visitor Information: Ph: (08) 8552 5738
Show and Go Motorcycles: Ph: (08) 8376 0444

Related links


Brochure Search

Free electronic brochures with information, resources and holiday ideas for unique getaways.

Select a destination:
Sign up nowTo Receive the free Getaway newsletter