SA : VICTOR HARBOR, THE FLEURIEU PENINSULA
The Fleurieu (Floo-ree-oh) Peninsula is about an hour south of Adelaide and is a series of quaint seaside towns with a distinct holiday vibe. Victor Harbor is the main town and it’s got everything you need in terms of shops and services as well as beautiful beaches and fresh, salty Southern Ocean air.
We spent two weeks during the school holidays in this little town and parked the van at NRMA Victor Harbor Beachfront Holiday Park. We tend to opt for family-friendly caravan parks in the school holidays because there’s so many activities on offer for the kids and an abundance of friends to meet. Let’s just say that NRMA Victor Harbor Beachfront ticked all our boxes. It was one of those places that we loved as soon as we arrived, both for its beautiful location (no need to drive anywhere because you can walk into town for everything you need) and facilities (jumping pillow, water park, water slide and pump track aka kid heaven).
We parked under a big pine tree towards the back of the park where the beach was a few minutes walk away and just right for little ones with its wildflowers, pathways through the grass and small, gentle waves. We met so many families during our stay who make a bi-annual trip to the park for a memorable family holiday peppered with ocean swims and bike rides. Most travel from Adelaide, the Hills or the Barossa; an easy drive to a park where the kids are entertained and the parents can rest in the knowledge that their little ones are happy and entertained. Regardless of the fact that we’ve been on the road for 16months, it’s these caravan parks that we return to for their ease of living/holidaying. With everything at our fingertips and the safety of fences and a neighbourhood-vibe for the kids, it makes for a very relaxing stay.
The views from the park over to Granite Island “Nulcoowarra” are stunning and on the afternoon that we made our way there we caught the iconic horse-drawn tram and spent a few hours exploring. There’s pathways winding around boulders and through grassy fields, up and over the crest of the island and down to the other side. It’s a beautiful place for a family adventure; wild and windy at times yet incredibly serene.
Port Elliot is the next town along and ticks all the quaint, sweet, sea-side boxes. I suggest stopping for brunch at Beaches Cafe and then wander a few doors down to South Seas Books; a charming store in a traditional South Australian stone cottage. It smells of freshly brewed coffee and paperbacks and I suggest you do as I did; perch yourself on one of the leather armchairs and flick through a few new releases (sans children) – bliss! Further down the road is a bakery (regarded as the best in SA), a pub, a few vintage/antique stores and the railway station (the Heritage Steamranger runs along the Peninsula!). Port Elliot beach is charming; aqua blue water, a jetty that all the kids jump off and Flying Fish Restaurant & Cafe that serves some of the best fish&chips that we’ve ever had.
Victor Harbor is very much a tourist town but head 10 minutes in any direction and you’re surrounded by green farmland and gumtrees. Drive north for thirty minutes on the scenic road and you’ll be in the heart of McLaren Vale with its renowned wineries and rolling hills. We adored the historic town of Wilunga with its cottages and rambling cottage gardens and on a Saturday it hosts a wonderful farmers market brimming with local produce. Get coffee in the main street from 3 Monkeys Fine Foods and wander the op-shops, antique stores and galleries.
We loved every part of South Australia that we visited. Indeed, it’s a very underrated state. The Fleurieu Peninsula and surrounding towns, with their seaside quirk and sandstone cottages, inspired us to stay much longer than we first intended. We settled in for a few weeks, found our favourite coffee spots, ordered a delivery of organic veggies from Girl Fleurieu Organics, regularly walked into town for supplies and took day trips when we felt like exploring. It was definitely one of our favourites.