Fleurieu Peninsula Attractions
The Fleurieu Peninsula, a spur of land projecting southwest from the South Mount Lofty Ranges, extends from O'Halloran Hill (south of Adelaide) to Cape Jervis on the west coast and the vast expanse of Lake Alexandrina in the east. It has a good network of main and secondary roads and a range of beaches for every taste - sheltered sandy inlets in Gulf St Vincent, mighty cliffs and thundering surf in the south. Victor Harbor, in Encounter Bay to the southeast, is a popular beach and holiday resort linked with Granite Island by a long causeway.
The popular and rapidly growing resort of Goolwa (pop. 3000) on the southeast coast of the peninsula lies on the narrow channel at the outlet of Lake Alexandrina, into which the Murray River flows. In the days when there was a busy shipping traffic on the Murray River Goolwa was an important port, with a number of shipyards. In its heyday - from which it has preserved a number of handsome buildings - it was known as the New Orleans of Australia, mainly because of the numerous paddle steamers plying on the river. The old paddle steamer Mundoo still offers cruises on the river. The first public horse-drawn railroad (1854) ran between the river harbor on the Murray and Port Elliot, on the coast. To the east of Goolwa are the Barrages, which prevent seawater from reaching the Murray.Off Goolwa (ferry service) is Hindmarsh Island, a favorite haunt of birdwatchers.
Victor Harbor, Australia
The popular holiday resort Victor Harbor (pop. 6000) looks out over Encounter Bay, where in 1802 the explorer Matthew Flinders encountered his French rival Nicolas Baudin. The bay is sheltered from the surf of the Southern Ocean by Granite Island. In the past Victor Harbor was an important whaling and sealing station.
Urimbirra Wildlife Park
Victor Harbor - Granite Island
Granite Island is linked to the mainland by a causeway on which a horse-drawn tram still runs. A chairlift goes to the top of the granite outcrop. The island also has a wildlife reserve with kangaroos, dwarf penguins, and seabirds.
The Boundy River rises on Spring Mountain. On its southern slopes is a conservation park in which visitors can see the rich flora of southern Australia, and on its east side is a wildlife reserve containing many species of Australian animals whose numbers elsewhere have been decimated.
A few kilometers east of Spring Mountain are the romantic Hindmarsh Falls.
Port Elliot, Australia
Port Elliot (pop. 1200) is the oldest port in Encounter Bay. Situated within easy reach of the Adelaide conurbation, it is a popular holiday resort (hotels, motels, caravan/camping park). It has preserved a number of 19th C buildings, including a hotel of 1852 and Heathfield House. In the bay there are both sheltered beaches for bathers and good surfing beaches. From Port Elliot there are fine views of the mouth of the Murray River and Lake Alexandrina.
Deep Creek Conservation Park
Deep Creek Conservation Park has a rich variety of flora and fauna and an imposing cliff-lined coast on the Southern Ocean.
Cape Jervis, Australia
The little town of Aldinga (pop. 3600) lies near the bay of the same name on the northwestern coast of the Fleurieu Peninsula. Evidence of its 19th C prosperity is provided by churches built in the 1860s and historic mills and inns. The Aldinga Inn is one of the oldest in South Australia. 4km west of Aldinga is a popular bathing beach. Further north, at Maslin, is Australia's first nudist bathing beach.
McLaren Vale, Australia
McLaren Vale (pop. 1500; motels) is the main center of the region south of the capital. The Barn, an former coaching station, houses a restaurant and an art gallery.The Bushing Festival, a light-hearted festival, is held annually in October.
The little town of Willunga (pop. 1200) was settled at a very early stage. It has a number of handsome 19th C buildings of bluestone with slated roofs. The Police Station, the Courthouse and the historic Bush Inn are under statutory protection.The country round Willunga is famed for its almonds and the Almond Blossom Festival is held in July.
Port Noarlunga, Australia
Old Noarlunga and Port Noarlunga have excellent bathing beaches, particularly Christies, Moana and Maslin Beaches, with accommodation for holidaymakers.
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