Jesse Ehlers
South Australia
Fleuireu PeninsulaKnown for its wine regions, most notably McLaren Vale, the Fleurieu Peninsula is blessed with superb beaches, exciting food and passionate locals, bringing together the best of South Australia.
Visit the cellar doors, laze around the river and mess about in boats. Learn how to surf or watch whales and their calves play in the ocean. The Fleurieu Peninsula has a real beach culture. Surfers jog down to the water each morning with boards under their arm. Families lay on the sand, eating fish and chips. You’ll enjoy the sun, food and wine in this little slice of heaven. The Fleurieu Peninsula's green hills are bounded by clifftops, beaches, coves, and the winding Murray River. The river pans out and forms a beautiful, calm pool at Goolwa. Sit on the wharf and see boats cruise under the Hindmarsh Bridge. Sail up to the Coorong and see pelicans tilt their heads to the side, watching as you pass their nests. Get close to kangaroos in the conservation parks. Watch little penguins come ashore at Granite Island. Feel the sand between your toes and hunt for cockles. Take a charter trip and hook a fish. Cycle along the coast or stop by the wineries and find that special drop. The Fleurieu Peninsula is a hive of activity in summer. You will love the laid-back lifestyle. There’s a different atmosphere in winter. See wild, thundering seas and whales slapping their tails in the water. Warm-up beside a cellar door’s crackling fireplace. Talk to the winemaker as you try their wines. The Fleurieu Peninsula is a great place. Come and share it with us.
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Things to do
South Australian Whale Centre
The South Australian Whale Centre is South Australia's largest marine-focused interpretative centre and has the only marine-focused three-dimensional theatrette in South Australia. Visitors can experience the natural wonders of the deep, explore the world heritage listed railway building, and gain further knowledge about Victor Harbor and South Australia's marine treasures. The centre provides whale sighting information, education and research support services through a range of mediums. The centre brings together a unique collection of historic treasures, marine, cultural, and aboriginal heritage to deliver an inspiring and enjoyable experience for every visitor. School, coach and tour groups are welcome. For whale sighting information between May and October call the South Australian Whale Centre Hotline or visit the website for details.
Eat at Leonards Mill
Leonards Mill is a regional restaurant in a beautiful 161-year-old flour mill. Using only local Fleurieu Peninsula produce they are paddock to plate, nose to tail, root to leaf. The chefs get in whole animals and break them down in-house, using everything from head to tail to reduce wastage. Everything is made from scratch, from daily fresh made bread to butter, hams, stock, sauces, pickles and ferments to cordials, and even a Leonards Mill Beer! The Fleurieu region is abundant with amazing produce and producers. Leonards Mill is proud to source and supports these local Fleurieu growers and farmers. Enjoy long lunches on the deck in summer or cozy up near the fire over winter. There are 2 bed & breakfast cottage rooms on-site and are a great base to explore the stunning Second Valley area or re-lax after a degustation dinner. Make sure you wander around and look at the old mechanics that made the flour mill work and be sure to ask the staff about the interesting history of Leonards Mill.
Spend an afternoon at Paxton Wines
Paxton Cellar Door conveniently located at the gateway to McLaren Vale, surrounded by picturesque landscapes, rolling hills and vineyards. Historic stone buildings originating from the 1850’s bring both charm and character to our unique location with the focal point being our cellar door housed with-in the original shearing shed. With a strong focus on Organic and Biodynamic philosophies, Paxton Wines are noticeably fruit-driven in style and quality with natural diversity and varietal expression making them incredibly delicious to drink. PAXTON... WINES WITH LIFE. Our Cellar Door prides itself on taking our customers on a memorable tasting journey with an extensive list of wines, we tailor your tasting experience to share our knowledge of McLaren Vales distinctive terroir and climate. Un-wind and relax enjoying your favourite glass of Paxton wine whilst admiring our stunning views. Delight your taste buds by creating your own platter to include a selection of local cheeses, almonds, antipasto meats, and olives.
Dine at Pizzateca
Pizzateca is an Italian family-run restaurant in the South Australian wine region of McLaren Vale. Specialising in Abrussezze cuisine and Neapolitan Wood fired pizza. Vera Pizza, Arrosticini cooked over charcoal and seasonal produce prepared from recipes past down from one generation to the next.
Dine at The d'Arenberg Cube, McLaren Vale
The d'Arenberg Cube in McLaren Vale is a five-story multi-function building set among Mourvèdre vines. The building has the optical illusion of floating in a vineyard, each level with spectacular views overlooking the rolling hills of Willunga. Inside is the winery's Tasting Room, a restaurant, private function areas, and numerous artworks and features throughout, detailed in the company's new smartphone application, 'The Alternate Realities Museum'. Advance reservations are recommended. The restaurant offers degustation dining with optional wine pairings, an extensive list featuring a selection of imported wines, and both current vintage and museum releases from d’Arenberg. Open for lunch Thursday to Sunday, bookings are required in advance.
Take a wine tour through McLaren Vale
Visit McLaren Vale for exceptional wines, regional produce, and beautiful scenery. It's nestled between the Mount Lofty Ranges and the beaches of Gulf St Vincent. Known for its wineries and welcoming cellar doors, McLaren Vale also produces fruit and is an extensive almond growing region. It’s little wonder that McLaren Vale has an abundance of cafés and restaurants, whose chefs delight in cooking with local produce. The main street of McLaren Vale packs a lot in. There are cellar doors, local produce, craft stores, cafés, and bakeries. The first McLaren Vale vines were planted by John Reynell in 1838 and by 1850, the well known Hardy and Seaview wineries were in operation. Walk or cycle along the old railway line between Willunga and Seaford. You'll travel through vineyards, past wild olives and old gum trees, and get a feel for this gorgeous countryside. More than 50 wineries are dotted throughout the McLaren Vale region. Find boutique wineries and major Australian wineries, like the BRL Hardy Group and Rosemount. About 270 independent grape growers can also be found here. There are dozens of cellar doors. You'll love the choice in McLaren Vale.
Go wine tasting at Cariole Winery
Coriole winery and restaurant sits on the Seaview ridge of the picturesque McLaren Vale region. Steeped in the region's winemaking history, Coriole has been known for producing estate-grown Shiraz and Cabernet, and since the 1980s, has pioneered a range of Mediterranean varieties including Sangiovese, Fiano, and Piquepoul. The Gather at Coriole restaurant is nestled between the original 1860s homestead and the ironstone barn, now home to the Coriole cellar door. The restaurant's focus is seasonal, locally sourced, locally produced and foraged fare. The relaxed, grazing style menu utilises the onsite kitchen garden as well as many local artisan producers. The restaurant and cellar door are open daily and guests of Coriole are encouraged to soak up the breathtaking views the region offers and beautifully maintained gardens and grounds. The sprawling lawns and stunning setting provide the perfect backdrop for the many wines, food, arts and music events and weddings Coriole host annually. Cellar door opening hours: Monday - Friday: 10am-5pm Weekends and public holidays: 11am-5pm. Restaurant opening hours: Summer: 7 days for lunch. Winter: Thursday - Monday for lunch. Closed Christmas Day and Good Friday.
Lunch at Star of Greece
We’re all about the good stuff here. Good food, really good views and great wine. We like it simple, local and fresh, and we stand by that in everything we do - from fish and chips in the kiosk, to a three or four-course meal in our restaurant, or just drinks on the deck, taking in our smashing views. Trust us, you’ll never want to leave (we don’t). We like pretty food and fancy settings, but most of all, we like good food and friendly, reliable service (the kind that makes you want to be pals with us). We welcome the thong (flip flops for those playing over the pond), the bathers under the sarong, the ball-gown, the suit and everything in between. Fresh offerings from the sea and local produce are present-ed with a visual flair that excite without being a substitute for the essence of exceptionally good food is what the Star of Greece is all about. The wines on offer complement the food, the location and the occasion. The Star of Greece is a jewel on the Fleurieu Peninsula.
Enjoy a glas of shiraz at Mollydooker Wines
Mollydooker Wines is exciting, out of left-field winery located in the heart of McLaren Vale, just 30 minutes drive from Adelaide. Our vineyards are situated on the magical Seaview Ridge, which with its ancient soils and Mediterranean climate, is home to some of Australia's most iconic wines. We make wines that make people go 'WOW', through attention to detail and commitment to excellence. Mollydooker has made Wine Spectator’s Top 100 an impressive eight times. The 2014 Carnival of Love Shiraz was one of just three Australian wines that scored a spot on Wine Spectator’s annual Top 100 list for 2016. The 2012 Carnival of Love Shiraz was awarded Wine Spectator’s #2 ‘Wine of the Year’ for 2014 and incredibly, the #1 Shiraz of the Year at the 2014 Australian & New Zealand Winestate Awards. Drop into our cellar door for a warm welcome and a tasting... stay a while and enjoy a glass of wine with a custom-built platter, whilst soaking in the panoramic views of surrounding vineyards and the beautiful Willunga hills. If you're looking for a complete experience of an operating vineyard and winery, why not book a place on one of our intimate tours?
Schedule a tasting at Oliver's Taranga Vineyard
Contained in our 1850's built stone workers cottage, the Oliver's Taranga cellar door is open 10 am to 4 pm, seven days a week. Structured tastings are available by appointment, and we run our famous Porchetta Parties monthly. Owned and run by the 5th and 6th generation of the Oliver family, we look forward to showing you our award-winning premium wines.
Taste the handcrafted difference at Samuel's Gorge Winery
Samuel's Gorge is a mosaic of dreams, with a principal philosophy of people and place. Housed in an 1853 built farm shed, the winery and cellar door sits atop a ridge. Our winery overlooks the spectacular Onkaparinga River National Park to the North, and to the South, the ocean. The Samuel's Gorge label is an impression of the rugged landscape that is viewed from the winery; look closer and see our storyboard within the tiles. At Samuel's Gorge, we focus on five key varietals; Grenache, Shiraz, Mourvèdre, Graciano and Tempranillo. The wines of Samuel's Gorge are crafted by hand and reflect the landscape in which we work. We reference history for texture, complexity and harmony. We engage patient techniques, utilizing indigenous yeast, ensuring our ferments are long and slow. Our winery is under the cover of a lean-to and at night a ceiling of stars. Driven by aromatics, texture, silkiness and intrigue our wines are great to drink now and yet have structural support and intensity that ensures they cellar well. Samuel's Gorge wines reflect the unique vintage conditions and represent the personality and the imagination of the makers.
Visit Port Willunga Beach
Port Willunga Beach is one Fleurieu Peninsula's most photographed beaches featuring the remains of the Port Willunga Jetty. Located approximately 35kms south of Adelaide, the beach is famous for its golden cliff faces, crystal clear waters and soft white sands - the type that squeaks between your toes. It is an ideal spot for those long beach walks on the wet sand, with only the sound of waves lapping at your feet. Nestled on the edge of the clifftop is the Star of Greece restaurant, offering stunning views along the coast and named after a nearby shipwreck. Sections of the hull of the Star of Greece, which came to grief in 1888, remain on the ocean floor and make for a popular diving spot. At low tide parts of the wreck may still be visible from the shore. Don't forget to also visit nearby Aldinga historic township, emerging as one of South Australia's best villages. From baked goods and cafes to clothing boutiques and local grocers, the strip has a great vibe. There are also great festivities including Fridays After Five (market throughout summer), concerts and small festivals.
See the Southern Right Whales at Encounter Bay
Victor Harbor is all about the sun, surf, sand, stunning views and intimate wildlife encounters. It's here that you'll find the Little Penguins of Granite Island, Southern Right Whales blowing into Encounter Bay, and some of South Australia's best surf at beaches like Petrel Cove, Chiton Rocks and the Dump. Granite Island can be reached via a 600 metres causeway from Victor Harbor. Take a Clydesdale-drawn tram or walk across and absorb the stunning sea views. Victor Harbor features out-standing early colonial architecture, good pubs, cafes and restaurants, and plenty of accommodation and fun events to attend. Visit the South Australian Whale Centre or climb aboard the Cockle Train for a steam rail experience along the cliff tops to Port Elliot and Goolwa. Find your fun at Greenhills Adventure Park, the Dunes Mini-Golf Course and Urimbirra Wildlife Park. Generations of South Australians have made Victor Harbor their summer holiday destination - and it's easy to see why.
Visit Carrickalinga
Carrickalinga is a tiny coastal village that's become a popular holiday retreat, thanks to its white sandy beach and fabulous views over Roma Mitchell Bay and Yankalilla Bay. The HMAS Hobart was sunk nearby and is an exciting diving attraction. It was originally one of Australia's great naval destroyers and is now Australia's most accessible war wreck. A short 10-minute boat ride from Marina St Vin-cent, the Hobart enjoys underwater visibility of more than 10 metres most of the year. You'll find plenty of quality coastal accommodation in Carrickalinga. It also offers reef snorkelling and fishing, mak-ing Carrickalinga a treasured location. The best approach is from the north via the Myponga Reservoir to enjoy dramatic coastal views. See more of the Fleurieu Peninsula – a coastal playground famed for its laidback lifestyle, beach breaks for surfers of all levels of experience and top fishing spots. It's a paradise for divers and snorkellers, with dramatic shipwrecks and stunning marine life, including the famed Leafy Seadragon. Enjoy some of the best produce and vineyards in Australia. The Fleurieu Peninsula is home to some prestigious winemaking regions, including McLaren Vale. The history of winemaking in this region goes all the way back to 1842 and it consistently produces some of the best drops you'll ever taste. There's also national parks, golf courses, top-quality cuisine and more.
Visit Port Elliot
One of the sweetest beach settings in South Australia, Port Elliot is a popular place to visit. Port Elliot is a model seaside village, it has cafes, antique and gift shops along The Strand. Feel the sand between your toes at picturesque Horseshoe Bay - its large beach and safe swimming conditions which makes it a hit with the children. If you like surfing, Boomer Beach is the place to go, it lies on the western edge of the town. Jump aboard the Cockle Train to nearby Goolwa or Victor Harbor - other popular seaside destinations - or try the cliff-top walking path for stunning views of the coast. The Encounter Bikeway weaves its way through Port Elliot's streets. Port Elliot has a wealth of holiday accommodation to relax in. You'll find some great places and you may even want to bring your four-legged friend! Port Elliot was selected by Governor Sir Henry Edward Fox Young in 1850 as the site for the ocean port of the Murray River trade. He named the place after his friend, Sir Charles Elliot. The township was proclaimed in 1854, the same year in which the first railway line in South Australia was opened between Goolwa and Port Elliot. The Governor's choice was unfortunate because the bay was not well enough protected. After several shipwrecks, the anchorage was transferred to the lee of Granite Island at Victor Harbor in 1864.
Deep Creek Conservation Park
Deep Creek Conservation Park is the largest portion of remaining natural vegetation on the Fleurieu Peninsula and is home to an array of native wildlife such as western grey kangaroos, short-beaked echidnas and 100 species of birds that can be heard and seen while walking in the park. Deep Creek is the only national park within 100km of Adelaide that offers bush camping. Four campgrounds are accessible by 2WD and one is 'hike-in' only and situated on the Heysen trail, making it an ideal environment for a family adventure. The 15 walking trails in the park provide spectacular scenery of Back-stairs Passage, Kangaroo Island and the rugged Deep Creek Valley. The walks range from easy to very difficult so accommodating for all ages and abilities. The walking trail network in Deep Creek Conservation Park includes sections of the famous Heysen Trail.
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