While exploring Kangaroo Island is a top destination on the bucket list of many travellers visiting South Australia, Fleurieu Peninsula is often overlooked and underrated.
Located just a short drive south of Adelaide, there are many attractions and places to see that are best explored at your own pace, on a road trip. It is also worth combining a road trip to the Fleurieu Peninsula on your way to Kangaroo Island.
Where to stay in Fleurieu Peninsula
If you plan to stay overnight, click here to book your accommodation in Fleurieu Peninsula.
Below, you can read about the top things to do in the Fleurieu Peninsula.
A taste of Fleurieu Peninsula
Fleurieu Peninsula is known for its quality wines and Australian organic food. Although it is not as popular and touristy as other regions in South Australia, there are around 100 wineries, an array of local producers, and great artists. So you are likely to enjoy a peaceful environment bustling with domestic life.
Fleurieu Peninsula Wineries
The Fleurieu Peninsula is most known for excellent red wines and Shiraz, but there are some great white wines. There are over 40 in Mc Laren Vale, 10 minute drive from the historic town of Willunga. While you will not visit them all, you can find a list of all Mc Laren Vale wineries on a day tour.
I visited ten wineries on a Sunday and was impressed with their diverse settings and unique character. A few of them combine art exhibitions with excellent local food and wine tastings and be housed in old buildings and some in quirky settings. Stay tuned for a blog about the Mc Laren Vale wineries.
Fleurieu Peninsula Markets
There are many markets in the area that you can visit. Most take place on weekends; Saturday and Sunday are the best days to visit if you are interested in purchasing local produce and visiting one or two markets.
I visited on a Saturday and went to the Willunga Farmers Market.
Willunga Farmers Market
The Willunga Farmers Market s is probably one of the best farmers’ markets in the Fleurieu Peninsula. Either rain or shine, it is held every Saturday morning, and with over 50 stalls, you are spoilt for choice.
From fresh bread and delicious cakes, biscuits, pasta and sauces (all made from local organic ingredients) to various herbs, fruits, veggies, fresh range eggs, and the smell of freshly brewed coffee and fresh-cut flowers, it’s a real feast of the senses. Get there early in the morning to avoid the crowds and enjoy a “breakkie” with the most beautiful fresh produce.
Quirky auction flea market in Willunga
If you plan to visit Willunga on a Saturday morning, you can also check out the Willunga Lions Club Auction market for an authentic Aussie experience. A friend of mine took me there, and I loved it. It is a local flea market where you can find excellent bargains for old furniture and anything retro.
The funny thing about this market is the auction team manage people’s bidding as if it were an absolute auction for valuables.
Fleurieu Peninsula Beaches
Fleurieu Peninsula boasts some fantastic sandy beaches and surfing breaks. The landscape varies from green valleys of vineyards and ancient forests to ochre limestone cliffs and white sandy beaches.
Maslin is the first nude beach in Australia. While it used to be frequented only by unclad-beach-goers, nowadays, it is compulsory to wear clothes, and nude sunbathing and swimming are only allowed in the southern area, which is the most picturesque part of the beach.
You can reach the south end from a series of steep stairs to enjoy a breathtaking ocean view. Maslin beach setting makes it unique for capturing sunset photos, as the sunlight creates beautiful reflections on the ochre limestone cliffs showing the cliff layers in bright shades of colours.
There are two more car park entrances and viewing areas overlooking the ocean where you can capture the sunset.
Port Willunga Beach
I love the serenity and the quirky beauty of Port Willunga. I started my walk from the car park and walked along its white sandy beach to reach the wooden pylons, what remains of the second old jetty, dated back to 1868.
This jetty was built to serve the port. There are five shipwrecks in this area (not visible, though); the most known of them is the Star of Greece shipwreck, the only one that can be seen in good weather and reached by swimmers and scuba divers. Just opposite the jetty ruins, you can see quirkily shaped caves carved into the cliff face by early fishermen who used them to store boats and nets.
Alding beach lies south of Maslin beach and, along with Moana and Silver Sands, is one of the few beaches in South Australia where vehicles are permitted to drive. It was fun to drive onto the sands and see families on a day camping with their cars and surfers with their boards.
While driving onto the powder may be a different and fun way to enjoy the beach, restrictions limit the environment’s impact.
The car park has excellent facilities for the perfect BBQ day. From the beach,h you can walk to the wooden boardwalk that leads to a magnificent view of the coastline and the Aldinga Scrub Conservation Park, where you can take a walk to spot native animals and many unique plants.
Want to go on a guided Local Tour of Fleurieu Peninsula?
Check out our picks on guided activities here below.
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First published in 2015, last updated in Jan 2023
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