While 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, the best way to explore the region is to hire a car and visit it at your own pace.
Either on your way to Kangaroo Island or a day tour, it is worth taking your time to visit the many Fleurieu Peninsula attractions.
Last year in October I spent a weekend touring the region. Here below you can read about the top things to do.
A taste of Fleurieu Peninsula
Fleurieu Peninsula is known for its quality wines and local produce. Although it is not as popular and touristy as other regions in South Australia, there are around 100 wineries and 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 in particular its Shiraz, but there are some great white wines too. There are over 40 in Mc Laren Vale, 10 minutes drive from the historic town of Willunga. While you will not be able to visit them all, on a day tour, you can find a list of all Mc Laren Vale wineries here. I visited ten wineries on a Sunday and was very impressed with their diverse settings and unique character. A few of them combine art exhibitions with excellent local food and wine tastings as well as being 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 of them take place on weekends, Saturday and Sunday are the best days to visit if you are interested in purchasing local produce and visit one or two markets. On this page, you can check out a list of Fleurieu Peninsula farmers 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 of the whole 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, to pasta and sauces (all made from local organic ingredients) to a variety of herbs, fruits, veggies, fresh range eggs, 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 a real 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 of the old piece of furniture and anything retro. The funny thing about this market is the auction team who manage people’s bidding as if it were a real auction for valuables 🙂
Fleurieu Peninsula Natural beauty
Fleurieu Peninsula boasts some fantastic sandy beaches and surfing breaks. The landscape is very varied 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 on most of the beach it is compulsory to wear clothes, and nude sunbathing and swimming is only allowed on 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 1868. This jetty was built to serve the port. In this area there are five shipwrecks, (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 on. It was fun to drive onto the sands and see families on a day-camping with their cars, surfers with their boards. While driving onto the powder may be a different and fun way to enjoy the beach, there are also restrictions to limit the impact on the environment. 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 lookout for 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.
Where to stay in Fleurieu Peninsula
If you plan to stay overnight, for hotels and classic accommodation click here.
If you prefer staying privately the best thing to do is to book with Airbnb (by using this link you can get 35 Dollars discount off your first booking).