Things to do in Victor Harbor
Victor Harbor boasts many hiking trails, walking tracks and cycling ways throughout the town and surrounding areas. Experience the beautiful coastline, quaint towns and oceanside flora and fauna with a ride or walk along the Encounter Bikeway, a shared path winding between Victor Harbor and Goolwa. Explore the Granite Island Kaiki Trail, which combines natural and cultural history along a 2.9km walk. Or take in the ecological significance and abundance of wildlife in the Hindmarsh area with a river estuary stroll or a trip to the Hindmarsh Falls. All trails vary in length, degree of difficulty and the type of landscape so make sure to check out all options in the area to determine which best suits you.
The Victor Harbor area and Fleurieu Peninsula are home to an abundance of marine life and wildlife. Located just 5km from Victor Harbor, the Urimbirra Wildlife Experience gives you the opportunity to see native Australian animals and more than 70 species of Australia fauna in a natural environment. Wander along the paths throughout the 16-hectare site and see animals at close range or join an encounter experiences with shows offered daily. Make sure to check out the freshwater and salt water crocodiles, reptiles and koalas. Or if you’re wanting to look below the surface the Oceanic Victor is an experience like no other. The in-sea aquarium, sheltered in the lee of Granite Bay, allows you to dive in and swim with species of fish in the clear, clean waters of Encounter Bay.
Tours and charters
Explore the coastline aboard an ocean adventure tour or charter. Experience the otherwise inaccessible areas of coastline, local islands and spot the many species of wildlife and marine life including seabirds, dolphins, whales and seals. A range of local operators are available to take you out on the water. If you’re wanting to see marine life in their natural environment, jump aboard Big Duck Tours for a wildlife and whale watching cruise. Running from June until September the tours depart from the Granite Island Causeway and visit Seal Rock, Shark Alley and Petrel Cove. Or if relaxing on the water is more your style, join a Spirit of the Coorong Cruise. Offering 2, 4 or 6-hour cruises, you will journey from Goolwa to the River Murray Mouth.
History and culture
Discover a rich history at the many historic and cultural attractions dotted around the town and surrounds. Start your day with a trip along the oldest streel railed railway in Australia on the Cockle Train. The 30-minute journey will take you from Goolwa to the centre of Victor Harbor, taking in coastal scenery of the Fleurieu Peninsula. Next check out the South Australian Whale Centre, located in a 150-year-old heritage listed building, which houses three floors of displays including fossils and bones as well as a 3D theatre experience. To end the day, take a ride the historic horse drawn tram, which runs along the causeway to Granite Island. In operation since 1894 and only one of two operating in the world, make sure to come down take a trip and meet one of the six working Clydesdales while you’re there.
Home to the magical fairy penguins and a great spot to view the migration of the southern right whale, Granite Island is characterised by it plethora of granite boulders and rocky shores. Connected to the mainland via the wooden causeway and accessible via horse-drawn tram or foot, the spectacular coastal scenery of the recreation park will have you in ore. Open from sunrise to sunset, discover the islands history along the Kaiki walk, visit the 10 sculptures located throughout the island or take a guided tour. The most popular tour is the Granite Island Guided Penguin Tour, which provides exclusive access to the island after dark to see the little penguins return home after a day of feeding.
Wine and dine
Incredible dining experiences await, whether it is a café serving up great coffee, fine dining overlooking the water or local wineries offering spectacular vineyards and cellar doors. For a relaxed brunch overlooking the picturesque Encounter Bay you can’t go past Eat at Whalers restaurant or enjoy the historic charm and seasonal menu from the Anchorage Hotel located in Victor Harbor. Those aged 18+ can also enjoy the regions speciality wines including spicy Merlot, Pinot Noir and Shiraz Viognier while visiting the lush vineyards set amongst rolling hills, pastures and rugged coastlines. Make sure to drop into Victor Harbor winery for a tipple and cheese platter, Parri Estate for their fantastic cellar door experience or Mount Jagged for their distinctive wine and delicious meals.