10 Lesser Know (But Awesome Experiences)
Australia – what an incredible country. Our nation oozes beauty, dishing up jaw-dropping attractions and breathtaking experiences.
The Southern Fleurieu Peninsula in particular is known for its beauty, it has more captivating natural wonders than you could poke a stick at and is a very popular holiday destination with not only South Aussies but interstate visitors too. If you ‘Google’ “things to do on the Southern Fleurieu Peninsula”, you will most likely come up with the same list over and over again. We (most of us crow-eaters) have had a ride on the Horse and Tram at Victor Harbor, perhaps even ridden the iconic Steamranger along the coastline and visited the Whale Centre once or twice. All of these activities are a lot of fun to do and a definite ‘must do’ when visiting for the first time but for those who are looking for something different, a unique experience unlike you have experienced before, an extraordinary day you will be talking about for a long time, then we can help you out with that!
You can get in and amongst it all by exploring the area well off the beaten track, uncover gobsmacking natural features and tons of wildlife in a chauffeured 4WD. Or put yourself amid these wide open spaces and get a birds-eye view, via helicopter! Water is all around us too. Easy access to sparkling coastline, rivers, and lakes means water-based activities are one of the best ways to discover this incredible slice of SA too.
No matter the season or reason; the taste or pace, The Southern Fleurieu has a prime piece of turf just waiting to be uncovered by you. Read on for more fun and unique ways to explore all it has to offer!
The Backyard Universe
The Backyard Universe offers stargazing, nature-based, scenic and winery tours on the Fleurieu Peninsula in South Australia. Discover the stories behind the beautiful scenery and night skies with friendly and experienced local guides.
‘The Backyard Universe’ offer customised astronomy & geology activity and tour packages for conferences, private groups and school camps.
They also run door-to-door shuttle bus services for the southern Heysen Trail and Fleurieu Peninsula; including transfers to & from Adelaide airport and the Kangaroo Island ferries.
Port Elliot stargazing tour (Fleurieu Peninsula)
Operates at Ratalang Basham Beach Park, Port Elliot, during the summer months (October to March). Treat yourself or your family or your group to a truly inspiring and personalised tour of the cosmos. They do a multicultural tour of the constellations with their laser pointer. They’ll show you the magnificent night sky through their large, powerful telescopes. You’ll see stars, clusters, planets, nebulae, galaxies and more with one of Australia’s most experienced astronomical guides. This is a 90 minute guided tour you won’t soon forget!
Sacred Earth Safaris
Relax and enjoy your holiday. Let someone else do the driving and take care of everything, on a soft adventure small group four wheel drive tour with Sacred Earth Safaris. Tours are available throughout South Australia, including the Flinders Ranges and Outback, Kangaroo Island and across the Nullarbor.
As a family owned and operated business, they take pride in their personalized service and attention to detail and have 30 years’ experience in the tourism industry.
Travel in comfort and style in an air conditioned 4WD. They have 3 vehicle sizes to choose from, catering for micro, small and medium groups, up to 24 people.
Tours are accommodated and you can choose from a range of extended scheduled tours or enjoy a personalized private tour-where they design the itinerary to suit your interests, which is ideal for incentives, families, social clubs, groups of friends and special interests such as bird watching and photography. Private tours range from day trips to extended touring and can include a variety of destinations, accommodation and activities.
Sacred Earth Safaris also operate tours to Kakadu, Kimberley, Pilbara, Tasmania and the Red Centre and can combine private touring in these areas with touring in South Australia.
Private South Australian 4WD tour
For an exclusive and personalised holiday experience, let Sacred Earth Safaris design a private tour just for you. Private tours are ideal for families, groups of friends, social clubs, incentives, educational groups and special interests such as photography and bird watching. Designed to suit your time frame and interests, private tours can include a range of sights and activities based on your interests and including your choice of accommodation. Private tours can depart on any date, subject to availability. Travel with an experienced driver guide in a comfortable Range Rover, seating a maximum of 4 guests, their OKA four wheel drive tour bus with a maximum of 9 guests or their 24 seat Tatra 6WD coach. A tour host or translator can be provided on request. Sacred Earth Safaris can offer day trips from Adelaide or extended touring to a range of locations including the Flinders Ranges, Coober Pedy, the Oodnadatta Track, Birdsville, Innamincka, Fleurieu Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, across the Nullarbor, along the coast to Melbourne or up to the Red Centre. Explore one, two or multiple locations- the choice is yours.
The Tailor – Luxury Day Tours
The Tailor is Australia’s most innovative, respected and awarded luxury Australian travel specialist. They offer a collection of unique South Australian Luxury Day Tours that have been carefully curated, offering unique, authentic and privileged access into some of South Australia’s most well-known and inspirational brands, people, places and products.
The Untold Story of the Coorong – One of a kind cultural Coorong Beach experience
A truly unique day that’s been carefully crafted by South Australian, John Reeves – one of the people behind South Australia’s largest cockle supplier, Goolwa Pipi Co. and storyteller of the beautiful Coorong. A combination of adventure, Indigenous culture, nature and wildlife – complete with a fine dining experience overlooking the silver sands of the beautiful Coorong. This remarkable journey allows you to experience and understand the untouched beauty of this rarely explored piece of paradise, all within 90 mins from the heart of Adelaide. A place where majestic pelicans abound, a place with past and present meaningful connections to the traditional custodians of the area, The Ngarrindjeri. One of the longest continuous beaches in The World that has provided sustenance for many thousands of years. A region that inspired the film Storm Boy.
Adelaide Helicopters specialise in creating unique heli-tourism experiences. Regardless of your choice of destination the sheer convenience and luxury of travelling by helicopter adds an unforgettable third dimension to your tourism experience.
Adelaide Helicopters is located on the outskirts of the historic township of Strathalbyn – less than an hour’s drive from Adelaide. Our Strathalbyn base is the ideal launching spot to cover the Fleurieu Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, the Coorong, River Murray and the wine regions of McLaren Vale, Langhorne Creek and Adelaide Hills.
Adelaide Helicopters is a proudly South Australian family owned and operated business.
Just some of their tours include:
Murray Mouth And Goolwa 30 Minute Tour
Departing from Strathalbyn we head east and fly over the Langhorne Creek wine region before heading south along the western edge of Lake Alexandrina. Take in the panoramic views of the Lower Lakes and Coorong. Once we reach the mouth of the Murray River we head west along Goolwa beach where, if you keep a sharp look out, you are sure to spot a variety of local marine life – from stingrays, seals, dolphins, sharks and, during the season, whales. After tracking west along Goolwa beach it is time to turn north and head home over the top of the Marina at Hindmarsh Island and the historic port of Goolwa. Our flight path takes us over the wine region of Currency Creek and home to Strathalbyn. Operates: By arrangement.
Fleurieu Peninsula Coast Line 1 Hour and 10 Minute Tour
From Strathalbyn, track south west over the township of Mount Compass and take in the tree studded landscape surrounding Myponga Reservoir before commencing descent over Carrickalinga Beach to track south along the spectacular and rugged coast line of the Fleurieu Peninsula. Pass Second Valley and Rapid Bay and rounding Cape Jervis it seems like you could reach out and touch Kangaroo Island, which only lies five miles to the South across Backstairs Passage. As you round Newland Head you will be amazed at the spectacle of the Waitpinga Cliffs as they plunge deep in to the Southern Ocean. This is when you realise that you are taking in a view that not many other people have seen, as it can only be experienced from the luxury of a helicopter. As you round Rosetta Head (The Bluff) you leave behind the rugged coastline for the bustling tourist mecca of Victor Harbor and Granite Island. Climb over the southern foot of the Mount Lofty Ranges and head north east over Currency Creek wine region and back to South Coast Helicopter’s Strathalbyn base. Operates: By arrangement.
Coorong and Lower Lakes 1 Hour Tour
Departing Strathalbyn, head south along the western shore of Lake Alexandrina passing over the townships of Milang and Clayton en-route to the Murray Mouth. Then head south-east to discover the natural beauty of the Coorong National Park. The calm wetland lagoons of the Coorong are teeming with marine and bird life which is protected from the relentless crashing waves of the Southern Ocean by a 100 kilometre long narrow strip of spectacular sand dunes known as the Younghusband Peninsula. The peninsula appears to stretch as far as the eye can see. The absence of roads and the shallow depth of the Coorong have acted as a natural barrier to European settlement of this pristine coastal strip. As you fly over the dunes you will easily pick out emus making their way over the sand hills and also witness the shell middens which mark many generations of Ngarrindjeri occupation of this area. Follow the Coorong down to the edge of Lake Albert and then head north for Meningie. Upon reaching the point where the Murray River flows into Lake Alexandrina, track to the west flying over the Langhorne Creek region and returning to Strathalbyn. Operates: By arrangement.
Coorong National Park 1 Hour and 10 Minute Tour
Departing from Strathalbyn we head south along the western shore of Lake Alexandrina passing over the townships of Milang and Clayton en-route to the Murray Mouth. We then head south east to discover the natural beauty of the Coorong National Park. The calm wetland lagoons of the Coorong are teaming with marine and bird life which is protected from the relentless crashing waves of the Southern Ocean by a 100 kilometre long narrow strip of spectacular sand dunes known as the Younghusband Peninsula. The peninsula appears to stretch as far as the eye can see. The absence of roads and the shallow depth of the Coorong have acted as a natural barrier to European settlement of this pristine coastal strip. As they fly over the dunes you will easily pick out emus making their way over the sand hills and also witness the shell middens which mark many generations of Ngarrindjeri occupation of this area. Operates: By arrangement.
Location: 3 Summerhill Road
Strathalbyn, South Australia
South Coast Surf Academy
South Coast Surf Academy offers all visitors who are interested in learning to surf the chance to do so in an educational, active, adventurous, Aussie beach lifestyle environment with plenty of opportunities to take photos and to collect water based memories that will last a lifetime.
Learn to surf, 2 hour or 4 hour lessons.
South Coast Surf Academy provides all that you need – full-length Quicksilver/Roxy wetsuits, soft Malibu surfboards, and all the instructions in and out of the water, from friendly, accredited male and female instructors some of who are state champion surfers. During the two hour lesson, they teach you about ocean awareness, surf safety, board handling, and prone to feet techniques then they accompany you into the water to catch soft rolling white water waves from waist deep water all the way to the beach. All that you need to bring are your bathers and a towel. They conduct their lessons on the beautiful South Coast of the Fleurieu Peninsula at Surfers Parade, Middleton.
Location: 2nd Car Park along Surfers’ Parade
Middleton, South Australia
Phone: 0414 341 545
Email: [email protected]
The River Boat Trail
Take a drive along the Murray River shores to learn about the history of the river. See the majestic cliffs and follow the trail of signs. Pelicans, swans and other birds are common. Stop for a meal, a coffee or a picnic at scenic spots along the way. OK, this experience may not be life changing, it’s low key but it’s incredibly interesting and something a little different to do on a nice sunny day, and it’s free!!
About 100 years ago the River Murray was a major inland highway for farmers and travelers. Roads were poor so paddle steamers and barges carried farm produce down the river. Floating shops sold goods to the farmers, delivered the mail and carried passengers. There were also mission boats, small fishing boats, ferries, and powerful milk launches. Working boats helped to build the weirs and dredges kept the river channels clear.
Many of the towns along the river grew up around ports. Trading and shipbuilding companies were set up.
The River Boat Trail includes 18 interpretive signs along the South Australian section of the River Murray from Border Cliffs to Goolwa and across Lakes Alexandrina and Albert. Each panel includes a map and the story of the area and its people.
Location: Goolwa to Border Cliffs Goolwa SA
Phone: 8124 4960
Email: [email protected]
The Goolwa Boating Experience
The Goolwa Boating Experience (TGBE) offers guided boat charter cruises through the historic waters of Goolwa.
These 1 or 2 hour day charters are available all-year round and cruises are structured for private groups or families (max 4 passengers) looking for a personalised tour experience rather than the traditional ‘tourist bus’ cruise. Cruising through shallow, protected inland fresh water with ZERO dangerous creatures, it is surely one of the safest boating environments in Australia. Just over an hours drive from Adelaide, Goolwa is one of the oldest towns in South Australia, the birthplace of Australia’s paddle-steamer river trade and the single gateway to the vast inland waterways (over 6,500km’s of rivers) of the Murray-Darling Basin. Their modern boat is spacious, safe and comfortable equipped with the latest safety gear and marine electronics. They even have SONAR that allows passengers to see underwater shipwrecks from the comfort of the boat!
With different scenic routes from Adelaide and a beautiful South Coast, a boat charter cruise with The Goolwa Boating Experience is the only way to see the natural wonder of the Lower Lakes & gain a unique understanding of South Australia and how vast regions of inland Australia were settled.
Location: Tolarno Drive, Hindmarsh Island, SA
Softfoot Alpaca Farm & Eco Centre
This farm tour gives participants the opportunity to explore 600 dramatic acres in the picturesque Hindmarsh Valley, South Australia
and get close to nature.
Experience Australian farm lifestyle and cuisine. While taking a ride over the undulating property in one of their ATV buggies, search for our resident wild Australian marsupials such as Kangaroos, Koalas and Echidnas before disembarking to meet our friendly world class alpacas. Spend time walking the alpacas, exploring the natural setting or discovering our rare and endangered marsupials inside their purpose-built predator proof enclosures. An Aussie BBQ lunch is also included with the day tour.
Family welcoming tea with homemade biscuits
4wd Buggy farm adventure
Alpaca experience –get up close and personal with the beautiful alpacas and take the perfect selfie!
Authentic working shearing shed visit
Enjoy the retail space filled with luxury Australian alpaca products and handmade local products
Visit the Murray Darlings wetlands filled with native wildlife.
Location: 594 Sawpit Road, Hindmarsh Valley SA
Visit Glacier Rock
The Glacier Rock is also known as Selwyn’s Rock, and is a 500 million year old boulder transported by a glacier from the vicinity of Victor Harbor. A huge glacial ice sheet covered the whole of the south coast 250 million years ago. During this period Glacier Rock was dragged across the Fleurieu Peninsula by the ice helping to groove and scratch rock surfaces between Victor Harbor and Inman Valley. The grooves, scratches and crescent shaped marks on the rock surface of the Inman Valley River bed are significant evidence of the direction of the ice movement.
Glacier Rock was discovered in 1859 by ARC Selwyn a geologist for the South Australian Government. It was the first recorded discovery of glaciations in Australia. It was then rediscovered in 1897 by famous geologist Sir David Edgeworth and Dr Walter Howchin, from Sydney and Adelaide Universities. Doctor Albert Terrones Mexico pronounced Glacier (Selwyn’s) Rock as one of the largest glacial exposures in the world.
Glacier Rock attracts geologists from all over the world.
Location: 1 Mount Alma Road, Inman Valley SA
Mundoo Island Station & Coorong Tours
Join Mundoo Island Station and Coorong Tours and enjoy a unique one and a half hour mini-bus tour of a private sheep and cattle station on an island in the Coorong.
You will see the Coorong barrages, magnificent birdlife, Mundoo Island Station museum, old car graveyard, hovercraft and learn about the station’s history since 1843. Magnificent scenery and myriad birdlife will make your visit to Mundoo Island Station a memorable one. Bird lovers, photographers and artists will love this experience. You can book specific bird watching or photography tours or book a longer time for an artist tour!
Experience the last farm on the River Murray – where the river meets the sea.
Please note: access to Mundoo Island Station is restricted. Tour departure point is 3.5 kilometres along Denver Road, Hindmarsh Island.
Location: Mundoo Island, SA
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