Explore the best the Fleurieu Peninsula has to offer…
One of the most popular tourist drives in South Australia is right here on Pet Let’s doorstep. It is an awesome way to see the best of the region in just a few hours.
The 73-kilometre drive will take you past some of the most picturesque and historic locations on the Fleurieu Peninsula; some great surfing beaches, stunning old buildings, beautiful towns, tree studded farmland, bushland and if you are exploring the region during June to October, you might even spot some Southern Right Whales as well!
It all begins at the Wharf…
The South Coast Tourist Drive Route ‘50’ begins at the Goolwa Wharf as signified by the large brown sign. You will see similar signs with the ‘50’ icon on it to guide you throughout the entire 73 km’s.
Goolwa Wharf, once home to a bustling river and railway trade,is now a great place to spend some time, with a market, cafes, wineries, a beer house and of course the popular cockle train. It is the perfect spot to begin your ‘Route 50’ adventure.
The drive begins at Goolwa Wharf | Photo courtesy: Steve Hudson
You will begin the drive by heading south towards Goolwa Barrage. It is just a short drive (you could probably walk there quicker!) but another excellent location to hop out of the car for a look and a photo. There are more cafes and a great nature playground with river views, BBQ’s and picnic tables and a large grassed area perfect for letting the kids and fur kids burn some energy before the drive really begins!
Bristow Smith Reserve | Photo Courtesy: Kate le Gallez
Next you will head towards Goolwa Beach; a popular beach with holiday makers from all over the world. If you haven’t stopped off for a coffee and cake at one of the many cafes you have already passed, the perfect opportunity is here at the bustling Bomboras Café which is located virtually on the beach.
Travelling west you will then head to the Esplanade of Middleton Beach, named one of the best surf beaches in Australia. You will pass many stunning two story beach houses on one side of the road and have unrivaled views of the ocean on the other. This is one of the spots where you may see some Southern Right Whales during their annual winter pilgrimage.
As you pass Bashams Beach Recreation Park you will head towards the historic town of Port Elliot.It was once a busy port that had more than its fair share of catastrophes but today it is more famous for the beautiful swimming beach in Horseshoe Bay, The Strand with its historic buildings (including tiny weeny Council Chambers), and South Australia’s busiest and insanely good bakery! Another cake anyone?
Then you take the main road towards Victor Harbor before heading north on Adelaide Road for about 9km (ie towards Adelaide). Along the way you will spot the historic parking bay known as Cut Hill Wall. This dry-stone wall was built in 1868 to support the newly built and steeply descending road into Victor Harbor that bypassed the previous hazardous route via Port Elliot, and was an engineering sensation at this time.
Making your way further along the Tourist Drive, you will soon come to Crows Nest Road and Crows Nest lookout. You will need your trusty camera! There are magnificent ‘Instagram’ worthy views of the South Coast and the terrain you have just driven. Look to the east and the view encompasses the Murray Mouth, Lake Alexandrina and Hindmarsh Island – all of which look spectacular at any time of the day.
Crows Nest Road Lookout | Photo courtesy: Neale Winter & SA Tourism Commission
The drive heads down the hill and back in to Middleton again before heading inland along Flagstaff Hill road, past a series of farms and vineyards. Driving back to Goolwa, the drive skirts the northern side of the town and travels across the infamous Hindmarsh Island Bridge to Hindmarsh Island.
Hindmarsh Island Bridge | Photo courtesy: flickr.com
To the north of the island, we see a mixture of older holiday homes and the residential homes of locals who have chosen to live in this beautiful part of the world. You will then travel towards the centre of the Island where you will find a giant monument marking the efforts of Captains Barker and Sturt during the 19th Century. Making your way further east, head toward Sugars Beach and then finish off your adventure at the mouth of the River Murray.
The Murray Mouth, Goolwa | Photo courtesy: SATC
Tourist Drive 50 is 73km long and will take 2-3 hours depending on how often you stop to take in the views, have a coffee and eat cake!
There is extensive signage along the way but a brochure of the drive is also available online and from the Goolwa Visitors Information Centre.
Goolwa Visitor Information Centre, Cadell Street, Goolwa
Phone: 1300 466 592
Email: [email protected]
Map: click here!
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To find pet friendly accommodation along the ‘South Coast Tourist Drive’ you can browse our stunning holiday homes HERE