Explore the rugged yet protected peninsula to the south of Adelaide

Sitting just below Adelaide, about an hour and a half drive south is the Fleurieu Peninsula that has a rugged yet calm coastline with plenty of beaches and wineries to explore.

Large standstone cliffs and steep hills can be found behind and between the stunning white sandy beaches, providing an incredible scenery thoughout the entire area. Whether it be that you’re looking for fine dining experience, a fishing trip or chasing some quiet time on one of the dozens of pristine beaches, the Fleurieu Peninsula will have you spoiled for choices.

Much the same as the rest of Australia’s southern coastline, the harsh weather comes from from the west, and with the York Peninsula and Kangaroo Island sitting to the east of Fleurieu Peninsula, alongside the large hills and cliffs, a lot of the coast line is protected form the wind and is an ideal location to visit all year round, although it does tend to get quite cold in the winter months.

Second Valley Jetty, Fleurieu Peninsula - 1

Visiting the Fleurieu Peninsula

There’s something for just about everyone on the Fleurieu Peninsula, whether it be tasting fine local wine, visiting the farmers markets at Willunga, Myponga or Victor Harbor, fishing from the rocks or soaking up the sun at one of the many beaches. Here are some places that you should consider adding to your Fleurieu Peninsula itinerary!

Port Willunga Beach Caves

Down on the Port Wullinga Beach are a bunch of man made caves that have been carved by the local fisherman back in 1868.

The caves were made to store the fisherman’s boats, nets and other fishing gear, now days they’re a popular tourist destination or a good spot to hide from the sun on a scorching day in the beautiful, hot South Australian summer weather.

If you’re looking for a great place to get a photo or another calm, stunning beach to walk along or head for a child safe swim, then Port Wullinga has you covered! It’s also a great option for a lunch break as there’s a restaurant on the beach, right at the main car park.

Once you make it onto the Port Wullinga Beach, the caves are obvious and easy to find – just look for the timber posts that stick out of the sea from the old jetty, the Fisherman’s Caves are just behind it.

Fishersmans Caves at Port Willunga Beach, Fleurieu Peninsula
Sitting in the Fishermans Caves, Port Willunga, Fleurieu Peninsula

Sellicks Beach

Take your car down to Sellicks and drive along the beach! Sellicks Beach is one of the few on the Fleurieu Peninsula where driving on the sand is allowed, which is a great experience on its own (unless you grew up in South Australia where it’s pretty common).

The beach is known for its calm conditions, making it a popular spot for families with young kids and fisherman too, but that’s not the biggest draw card!

Sitting just behind the beach on the southern end are huge sand dune looking cliffs that are the result if thousands of years of sand turning to stone, then the sea slowly eroding away the coast line.

If it’s a hot day, head to Sellicks Beach for s swim, otherwise just take a drive to see the cliffs, both from on the beach and the walkway above.

Sellicks Beach Cliffs, Fleurieu Peninsula
Sellicks, Fleurieu Peninsula

Carrickalinga Rock Pools

If you’re on the Fleurieu Peninsula when the weather is nice and hot (& it usually is!), visiting the rock pools are Carrickalinga could be the most enjoyable stop on your trip.

The Carrickalinga Beach looks out to the Gulf St Vincent, it’s great by itself and well worth a visit, but not the main attraction on offer. Central to the beach are heap of black rocks that are hard to miss. The water gets stuck amongst the rocks in a bunch of narrow, long pools and heats up. Quite a lot of the rock pools are completely calm and safe. It’s an amazing place to spend some time in the water, otherwise it’s still worth taking a look on a cooler day.

Carickalinga Rock Pools, Fleurieu Peninsula
Crackilinga Rock Pool, Fleurieu Peninsula

Ingalalla Falls

Once you’ve had enough of the coast, drank too much wine and want to see some different scenery, try heading to Ingalalla Falls!

Right at the Ingalalla Falls carpark is a large picnic area, from there it’s just a short walk for a couple of minutes to the waterfall.

From the plunge pool, the waterfalls look great, but they’re actually much larger than what’s visible. It’s certainly not advised, but climbing up the steep track just to the right of the falls (on the opposite side of the creek to the track) will take you up a hill and present a view of the second, larger part of the falls. It’s not too hard to climb up, but pretty dangerous to get back down.

Cooling off in the plunge pool at the base of Ingalalla Falls is allowed, but first make sure to check the water quality and for any submerged debre before entering.

Ingalalla Falls, Fleurieu Peninsula
Ingalalla Waterfall, Fleurieu Peninsula

Getting to the Fleurieu Peninsula from Adelaide

Whatever way you come, the drive will take you through some beautiful farm land spotted in old gum trees, although due to the steep and seemingly endless rolling hills be sure to take a bit of caution as road weaves and twists hundreds of times the entire way.

Getting to the Fleurieu Peninsula from Adelaide is straight forward and difficult to get wrong. The most common route is to get onto the Southern Expressway (the M2) and follow it south towards Kangaroo Island, although most major roads heading south will take you in the right direction, such as Main Road/Main South Road or Commercial Road. Depending on which part of the Fleurieu Peninsula you’re visiting and where you’re coming from, it’ll take around 1-1.5 hours to reach your destination.

If you’re coming to the Fleurieu Peninsula from the east, head to Mount Barker then follow the B34 highway (starts as Battunga Road) past Meadows to Willunga Hill. You’ll then be quite central  and close to where ever you’re planning to visit.

Camping on the Fleurieu Peninsula

There are an abundance of campgrounds on the Fleurieu Peninsula to suit a range of budgets and styles, from caravan parks to semi-bush campgrounds.

Rapid Bay Campground and Warrina Cove Holiday Park are the most popular (both are on the northern side of the peninsula), followed by a nice grassy campground called Waitpinga that’s on the southern coast of the Fleurieu, closer to Victor Harbour.

For a comfortable, clean and well maintained campground that’s a bit quieter than the rest and good on the wallet, try Second Valley Caravan Park. From Second Valley, most attractions on the Fleurieu Peninsula aren’t too far away. You can find our more about the Second Valley Caravan Park here.

2nd Valley Caravan sport
Second Valley bay rocks next to jetty