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The Top Things to do in Victor Harbor

Located on the Fleurieu Peninsula of South Australia, Victor Harbor is a popular seaside township offering a lovely mixture of coastal views and family friendly attractions. Whether you travel here for the surf and the sun or the wildlife encounters out at sea, Victor Harbour is an ideal destination for a coastal getaway or day-trip. Browse our list of the top things to do and start planning your dream escape to Victor Harbor.

Top 10 Things to do in Victor Harbor

Experience Oz Staff
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Located on the southern coast of the Fleurieu Peninsula in South Australia, Victor Harbor is a popular destination for road trippers travelling around the state and day-trippers escaping the city of Adelaide.

Offering visitors a number of exciting and scenic sights and experiences, Victor Harbor should be nearing the top of your list for things to do in the beautiful state of South Australia.

Browse our top 10 picks for things to see, do and experience below to prepare for your upcoming trip to the beautiful Victor Harbor region.

1. Victor Harbor Tramway

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Location: Esplanade, Victor Harbor, SA

An iconic activity in the Victor Harbor region, the Victor Harbor Tramway has been ferrying people by horse drawn tram carriage to and from Granite Island since 1894.

Combining transport and excitement, this is a great adventure for all ages to enjoy, especially the young ones.

The tram makes the journey across multiple times a day every day of the year, so no matter when you visit you’re sure to have the chance to jump on board.

The journey across to the island is on a 630-metre long boardwalk that you can also walk across if you don’t want to catch the tram.

"This is the only horse-drawn tramway in Australia in operation and it is estimated that more than 2 million passengers have travelled on it since 1986."

With the same double-decker design that was first built all those years ago, this is a historic activity to enjoy in Victor Harbor and an incredible scenic one as it journeys over to the beautiful Granite Island.

Clydesdale horses steer the tramway across the causeway from the Esplanade to Granite Island travelling across the sea with picturesque views during the scenic ride.

The nostalgic journey heralds back to the heritage transport of the 19th Century in South Australia and is a great activity the whole family will enjoy with a touch of history combined with sightseeing.

After the experience, spend some time exploring Granite Island with gorgeous views of Victor Harbour and Encounter bay plus meet the Clydesdales that make this journey possible.

Head to the Esplanade between 10am and 3pm daily to join the Victor Harbor tramway over to Granite Island. The sightseeing tramway runs additional services on weekends and school holidays.

2. See wildlife at Granite Island

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Location: Granite Island, SA

Granite Island is known for its wildlife, especially the adorable colony of little penguins that live on the shores of the island.

The best chance of spotting the cute Little Penguins is at dusk when they return to the shore after a day of fun and exploration in the ocean.

To witness this natural phenomena, it is essential that you book the Granite Island Nature Tour as this will allow you access to island after dusk so you can watch the penguins waddling back to their burrows.

The guided tours last 90 minutes and give you an insight into some fun facts about the species and the life they lead both in the ocean and on land here at Granite island.

Given that Little Penguins are only found in Australia and New Zealand, this is a great experience to be a part of.

"Granite Island is known for its wildlife, especially the penguins and southern right whales, however, if you do not happen to glimpse these animals you won't be disappointed by the beautiful coastal scenery the island has to offer."

The twilight tour isn’t costly either with prices around $20 per person making this experience a worthwhile investment for anyone who is interested in learning about and witnessing wildlife up close.

As they are wild, their presence isn’t guaranteed, however, if you do not happen to glimpse these gorgeous animals you won’t be disappointed by the coastal scenery.

The island is also a popular whale-watching destination during their annual migration season with Humpback Whales spotted and Southern Right Whales staying here longer to breed and birth their calfs..

Be sure to bring your camera to capture the sight of whales breaching and tail slapping in the waters surrounding the island.

If you’re visiting during the warmer months, there are a number of exciting things to see and do including walking on the various trails, swimming off the beach and throwing a line in to catch a fish.

Getting to Granite Island is also a journey in itself, and is our number one thing to do in the Victor Harbor region.

You can take the horse drawn tram during the daylight hours or enjoy a short 600 metre walk over the bridge leading to Granite Island.

3. Victor Harbor Country Market

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Location: The Esplanade, Soldiers Memorial Reserve,Victor Harbor

Offering visitors the perfect place to meet some locals while enjoying the beautiful views and purchasing some delicious fresh produce, the Victor Harbor Country Market is a family-friendly marketplace held twice a month.

Setting up on the 2nd and last Sunday of every month (except January, when it runs every Sunday), the markets are open to the public from 9 am until 4 pm during the summer months and 9 am to 3 pm in the winter months.

"The seaside markets are the perfect leisurely activity to do on a Sunday morning irrespective of whether you are a visitor or a local and are open all day on selected Sundays of the month."

With stalls selling a range of goods from jewellery and clothing to hot food and freshly brewed coffee, you could easily spend the whole morning or afternoon wandering around the stalls.

The Victor Harbor Country Market is located on the beachfront lawns opposite Hotel Victor.

For visitors, the markets are a great way to mingle with the locals and purchase some great home made wares that you can be sure are Australian made and quality goods.

Or simply, pop on down for a breakfast and fresh coffee with beautiful views overlooking the harbour.

4. Deep Creek Conservation Park

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Location: Deep Creek Conservation Park,SA

The largest remaining natural vegetation in the Fleurieu Peninsula region, Deep Creek Conservation Park features a range of local wildlife and beautiful scenery that looks as though it’s straight off a postcard.

Exploring the park is a definite must for visitors to the region, and doing so is easy thanks to the five campgrounds spread throughout the park, four of which are easily accessible with two wheel drives.

Once you’re in the park, you can choose to follow one, or a few, of the 15 different walking trails. Each trail offers some incredible views of the surrounding region, including views of Kangaroo Island, Backstairs Passage and Deep Creek Valley.

The walks range in difficulty, so make sure you’re fully prepared before embarking on a walk.

Deep Creek Conservation Park is rich in native flora and fauna. As you embark on some of the walking trails keep an eye out for the stringybark forest and wildflowers that bloom every season.

"Deep Creek Conservation Park features a range of local wildlife and beautiful scenery that looks as though it's straight off a postcard."

Australian wildlife can also be found here too with many reported sightings of western grey kangaroos, yellow tailed black cockatoos, bearded dragons and bandicoots.

Autumn and Spring are the best times of the year to visit when the scorching summer temperatures have decreased significantly and it becomes much more comfortable to camp here under the stars or head out on a hike.

One of the great Australian treasures is a love for the outdoors and none more so that embarking on a camping trip. Deep Creek Conservation Park is a great escape from Adelaide at just over 100 kilometres and 40 kilometres from Victor Harbor.

The beauty of Deep Creek Conservation Park is that it features a range of scenery including secluded beaches popular with surfers and friendly dolphins but also quiet and serene nature walks amongst bird and wildlife.

It is the epitome of a true authentic outdoor Australian experience complete with kangaroos, beaches and bushland all under the Southern Cross. Camping is not for everyone but if you love then outdoors then don’t miss out on visiting Deep Creek Conservation Park.

5. Bird watching and Nature Walks at Talisker Conservation Park

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Location: Talisker Conservation Park

Neighbouring park, Talisker Conservation Park is a haven for bird watchers with a few surprises along the way. A protected park, the Talisker Conservation Park is the perfect place to lace up your hiking shoes and embark on an adventure.

A total of 101 species to date have been recorded here making it one of the best places in South Australian and indeed the country to spot some of these elusive and beautiful birdlife.

Common species that walkers may come across are Adelaide Rosella, Yellow faced Honey eaters and Grey Fantail but rarer Eastern Rosella, Willie Wagtail and Elegant Parrots are among some of the other feathery creatures in Talisker Conservation Park.

If you are an avid bird watcher and couldn’t tell a parrot from a rosella then the open Stringybark Forest and Savannah Woodland make this nature reserve a great place to explore on foot or mountain bike.

"There are over 101 bird species that have been recorded here and a variety of nature trails that blowholes, ruined mines and scenic woodland."

The opportunity to spot birds is just a nice benefit. In addition, the conservation park features remnants of a historic mining site. The Talisker Silver lead mine ruins are heritage listed in South Australia and signify the presence of mining in South Australia in the 19th Century.

The park offers visitors a number of scenic walking trails to choose from, each varying in length and difficulty. The Stringybark Loop Walk as pictured above is a great place to start and at only 1.5 kilometres long it is an easy walk for all fitness levels.

If you are up for more of a challenge then strap on the hiking boots the choose from the Talisker silver lead mine hike at 3km, Deep Creek Cove from Trig Picnic Area or a scenic walk to the Blowhole Beach at around 6km return.

Talisker Conservation Park is an ideal day out from Victor Harbor at just a 30 minute drive. Pack a picnic and your walking shoes and uncover the gems of the little known Talisker Conservation Park.

6. Goolwa Beach

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Location: Beach Rd, Goolwa Beach, SA

A popular surfing beach just off the South Australian coast, Goolwa Beach is a long, clean and pristine beach catering to beach dwellers and surfers.

Perfect for beginner to advanced surfers, there is a different part of the beach to suit a range of expertise and skill levels.

The beach itself is relatively uncrowded, however, on a good day, you’ll often find hoards of board-carrying visitors running into the water to try and catch the perfect wave.

"Goolwa Beach is one of the most picturesque beaches in the region and indeed South Australia overlooking Encounter Bay."

Different sections of the beach offer different experiences, with some pockets offering quality 3 to 5-foot surf breaks that you might even have all to yourself.

Middleton beach near Goolwa is an ever-popular spot for aspiring surfers and first-timers looking to learn the craft, while more advanced riders can venture further afield to the Yorke Peninsula that boasts a number of quality reef and beach breaks intermingled with calmer sections.

With a range of spots to choose from including Pondalowie Bay, Richards, Salmon Hole, Chinaman’s and more, there are enough available breaks in the region to enjoy a quality ride all year round.

7. Urimbirra Wildlife Park

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Location: 10 Welch Road, Victor Harbor

Located in the Hindmarsh Valley, Urimbirra Open-Range Wildlife Park is home to more than 400 native Australian animals including dingoes, crocodiles, wallabies, wombats and koalas.

As you wander around the park, you’ll also see some alpacas, sheep, rabbits, guinea pigs and chooks.

While at the park, you can hand-feed kangaroos, walk through the rainbow lorikeet aviary, meet a koala or handle a snake.

A great family owned and operated business, Urimbirra Wildlife Park is a great attraction for the whole family to enjoy.

Urimbirra is an open range wildlife park giving visitors the chance to interact and see wildlife up close. Not only is this great for curious wildlife lovers but it also gives the animals the freedom to roam as opposed to standard zoos where their living conditions may be cramped.

"This is a wildlife park that not only has large enclosures for the animals to freely roam but personal human interactions with humans are welcomed here."

For just $1, purchase some Kangaroo feed and watch as you are playfully swarmed by kangaroos looking for a sneaky treat.

These eternally hungry species are also quite photogenic and make for quite a funny selfie if you can manage to keep their attention.

The snake handling experience is one that is likely to challenge some people. Have a snake wrapped around your neck and confront your fears.

If that is too scary though, there are always animal experiences with friendly koalas. While koala cuddling is not allowed in South Australia, you can pat a koala and have your photo taken during this experience creating a life long memory of the iconic Australian animals.

Visitors can also make use of the park’s picnic facilities and play area and take a moment to relax in the undercover areas with the family.

8. Visit a winery

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Location: Fleurieu Peninsula, SA

The Fleurieu Peninsula region and Victor Harbor itself offer wine-loving visitors the chance to taste some of the highest quality wines produced in the area.

The Peninsula is home to two of the best wine regions in the world; Langhorne Creek Wine Region and McLaren Vale Wine Region, both of which are in close proximity to Victor Harbor.

McLaren Vale Wine Region is the closest to Victor Harbor, just a 40-minute drive north, and is famous for its Shiraz and more recently Grenache and Cabernet.

Visiting some of the local, boutique wineries in the region is a definite must if you’re looking to take full advantage of South Australia’s thriving food and wine scene.

"The Peninsula is home to two of the best wine regions in the world; Langhorne Creek Wine Region and McLaren Vale Wine Region, both of which are in close proximity to Victor Harbor."

The Mediterranean climate with warm summers and moderate winters makes McLaren Vale a suitable location for a diverse range of world class wines and foods to be produced here.

Visitors can taste these world class wines from more than 80 cellar doors and most are accompanied by mouth watering food from casual plates to full degustation menu with matching paired wines.

The region also boasts stunning scenery surrounding the Mt Lofty Ranges and Gulf St Vincent. If you are looking for a destination to have a drive in the countryside then the McLaren Vale wine region is a good choice.

No matter if you visit some of the cellar doors and vineyards on your own accord, or with an organised tour, you won’t be disappointed.

9. South Australia Whale Centre

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Location: 2 Railway Terrace, Victor Harbor,SA

Learn all you’ll ever need to know about whales with a visit to the South Australia Whale Centre.

An educational attraction, the centre is great for all ages to enjoy and features a number of informative exhibits, displays and artefacts.

The Victor Harbor region has a rich whaling history, which is all documented in the SA Whale Centre.

The museum still features one of its original exhibits- The Sperm Whale Vertebrae- which leaves visitors in awe.

"The historical old railway goods shed was revitalised and repurposed into what is now the SA Whale Centre opening in 1994."

You could easily spend the whole day wandering around the centre enjoying all it has to offer including a 3D theatre and Kids Zone for the young ones to enjoy plus a gift shop selling souvenirs for the day.

The centre gives visitors an insight into the giants of the ocean as they stare into the jaws of a Great White Shark, steer one of Sea Shephard's replica vessel into pirated waters and play on the touch tables and peer through the microscopes.

The centre is open daily (except for Christmas Day) from 10:30am until 5pm with entry to the park less than $20 per person.

10. Hindmarsh Falls

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Location: Hindmarsh Falls Rd, Hindmarsh Valley, SA

Follow the easy grade trail to Hindmarsh Falls in the Victor Harbor region for a day of relaxed sightseeing.

The short loop trail takes around 10 minutes to complete and stretches around 200 metres.

The falls itself is a 20 to 25-metre waterfall cascading down into various pools.

"Hindmarsh Falls are well worth a visit and is included amongst South Australia's top 10 best waterfall walks in the state."

The area surrounding the falls is complete with two parking lots and a picnic area, allowing you to extend your visit over lunch.

Hindmarsh Falls is reached via a short drive from central Victor Harbor along Adelaide Road towards Mount Compass.