Cruise coastal waters thriving with marine life, feed friendly kangaroos and explore wildlife trails where koalas laze in the treetops. Did we mention snake handling? Only a short trip from Adelaide, Victor Harbor is renowned for its unique and profound wildlife experiences. Don’t forget to pack your binoculars for the annual whale migration between May and October. This majestic show is a spectacle of epic proportions.
The Southern Fleurieu Peninsula is one of the best places in the world to witness the Southern Right Whale and Humpback Whale migration from Antarctica. And Victor Harbor offers a front row seat for the occasion, with vantage points and lookouts for as the whales teem along the coastline to the warm waters of Encounter Bay.
Check out the South Australia Whale Centre for everything you need to know about these fascinating giants, from whale behaviours to where to go to spot them, walking details for the nearby Marine Park Whale Trail and sighting logs. Along with three floors of whaling history you’ll also find a 3D theatrette.
Koalas and kangaroos
Situated in the native wetlands in Hindmarsh Valley, only five minutes from Victor Harbor, the open-range Urimbirra Wildlife Park is home to over 400 animals and 70 species of Australian animals and birds. As well as Australian residents such as dingoes, lizards, wallabies and crocodiles you’ll also find alpacas, chooks and guinea pigs.
Get up close to some of the park’s most iconic residents by joining one of the activities on offer. From hand-feeding kangaroos to patting koalas or handling a snake, the wildlife experiences are yours to choose from. You can also simply relax by the BBQ facilities or roll out a blanket and enjoy a picnic.
Victor Harbor is home to some of most spectacular walks in South Australia. For panoramic coastal views make your way across the causeway to Granite Island Recreation Park. Known for its striking granite rock formations and fairy penguins, this protected island off the coast of Victor Harbor is the perfect place to connect with surrounding nature.
You can enjoy a walk around the island on, the Kaiki Trail – this easy 45 minute walk takes you past elevated views and abundant flora and fauna. To get to the island and explore the scenic nature trails and outdoor sculptures you can ride the historic Horse Drawn Tram across the wooden causeway from the mainland.
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Only a few minutes from the Urimbirra Wildlife Park, the Hindmarsh River Trail is an easy boardwalk stroll that stretches around some of the areas landmarks, including paperbark woodlands, a lagoon and estuary and sand dunes. This walk presents an 8km loop, alongside plenty of thriving birdlife.
For a great excursion into thriving flora north of Victor Harbor, visit the five acre Nangawooka Flora Reserve. Home to plant communities that were planted forty years ago, flora species here include a range of wild flower and native species unique to the Fleurieu Peninsula. Flowering is at its peak during spring.
Ready to throw in a line? Renowned as one of the best spots in South Australia for fishing, Victor Harbor is a great spot for salmon, snapper and bream. Cast a line in comfort with Pirate’s Sea Charter, who will take you out for a day (or half a day) in a spacious catamaran. You can also join one of their sightseeing tours to spot seals and dolphins.
Where to stay: Comfort Inn Victor Harbor offers conveniently located accommodation within walking distance from local treasures. The hotel offers a range of rooms including, 10 with self- contained kitchenettes, a spa suite, and a two bedroom unit perfect for family holidays.