No matter what your itinerary, you can experience the best of South Australia’s surf and sun at Victor Harbor.
Victor Harbor is a picturesque seaside town on the coast of South Australia’s Fleurieu Peninsula. Only 80 kilometres away from Adelaide, it’s a popular summer escape for Adelaideans, interstate and international visitors alike. Take a dip at a family-friendly beach, surf some challenging swells, enjoy a rugged clifftop walk or dig into some delicious local seafood. No matter what your itinerary, you can experience the best of South Australia’s surf and sun at Victor Harbor.
Victor Harbor’s biggest draw card is its stunning, accessible beaches. You’ll find kilometres of sandy shore to stroll down, as well as rugged clifftop trails with crashing waves below. Some of South Australia’s best surf spots – Petrel Cove, Boomer Beach and Knights Beach – can be found only minutes away from Victor Harbor. If you’re not as much of a thrill seeker, Port Elliot and Goolwa are great spots for swimming and fishing.
Walks and trails
Victor Harbor’s mix of calm sandy beaches and striking rugged cliffs make it the perfect place to take a scenic stroll. On the outskirts of town and in surrounding areas, you’ll find a range of beautiful clifftop walking trails. The ever-popular Heysen Trail passes-by Victor Harbor after snaking almost 1500 kilometres from its origins in the Flinders Ranges. The trail is at its most stunning between Waitpinga and Victor Harbor, with moody views that are much loved by walkers and photographers. Though slightly steep in some areas, only a medium level of fitness is required for the Victor Harbor section of the Heysen Trail. Alternatively, take the easy-going Heritage Trail where you can learn more about Victor Harbor’s past. Other tracks and trails include the Encounter Bikeway, Bluff Summit walk, Hindmarsh River walk and Inman River walk.
A trip to Victor wouldn’t be complete without a stroll to Granite Island. Connected to the mainland by a tram/pedestrian causeway (serviced by one of the last operational horse-drawn trams in existence) you can walk the Island in less than an hour, taking-in awesome coastal views all the way around. Granite Island is also home to a colony of little penguins. Take a guided tour to learn more about the region’s history, flora and fauna, significant landmarks and Aboriginal origins.
Take a ride across to Granite Island on Victor Harbor's charming Cockle Train.
A charming steam locomotive and other antique train services run between Goolwa and Victor Harbor. This includes the oldest rail route in Australia, which connects Port Elliot and Goolwa. Based at the Goolwa Depot, the Cockle Train sets off daily. It crosses the Goolwa to Victor road, picking up and dropping off passengers by request. It then passes through Port Elliot, along the stunning coast before finishing up at Victor Harbor station right in the centre of town. The journey takes roughly 30 minutes and passengers can buy tickets at Victor Harbor, Pt Elliot or Goolwa stations.
Rosetta Head (commonly known as The Bluff) is the best place to take-in views of Victor Harbor. Standing 100 metres high, made from 500 million year-old granite and shaped by ravaging ice erosion, The Bluff is impossible to miss. Wind your way to the top by following one of many walking trails. On your way to the top, pass lush green grass and impressive rock formations with waves crashing below. Reach the summit and marvel at panoramic views of the Victor Harbor township, Granite Island and endless ocean. If you’re lucky, you might even encounter a New Zealand fur seal or Australian sea lion. For more incredible coastal scenery, set off on the nearby Bluff Summit Walk.
If you’ve spent any time along South Australia’s coast, you’ll already appreciate its beauty. Few sights, however, are as awe-inspiring as the migration of our massive southern right whales. Watch as mothers and calves effortlessly carve their way through frothy swells. Head to Victor Harbor or the Head of Bight and bring your binoculars. You’ll be in for a treat. The South Australian Whale Centre in Victor Harbor provides hands-on interactive activities as well as whale watching tips.
Restaurants and cafés
Dotted all around Victor Harbor are cosy cafés, charming fish and chip shops and excellent restaurants.
The heritage listed Anchorage Seafront Hotel is a classy affair. Perched on the esplanade in central Victor Harbor, it’s the perfect place to enjoy alfresco dining or sip award winning coffee. Experience the ambiance of the Anchorage’s boat bar restaurant with chefs cooking-up some exceptional dishes. Current menu highlights include slow roasted local Suffolk lamb shoulder, tuna nicoise, seared yellowfin tuna and classic Provencal French salad.
Red Orchid Thai Café is well-known for its modern take on Asian cuisine, while Hotel Victor provides the “best of both worlds”. Seen as the social hub of the Fleurieu Peninsula, it also serves fantastic fish and chips, seafood platters and standard pub fare.
Other great dining options include Nino’s of Victor Harbor, the Grosvenor Hotel, and a range of fish and chip shops.
If you’re looking for somewhere to stay, you’ll be spoilt for choice in Victor Harbor. Ever-popular as a summer holiday spot, there’s no shortage of holiday accommodation, from shacks to lavish self-contained apartments. There are multiple caravan parks around town, and high-quality hotels and resorts including McCracken Country Club, The Bluff Resort Apartments and the Anchorage Hotel. For more information and to book, see the Victor Harbor website’s booking page