Spot whales, stop in at idyllic seaside towns and take in dramatic ocean views cycling along the Encounter Way bike track.
Stretching 30km from the picturesque coastal town of Goolwa to Victor Harbor, the Encounter Way bike trail is one of the best ways to explore and appreciate the Fleurieu Peninsula coast. The bikeway is completely flat with a mix of on-road and shared pathways. For a family-friendly option, tackle sections at a time, with a range of shorter stretches from 4km to 6km. Don’t want to have to ride both ways? Jump aboard the iconic Cockle Train from Goolwa and ride the Encounter Way back.
Ready to ride? Don your Lycra and hit the road with our guide to the best things to see along the Encounter Way.
Goolwa, Fleurieu Peninsula
Before pedalling off along the coast, spend a few hours exploring the picturesque town of Goolwa. Just an hour’s drive south of Adelaide, Goolwa is a historic river port where the Murray mouth and Southern Ocean meet and the starting point for the Encounter Way. Here, you’ll find spectacular beaches, quiet waterways of the Coorong brimming with birdlife, a picturesque wharf precinct and the world’s official best whiskey at Fleurieu Distillery. Fuel up for the ride on a locally-sourced feast featuring pipis foraged from the surrounding waters at Kuti Shack, then make your way along the Encounter Way.
Middleton, Fleurieu Peninsula
Cruise approximately 6km along the coast to the sleepy seaside town of Middleton, the first stop on the Encounter way cycling path. Best known for its surf beaches, Middleton is the perfect spot to stop and rest your legs while soaking in epic coastal views. Middleton is also one of the best spots for whale watching in South Australia and if you’re riding between June and September, chances are you may even glimpse Southern Right Whales on their annual migration.
Port Elliot, Fleurieu Peninsula
Next stop is Port Elliot and after all that riding, we think you’ve earned a treat! Head straight for the Port Elliot Bakery, a local institution so popular it’s not uncommon to see flocks of hungry beachgoers lining up down the road to try the famous donut of the month (think flavours like Espresso Martini, lemon cheesecake and Tim Tam). Afterwards, wander through the charming streets admiring the town’s historical facades and beachside cottages, stop for lunch at the Flying Fish Cafe or browse the stylish boutiques and homewares shops.
Victor Harbor, Fleurieu Peninsula
Back on your bike and on your way about 7.5m to the final destination along the Encounter Way, Victor Harbor, where sandy beaches, breathtaking coastal views and a rich maritime history await. Lock up your bike and swap Lycra for your bathers to cool off at one of Victor Harbor’s quiet sandy beaches. Or keep your heart rate up and hike the rugged clifftops for views of the coast and iconic Bluff and more whale spotting opportunities. And no visit to Victor Harbor complete without hopping on Victor Harbor’s iconic horse-drawn tram to journey across the causeway and explore Granite Island. If you’ve worked up an appetite, grab a bite to eat at The Island Café.
Extend your visit and cosy up at the best accommodation on the Fleurieu Peninsula.
Explore South Australia’s best bike trails.
From the coast to the city, to the hills and through wineries, South Australia is a haven for cyclist. Get on your bike with our guide to the best bike trails in Adelaide and South Australia.