10 Sep 2020

Welcome to the Fleurieu Peninsula, the ultimate mix of food, wine and coast.

Just over an hour's drive from Adelaide lies South Australia’s coastal playground, the Fleurieu Peninsula. Here you’ll find some of our very-best beaches, plonked mere minutes away from world-famous restaurants and multi-award-winning wineries. Here’s our guide to the best places to stay, spots to eat and things to do on the Fleurieu Peninsula.

Where to stay

Naiko Retreat, Fleurieu Peninsula

Naiko Retreat, Fleurieu Peninsula
Naiko Retreat, Fleurieu Peninsula

Perched clifftop with the Southern Ocean as your front yard, Naiko Retreat is an idyllic isolated paradise just 60 minutes from Adelaide on the coastline of Fleurieu Peninsula. Bordering Deep Creek Conservation Park, this 200-acre property is surrounded by rolling green hills dotted with grazing kangaroos, and overlooks the Southern Ocean with Kangaroo Island in the visible distance. With your own private secluded cove and rugged cliffs, Naiko is a high-end retreat with floor to ceiling double-glazed windows, three bedrooms and three ensuites. For more luxurious places to stay, check out our guide to the best luxury accommodation in South Australia.

Tent on a Hill, Fleurieu Peninsula

Tent on a Hill, Fleurieu Peninsula
Tent on a Hill, Fleurieu Peninsula

Retreat to luxury after a day sipping your way around some of South Australia’s best wineries at Tent On A Hill, perched high above in the wine country of McLaren Vale. Cosy up in a luxurious bell tent surrounded by gum trees and kangaroos while drinking in views across McLaren Vale’s vineyards (and a local drop or two). Warm up in winter by the fire pit, explore the surrounding 10-acres of picturesque farm and bushland and watch the sun set over McLaren Vale with a glass of red in hand. All your creature comforts are taken care of with a queen-size bed, toilet and camp-style shower. The ultimate eco-friendly couples retreat on the Fleurieu Peninsula.

Cadole Avalon, Fleurieu Peninsula

Cadole Avalon, Fleurieu Peninsula
Cadole Avalon, Fleurieu Peninsula

Just a stone’s throw away from some of McLaren Vale’s best cellar doors and restaurants, Cadole Avalon @ The Vineyard Retreat is the perfect Fleurieu Peninsula accommodation to relax after a day spent touring the region’s famed wineries. With five self-contained guest houses, including the ultra-modern Cadole Avalon, each retreat has its own private deck to enjoy stunning views of the surrounding vines and valleys. Kick back and enjoy the complimentary locally sourced mini bar and breakfast provisions. At the end of the day, put your feet up in front of the fire or retreat to the spa overlooking the property and soak in breathtaking views over the entire region.

Find more Fleurieu Peninsula accommodation here.

Where to eat

The Currant Shed, Fleurieu Peninsula

The Currant Shed, Fleurieu Peninsula
The Currant Shed, Fleurieu Peninsula

Nestled between a lime grove and beautiful vineyards, The Currant Shed was once a part of a homestead where early McLaren Vale residents made their living from mixed farming enterprises. Today, the Currant Shed blends inherent charm, stunning views and one of McLaren Vale's finest menus, all under the guidance of owners Hamish Maguire and Emily Dowie. The seasonal menu features locally sourced ingredients, from handmade smoked ricotta gnocchi, to locally caught Barramundi or heirloom carrots grown in the restaurant’s own vegetable garden.

Gather at Coriole, Fleurieu Peninsula

Gather at Coriole, Fleurieu Peninsula
Gather at Coriole, Fleurieu Peninsula

Steeped in McLaren Vale’s winemaking history, Coriole produces multi-award-winning estate-grown Shiraz and Cabernet and has pioneered a range of Mediterranean varieties including Sangiovese, Fiano and Picpoul. Overlooking the vineyards, Gather Restaurant is nestled between Coriole’s original 1850s homestead and ironstone barn. The restaurant's focus is seasonal, locally-sourced, locally-produced and foraged fare. The relaxed, grazing menu utilises Coriole’s onsite kitchen garden as well as many local artisan producers.

Find more places to eat in the Fleurieu Peninsula here.

Star of Greece, Fleurieu Peninsula

Star of Greece, Fleurieu Peninsula
Star of Greece, Fleurieu Peninsula

Sitting seaside and boasting arguably one of the best restaurant views in South Australia, Port Willunga’s award-winning Star of Greece restaurant is South Australian foodie royalty. Here, you’ll dig into South Australia’s most succulent seafood, overlooking towering cliffs and taking-in iconic views of Gulf St Vincent. This is a restaurant that doesn't rely on grand architecture or flashy décor, instead focussing all its efforts on plating-up unsurpassable food and wine in naturally stunning surrounds.

What to See

Beaches, Fleurieu Peninsula

Rapid Bay, Fleurieu Peninsula
Rapid Bay, Fleurieu Peninsula

Jaw-dropping limestone cliffs towering above pristine sandy white shores, sparkling turquoise water spilling out to the ocean beyond. Secluded coves, seaside caves, and abundant aquatic life. The Fleurieu Peninsula’s beaches are among the best in the world, so be sure to set aside some time to throw down your towel and soak in the sun. Kayak through secret ocean grottos and explore a labyrinth of caves, coves and rock pools in Second Valley, picnic in the insta-famous seaside caves of Port Willunga, or float cliff-side in the calm waters of Port Noarlunga South’s inlet. Drive right onto the beach and spend the day lounging on sandy shores at Sellicks Beach, then head to Rapid Bay to snorkel and dive in the crystal-clear waters of Gulf St Vincent and the chance to glimpse the rare Leafy Sea Dragon. Here’s our guide to the best Fleurieu Peninsula beaches.

Deep Creek Conservation Park, Fleurieu Peninsula

Deep Creek Conservation Park, Fleurieu Peninsula
Deep Creek Conservation Park, Fleurieu Peninsula

Beyond the vineyards of McLaren Vale on the tip of the Fleurieu Peninsula, Deep Creek Conservation Park combines the best of the bush and the beach with epic coastal views and lush bushland alive with wildlife. From meandering trails through bushland teeming with wildlife and winding through to secret waterfalls, to secluded seaside trails revealing dramatic coastline and remote, pristine beaches all just 90 minutes from Adelaide, Deep Creek Conservation Park in one of  the best spot to bushwalk in South Australia. Spot kangaroos, bandicoots, cockatoos and bearded dragons as you stroll down one of 15 walking trails or channel your inner botanist and discover some of South Australia’s rarest flora with more than 400 plant species to be found in the park. Stay overnight and pitch a tent at one of the park’s five campgrounds or nestle down in nature with all the creature comforts at Southern Ocean Retreats.

Onkaparinga River National Park, Fleurieu Peninsula

Onkaparinga River National Park, Fleurieu Peninsula
Onkaparinga River National Park, Fleurieu Peninsula

Jaw-dropping clifftops and gorges spilling down to rockpools, rivers and wetlands teeming with life and hiking trails winding through dense bushland… 45 minutes from the Adelaide? Welcome to Onkaparinga River National Park, one of South Australia’s best kept secrets. Bordered by the coast, hills and vineyards, Onkaparinga River National Park is one of the best spots to bushwalk on the Fleurieu Peninsula. Dust off your hiking boots and navigate across rugged ridgetops and down to the lush river valley of Onkaparinga Gorge. Pack a picnic and kick back at Punchbowl; a spectacular rockpool surrounded by cliffs and impressive rock formations. Some of the trails are suitable for mountain bike riding and horse riding, and your pooch can explore the neighbouring recreation park on lead.

What to do

d’Arenberg Cube, Fleurieu Peninsula

d'Arenberg Cube, McLaren Vale
d'Arenberg Cube, McLaren Vale

Happy hour… in a giant Rubik's Cube? Imagine Willy Wonka was a wine, not chocolate lover, and we reckon the result would be something very similar to the d’Arenberg Cube. Seemingly floating above the vineyards, this otherworldly cellar door offers is one of the most iconic and unique wine tasting destinations in Australia. Set among the rolling hills of McLaren Vale on the largest biodynamic winery in Australia, the Cube features a tasting room with 360-degree views over five levels, several bars, a casual dining restaurant, a museum and art gallery. Spend an afternoon sampling a selection of d’Arenberg’s best drops or blend and bottle your very own wine during a blending bench masterclass. A fine dining experience also awaits on site at d’Arry’s Verandah Restaurant.

Down the Rabbit Hole, Fleurieu Peninsula

Down the Rabbit Hole, Fleurieu Peninsula
Down the Rabbit Hole, Fleurieu Peninsula

With a vintage double decker bus converted into a unique tasting room, Mediterranean-style cellar door, sprawling lawns, a tree swing and bordering vineyards and orchards, Down The Rabbit Hole is one of the most Instagrammable wineries on the Fleurieu Peninsula. The aesthetics are matched only by the wine, so step aboard the bus to taste a drop or two, and hear a few stories, before you venture to the cellar door bar, or the coffee hut, grab a picnic, and throw down a rug. They'll top up your glass wherever you roam and have you feeling right at home.

Swell Brewing, Fleurieu Peninsula

Swell Brewing, Fleurieu Peninsula
Swell Brewing, Fleurieu Peninsula

Ready to switch to a tall pint? Tucked among some of McLaren Vale’s most famed wineries lies a haven for beer lovers. After travelling through the Americas, Swell Brewing Co Founder and Brewer, Dan Wright, was inspired to make his mark on the local craft beer industry. This passion quickly grew into Swell Taphouse and Brewery, just a 40-minute drive from Adelaide. With an impressive core range of beers, seasonal experiments like chocolate milk stout and passion fruit sour, an onsite kitchen dishing up burgers and a menu relying on local produce, vineyard views and brewery dog Mikey Wright, it’s one of the best spots to while away the afternoon.

Find more things to do in the Fleurieu Peninsula here.

Explore the Epicurean Way road trip

Grab your picnic basket and esky and journey through the iconic wine regions of McLaren Vale, Adelaide Hills, Barossa and Clare Valley. Let your taste buds lead the way along the Epicurean Way road trip with our guide to where to find South Australia’s best wineries, restaurants and artisan produce along the way.

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