Location: Strathalbyn, South Australia.
The last trip we took to the Fleurieu Peninsula back in 2013, we drove through on our way to catch the ferry from Cape Jervis to Kangaroo Island, and on that drive we followed the coast and found ourselves along side beautiful beaches as well as driving through hills and valley’s. Leaving Adelaide we had the choice to either stay longer in the Fleurieu Peninsula or to drive on to the Limestone Coast, and although we chose to drive on with the lure of free accommodation in Robe, we still made the most of the day in the Fleurieu Peninsula.
If we decided to stay longer here we definitely would have revisited some of these beachside towns that we passed on our first trip, as well as stopped in historic Victor Harbour and Goolwa, but I’m sure there will be another time for that as such is our love of South Australia’s scenic landscapes and amazing fresh produce. However, on this trip we made a day of it and stopped in at a few places along the way to Robe.
Another wine making region, although lesser known in comparison to the Barossa and Clare Valley’s, MacLaren Vale is a popular weekend spot for Adelaide locals looking for a taste of some good wines, gourmet food and rolling hills. At only a 45 minute drive south east of Adelaide, you can easily while away a day here hopping from winery to winery. The information centre has a great list with sample itineraries, and also does some wine tasting of their own, so definitely stop in on your way through for a sample as well as for some maps.
With a reputation as being South Australia’s unofficial antiques capital, it’s not hard to see why when you drive through Strathalbyn. With it’s cluster of old and antique looking buildings that have been perfectly preserved (you should see the local Bank of South Australia branch, circa 1840s!), the most photographed church in South Australia (St Andrew’s), and the numerous antique stores; the town is very unique and extremely picturesque! We stopped here for lunch after a visit to the bakery and wandered down to the river and pavilion for a picnic. It felt like we had stepped back in time! I could just imagine people wandering around dressed in Victorian attire, top hats and lace parasols, it was definitely worth a stop here I think.
We specifically drove through Langhorne Creek to go to the cellar door at Bleasdale Winery. The information centre in MacLaren Vale highly recommended a stop in to try out their award winning Mulberry Tree Cabernet Savignon, and it didn’t disappoint. The winery is at the eastern end of town and you’ll know you’re coming up to it once you pass some extremely ancient looking grape vines. Established in 1850 by the Potts family patriarch Frank Potts, the winery is still run by the Potts family (currently 5th generation) and has a rich history which you can tour adjacent to the cellar door. We ended up leaving with a 2013 Shiraz and two Mulberries Tree Cab Sav’s!
Normally when you think of a ferry you imagine those great big ships that move people from one point to the other, so when the GPS told us to get on the ferry we were very confused. However, there is indeed a ferry that takes you across the Murray River in Wellington, and it is also the smallest ferry I have every been on! It only fits a maximum of four cars at one time, and even though a bridge across would probably do the job just as well, it was a novelty to go on and it was free for the matter. Surprisingly I really enjoyed this! LOL.
Once we had crossed the Murray River we entered into the Limestone Coast to reach Robe before sunset. Although our second visit to the Fleurieu Peninsula was again, brief, we definitely enjoyed it and made us want to return again.
If you’re planning a trip to South Australia, why not check out my other posts on Adelaide and the Eyre Peninsula? Or subscribe to The Travelleur to have posts delivered to your inbox, just sign up in the side bar!
Photographs by Jelena Stipanicev.