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Victor Harbor Fast Facts
Victor Harbor Featured Properties
Distance & Driving times from Victor Harbor to
McLaren Vale
48km 50 mins
Cape Jervis
62 km 50mins
18 km 24 mins
83 km 1:20hrs

Closest City:
Adelaide 83km

Closest Airport:

Banking Facilities / ATM:

Activities: golf, tennis, swimming, sailing, scuba Diving, camel riding, para-sailing, fishing, surfing, wind surfing, whale watching, bush walking, bird watching






Victor Harbor Tourism Information

 About Victor Harbor

Victor Harbor is a beautiful town located on the south coast of the Fleurieu Peninsula. Originally Victor Harbor was the main sea port for South Australia as it was also well positioned as an access point for goods being transported up and down the Murray River.

Victor Harbor has numerous historical attractions, natural wonders and wildlife. It offers wonderful shopping opportunities, art galleries, history, fine local food and wines. It is the ideal destination for the water sports enthusiast offering surfing, swimming, scuba diving, fishing and boating activities.

Encounter Bay at the southern end of Victor Harbor is where , Captain Matthew Flinders on the 'HMS Investigator' and Captain Nicholas Baudin, the French explorer on 'Le Geographe', meet each other in April 1802. Both explorers were on very similar missions to chart the coast line and record the local flora and fauna of New Holland.

Prior to becoming the main port on the Fleurieu Peninsula, Victor Harbor was already a major location for whalers and sealers who hunted in the waters of the Southern Ocean. In 1837 a whaling station was established on Granite Island.

European settlers moved into the area in 1839. Many found work at the whaling stations whilst others started grazing sheep and cattle. In 1864, seven ships sunk off Port Elliot which at this time was being used as the main port. After this it was decided to relocate the main sea port to Victor Harbor. In the 1880s wool from all over western New South Wales and Queensland was shipped down the Murray to Goolwa and then moved by train to Victor Harbor where it was shipped to destinations around the world. As the railway lines were expanded the shipping on the Murray River ceased and Victor Harbor lost its prominence as a sea port.

Things to do

Art Galleries
The local natural beauty has inspired many artists and there are several local galleries that exhibit paintings, handicrafts, textiles, ceramics, pottery and sculptures. Each January the Victor Harbor Rotary Art Show offers a large cash prize which attracts artists from all over Australia.

Bird Watching
Victor Harbor offers range of bird watching sites including Nangawooka Flora Reserve, Hindmarsh Falls, Newland Head Conservation Park, Waitpinga Beach, Inman River Estuary, and Granite Island of course for the penguins

Camel rides
Camel rides are a unique experience. Operating near the Causeway entrance to Granite Island the rides provide breathtaking views of Granite Island and the Bluff summit.

Victor Harbor is a fabulous year round fishing destination. It is ideal for jetty, river, beach or boat fishing.

If you are going river fishing you can expect to find Bream and Mullet. Jetty fishing offers species such as mullet, squid, garfish, tommy ruff, morwong, snook and salmon trout whilst the beach fishing in Victor Harbor is legendary for Australian salmon as well as other species including mulloway (jewfish), mullet, Tommy ruff, salmon trout and shark. Or if boat fishing is more your style expect to find snapper, shark, whiting, trevally, snook and mackeral.

Greenhills Adventure Park
Situated on 26 acres, this is a great place to keep the children entertained. It offers a maze, water slides, go-karts, flying foxes, canoes, rock-climbing wall and other activities. There are also great sporting facilities such as half-court tennis, volleyball, archery, mini golf or par 3 golf.

Heritage Walk
This walk takes you past 21 of the most significant historical buildings and points of interest in Victor Harbor including Anchorage (originally known as 'Warringa'), the Railway Gates (the only hand operated gates still remaining in South Australia), Customs House (1865), St Augustine's Church of England (1869), Reads Wool Mill (1868) and the sites of the early whaling stations. A brochure is available from the tourist office located at eh entrance to Granite Island. The walk takes about 2 hours.

Horse drawn Tram to Granite Island
One of Victor Harbor's most popular tourist attractions is the horse drawn tram service. The tram travels along the causeway between Granite Island and Victor Harbor. It started in 1896, the service ceased in 1954 and recommenced in 1986.

The tram is a heritage double-decker tram and you are transported across the 630 metre wooden Causeway to Granite Island. The Victor Harbor Horse Drawn Tram uses 14 Clydesdale Horses on a rotational basis and the trams carry approximately 50 passengers. Each horse only works two shifts a week and to make it easier for them the trams running on roller bearings.

Granite Island Penguin Walk
Granite Island is home to 1800 penguins and are managed by the South Australian National Parks & Wildlife Service.

Every evening you have the opportunity to see the Fairy Penguins returning to their burrows on Granite Island after a days fishing. They can often be heard calling from the water. They usually come ashore in small groups, pausing briefly before heading off to individual burrows.

Protection of the fairy penguins is paramount and so all walks are accompanied by a trained guide. In 2001 man made burrows and boardwalks were constructed to assist in their protection.

National Trust Museum
Also known as the Encounter Coast Discovery Centre, the Victor Harbor National Trust Museum is located in the charming Old Customs and Station Master's House in Flinders Parade.

Seal and Dolphin Watching
Dolphins are always present in Encounter Bay. Anyone out boating or fishing will most likely spot them. Sightings from the shore are also common, occasionally a count of 50-60 dolphins have been taken as they feed on schools of fish.

Seals can often be seen feasting on squid in the waters close to shore around Rosetta Cove, or hunting for fish amongst the surfers and body boarders. There is a seal colony on Seal Rock but this is only accessible by boat and for the protection of the seal colony permission to land is required by The Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

South Australian Whale Centre
Located in Railway Terrace, the centre provides information on whales, dolphins, seals and penguins.

The whale centre provides accurate whale sighting information for those interested in Whale Watching. The South Australian Whale Centre also plays an important role in marine research and preservation of whaling relics as well as providing an extraordinary display of Victor Harbor's whaling history.

The Bluff
Also known as Rosetta Head, the Bluff is a 100 metre high granite outcrop located at the end of Encounter Bay. A plaque is located here marking the meeting of Nicholas Baudin and Matthew Flinders. The Bluff also provides spectacular views over Encounter Bay and is a great vantage point for whale watching.

The Steam Ranger Cockle Train
The steam train which runs during school holidays is a great testimonial to the history of the area. It has played a major part of Victor Harbor's history since 1853 when the rail line was extended from Goolwa and Port Elliot.

Steam Ranger travels the original route between Goolwa and Port Elliot to Victor Harbor. It was the first railway in South Australia and also the first public line to be laid with iron rails in Australia. It started in 1853 and was officially opened in May 1854.

The steam trains of the region were soon known as 'cockle trains' due to the train's close proximity to the foreshore which are abundant with cockles (a type of shell fish).

Urimbirra Wildlife Park
The Urimbirra Wildlife park has more than 70 species of Australian animals and birds set on 40 acres. There is also a 16 acre Wetland bird sanctuary which is home to many Australian native birds. The park is renown for the opportunity to see Koalas and Wombats close up, and there are opportunities to feed the kangaroos and wallabies, or watch the spectacular crocodile feeding! The park also offers tranquil picnic and BBQ areas, a kiosk and souvenir shop.

Waitpinga Beach
This is a wonderful location for surfers and at dawn and dusk large mobs of kangaroos graze on the hills surrounding the beach.

Whale Watching
Each year between May and October, giant Southern Right Whales return to the waters of Victor Harbor's Encounter Bay to breed. Whale cruises are offered by several companies. There are strict guidelines for the operators of these cruises and they may only go within 300 metres of the Whales. There are also several coastal vantage points including the Bluff to watch the whales as they frolic off the coastline.

The first European pioneer settlers, arrived in 1839. They cleared the land for timber and to plant crops such as wheat, oat, barley, maize and potatoes. Vines were first introduced at Encounter Bay in 1840. In 1848 Buxton Laurie arrived, and he was one of the earliest vignerons in the region. By 1866 Laurie's Southcote property was producing 1,500 gallons of wine annually from varieties such as Dolcetto, Black Frontignac, Mataro, Grenache, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon. Unfortunately the Southcote vineyards were destroyed by massive bush fires in the late 1800s.

However, excellent vineyards and premium wine making continues around Victor Harbor today. There are several wineries within a few kilometres drive of the Victor Harbor township. Enjoy a day trip wine and cheese tour travelling the loop which encompasses them.


The area has a Mediterranean style climate with an annual rainfall of approximately 500mm or 20 inches. The majority of rain is received from May to September.

Average winter temperatures 10-18 degrees celsius
Average summer temperatures 24-35 degrees celsius


Victor harbor offers a wide range of accommodation options including hotels, motels, charming guest houses, cottages, bed and breakfasts, self contained apartments, caravan parks, backpacker accommodation, and self contained holiday houses.

More information

Tourism Victor Harbor

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