TOP TIPS FOR AN AMAZING FAMILY HOLIDAY IN VICTOR HARBOR THIS WINTER
Posted: June 2019
AS THE WEATHER COOLS, IT CAN BE TEMPTING TO TURN THE HEATER UP, SWITCH ON THE TV, AND HIBERNATE FOR A FEW MONTHS.
However, if you have small children, this isn’t always the cosy scene you’d imagined. Too much energy and close quarters can make for sibling squabbles and never-ending requests for snacks!
Winter is a beautiful time to get out and explore. You can all get away from the devices and spend some quality time together in the outdoors.
Victor Harbor is a great weekend escape for young families, and as it’s just over an hour’s drive from Adelaide, you can avoid the long car journey and spend your time exploring instead. The main township has loads of family-friendly cafés and restaurants, with playgrounds, skate park and bike trails for the children to enjoy. There are so many things for families to do, we thought we'd give you our top tips for a perfect winter escape with the kids.
1. GET UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL WITH THE WILDLIFE
Perfect for little animal lovers, the Urimbirra Wildlife Park gives you the opportunity to feed a kangaroo, meet a koala or hold a snake. Explore the winding paths and encounter more than 70 species of Australian fauna in their natural surroundings. A wildlife sanctuary is a safe way for curious kids to get up close to native animals or reptiles that can’t be approached or touched in the wild.
You’ll not only find cute and cuddly animals like koalas and kangaroos, but freshwater and saltwater crocodiles, snakes, pythons and lizards as well. Urimbirra is open 10am until 5pm everyday with koala patting at 11am, 2pm and 4 pm and snake handling displays at 4pm.
Read more about Urimbirra Wildlife Park.
Urimbirra Wildlife Park
2. HOP ON BOARD THE COCKLE TRAIN TO GOOLWA
Calling all Thomas the Tank Engine fans! Climb on board the historic Goolwa Cockle Train for a steamy adventure the whole family will love. The Goolwa Cockle Train was Australia’s first railway line, built in 1887 to provide a link between the River Murray and the ocean at Port Elliot – and later Victor Harbor.
The steam locomotive still runs today along the coast from Goolwa to Victor Harbor. The kids will love the tooting horn and dramatic steamy sounds, while you can enjoy the spectacular scenery on the way to Goolwa via Port Elliot. Check out the Goolwa Cockle Train website for an up-to-date timetable and to book your tickets.
SteamRanger Heritage Railways Cockle Train
3. DISCOVER THE BEST VANTAGE SPOTS For WHALE WATCHING
Set over three floors, the SA Whale Centre is a wonderful place to take your children to learn more about the amazing whale populations which migrate through our waters in the cooler months each year. This is the place to get tips about recent whale sightings and find out all about the local marine life through a range of interactive and information exhibits. The SA Whale Centre makes learning experiential and fun for kids with a 3D theatrette, and the chance to dig for marine fossils and touch various pieces of coral, marine animal fur, shells and crabs in the kids’ zone. Even very young children are catered for with soft toys and colouring in. The Centre is open daily from 10.30am until 5pm.
Read more about the SA Whale Centre.
SA Whale Centre, Victor Harbor
4. hit the waves with a wildlife cruise
Winter is the perfect time to spot whales migrating past the Fleurieu Peninsula. There are a range of land-based vantage points around Victor Harbor, Middleton and Port Elliot, however, if you fancy the chance of getting a closer view, head out on a wildlife cruise with The Big Duck Boat Tours.
‘The Big Duck’ run wildlife cruises year-round, but between June and September the marine tours are centred around whale watching. The short cruise takes you around Granite Island, Seal Rock and Wright Island. On the tour you’re likely to see New Zealand Fur Seals, Australian Sea Lions, a variety of bird life and if you’re lucky, bottlenose dolphins and whales!
Visit the The Big Duck Boat Tours website to find out more and book your tickets.
Take an exhilerating wildlife cruise
5. MEET THE LITTLE PENGUINS ON GRANITE ISLAND
Granite Island may not be inhabited by humans (except when we're sipping coffee or eating lunch), but it is home to the magical little penguins ...and the majestic Southern right whales in winter. It's an impressive spot and kids will love the stroll over the wooden causeway that connects the mainland at Victor Harbor to the Granite Island Recreation Park.
There are guided penguin tours at dusk where you can observe the little penguins as they return to shore after several days feeding at sea. You can book a twilight tour on the website in advance. The whole family will love this mini-adventure, and it's great fun looking out to the ocean trying to spot the whales during the winter months.
Find out more about the guided penguin tours.
Little penguins, Granite Island
6. Swim with Tuna AT OCEANIC VICTOR
There are so many amazing aquatic experiences in South Australia, but did you know you can swim with bluefin tuna here on the Fleurieu Peninsula? The Oceanic Victor is a world class, purpose-built underwater observatory where you can either feed the magnificent bluefin tuna from the viewing platform, or put on a wet suit and get in the water for a truly exciting up close and personal experience.
The Southern bluefin tuna (Thunnus maccoyii) are among the fastest fish in the ocean and can reach speeds of up to 76km per hour! Just imagine a school of them screeching past you in the water!
The two-hour experience is available for everyone, but the smallest wetsuits fit 2-3 year olds. Find out more and book on the Oceanic Victor website.
Oceanic Victor, Granite Island
START PLANNING YOUR FAMILY HOLIDAY
Happy winter and happy exploring!
Contacts for information & bookings
Five Visitor Information Centres are spread across the Fleurieu Peninsula. Each has a dedicated team of locals and resources to support you during your stay.
They can provide you with assistance in booking your trip, planning details for your visit, or give advice on what is happening in the region during your stay.