The Fleurieu on foot -
8 walks to experience

Updated: May 2019 

The Fleurieu is packed with scenic hiking/walking ranging from various lengths and difficulties. Here's some of our favourites to get you started...

1. second valley heritage waLK

Image: Walking SA 

Distance: 5km (return)
Allow: 2 hours

Starting at the historic Leonards Mill in Second Valley, this self-guided heritage walk is brimming with fascinating history. Download a copy of the brochure beforehand, which complements the onsite information display boards.

As you walk, soak up the story of Leonards Mill which was formerly an operational flour mill, the old Finniss Vale Hotel which was established in 1856 and burned down in 1928, as well as the blacksmith’s shop and cottage and various war memorials.

The walk also passes by the site of two old steam-operated sawmills, and explains the history of the heritage-listed causeway and jetty.

Find out more.

2. coast to vines: the shiraz trail

Image: Walking SA

Length: 8 kilometres
Allow: 2-3 hours (one way)

A walk named after wine – where do we sign up? This eight-kilometre, dual use path stretches from the famous McLaren Vale to the charming country town of Willunga, and is arguably the most scenic stretch of the 37-kilometre-long Coast to Vines Rail Trail.

This excellent pathway winds its way past vineyards, paddocks and historic disused railway stations, and there are several cellar doors along the route.

Not feeling energetic? You can walk one way and grab a ride back or take a bike instead of a hike. If you’re cycling, remember that the same laws in relation to alcohol limits apply as they do for driving, so spit your tastings.

Find out more.

3. goolwa heritage walk: goolwa wharf precinct

Image: Walking SA

Distance: 1.3km
Allow: 1 hour


If maritime history’s your cup of tea, you’ll love this walk. It’s self-guided with excellent interpretive signage, exploring historical sites along the Goolwa Wharf and Railway Precinct which was established in the 1840s and 1850s and declared a State Heritage Area in 1987.

Each of the 19 different historical sites is signposted with fascinating tales of the construction and use of the buildings, including Customs House, the former Police Station & Courthouse, the Post and Telegraph Office and the railway and wharf buildings.

The area is the backdrop to Stormboy, an Australian award winning novel and movie - the second movie adaptation was released in January 2019.

Find out more.


4. deep creek waterfall hike from trig campsite

Image: Walking SA

Distance: 4km (return)
Allow: 2-3 hours

If you’re going to see a waterfall, winter’s the time to go. This is one of many excellent hikes in the Deep Creek Conservation Park, but winter’s the perfect time of year to visit the Deep Creek Waterfall. It’s generally in full flow after it rains, so keep an eye on the weather and plan your hike accordingly.

This trail was upgraded in 2016 with a better graded trail, starting from the car park on Tent Rock Road, at the entrance to Trig Campsite. The trail’s considered steep, and there are steps towards the end of the hike, which is something to consider before you start.

Want something easier? Stringybark Loop Walk is a half hour walk and stunning. These are just two of 15 walks at Deep Creek Conservation Park. Oh! but you really wanted to go Whale spotting? You're in the right place.

Find out more.



Distance: 3.3km (return)
Allow: 1-2 hours

If you’re planning a visit to Victor Harbor, the short walk trail around Granite Island is an excellent way to spend a couple of hours. You’ll need to cross the causeway first; this can be done either by walking across, or by taking a horse-drawn tram; both options are a leisurely 15 minutes from Victor Harbor to Granite Island.

The trail itself is a 1.9 kilometre-long loop, across the top of the island and is well signposted. The views across Encounter Bay and the Bluff are sensational, and interpretive signage along the trail offers information on the history, wildlife, and geology of the area.

Among the spectacular scenery and coastal views you’ll find a sculpture trail, featuring works by artists from local and international artists, with an app to guide you. Oh, and did we mention the spectacular views of whales when they come to play in winter and spring?

Find out more.


Image: City of Onkaparinga

Length: 8km
Allow: 2-3 hours (return)

If sweeping views of the coastline make you happy, look no further than the path along the Esplanade from Port Willunga to Aldinga Beach. Park your car at either the Star of Greece Restaurant or the Aldinga Beach boat ramp, and follow the path along the cliff top.

It’s dual-use so you can cycle if you prefer, or if you’d rather feel the sand between your toes you can walk along the beach the whole way instead. There are a couple of coffee shops along the Esplanade, and with plenty of sets of stairs connecting the path with the beach you can switch between pavement and sand at any time.

Find out more.


Photo: Walking SA

Distance: 11.5km (one way)
Allow: 4 – 6 hours

This is a serious hike, so if you’re the kind of walker who owns a pair of hiking sticks and gaiters, this hike will be right up your alley. Part of the epic 1,200 kilometre-long Heysen Trail, this walk begins at Waitpinga Campground and follows the coast above the spectacular Waitpinga Cliffs.

The Waitpinga Cliffs Lookout offers sensational views out towards the Bluff and Kings Head, and if you’re lucky, you might spot one of a few breeding pairs of white-bellied sea eagles that call these cliffs home. Plus, another awesome opportunity to see whales in season.

Find out more.


Image: Walking SA

Distance 1.9km loop
Allow: 30-60 minutes

If you’re on foot, make this a leisurely stroll. This loop trail begins and ends at the ruins of the Harbour Master’s cottage at Horseshoe Bay. Follow a cobblestone path around the undulating headland of Freemans Knob past Lady Beach, Rocky Bay and Green Bay before reaching Knights Beach.

Why not pack a picnic or use the barbeque facilities along the trail? The trail returns along the Esplanade and the Centenary Stairs and past Freemans Lookout, and the locals reckon this is the best place to enjoy the migration sensation (yep, we’re talking whales again!).

Find out more.


Winter in the Fleurieu Peninsula is a lush green wonderland - so instead of hibernating, get out and see it! Read more about the many walking trails throughout the Fleurieu Peninsula.

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