Officially South Australia’s adventure playground, the Fleurieu Peninsula is without a doubt one of our fave places to visit. Growing up, all our summer holidays were spent frolicking on the sand in Horseshoe Bay, Middleton and Encounter Bay. Days were spent crabbing, boogie boarding and getting dunked at Boomer Beach! And while that’s the stuff childhood memories are made of, now we can also add REAL adventure and unique dining experiences to our Fleurieu holidays!
We went in search of a fun and adventure-filled weekend on The Fleurieu and here’s what happened…
The Cube is unlike anything you’ve ever experienced and there’s a reason why people flock from all over Australia to visit!
This architectural masterpiece is the creation of Chester Osborn – the eccentric, whacky fourth-generation winemaker at the helm of d’Arenberg Wines (and has been since 1984). The idea of creating this wine wonderland that represents “the complexities and puzzles of winemaking” came to Chester in 2003, and his vision has taken 15 years to bring to life.
Every square inch of the Cube’s five stories is chocked to the brim with trippy little sensory experiences. By the time you get to the top level, Chester wants you to have a full understanding of their wine, so every level tells a story! We recommend kicking off your Cube experience on the ground level in the 360 degree room, where you can sit back and watch a 20 minute artistic visual extravaganza bringing d’Arenberg and all it’s trippyness to life!
So apart from feeling like you’ve just taken some lucid drugs, what else does the Cube have on offer?
Wine and food! You can blend your own wine with their popular blending experience — I highly recommend you do this with a bunch of your girlfriends, you can do a wine tasting, and of course you can dine in. Their menu has recently had a big shake up and now you can have a casual dining experience at Polly’s! Open for light lunch daily from 12pm to 4pm and a morning tea menu available from 10am to 12pm, they now offer classic affordable feeds like Reuben sandwiches, salad, and baguettes. And of course, you’re surrounded by quirky art and insane views over McLaren Vale vines.
I feel like a bad Adelady saying this, but I didn’t realise just how spectacular Myponga Reservoir is until we visited! It actually feels like you’re on a Canadian lake, surrounded by gorgeous pines and of course the gorgeous Reservoir! With SA Water opening the reservoirs to the public, its the perfect place to get out and enjoy the great outdoors with your whole family. If you don’t have bikes, you can hire them for free! There are three places to collect your free bikes in the area, but we got ours from the Smiling Samoyed Brewery… convenient as we had no choice than to enjoy their delicious pizzas and beers afterwards.
The Myponga Reservoir trail is ideal for walking or running. The 3.3km loop track takes you across open plains and scenic views… and there are plenty of spots to stop for a picnic! In fact, pick up your picnic hamper from the gorgeous family-owned Leonard’s Mill and take it with you to the Reservoir. It’s the perfect way to taste the Fleurieu while you sit back and enjoy the views.
Abseiling off The Bluff
Surf and Sun have just launched Victor’s newest adventure and OMG, it’s definitely an ADVENTURE! I’m talking next-level adrenaline! Gear up for a two hour mind-over-matter rush that has you abseil off The Bluff with an elevation of around 97 metres! Is it scary? YES! Will you wet your pants with fear? Probably. Is it worth it? 100 percent! Believe me, you will be so proud of yourself when you get down to the bottom and you will run back up to do it all over again! The instructors are fantastic — Zeb seriously made us feel so safe and I’m pretty sure he shed a tear with us when we went over the lip of the rock face.
Much less scary, are the views of Petrel Cove that you also get to enjoy on your experience. Surf and Sun also offer bikes that you can hire to explore the area. The Encounter Bay Bike Way is always bustling with riders and is a great way to see the stunning coastline and if you’re lucky, you might even spot a whale or two! You will also notice art displays by local artists along the way too… so it’s exercise with a view AND a gallery!
Port Elliot’s main street has us squealing with how many incredible small businesses are now operating on the junction of The Strand and North Terrace of this popular little coastal town. Rain, hail or shine, this petite strip is full of the quirkiest, tastiest, most delightful places to eat, drink and shop! You can read all about them HERE. But before you do that, let us tell you about an Adelady fave… Thunderbird!
We’ve gone from newbies, to full blown regulars at this gorgeous little restaurant and wine bar that serves up the freshest seafood and regional tapas. Thunderbird is ideal for a coffee and a bite to eat, a lazy lunch, or a full-blown dinner affair… any way you try it, you’ll be wanting more! Owner Campbell is a local legend and has such a passion for serving up the best quality, freshest food to his loyal customers.
Willunga Farmer’s Market
The best way to kick off your Saturday is here at SA’s oldest market, the Willunga Farmers Market. Rain, hail or shine these markets are open to the public every Saturday from 8am to 12pm and have never closed their doors due to weather. The funny thing is too, no matter what the day brings, people come from afar just to buy their fresh produce! And what a choice they have. With over 60 stalls to choose from, you’re sure to find the best of the Fleurieu there! Coffee, toasties, winemakers, fresh flowers, pastries, fruit and veg and live music! Oh and it pays to become a member… you get 10 percent off everything!
Willunga is on the doorstep of fantastic beaches, one of SA’s biggest wine regions McLaren Vale and also quaint little shops like Four Winds Chocolate Shop! So head to the market and then spend the day exploring the town!
For more things to see and do along the Fleurieu Peninsula, jump on their website HERE!