Positioned on one of South Australia’s most magnificent stretches of coast, Victor Harbor is a former whaling town on the Fleurieu Peninsula that now boasts some of the state’s best whale watching. It’s one of the most popular beach destinations for Adelaidians who flock here in the summer to soak up the outdoors lifestyle.

Victor Harbor is connected to nearby Granite Island by a causeway, with Australia’s only horse-drawn tramway making the 630-meter-long journey. The island is named after its large granite boulders that are covered in a bright orange lichen and it attracts visitors for its colony of little penguins that can often be spotted making their way to shore in the evenings.

If you’re visiting during the whale watching season between May and September, be sure to join a boat tour to wildlife spot along the coast of Victor Harbor. In addition to southern right, humpback and sperm whales, dolphins can often be seen playing offshore and seal colonies are found on the outlying islands.

There are plenty of beaches where you can take a dip, including the long stretch of sand that fronts Victor Harbor. Head to the charismatic town of Port Elliot that has its own protected beach or if you’re looking to surf, tackle the waves at nearby Waitpinga Beach.

It’s just as short drive from Victor Harbor to the beach resort of Goolwa, which was once known as the “New Orleans of Australia” for the paddle steamers that plied its river. Or make the scenic journey north to explore the wineries and cellar doors of McLaren Vale, one of South Australia’s most famous wine-growing regions.