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INTRODUCTION

The Fleurieu Peninsular extends to the immediate south-east of Adelaide. It was named in honour of Charles Pierre Claret de Fleurieu who was French explorer, by Nicholas Baudin when he was exploring the region in 1802. The name ‘Claret’ seems rather prophetic as this region that encompassed ‘The McClaren Vale’, one of the top wine regions in Australia. This is a short photographic record of a recent trip down to the Fleurieu Peninsula, particularly to the spectacular and rugged coastline, and the magnificent pristine beaches.

DAY 1 – GOOLWA to MASLIN BEACH

GOOLWA

P1080403Goolwa – Paddle-Steamer and Hindmarsh Bridge

First ‘port of call’ was GOOLWA, at the mouth of the Murray River. Goolwa was once considered as the capital of South Australia due to it being a major port. This included the old paddle-steamers that travelled up and down the Murray River. It was also once known as ‘theNew Orleans of South Australia’, which conjures up all kinds of hedonistic possibilities. Now, however, Goolwa is a relatively quiet country town, a popular place for tourists to visit and perhaps catch a glimpse of the by-gone time.

PORT ELIOT – VICTOR HARBOUR – ENCOUNTER BAY

IMG_3609Encounter Bay – South Australia

From GOOLWA we drove west to PORT ELIOT and to the headland, granting a spectacular view of the coastline, including Victor Harbour and Encounter Bay. In the late-nineteenth century, the connection between Goolwa, Port Eliot and Victor Harbour was quite significant. There are remnants of this by-gone ear, old sandstone houses and hotels, and even an old steam train that still runs between the three towns. The rest is very much tourists and retirees townhouses, that are not particularly attractive. The best part is the beaches and coastal walks.

KINGS BEACH

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The headland is the remains of an old glacier, thousands of years old, which accounts for the unique rock formation.

P1080425.JPGP1080426.JPGP1080428.JPGP1080430.JPGP1080431.JPGKings Beach

P1080433.JPGGranite Island – Encounter Bay

Just beyond Victor Harbour, at the western promontory, there is this wonderful coastal walk. The coastline is rugged with some startling, almost pre-historic rock shapes, and there are tales of shipwrecks and drownings that are marked along the path. It kept reminding us of parts of Cornwall in the UK, with one lonely sandstone house set amongst the hillside that runs down the coast.

DEEP CREEK

P1080435.JPGP1080437Deep Creek – Walk

We drove further west along the coast and started the walk to Deep Creek Beach, which marks the beginning of the ‘Heysen Trail’ that goes all the way to Cape Jervis. We only did part of this walk, which as you can see was rather steep, uphill and downhill. Nonetheless, the view was fantastic – and as you gazed south all you could think was ‘next stop Antartica’.

MASLIN BEACH

MALSIN BEACH in the Gulf St. Vincent was recently named amongst the ‘Top 10’ beaches in Australia. It easy to see why as it is quite unique with its impressive cliff face. We arrived at sunset and walked along the beach to the ‘Unclad’ section. Maslin Beach was the first official ‘nudist’ beach in Australia – we did not venture into that

P1080441.JPGP1080440.JPGMaslin Beach

P1080442.JPGMaslin Beach – Wedding

P1080445.JPGP1080443.JPGP1080447.JPGP1080450.JPGMaslin Beach – ‘Unclad’

P1080454.JPGOnkaparinga River –  Maslin Beach

P1080455.JPGMaslin Beach

DAY 2 – PORT WILLUNGA to ADELAIDE

We started the next part of our journey through the Fleurieu Peninsula by visiting PORT WILLUNGA. This was another old sea-port that serviced Adelaide and the Fleurieu Peninsula. The only remnants left of that ear are the weathered posts of the old jetty and the man-made caves in the cliff-face. There is also the ship-wreck 200m of the coast of the ‘Star of Greece, which went down in 1888.

PORT WILLUNGA

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P1080465.JPGP1080466.JPGP1080461.JPGP1080468.JPGP1080470.JPGPort Willunga

From Port Willunga, we drove inland to the PRIMO ESTATE VINEYARD.

Primo Estate

And then to PORT NOARLUNGA, which is a beach suburb of the City of Onkaparinga; very popular with families and tourists. We bought a couple of delicious hamburgers from a local (Thai) restaurant and devoured them on the beach.

PORT NOARLUNGA

P1080474P1080475.JPGP1080478.JPGP1080480.JPGP1080479.JPGPort Noarlunga

Like anywhere in Australia there are always fantastic and fantastical ‘street art’, which includes advertisements, murals, and shop window displays.

We returned to Adelaide and went to the South Australian Art Gallery, then walked through the Botanic Gardens before returning to the Rose Park apartment for another beautiful sunset.

ADELAIDE

Biennale – Art Gallery of South Australia

P1080490.JPGAdelaide Botanic Gardens

P1080494.JPGRose Park – Adelaide

TONY KNIGHT