Victor Harbor is located around 80 kilometres (50 miles) south of Adelaide. The town is a favorite holiday destination for families and overlooks the stunning Encounter Bay and its coastline. Victor Harbor is often visited by people traveling the Great Ocean Road. Also, the town’s proximity to Kangaroo Island makes it a popular destination among local and international tourists. The climate is great and Victor Harbor is close to many beautiful beaches that will give you plenty of things to do.
1. Relax on one of the many beaches close to Victor Harbor
With its pleasant climate and warm temperatures, Victor Harbor is the perfect destination for a beach holiday. Whether you want to relax, kayak or surf, you will find the beach that is just right for you.
Waitpinga Beach is a must see. Many kangaroos are grazing nearby this beach in the late afternoons and early mornings. This beach is excellent for surfers with its large waves rolling in. Waitpinga Beach is around 14 kilometres (8.7 miles) away from Victor Harbor.
Goolwa Beach is a long and beautiful beach, especially popular among surfers. You can find waves for all levels - no matter if you are a beginner or if you want to show off your skills.
Middleton and Port Elliot, just to name a few, are two of the most family-friendly beaches in the area. The waves here are small, but good enough to learn how to surf. Although the water is rather shallow, the tidal pull can get quite strong at times.
On most beaches you can find surf schools or kayak rental places, you can fly kites or simply relax in the sun and watch others play, surf and swim. Usually, the beaches are not too crowded, however, the water can get busy with surfers and body boarders.
2. Catch the horse-drawn tram to Granite Island
Victor Harbor’s iconic attraction surely is the horse-drawn tram to Granite Island. The tram has been transporting people to and from Granite Island since 1894. The journey takes place multiple times throughout the day - every day of the year. You will definitely be able to jump on board.
On a sign nearby it reads: ‘The Victor Harbor tramway which runs across to Granite Island from 10.00 a.m. daily is Australia’s only horse-drawn tram service. It was first established in 1896. Discontinued in 1954 and recommenced in June 1986. The District Council of Victor Harbor owns 6 Clydesdale horses. There are 8 tapered roller bearings beneath each tram and it takes a pull of approximately 50 kilograms (110.23 lbs) to pull a loaded tram. Similar horses regularly pulled many hundreds of kilograms all day long in days gone by. Our horses normally work for a total of 2 hours a day every second day. Their diet is controlled to maintain peak condition. They are under regular veterinary supervision and are stabled at Henderson Road, Victor Harbor. A living tribute to the Heavy Horse.’
For just a small fee, you will have an unforgettable experience - a combination of transport and adventure. Kids, especially, will be pleased with this trip. If you prefer to walk to Granite Island, this is also possible. The 630 metre (2067 foot) long boardwalk is not just for the tram but also for pedestrians.
Horse Drawn Tram
Website:Horse Drawn Tram
3. Explore Granite Island
Granite Island is a horse-drawn tram ride or a short walk away from Victor Harbor. The island is famous for its wildlife - above all, the cute, little penguins that live along the coast. Although it is not guaranteed you will see penguins, you can take part in nightly tours around the island.
The island is a popular destination for whale watching during the migration season of humpback whales. Be sure to bring your camera and take amazing pictures of those impressive creatures!
Apart from wildlife, the island has a lot more to offer. There are several walking trails and paths, and steep stairs that are an adventure for children. Enjoy the beautiful rock formations, go swimming or fishing, or take a break in the restaurant or the cafe nearby the tram stop.
Granite Island Recreation Park
Website:Granite Island Recreation Park
4. Visit the South Australian Whale Centre
The South Australian Whale Centre is South Australia’s biggest marine focused centre. In this centre you can find out more about whale sightings and there is plenty of educational information provided. The centre is home to an impressive collection of historic artifacts of marine, cultural and aboriginal heritage. A visit here is a truly enjoyable experience for people of all ages.
The centre has changing exhibitions and talks, and the 3D theatre is impressive - its visit is included in the entry price. There is also an indoor display which focuses on dolphins, seals and penguins.
Victor Harbor is on the migratory path of whales, especially Humpback whales, from May to October, and at the centre you can find out where and when it is best to watch them pass by.
South Australian Whale Centre
Address: 2 Railway Terrace, Victor Harbor SA 5211, Australia
Price: From 4 USD
Opening Hours: 10:30am - 5pm. Closed on public holidays.
Duration: Around 2 hours required
Contact: +61 8 8551 0750
Website: South Australian Whale Centre
5. Take a day trip to the Urimbirra Wildlife Park
This open-range wildlife park is just a short drive away from Victor Harbor. It is home to more than 400 native Australian animals, such as koalas, wombats, crocodiles, wallabies and dingoes. You will also come across alpacas, rabbits, sheep, guinea pigs, emus and a wide range of birds.
There are daily crocodile feeding shows and children, especially, will be impressed by these big creatures. For the ones that like to experience the animals up-close, you can hand-feed kangaroos, cuddle a koala or hold a snake. This is your chance to really experience Australian wildlife!
It is worth spending a full day in Urimbirra Wildlife Park. There are several restaurants and cafes on site, or you can prepare some snacks and eat them in one of the many picnic areas.
Urimbirra Wildlife Park
Address: Adelaide Rd, Victor Harbor SA 5211, Australia
Price: From 7 USD
Opening Hours: 10am - 5pm. Closed on public holidays.
Duration: Full day
Contact: +61 8 8554 6554
Near by Food: Restaurant and cafes in the park
Website: Urimbirra Wildlife Park
Victor Harbor - an experience for the whole family
Victor Harbor is a great place for a family holiday or a stopover when traveling the Great Ocean Road. You can visit beaches, or experience wildlife in the whale centre or the wildlife park. For those with kids, the horse-drawn tram ride is a must do, as well as a penguin tour on Granite Island. Victor Harbor is a place where you can easily spend a few days without getting bored with the diversity of things to do.
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