The Fleurieu Peninsula, thirty minutes south of Adelaide by car, is bounded by Gulf St Vincent to the west and the Southern Ocean to the south, the two connected by the Backstairs Passage at Cape Jervis (where ferries leave for Kangaroo Island). There are fine beaches on both coasts and more wineries inland in the rolling McLaren Vale region. It’s a picturesque area: many of the towns were settled from the 1830s, and there’s a lot of colonial architecture, much of it now housing restaurants or B&Bs.
The peninsula is a good place to cycle – in addition to its roads it has two sealed bike paths: the 24km Encounter Bikeway follows the coast from Goolwa to just beyond Victor Harbor; and another shorter path runs between Willunga and McLaren Vale. For walkers, the Heysen Trail starts at the southern tip of the peninsula at Cape Jervis and winds across the hilly countryside north to the Adelaide Hills and beyond. Although the trail is meant for long-distance walking, there are a number of well-signposted short walks along the way, including the 3.5km Deep Creek Waterfall Trail, just east of Cape Jervis with its wild coastal scenery. The Heysen Trail also passes through the Mount Magnificent Conservation Park, which contains a number of shorter walks offering excellent panoramic views.