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Things to do in Victor Harbor for the Ultimate Weekend Adventure

Explore this coastal town by making your way through our list of the best things to do in Victor Harbor.

Victor Harbor (Image Credit: City of Victor Harbor)

At just an hours drive south of Adelaide’s CBD sits the charming seaside town of Victor Harbor, known for being one of Adelaide’s top weekend getaways and tourist towns. It’s easy to see why, with an alluring waterfront, horse-drawn trams, and many excellent food, drink and luxury accommodation options. 

Relaxed seaside charm, breathtaking coastal views and rich maritime history define Victor Harbor, and its handy location makes it an excellent launching pad to nearby Port Elliot, Goolwa, Kangaroo Island, the southern wine region, and of course, all the natural beauty of the Fleurieu Peninsula that surrounds. 

From nature-bound adventures to local whisky tastings, there are so many things to do in Victor Harbor. Read on for our top picks below. 

Things to do in Victor Harbor: Eat & Drink

Hotel Victor

Hotel Victor

Standing proud in the heart of Victor Harbor, Hotel Victor is the local pub adored by all. Welcoming regulars and visitors from out of town regularly, this coastal spot sits on the main drag, a short walk from the tramway. The newly renovated bar is perfect for a tipple to close out the day of exploring, while the sunny alfresco seating is a beautiful place to have a hearty meal and watch the world go by. With a menu full of classics like salads, schnitzels, burgers and pizzas, as well as accommodation on site, this is one of the best spots to visit to get a true taste of the charming Victor Harbor hospitality.

1 Albert Place, Victor Harbor

Planted Coffee House

Planted Coffee House 

For a quality coffee fix, don't miss out on a chance to visit Planted Coffee House during your time in Victor Harbor. With a variety of breakfast and lunchtime meals also on offer, as well as plenty of delectable sweet treats, they have the perfect thing for a half-hour downtime sesh or morning catch up with friends.

138 Hindmarsh Road, Victor Harbor

Lost Phoenix Farm

Lost Phoenix Farm

If great food and stunning surroundings are high on your list of things to do in Victor Harbor, then a visit to Lost Phoenix Farm is a must. Their menu of smaller and larger plates designed to be shared offer a refined, simplistic approach to seasonal food with an ode to fun and exiting flavours and techniques. On weekends there’s wood-fired pizza to be had, with plenty of outdoor seating to fit all your friends alongside beer, wine and spritz. Complete your visit with a trip to the Lost Phoenix Spirits cellar door to explore the range of hand-crafted gin and vodka.

34 Mont Rosa Road, Hindmarsh Valley

Cut Hill Distillery

Cut Hill Distillery

On the same sprawling grounds as Lost Phoenix Farm sits the fine whisky producers, Cut Hill Distillery. Committed to exploring Australia’s whisky roots, the distillery was founded by beverage industry professionals with mutual passions, aspirations and a drive to add their own distinct contribution to the world of whisky. A trip to their cellar door will see you sipping on whisky amongst the barrels, with an exclusive space behind the main cellar door available to hire for your next private event, meet one of their distillers and be guided through their current range.

34 Mont Rosa Road, Hindmarsh Valley

Swagman Dining at Softfoot Farm

Swagman Country Dining

Swagman Country Dining is a wonderful lunch option on your list of activities to do in Victor Harbor, and even better, it’s part of the Softfoot Country wildlife sanctuary. Lunch service is between 10am – 4pm daily, and prides itself on being a slow-food experience, creating nutritious food with Australian native flavours for your heath and enjoyment. Their menu includes sumptuous mains including the Swagman chargrilled steak, confit duck legs and pumpkin and saltbush vegetarian lasagne, all to be enjoyed within the luxurious surroundings of their dining room.

594 Sawpit Road, Hindmarsh Valley

Hotel Elliot

Hotel Elliot

With Port Elliot so close to Victor Harbor, there's never a better time to experience both beach towns in one trip, especially when Port Elliot offers such a delicious array of cafes and restaurants.

For example, upscale pub meals and pizza in the relaxed, convivial Hotel Elliot is a fantastic way to spend the afternoon or evening, especially when met with a leafy beer garden and the potential for some fantastic live music.

Enjoy a welcoming, casual country-hotel atmosphere with a delicious menu of hearty fare and pub favourites. Alongside this, Hotel Elliot has a separate wine bar and space called 'Salt at the Elliot', which offers an elevated dining experience. Settle in for delectable share plates and mains plus cocktails or an afternoon bottle of red with friends, all in a modern, coastal setting. 

Sitchu Tip: Be sure to catch the iconic Cockle Train or Steam Ranger after your meal, with the Port Elliot Railway Station situated right outside the Hotel.

35 The Strand, Port Elliot



Welcome to the Beaches. Craving a delicious brunch while on holiday in Victor Harbor? Head to Beaches in Port Elliot to satisfy those cravings, pronto. Expect delicious, vegan-friendly fare and coffee, friendly staff, and super cosy, sun-lit vibes to keep you go-go-going for the rest of the day spent exploring the area. It's one of the best things to do in Victor Harbor and surrounds. 

55 North Terrace, Port Elliot

Flying Fish Cafe

Flying Fish Cafe 

Flying Fish Cafe have been serving gourmet fish and chips in signature cones for over a decade, but if you'd rather take a seat and really soak up the scenery of beautiful Horseshoe Bay, while sampling freshly shucked oysters, local seafood or a premium eye fillet steak, there are still few better places in Port Elliot (and indeed Victor Harbor) to do it. Just make sure you have a glass of something local in hand to really mark the occasion. 

1 The Foreshore, Horseshoe Bay, Port Elliot

De Groot Coffee Co.

De Groot Coffee Co. 

This family-owned coffee roastery will keep your caffeine cravings in check as you holiday in Victor Harbor and surrounds. For the best coffee in Port Elliot, delicious cakes and a warm, artsy atmosphere, you really shouldn't miss a morning start at De Groot Coffee Co.

Shed 5, Factory 9/89-91 Hill Street, Port Elliot

Things to do in Victor Harbor: Explore

Granite Island. Trent John Martin / South Australian Tourism Commission

Visit Granite Island

Cross the causeway by foot or climb aboard the horse-drawn tram and find yourself at the remarkable Granite Island. Visible from Victor Harbor, the island is within easy reach and makes for a beautiful stroll over the water on a sunny day. Marvel at the large granite rocks that dot the island, tinged with orange lichen that only adds to the magic. Take in the beauty of the crashing waves around you, and if you're lucky and plan your visit accordingly - you may spot a migrating whale while you're over there, making this one of the best free things to do in Victor Harbor.

Whale Watching Tour. Image Credit: The Big Duck Boat Tours

Hop Aboard a Whale Watching Tour

During winter Southern Right Whales and Humpback Whales migrate from Antarctic waters to the warmer ocean around Australia to feed, mate and give birth. The Big Duck is a licensed whale watching vessel and it is a privilege to enter the Southern Right Whale breeding sanctuary of Encounter Bay and to view these majestic animals from the waterline.

The number of whales seen near Victor Harbor is highly variable year-to-year, and for this reason, whale sightings cannot be guaranteed on their tours and winter tours may take the route to see seals, sea lions and dolphins instead. 

When whales are present, Big Ducks' tours head west towards Port Elliot, past swimming and surfing beaches where dolphins can often be seen playing. They stop near Pullen Island to look for Long Nosed Fur Seals basking on the rocks. The tour then ventures through Horseshoe Bay towards Bashams Beach, where the whales can be seen basking in the warm shallow water which provides the perfect conditions for giving birth to calves.

Tours operate for 90 minutes and depart from and return to the Granite Island causeway.

From June - September

Book here

Softfoot Farm

Visit Softfoot Farm

Experience wildlife at its best at Softfoot Farm in Victor Harbor. This natural wildlife haven is a beautiful experience, paired alongside their top notch Swagman Country Dining restaurant and luxury accommodation retreat cabins.

Private tours of the farm are available, with the opportunity to get up close and personal with a herd of world class alpacas as well as resident wild kangaroos and even a koala or two.

As the sun goes down, see Australia’s native wildlife come out to feed at the nocturnal adventure. This guided tour allows you to witness endangered Australian animals in a naturalistic, free ranging environment, including long nosed Potoroos, Tammar wallabies and Southern Brown bandicoots.

594 Sawpit Road, Hindmarsh Valley

Victor Harbor Artisan Market

Markets in Victor Harbor

For a taste of local produce, Victor Harbor Farmers Market delivers in a big way. Every Saturday morning from 8.00am to 12.30pm, Grosvenor Gardens becomes a marketplace for organic fruit and vegetables, seafood, meats, loaves of bread, local wines, flowers, and so much more.

If you would like to discover a host of local and South Australian artisans when seeking things to do in Victor Harbor, then head to the Artisan Market. Hosted throughout the year, its brimming with handmade crafts, artwork, gifts, food and beverage, as well as live entertainment. 

Farmers Market, Grosvenor Gardens, Victor Harbor

Artisan Market, Railway Plaza, Victor Harbor

Encounter Bay (Photo credit: City of Victor Harbor)

Whale Watching From the Shoreline

If you’re visiting Victor Harbor from late May to October, then you have to take the time to do some whale watching as they migrate to the warmer, sheltered waters of Encounter Bay to socialise, court, and raise their calves before heading back down south to Antarctica. The area is a breeding ground for the endangered Southern Right whales and a stop-in for passing Humpback whales, alongside New Zealand fur seals, Australian sea lions and bottlenose dolphins.

It's one of the best free things to do in Victor Harbor. 

Sitchu Tip: The Winter Whale Fest runs between 26th May – 25th June to celebrate the annual migration across the Fleurieu Peninsula, and it is packed full of fun events, special talks, walking tours, markets and even an Ocean Film Festival.

2 Railway Terrace, Victor Harbor

Horse Drawn Tramway

Discover a New Way to Travel

The drive down is picturesque, the walks between activities in Victor Harbor are perfect on a sunny day and bracing in cooler months, and the other modes of transport are simply inspired. Experience the stunning coastline and surrounding seaside villages by taking the 31.5km Encounter Bikeway path starting at The Bluff and making your way right up to The Wharf in Goolwa. Climb aboard the truly iconic Cockle Train for a ride through history on one of the diesel locomotives, or classic steam engine on school holidays. The Victor Harbor Camel Tours and the famous horse drawn tramway are also perfect for family trips with the kids.

Horseshoe Bay from the window of the Flying Fish Cafe (Image Credit: Flying Fish Cafe)

Eat and Explore Your Way Around Port Elliot

The quiet and postcard-worthy holiday spot of Port Elliot has cafes, beachside cottages, coastal walks and beautiful coastline in abundance, making its proximity to Victor Harbor all the more wonderful. 

In just ten minutes you can be throwing down your towel on sandy shores and soaking up the sun at Horseshoe Bay or diving off the jetty into the turquoise waters below. If the weather is on the chilly side, walk the trails along the dramatic coastline instead, or wander through the charming streets admiring the town’s historical facades, before stopping for lunch at the Flying Fish Cafe or Thunderbird.

Idyllic doesn't even begin to cover it. 

Port Elliot, SA

Things to do in Victor Harbor: Accommodation

Pago Middleton

Pago Middleton

A sanctuary in the heart of a village, you'll be swept away into a world of refined luxury at Pago Middleton. This luxurious private retreat is less than 15 minutes from Victor Harbor, and is the place to go for restoration, recovery, reconnection and exploration. You'll feel the labour of love that went in to restoring and curating the stunning space, with the owners having breathed new life into the old bones of what were once stables.

29 Mill Terrace, Middleton

Nest, Esca Retreat

Nest & Nature - Esca 

Immerse yourself and disappear into nature with the architecturally designed Esca pod accommodation in Fleurieu Peninsula, hidden away 18 minutes outside of Victor Harbor. The bespoke tiny house brings nature to your doorstep, with vast windows overlooking some of South Australia’s most spectacular landscape. Considered details are found throughout, from the outdoor fire pit to the locally sourced gourmet goods provided during your stay. 

Inman Valley, Fleurieu Peninsula

Old Coach Road Estate

Escape to the gorgeous and secluded Old Coach Road Estate accommodation after a busy day of activities in Victor Harbor. Relax in front of the indoor and outdoor fireplaces, dine al fresco on the surrounding deck and appreciate the thoughtful finishing touches such as the telescope to gaze at the clear night skies, deep bathtub and floor to ceiling windows that give views across Victor Harbour and Granite Island. There are three king bedrooms to host a group of family or friends, large communal areas including a double height living space, and abundant wildlife to be spotted throughout the stretch of land the Old Coach Road Estate sits on.

103 Old Coach Road, 5211 Hindmarsh Valley

Softfoot Farm

Softfoot Retreats

Welcome to Softfoot Retreats array of luxury accommodation. Immerse yourself in nature and take in the lush green curated wetlands that surround your secluded retreat cabin, that comes complete with an on-deck bath tub overlooking the eucalypt forest. Sip on a local glass of red and spot some local wildlife as you lose yourself in a bubble bath. 

There are one or two night accommodation packages available, with the option for a self-cook breakfast basket at your retreat or for lunch at Swagman Country Dining with a value of $30 per meal per person. Be sure to enjoy a private alpaca tour or nocturnal safari tour during your stay; it's the best way to experience the surrounding 600 acres of blissful countryside.

594 Sawpit Road, Hindmarsh Valley

Lost Retreats, Boho Farm

Lost Retreats, Mt Jagged

Lost Retreats are designed and built for the free-spirited wanderer, the adventurer, the dreamer and those ready to connect with nature’s untamed beauty. Nestled between an idyllic lake and the sprawling vineyards of Boho Farm, this Mt Jagged retreat features a queen size bed offering stunning views that greet you to start the day. It's filled with bespoke custom finishes crafted from reused and recycled timber, resulting in a warm and inviting space, reminiscent of an alpine chalet.

Overlooking the lake with its own decking, guests can enjoy a wine over this beautiful water setting surrounded by grapevines. Or simply sit back on the couch, stoke the fire and enjoy the record selection on hand, or a good book. 

There's also an outdoor clawfoot bath, gorgeous bathroom and kitchen, making this lakeside retreat a space to truly unwind, relax and enjoy just being. 

Mt Jaggad, SA

Did you enjoy our guide to the best things to do in Victor Harbor? Discover more travel guides to inspire your next trip, from relaxing escapes in the Adelaide Hills to bustling city adventures thanks to our pick of the best stylish city accommodation in Adelaide.

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