Fleurieu Peninsular: Goolwa and Port Elliot

posted in: South Australia, walks, wine | 2

Goolwa and the mouth of the Murray River

Why walk when you can roll? Seriously, at what age do we look at a hill and just naturally walk down it? Why do kids look at that same sandy hill and think, you know I’m just going to lay down and roll down that sand dune.  I wish I still had that kind spontaneity.

Time for a roll in the sand
Time for a roll in the sand
and some more rolling...
and some more rolling…

Well I did until Harry started ripping his shirt off and yelling “Ants, ants! They are on me! They are biting me!” And I thought yeah, that’s pretty much why I don’t roll down hills anymore.

Walking down to the beach at Goolwa
Walking down to the beach at Goolwa
Hanging out at the Beach Goolwa
Hanging out at the Beach Goolwa

 

We have spent the morning exploring the locks and beaches near the mouth of the Murray River. There aren’t any long walking trails here but there are tracks to walk (or roll) down to the beach and you can walk alongside the river and out onto the locks. We saw plenty of seals just hanging around looking like big dogs waiting for a feed near the fish gates, which was a novelty for us having never seen seals in the wild before.

 

Harry exploring the Murray River
Harry exploring the Murray River
The Cockle Train
The Cockle Train

Goolwa is a picturesque town on the banks of the Murray River. The markets held here on Sunday offer plenty of good food to fill your belly after exploring the town, beaches and riverside. The old paddlesteamer moored at the wharf and the cockle train that runs through from Victor Harbour offer a glimpse into a bygone era. I am still on a mission to see the actual mouth of the Murray. We stop for a quick refreshment at the brewery and then we head over to Hindmarsh Island to look for the river mouth.

Murraymouth

 

We pull up at the car park and walk over the sand dune, and there it is. The mouth of the worlds third longest nagivatable river flowing out into the sea. I saw the headwaters of this 2520 km long river up in Kosciusko National Park 2 years ago and now I have seen the end. One day I will get around to checking out some of the lovely parts in between. Maybe on a paddle steamer.

 

Currency Creek Winery

I am planning on spending the afternoon at Port Elliot and the beautiful Horseshoe Bay but before we do I want to do a quick detour out to Currency Creek Winery. This winery is set in a pretty location with lots of room outside for the kids to run about. They do a range of wines here, and I buy a bottle of the Santa Rosa Premium Blend and the Max’s Run Cabernet Sauvingon, but I like their fortified wines the most. The Personal Stock Tawny and Old Liquer Muscat are smooth and warming and I am looking forward to enjoying a glass or two of these around a roaring fire come winter.

 

Picturesque grounds at Currency Creek Wines
Picturesque grounds at Currency Creek Wines

Port Elliot

We drive through the sleepy seaside town of Port Elliot and pull up at the carpark near the headland overlooking Horseshoe Bay. There is a very scenic coastal walk that meanders around the rocky granite coastline with access tracks down to the pretty secluded beaches. Port Elliot was originally selected as the main ocean port for the Murray River trade, but despite its calm appearance today the bay can actually be quite rough. After a number of ships were wrecked in the bay, the port was moved to Granite Island near Victor Harbour. A lookout and memorial overlooking Horseshoe Bay provide some information about the shipwrecks as well as gorgeous views over the bay.

 

Horseshoe Bay Lookout
Lookout and memorial at Horseshoe Bay

 

Walking down to the coastal track at Horseshoe Bay
Walking down to the coastal track at Horseshoe Bay

 

Nope, no whales or stars today.
Nope, no whales or stars today.

 

looking back towards Victor Harbour
Looking back towards Victor Harbour

 

Lovely granite boulders and outcrops are everywhere
Lovely granite boulders and outcrops are everywhere

 

Walking down to the beach. Horseshoe Bay
Walking down to the beach

 

We walk along some of the coastal track watching the big waves pound the granite boulders on the less exposed side looking back towards Victor Harbour. The sea spray hangs in the air and I can taste the salt on my lips. Walking back towards Port Elliot we detour down to a delightful granite boulder strewn beach, and spend time exploring the rock pools.

 

Lichen covered granite boulders provide a lovely contrast against the big blue sea
Lichen covered granite boulders provide a lovely contrast against the big blue sea

 

rocky beach

rocky beach 2

 

Walking back up onto the cliff top track we come across the old jetty. No longer used for loading goods onto ships, it now provides fisherman with a nice spot to throw in a line and walkers like me to stop and take in the scenery. It is our last full day in South Australia and we are keen to relax and just soak up the beauty of this lovely place. Over the past 2 weeks we have visited Adelaide and the beautiful Adelaide Hills, the rugged and spectacular Flinders Ranges, the fabulous Barossa Valley and finished off with the paradise that is the Fleurieu Peninsular. I have only scratched the surface of this highly underated Australian state. All I can say to all of you East Coasters is get on a plane or in your car and visit the amazing South Australia. Some of Australia’s best food, wine, outback landscapes and magnificent beaches await you!

The local jetty provided a nice place to relax and admire the scenery
The local jetty provided a nice place to relax and admire the scenery

 

Time to dip the feet in
Time to dip the feet in

 

At a Glance

mapGoolwa
95 km (1 hr 20 mins) from Adelaide

mapPort Elliot
84 km (1 hour 8 mins) from Adelaide

mapCurrency Creek Winery
Winery Road, Currency Creek
10 kilometres north of Goolwa
http://www.currencycreekwinery.com.au/

 

 

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2 Responses

  1. Hi Amanda,
    Great pics and writing as always. I had to laugh about Harry and the ants… 🙂 I do wish I’d retained the childhood joy of rolling but sadly I think of all those things that could go wrong these days and am quite inhibited. I’m even nervous about walking barefoot now in many places, but as a kid I rarely wore shoes. I really hope to check out SA in my lifetime. You’ve enlightened me about its beautiful coastline. It’s not something that I think is well-known. Queensland seems to be associated with beaches when the other states have magnificent ones too, and they are often less crowded than ours! Always enjoy your posts. 🙂

    • I have to admit that I tried rolling down a hill myself recently, and it kind of hurt! I’ve lost my ability to relax my body enough to roll, I probably overthought it. Harry was giving me tips but I think I will leave the rolling to the kids and I’ll stick to walking and wine 😉

      I hope you do get the opportunity to visit SA, it is such an underrated state. I will definitely be making return visits! Thanks for reading, commenting and sharing Jane 🙂

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