Victor Harbor - Places to See

The Horsedrawn Tram to Granite Island

Victor Harbor's most popular attraction is the horsedrawn tram service which travels along the causeway (it was constructed between 1878-82) which links Victor Harbor with Granite Island. As a sign nearby explains: '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 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.'

Granite Island Penguin Walk
Penguin walks are held on Granite Island every evening at dusk. Trained guides accompany small groups of walkers along the foreshore of the island to see the Fairy Penguins arrive home safely after a busy day at sea. Bookings can be made either at the Granite Island Shop or by phoning (08) 8552 7555.

The Bluff
This 100 metre high granite outcrop, also known as Rosetta Head, is the site for the memorial plaque to the meeting of Nicholas Baudin and Matthew Flinders. Located to west of the town (continue along Franklin Parade to the end) it offers excellent views over Encounter Bay and, when the whales are in the area, it is a popular vantage point.

The Cockle Train
The steam train, a reminder of the origins of the town and the whole region, only runs during the school holidays but it runs three times a day from Goolwa to Victor Harbor stopping at Port Elliot. Details: (08) 8391 1223

National Trust Museum
The Victor Harbor National Trust Museum, sometimes referred to as the Encounter Coast Discovery Centre, is located in the beautiful Old Customs and Station Master's House at 2 Flinders Parade. It contains considerable memorabilia connected with the early history of the town and the Fleurieu Peninsula. It also has a good walking map which will take visitors around the major historic buildings in town. For details of opening times contact (08) 8552 5388.

Historic Walk
There is a good brochure available which outlines most of the historic buildings of significance in Victor Harbor. Titled 'Victor Harbor' it includes the Customs House (1865), the sites of the early whaling stations, the beautiful St Augustine's Church of England (1869) on Burke Street and Reads Wool Mill (1868) in Flinders Parade.

South Australian Whale Centre
Located at Railway Terrace, this is an indoor display which deals specifically with whales, dolphins, seals and penguins. It is open daily 9.00 a.m. - 5.00 p.m. For more information contact (08) 8552 5644.

Newland Memorial Congregational Church
One of the town's most unusual buildings is the Newland Memorial Congregational Church, built in 1927. It is named in honour of the Reverend Ridgeway Newland who arrived with 34 settlers in July 1839. He was central to the early development of the town. The church is located on the roundabout on the road out of Victor Harbor on the road to Yankalilla.

Greenhills Adventure Park
A typical place to entertain the kids while on holiday. Located on Waggon Rd on the edge of Victor Harbor it has a maze, water slides, go-karts and similar activities. It is open daily 9.00 a.m. - 5.30 p.m. For more details contact (08) 8552 5999

Urimbirra Wildlife Park
Located on the main Adelaide Road about 5 km outside Victor Harbor this park is home to more than 70 species of Australian animals and birds. It is open daily 10 am - 5 pm. Contact (08) 8554 6554 for more details.

Waitpinga Beach
Located some 14 km west of Victor Harbor the attraction here is the kangaroos which graze on the hills in the late afternoon and early morning. For surfers the beach happens to be excellent with large waves rolling in off the Southern Ocean.