Monday, September 21, 2009

Victor Harbour

What makes you fall in love with a place? This is a question that I tried to answer this weekend as we visited Victor Harbour for the 4th time. I am not sure I found the answer, but I do know that Victor Harbour has a spot in my heart.

Victa, if you want to sound like a local, is located an hour drive south of Adelaide on the coast of the Fleurieu Peninsula. We arrived Saturday morning just in time for the local Market. It is not big in size, but there is a huge variety of local produce and products.

We then strolled through the charming historic old downtown to our hotel. We were a bit surprised to find that the normally quaint and quiet center was bustling with poodle skirts, beehives, and vintage cars--there was a 50's Rock and Roll Festival in town!!!

We didn't stick around for the activities, because the main reason for our weekend trip was 4 kilometers away at Port Elliot. It was here that we hoped to get a final look at the Southern Right Whale, before they migrate south for the summer. We were not disappointed. As we enjoyed a mid-morning coffee at the Flying Fish Cafe on Horseshoe Bay, we could see whales in the distance. A walk along the foreshore provided sighting of at least a half a dozen whales.

In hopes of getting a closer view of the majestic creatures we headed down the road to Basham Beach Regional Park. We were in luck. There was one of the amazing mammals no more than 100 meters away! We climbed a small hill for a better vantage point to observe the dozen or so whales in the surrounding waters. To our left we were also able to watch several dozen surfers. Unfortunately, a couple of them decided to approach the whales, who quickly swam to deeper waters.

We finished up the afternoon with a visit to Granite Island, which is located directly in front of Victor Harbor. The island serves as a natural barrier protecting the town from the Southern Ocean. You can visit the Island vis-a-vis The Causeway. The 632 meter long bridge can be crossed on foot, or on a horse drawn tram. We crossed by foot, and were able to stop and enjoy an Australian Fur Seal lazily drifting in the water. Perhaps he was waiting for a penguin to return home to Granite Island. There are several hundred of the smallest penguins in the world that live on this island. They can not be seen during the day when they are out fishing. Every night at dusk, if you join a tour you can catch them returning to their burrows. We had already seen them back in February, so we decided to skip the tour this time around. Instead we circled the island on the 2.9 km Kaiki Trail. The views were spectacular. It was also amazing to see how the hard granite has been eroded over time by the wind and waves.

By the time we arrived back in Victa, the Rock n Roll festival had ended. However, there were still a few people people celebrating at the Crown Motel. We joined them for an adult beverage, before heading to the pub for dinner.

I still can't tell you what it is that I love about Victor Harbour . Maybe it is the small town feel--where the locals greet each other by name. Perhaps it is the charm of it's colonial architecture. Possibly it is the natural setting--a tranquil bay. It could be because it is a great place to base yourself for outdoor activities--several National Parks are nearby and a 30 kilometer bike trail passes through town. Whatever it is, Victa is one of those places where I would gladly go for a weekend getaway, and it is a place I would recommend for visitors to Southern Australia.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Maya, I really enjoyed learning about Victor Harbour. It sounds lovely. Great photos and a cool shot of that wonderful whale in the distance. Thanks so much for sharing your special place.