The Fleurieu Peninsula Is South Australia’s Best-Kept Culinary Secret
Is your stomach grumbling?
Just a short drive south of Adelaide, there’s a wonderland of leisure and excitement. With its rolling coastline, stunning beaches, and foodie hotspots, South Australia’s Fleurieu Peninsula (“Floo-ree-ohh”, folks) is hands-down one of the state’s – and nation’s – best-kept secrets.
While it’s certainly B&B central, there’s a lot more to do on the Fleurieu than simply chill out and swill shiraz (not that there’s anything wrong with that).
Smiling Samoyed Brewery
Where: 48 Main S Road, Myponga
Aside from its great name, you’d be forgiven for thinking there’s not a whole lot else going on in the sleepy hamlet of Myponga. As well as a scenic dam, it was once home to the groundbreaking Myponga Festival – Adelaide’s Woodstock, for all intents and purposes, poured out over the expansive Fleurieu bushland to put SA on the international rock ‘n’ roll map.
These days the town’s biggest star is Smiling Samoyed Microbrewery, purveyors of award-winning craft beers, delicious food, and a fantastic atmosphere. Visitors can sample the goods and learn how real beer is made.
21 Junk Street
Where: 84A Main Street, Yankalilla
A 10-minute drive inland from Normanville, equally sleepy Yankalilla got a cool injection in the form of retro coffee shop 21 Junk Street a couple of years back.
A funky vintage garage and café just off the main drag, it specialises in artisan caffeination and innovative fare. The menu comprises vegan and non-vegan delicacies like raw berry and lime swirl cheesecake, turmeric lattes, smoothie bowls, paleo Thai prawn salad, and burgers sourced from nearby Wakefield Grange.
The curious green exterior, pre 10-am punk soundtrack, an array of vintage curios, and a dose of unconditional love from the cafe’s three resident golden retrievers make for an unexpectedly perfect rural café experience.
Wilunga Farmers Market
Where: Corner Main Road and St. Peter’s Terrace, Willunga
Every Saturday you can “meet the grower and taste the region” with over 80 farmers and artisan food stalls selling fresh produce in the town square of inland Willunga. The first market of its kind in the state, Willunga Farmers Market has provided a prime meeting hub for Fleurieu area locals to share their wares for 15 years. It’s a fine, relaxing and tasty scene – be sure to check it out.
Alexandrina Cheese Company
Where: Sneyd Road, Mount Jagged
Alexandrina Cheese Company ought to sit high on the Fleurieu itinerary of dairy lovers. Here, seventy well-loved Jersey cows fed on the green clover pasture of a family-run farm produce rich, creamy milk (which is, no doubt, why they took out the top prize at the Grand Dairy Awards for their champion cheddar in 2015).
Indulge yourself in a Fleurieu cheese experience par excellence, and stock up on some goods for the ride home. You could even try your luck at naming one before you arrive!
Harvest the Fleurieu
Where: 2256 Victor Harbour Road, Mount Compass
They say no berry tastes as good as the berry you pick yourself. Harvest the Fleurieu is a store and strawberry patch located near scenic Mount Compass, a serene regional outpost where visitors can pick and eat the delicious fresh strawberries available. The Harvest store also sells a range of conserves, jams and other artisan produce, as well as delicious food and coffee.
Star of Greece
Where: 1 The Esplanade, Port Willunga
Those seeking a refined culinary hit shouldn’t miss Port Willunga’s iconic Star of Greece. Perched on a dramatic cliff top overlooking the Gulf St Vincent (in which you’ll find the shipwreck for which the venue is named), Star of Greece dishes up decadent Mediterranean cuisine, featuring the region’s seasonal fresh produce, seafood and a range of game and poultry. It’s a five-star dining experience with a view to match.
Got your appetites going? Hidden or not, get across to the Fleurieu and feast your eyes, tastebuds and stomachs on this region’s fabulous destination gems.
(Lead photo: Alpha / Flickr)