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7 Heritage Walks on the Fleurieu Peninsula

Victor Harbor Town Centre Heritage trail:

The Victor Harbor Town Centre Heritage Trail is only a 35-minute drive from Bellevue B&B.

Since 2010, Victor Harbor has identified many State/Local Heritage Listed Buildings and provided them with a blue heritage plaque. There are over 50 plaques for you to take a look at and is an exceedingly pleasant way to explore the town.

The walk is a 3km self-guided heritage trail will take you on a journey to discover the stories of 38 historically significant buildings located in the town centre and how they have contributed to making Victor Harbor what it is today.

Town Centre Heritage Trail brochure (available from the tourist office) has a brief history of the town and a map and photographs.

Plaques on the buildings also provide information. The town’s history is well preserved and recorded in the numerous historic buildings. The walk will take a couple of hours at a leisurely pace, stopping en-route for a coffee.

Well worth the effort if you are visiting and would like to get a feel for the town.

Length:   3km circuit
Grade:    Easy
Start :     Victor Harbor Visitor Information Centre, 1 Esplanade.
Finish:   No. 38 Shannon’s Store, Ocean Street.

Victor Harbor Heritage Trail

River Angas Walkway – Strathalbyn

It is no surprise that Strathalbyn (an easy 45-minute drive from Bellevue B&B is a classified Heritage Town.

Its appeal lies primarily in the way the centre of the town runs along the River Angas and is characterised by a large area of parkland, known as the Soldiers Memorial Gardens.

A feature of the park is the Children’s Bridge which was completed in 1919.

The park gives the town a uniquely welcoming feel. It is more like a very unusual village green than anything else in Australia. The park is edged by historic buildings and provides the village/town with a unique and quaint centre.

Strathalbyn has 44 buildings of historic interest. There is a Strathalbyn – A Walk Around The Town brochure, available at the Visitor Information Centre (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Strathalbyn%20Visitor%20Information%20Centre/153200224711467/), which provides an excellent map and detailed information for the visitor.

Of particular interest are historic buildings and locations including:

Railway Station, Victoria Hotel, Terminus Hotel, as well as the  Strathalbyn & District Heritage Centre. Make sure you check out the National Trust buildings of the Police Station and Courthouse museum.

There is a short walk along the river, clean and well presented gardens and rest areas. This town is worth a visit. Check out the antique shops (check opening times as not all open on week days) and the motor museum. Nice pubs and cafes nearby to choose from for a drink and something to eat.

Strathalbyn Heritage Trail

McLaren Vale Heritage Trail

Having being established in 1839 McLaren Vales first vineyards were planted in 1850.

While staying @bellevuebb you can explore the history of the town on this self-guided walk.

There are plenty of distractions along the way: restaurants and cafes, wineries and craft shops and galleries.

The best way to experience the historic locations in McLaren follow the signs, most of which are on the Main Road, around the town. Each point is marked by a sign even if the historic building has been removed, they tell a fascinating story of the early history of the town with interesting anecdotes and human-interest stories.

The heritage walk begins at the McLaren Vale Visitors Information Centre.

The trail is approximately 6km long, allow 2 – 3 hours to complete (and that’s assuming that you do not make any delicious detours!).

Some of the highlights are:

  • The Barn – Main Road. Formerly a coach.
  • Marienberg Limeburner’s Centre – Main Road. The original cottage was built in 1854 taking its name from the occupation of one of it‘s later inhabitants, a brick layer who burnt lime behind the cottage to make mortar used by local builders.
  • Hotel McLaren – Main Road. From 1857 – 1901 was known as The Clifton Hotel.
  • Hardy Tintara Winery – Main Road. Originally established in 1852 as the McLaren Vale Union Flour Mill.
  • Almond Train – off Main Road. Historic carriages once used on the Adelaide to Willunga line 1915 – 1969.
    Salopian Inn – High Road. Formerly Gumprs Hostelry (1851–1853.

McLaren Vale Heritage Walk

McLaren Vale

Hahndorf Heritage Walk

The historic walk through Hahndorf (45 minutes from @bellevuebb via Meadows and Echunga) gives you a glimpse of the nineteenth century streetscape its history and development.

As you stroll under the avenue of trees planted in 1885 by the Hanndorf community, imagine the traffic of that time: cows being driven to pasture by young lads, people on foot or astride horses, carriages and distinctive German wagons moving along the rutted dirt road.

Hahndorf has a heritage that dates back to the late 1830’s when German immigrants first settled in the town

The heritage walk will give you and clear idea of the original layout of the village.  Stroll the back streets to see Germanic cottages and visit the first Lutheran church in Australia, pioneer cemetery and oldest fachwerk cottage in Australia, all built in the 1800s.

Start at the Visitor Information Centre, the walk takes you towards the original physical centre of Hanhdorf on the old Balhannah Road which is the home to the St Michael’s Lutheran Church.

As you walk the main street you will pass two hotels and  a range of shops that included the shoemaker, butchers, wheelwright, coach builder, blacksmith and doctors surgery.

Keep an eye out for the street art, especially near the Hahndorf Academy, Museum and the Visitor Information centre.

The Hahndorf heritage walk is around 3km long and covers the area declared as a State Heritage Area, reflecting the importance of this German Village to the history of South Australia.


Yankalilla & Normanville Heritage Walk

As these two country towns are so close together you can do them both! The 3km (one way) heritage trail through Yankalilla and Normanville.

A trail through the towns shows the old historic buildings.  The walk is easy to do and downhill one way …. and uphill back ! Lots of cafes to stop at also, spoilt for choice.

Yankalilla is nestled in the Bungala River valley, below the Mount Lofty Ranges and on the main road from Adelaide to Cape Jervis and just 35 minutes from @bellevuebb.

By the 1850s it was one of the most important centres on the Fleurieu Peninsula.

The heritage trail starts at the eastern end of Yankalilla where the magnificent Bungala House stands stall. The house was built in the 1850’s and 1860’s by the Butterworths who operated a neighbouring flour mill.

Heading in to the centre of Yankalilla you pass the first of many antique and curio shops, the post office which has been rebuilt three times, and the Council Chambers. Like most towns the Hotel is one of the oldest buildings, and the Yankalilla Hotel is no different, albeit it has had a number of renovations since first being constructed in 1854.

  • Christ Church
  • Shrine of Our Lady of Yankalilla
  • Yankalilla Historical Museum
  • The Old Schoolhouse
  • Former Ferguson’s Mill
  • Agricultural Hall (cunningly set mid-way between both towns!)

Some good history being preserved by the community, well done.


Willunga Heritage Walk

Steeped in the states slate mining history and a mere stones throw from @bellevuebb is the town of Willunga.  Walk or cycle to Willunga from McLaren Vale via the Shiraz Trail an eight-kilometre moderate cycling/ walking/horse riding track that meanders past Shiraz vines and a number of wineries. There are plenty of captivating stops and loops along the way.

Willunga township, established in 1839, is one of the oldest on the Fleurieu Peninsula. The town heritage is reflected in the preserved sandstone buildings along High Street and the laneways that can be found within walking distance.

The old Willunga Courthouse Museum (a National Trust building), with the original courtroom and cells, is just one place to observe this heritage. This town has a number of significant and well-preserved heritage sites and offers a unique record of early colonial life

Also, worth a visit are the Slate Museum and Bassett Boys Schoolroom. Wander the High Street and you’ll discover art galleries, banks, café’s, post office, bakery, general store, pharmacy, butcher, antique shop and clothing store.

There is a mobile guide to the heritage places of Willunga. The various self-guided walks in this app showcase Willunga’s architectural heritage through a diverse range of buildings including shops, hotels, churches, homes and schools. During or after a walk, make the most of your visit and enjoy one of the many cafes and eating places operating within Willunga’s heritage buildings.


Meadows Historic Walk

Meadows is the home of a short heritage walk which makes an ideal day trip or perhaps a stopping point on your way to or from @bellevuebb.

Starting at Battunga Park at the junction of the main roads, the first interpretive signs tell us a little about the Peramangk people, their beliefs in the area, and the naming of the district as Battunga country, meaning place of big trees.

Meadows was first surveyed in 1839 with the first buildings appearing in the early 1840’s.

This walk guides you around the centre of Meadows to discover and enjoy some of its fascinating history.

You can learn a lot from this walk about the town, wooden headstones, great bakery, markets and some great sculptures. There is lots to see on this short walk, the hill to the cemetery might be a slight challenge for some however there are great  views from the top.

The entire walk is about 2.5 km long, and will take less than an hour at a slow pace whilst allowing time to enjoy the scenery.

7 Heritage Walks on the Fleurieu Peninsula