From migrating whales to kangaroos, dolphins and over 250 bird species, the Fleurieu Peninsula offers plenty of opportunity to interact with local wildlife.
The Fleurieu Peninsula is one of the most popular whale watching regions in all of SA.
South Australian Whale Centre
Southern Right and Humpback whales are commonly seen in the waters around the Fleurieu Peninsula. They are generally seen May through to October.
Among the many spots to view the whales it is the coast between Goolwa and Victor Harbor that is the best both only 35 mins drive from @bellevuebb. Walking out to Granite Island often means you get the very best view of all!
To view whales from the water you should definitely book a tour. Alternatively, you can visit the South Australian Whale Centre which is located in Victor Harbour just a 40-minute drive from Bellevue B&B. The centre provides whale sighting information
Coorong National Park
A little over two hours’ drive from Bellevue you will discover a spectacular natural ancient landscape…an unspoilt and untouched coastal wilderness that is breathtaking and abundant…welcome to Coorong Country!
Soak up the peaceful atmosphere and relaxed lifestyle of the laid-back waterfront towns.
Meningie is the gateway to the Coorong National Park and Coorong Country however you’ll enjoy Salt Creek, Narrung and Raukkan on your adventures in the region as well.
The jaw-dropping Coorong National Park is bordered by towering dunes, quiet waterways and snow-white sand. It is a place of adventure and untamed wilderness. Visitors go for bird watching, boating, kayaking, fishing, camping, walking, four-wheel driving and history.
No visit is complete without looking for your own Mr Percival, the Australian pelican made famous by the ‘Storm Boy’ movies and novel.
Enjoy a ten-minute walk from the car park through the dunes to the viewing shelter. This overlooks a cluster of small islands where pelicans, terns, seagulls have established large permanent breeding colonies.
The breeding rookery here in the Coorong is the largest Australian Pelican breeding colony in Australia.
If you fancy this as a guided tour we can highly recommend the Spirit of the Coorong cruises
Onkaparinga River National Park
Full of rugged natural wonders to explore, Onkaparinga River National Park is a spectacular hidden treasure of the region. The closest entrance to the park is only a short 10 minute drive from Bellevue B&B
Nestled between the vineyards, the park is home to some stunning hiking trails and walking tracks with an abundance of natural beauty and wildlife. Recent additions to the park include a lookout, communal barbecue and seating areas ideal for picnics, as well as a new swing bridge at Old Noarlunga.
Spot the wildlife. There’s plenty of native animals around the park, including kangaroos, koalas, echidnas, kookaburras, possums, magpies and more.
Enjoy a small walk with a barbecue and a picnic at the end. There are two public barbecue areas in the park, at Chapel Hill Picnic Ground in the heart of McLaren Vale Wine Region and Perry’s Bend in Noarlunga Downs.
Walk and wander. While there’s a selection of more challenging hiking trails throughout the park, the Punchbowl Lookout Trail is just an hour return, and great for visitors of all ages and abilities.
The gorge at the centre of the park is well known for its spectacular views and challenging rock faces, ideal for rock climbing. The Red River Gums are magnificent and the view from the cliff tops are stunning.
Urimbirra Wildlife Park
One of the Fleurieu Peninsulas most exciting attractions.is the Urimbirra Wildlife Park.
It is only 45 minutes from Bellevue B&B and a next to Victor harbor. The Wildlife Park gives you the chance to see more than 70 species of Australian fauna in their natural surroundings.
You may find kangaroos, wallabies, koalas, emus, dingos and wombats resting amid giant old gum trees, while on the lake, pelicans, spoonbills, black swans, egrets and Cape Barren geese may be readily seen.
The paths through Urimbirra allow you to see the animals at close range, the whole site is a photographer’s delight. A fascinating feature of the park is the Nocturnal House, which gives you a rare opportunity to see some of Australia’s interesting night creatures at feed and play.
You can walk with the kangaroos and hand feed them which is really lovely. Make sure you are there at the time they feed the koalas as you get up close with great photo shoots. The grounds are beautiful. There are so many Australian animals to be seen and many areas for picnic lunches. Allow several hours to really enjoy Urimbirra.
The facilities include “access without assistance”, plenty of parking, picnic areas (so yes you can bring your own) toilets and sheltered areas.
Monarto Safari Park
Hop into the car and take the one hour drive from Bellevue to Monarto Safari park via Meadows, Mt Barker and the M1. Plan ahead as you will want a whole day here.
Monarto Safari Park is a 1,500-hectare open range safari park.
The park features several unique attractions, including the new, up-close and personal Lions 360 walk-in cage experience, a drive-through cheetah habitat, a southern white rhinoceros habitat, and Australia’s largest giraffe herd.
It is also home to South Australia’s largest re-vegetation project. You can do any of the walking trails, take a tour, feed the animals. Download the app for full info (Search for “Monarto Safari Park”) before you leave home.
As of 2015 Monarto zoo has achieved one of the most successful giraffe breeding programs in Oceania. Monarto Safari Park is a pioneer in Australia for providing a Lions 360 experience for the visitors and this allows the visitors to get within clawing distance from the big cats.
Port Noarlunga Reef Aquatic Reserve
Port Noarlunga Reef Aquatic Reserve is South Australia’s most intensively used and best known aquatic reserve, with more than 170 000 visitors each year involved in a wide range of aquatic activities. (this fantastic reserve is only 15 minutes’ drive from Bellevue)
This unique area is home to more than 200 species of marine plants and animals, and more than 50 species of fish.
Port Noarlunga Reef provides an easy access point for scuba divers and snorkelers to view and experience a temperate reef system. It is also a focus for scuba diving training in South Australia and over a thousand divers visit the reef each summer.
The reef is a narrow strip of hard flat rock which sits like the top of a T at the end of the Port Noarlunga Jetty, acting as a barrier between the open sea and the beach, which provides a certain amount of wave protection at low tide. Access is via a set of stairs, and a short swim across to the reef. There are fish everywhere immediately, and has in places a nice amount of sea vegetation, especially at the outer extremities. The seaward side is very pretty, but can have a bit of swell with any water movement.
The underwater trail consists of 12 underwater markers containing information about the reef and what you can see. 7 markers are placed on the inside (beach side) of the reef, number 8 is in the “Gap” and 4 further markers can be viewed on the outside (sea side) of the reef.
The best access to the reef is via the 3rd set of steps (furthest from shore) along the jetty. As the jetty is approximately 300m long a trolley is recommended for Scuba Divers to carry your equipment. Take a lock to secure your trolley on the Jetty! Don’t have any gear? Never fear all is available from the Elite Dive Academy (for diving or snorkelling)
Cleland Wildlife Park
For an intimate experience, take an exclusive Indulgence Night Walk at @clelandwildlifepark (just 50 minutes away from Bellevue B&B via Stirling & Crafers).
This tour is ideally designed for two people as the team at the park can tailor a package based on what you want to see and do.
The tour starts with a glass of South Australian wine or beer and a platter of Adelaide Hills cheeses, dips and smallgoods.
Then you’ll head off with your guide to explore the areas of the park you’re interested in.
Cleland certainly comes alive after dark as potoroos, bettongs and bandicoots forage for food, bats wake from their daytime slumber, and wild possums come searching for fun. The park resonates with the sounds of nocturnal animals.
The night walk finishes up at the Ocean to Outback Centre, where you will get up close and personal with one of the nocturnal animals and have your photo professionally taken holding the animal. At the end of the tour you can relax with a hot beverage and locally made chocolates or cake. And just remember people it is NIGHT TIME so wrap up warmly so that you enjoy the experience!