Don’t worry, we’ll help you: ‘floo-ree-oh’ is how you say it. The Fleurieu Peninsula sweeps south from Adelaide down to Cape Jervis, a coastal playground that has scuppered more than its fair share of ships (divers still gawp at the shipwrecks).

As you’d expect from any self-respecting peninsula, many of the local adventures are water-based: spend your days relaxing on long sandy beaches, admiring the rugged cliff-scapes, discovering hidden coves, fishing, surfing, scuba diving (exploring the reefs and wrecks), snorkelling, sailing, swimming and more. There are characterful little fishing shacks tucked behind beaches and sandy hills, tiny ports with country pubs and fishing jetties and sheltered coves that provide moorings for fishing and sailing.

If you want to carve up the surf, head for the ocean beaches near Port Elliot: Boomer, Knights or Middleton are reliably good. But our favourite spot for a lazy day on the sand is Carrickalinga Beach on the peninsula’s west coast, an unheralded stretch of white sand.

Near quaint seaside Port Elliot, the Crows Nest Lookout offers a bird's-eye view of the town, Goolwa and Middleton, one of South Australia's most magical vistas. It even bagged a cameo appearance in the Clive Owen movie The Boys are Back. For a more sedate panorama, it’s hard to beat a window seat and a cold beer at the Victory Hotel, overlooking the ocean at Sellicks Beach.

You certainly won’t go hungry or thirsty here. Casual beachside restaurants, fish and chipperies, and pizzerias that rival Rome’s dot this picturesque patch of South Australia. You might get the best taste of the region when you least expect it – keep your eyes peeled for local markets and roadside stalls selling bread, jams, relishes, meat and more. The area is also lauded for its wine regions, most notably McLaren Vale – famous for its gutsy shiraz – and Langhorne Creek.

The spectacular coastline attracts some gargantuan visitors. Every year from May to October, migrating Southern Right whales wallow past the Fleurieu Peninsula’s southern coast on their way between Antarctica and their breeding grounds in the Great Australian Bight. Victor Harbor is whale central – home to the South Australian Whale Centre (+61 (0)8 8551 0750) – but you can often catch a free sighting of the hefty mammals beyond the low cliffs at Port Elliot and Middleton.

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