Victor Harbor, South Australia

Victor Harbor

Victor Harbor has been a seaside holiday destination for over 100 years. It advertises itself as being less than an hour from Adelaide, I would add 'depending on what part of Adelaide you live in!' It's a popular spot for holiday makers during the summer, especially during a heat wave, it can be 10 degrees cooler in Victor Harbor than in Adelaide.

Looking down into Victor Harbor, the Norfolk Pines in the distance is the town centre with the causeway to Granite Island, the bump behind the trees is called 'The Bluff'. The town was originally called Port Victor as for a time it was a port for goods being transported from inland down the Murray River. In the 1920s the name was changed to Victor Harbor, but the Surveyor-General made a spelling mistake. Australians use British English spelling so it should have been 'Victor Harbour' and the train station has that spelling. The town name kept the misspelling, confusing people ever since!

Encounter Bay with The Bluff at the head of it. Encounter Bay was so named as it's the place where in 1802 (so before European settlement in South Australia) Matthew Flinders, who was mapping the continent for Britain, and Nicolas Baudin, who was mapping the continent for France, met to exchange notes, even though technically their countries were at war. Now it's a popular place to own a holiday home to spend your summers in! The Bluff was the location of the first whaling station, whale oil being the first export of the new colony.

The whale fountain in the town centre, one of my favourite pieces of outdoor sculpture.

The Whale Centre housed in one of the old warehouses. Victor Harbor had been a whaling station as the Southern Right Whale would come and calve in the warmer waters along the southern coast during the winter. The Southern Right Whale were called 'the right whale' as they floated when they were harpooned so making them the right whale to hunt. (I've visited the Whale Centre!) Now the whale numbers have been built up and the whales still come to calve and it's possible to go whale watching during the winter months.

There's a small island just off the coast of Victor Harbor, called Granite Island, a jetty was built there as well as a whaling station. In the 1860s a causeway was built to the island and horse drawn trams were used to bring cargo and later people across to the island. Now it's a fun thing to do on a visit, catch the heritage tram and walk around the island, there are walking paths for visitors to use. It's also used as a standard joke among people who don't travel that much "I've been overseas, I've been to Granite Island"! 

The tram going back into Victor.

The trams are pulled by clydesdale horses, it seems there's a rotating set of 3, as 2 were in the pen next to the terminus.

Victor Harbor has a very English holiday at the seaside vibe about it, just one major difference, no donkey rides here. But there are camel rides!