Phone: 0417 084 003

History & Attractions


The Bay gets its name from the encounter on 8 April 1802 between the sailing ships of the English sailor Matthew Flinders and the French sailor Nicholas Baudin, both were charting the South Australian coastline, working from opposite directions.

Encounter Bay is also significant as the home of shore based whaling stations operated by the South Australian Colony. Two whaling stations were set up in 1837. Captain Blenkinsop's on the mainland and later on Granite Island was first, the second managed by Samuel Stephens at Rosetta Head.


  • Boat ramp, with public access, less than 1 kilometre away.
  • 7 Golf courses nearby;
  • Victor Harbor golf club - 5km., Mc Cracken Country Golf Club - 11.5km., South Lakes Golf Club (at Goolwa) - 26km., Fleurieu Golf Course (at Mt Compass) - 32km. Links Lady Bay Golf Course - 33km., Willunga Golf Club - 43km., Wirrina Resort Golf Course - 48km.
  • Dunes Mini Golf Park for junior golfers at the causeway to Granite Island.
  • 4 Restaurants and cafes within easy walking distance: 1km south “Eat at Whalers” restaurant on the Bluff for lunch, dinner, sunset drinks on the balcony. 1km north for breakfast at the “Yilki Café”, lunch at “Pa’s Fish Shop”, dinner at the popular “Beach House Café” which often has live music.
  •  3 Local Markets:Victor Harbor Farmers Market (every Saturday morning). Victor Harbor Country Market (every 2nd & 4th Sunday). Goolwa Wharf Market (every 1st & 3rd Sunday).
  •  Walking trails are nearby on the Bluff, to Petrel Cove and Kings Beach.
  • Encounter Bikeway” a 29 kilometre vehicle free beach edge walking & bike track along the spectacular south coast sea-front from Encounter Bay to Laffin point at Goolwa.
  •  Walk on the “Heysen Trail”, part of which links Waitpinga Beach and Victor Harbor.
  •  Walk the “Heritage Trail” which runs from Kent Reserve at Encounter Bay to Kings Beach Road.
  •  Horse Tram runs from Victor Harbor to Granite Island & return.
  •  Steam Ranger Cockle train runs from Victor Harbor to Goolwa & return.
  •  Beach Camel rides at Victor Harbor near the causeway.
  •  Whale watching (during winter months) at the Bluff and at the viewing centre at Pt. Elliot.
  •  The “The Big Duck Boat Tours Victor Harbor” around the islands from Victor Harbor causeway.
  •  Surfing at Boomer Beach, Waitpinga Beach & Petrel Cove.
  •  Beach fishing at Waitpinga and Parsons Beaches.
  •  Cockle (pippies) collecting on beaches from Middleton to Goolwa.
  •  Murray mouth tours by 4WD vehicle from Goolwa Beach to the mouth of the Murray River.
  •  Wine tastings and cheese making.
  •  Visit galleries.
  •  Sailing, wind surfing, canoeing, snorkelling and jet skiing.


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