Granite island activities large
Granite island activities large

5 things to do on South Australia’s Granite Island

08 Jul. 2024 3 min read

If you’re looking for a fun, family day out close to Adelaide, why not visit Granite Island.

Granite Island has long been a popular day-trip destination because of its close proximity to Adelaide – just an 85 km drive.

But what may have changed since you last visited is the number of activities the island has to offer.

Here are five things that will keep you busy:

1. Riding the horse-drawn tram

Start your day with a ride on the historic Horse Drawn Tram across The Causeway to Granite Island.

The tramway is one of the few remaining horse-drawn tram routes still operating around the world. So why not climb up and relax on board one of the double-decker tramcars, while a team of magnificent Clydesdale horses haul you across the 630-metre causeway.

The Tramway operates every day, except for Christmas Day (weather permitting).

5 things to do on South Australia’s Granite Island

2. Whale watching

The annual migration of southern right and humpback whales to SA waters occurs during the cooler months. Generally, SA whale migration starts in May and finishes in October, with frequent sightings of these giants of the deep occurring between June and September.

Now is a perfect time to look out for southern right whalesraising their young along the Fleurieu coastline, as Encounter Bay becomes a whale nursery at this time of year.

Top tip: Before you head out, check out the whale sighting log. And most importantly, don’t forget your binoculars!

5 things to do on South Australia’s Granite Island
(Image courtesy of F Christiansen, Murdoch University Cetacean Research Unit)

The Encounter Marine Park in Victor Harbor is one of the more popular places in the state for whale-watching. Check out our whale-watching story for more details about other spots in SA to see them.

For up-to-date information on whale sightings in the Fleurieu region, make sure you call into the SA Whale Centre at Victor Harbor where you can immerse yourself in an underwater world and learn all about the history of whaling in the region.

The centre also has a Junior Whale Spotter Program to teach kids how to observe and identify different whale species that visit our coastline.

3. Hiking around the island

The 2.9 km Kaiki Walking Trail leads you on a journey around Granite Island Recreation Park where you’ll see unusual granite formations, crashing waves, and stunning panoramic views from elevated platforms.

4. Go birdwatching

How many dif­fer­ent vari­eties of birds you can spot on the island?

You might be lucky enough to spot Nankeen Kestrels hovering over grassland, Little Ravens, Pelicans and Silver Gulls.

But remember, be a responsible birdwatcher – the bird’s welfare must come first. So look after their habitat, keep your distance and respect other birdwatchers.

5. Visit the Island Café

The Gran­ite Island Recre­ation Park café is open dai­ly. Enjoy a leisurely walk to Granite Island and stay for lunch or a coffee before exploring the beautiful island.

Seat­ing is avail­able with­in the café with a range of local­ly sourced pas­tries, sand­wich­es and snacks on offer. Enjoy a fresh­ly roast­ed cof­fee and soak up the stun­ning oceans views as you look across the Vic­tor Har­bour foreshore.

On a warm day the grass area in front of the café is per­fect for kids, with dol­phins and sea lions often mak­ing an appear­ance in the distance.

5 things to do on South Australia’s Granite Island

Park of the Month

Throughout July, Marine Parks are being celebrated as the National Parks and Wildlife Service South Australia’s Park of the Month. There are lots of events and activities to get involved in – check the website for all the details.


Fill out the form below and we'll send you Good Living inspiration straight to your inbox