A Winter Minibreak on the Fleurieu Peninsula

My fiancé Micah and I recently took a short local holiday on SA's absolutely stunning Fleurieu Peninsula. Basing ourselves in a small beach town, Normanville, we spent our time soaking up the amazing weather we were so lucky to get, fresh air, food and wine and beautiful hikes along the sea cliffs and in the coastal scrub.
Hiking highlights : 
Deep Creek Conservation Park - this is an epic and stunning park that at this time of year was abundantly green and lush, set against a blue sky and ocean it was truly idyllic. We just did a short but VERY steep hike down Deep Creek Cove - not recommended if you have knee or ankle trouble, or aren't able to do some rock scrambling!!! Lots of Kangaroos here, so cute! 
Newland Head Conservation Park : Waitpinga Beach
We did a 8.5km loop hike here with 1/3 of it along the ocean cliffs, this was a highlight of the trip for me. I love to walk in nature, it really soothes my mind as I'm a bit of an anxious introvert and let's be honest, 2020 has not been ideal for anyone's mental health. I love this quote from Alain de Botton re: nature and our minds : 

“Nature puts us all in our places. Being made to feel small isn't something we welcome when it's done to us by another person, but to be apprised of our essential nothingness by something so much greater than ourselves is in no sense humiliating. Our egos, exhaustingly aware of every slight they receive and prone relentlessly to compare their advantages with those enjoyed by others, may even be relieved to find themselves finally humbled by forces so much more powerful than any human being could ever muster.”

― Alain de Botton, The News: A User's Manual ( I recommend this book!)

Beach Loveliness : 

Our accommodation was right behind the sand dunes at Normanville beach - we enjoyed some stunning sunsets, morning sun and dolphin sightings 

I find footprints on the sand so sweet - I love to note the different sized dog paw prints and imagine their happy little faces. 

EATING AND DRINKING - always a highlight!

Hands-down the most wonderful restaurant we went to was Leonards Mill in Second Valley. We had a lunch degustation and it was just incredible. We had a vegan friend along with us and although our meals were amazing, we were actually envious of his food - it was the most delicious and creative vegan food I have ever seen and really showed how much the chefs there care about food and the customer experience. Wait staff were super fun and friendly with great banter and excellent wine recommendations, they were faultless, even concocting a vegan whiskey sour for our friend using chickpea water, it was delicious! 

I believe they also have accommodation on site- it was a beautiful old stone mill, lovingly restored in a rustic style. 

We cooked a bit at home and had some take away on other nights, but threw in a nice pub style meal at the Lady Bay Links resort which sits on a hill overlooking the Normanville coast.

^The view from the balcony at Lady Bay Links resort

On our way home passing through McLaren Vale we stopped at one of our favourite under-rated wineries S.C. Pannell. It tends to get lost in the list of trending young wineries, as we have SO many incredible wineries in SA it's not surprising, but it's an amazing location with a vast view of the wine region, delicious wine that's not too old fashioned but still has traditional flavour profiles, a relaxed yet polished vibe and dog friendly. Unfortunately their kitchen remains closed after covid restrictions but we still enjoyed a couple of leisurely reds on the deck in the last of the sunny weather. 

So, apart from the fact that I forgot to bring A SINGLE JACKET OR COAT with me in the middle of winter (!!!), it was a delightful break and just what we needed after a stressful wedding cancellation and a generally weird and disrupted year so far. 

If you're in SA and need a holiday - why not go and support our tourism and hospitality industry, there is so much amazingness to see right in our own backyard. To our friends in other states, when you can - I know you'll find something just as refreshing and beautiful to go and see, hit that reset button. 

Beck xx

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