We went to Granite Island on a day trip from the city of Adelaide, South Australia. It’s a beautiful rocky island, next to Victor Harbor, accessible via a causeway to the mainland. You can cross to the island on foot, or if you’d rather, take the antique tram which is rather uniquely, pulled by a Clydesdale horse.
This tram service operates everyday throughout the year, except Christmas day – however it did not seem to be running at all on the day we went, despite the horses being there in their pens. It may have been due to the extreme heat, which was understandable, however we still crossed over to the island on foot to explore. The water surrounding Victor Harbor is a refreshing shade of turquoise in parts, which would make even a land lubber like me tempted to go for a swim.
There is much to discover on the island in the form of “Sculpture Encounters,” a permanent art trail with work from artists from all over South Australia and the rest of the world. It’s a growing collection, with sculptures being added every six months or so, so there will always be something new to see for those visiting. We didn’t know about the art trail when we arrived at the island so it was a pleasant surprise for us to keep stumbling across the different pieces as we walked around the island loop. This takes you around the outside of the island, making the sculptures quite easy to find. There are also heaps of fantastic photo opportunities, not just involving the sculptures but the natural rock of the island itself.
The island is also supposedly home to a declining penguin population that has struggled over the years due to seal predation and over fishing. There used to be a Granite Island Penguin Centre that sadly closed in 2016 due to the owners retirement. This centre cared for and nursed back to health many sick and injured birds, and was open to the public to go and view the current residents.
A little tip for visiting the island which you’d assume to be common sense (but as usual, I forgot), is to bring your suncream and a hat. You don’t realise you’re getting burnt with that glorious sea breeze and there isn’t much shade to sit down in!
After exploring the island, we parked up on the mainland beach for the afternoon and enjoyed the water. It was amazingly quiet for such a beautiful location and we had most of the beach to ourselves for the rest of the day. The causeway also offered a long stretch of shade to sit beneath when it got too hot.
We finished our day with a trip to a local takeaway place in Victor Harbor, and enjoyed some Asian food on the grassy area by the sea. This place also sold pots of crispy dried, fried noodles which were amazing as a snack and made me question why I’d never thought of doing that with noodles before!
If you’d like more information on the sculpture trail on Granite Island, you can find out about it here.