Lying 10km inland from its Gulf St Vincent namesake, Port Willunga, Willunga is a small town at the centre of country supporting vineyards, wheat and mixed farms and almond orchards. The Fleurieu Peninsula port was the second established in the state after Adelaide and its rich history is mirrored in some fine old buildings.
Among the more interesting buildings are the cottages built by the slate miners who flowed into the area in the mid 19th century to work the local quarries. The bell in St Stephen's Church is reputed to have been originally cast during the reign of Elizabeth I. The bell was damaged during the course of time and purists claim the repairs have left it with a flat tone.
The Ross Roses Display Garden in St Andrews Terrace attracts many rose fanciers to Willunga. The garden shows more than 1000 different varieties, including 600 ‘old world’ species of roses, and its experts are forever producing new hybrids. The 6ha garden is at its showy best from mid-October to late December and from mid-March through to June.