23 Nov 2021
There was a time when Australians from the eastern states might not have considered South Australian beaches worthy of their ‘must-do’ list.
Today that opinion has changed, as word has spread of SA’s seriously amazing coastline.
From epic stretches of vacant white sand to crystal-clear water and idyllic caves, it's no longer a question of 'if' but 'when' you'll visit these incredible locations.
To inspire you to start clearing the calendar and packing the sunscreen, check out a few of South Australia’s Best Beaches you might not have heard of!
Vivonne Bay, Kangaroo Island
Previously voted Australia’s best beach, this one keeps coming up in all the best of lists! Hardly a surprise when you look at its crystal-clear water and white sandy shore, which should fulfill all your tropical island fantasies!
Popular with KI locals for a quick dip, a spot of fishing or as a romantic picnic spot, watch out for a population of dolphins, who also love its pristine waters.
Memory Cove, Eyre Peninsula
The Eyre Peninsula might take some getting to, but once you’re there, its seemingly endless coastline throws up some of the state's most stunning beaches. Memory Cove is a case in point, with jaw-droppingly beautiful water and white sand that will have you wondering what took you so long to start driving here.
Just an hour and a half from Lincoln National Park, you can even take your car on the sand here. We recommend picking a nice shady spot to take your time amongst this idyllic slice of Australia. Kangaroos often come down to say hello, so don’t expect to be completely alone!
Hardwicke Bay, Yorke Peninsula
A popular holiday spot for South Australians, ‘YP’ is brimming with beaches that offer solitude and sun away from the crowds. Hardwicke Bay has miles of picturesque white sand to choose from, and its shallow blue waters make it ideal for families. Located on the Spencer Gulf side of the peninsula, the sheltered nature of the bay means it's a calm, family-friendly spot to while away the hours in paradise.
Second Valley Beach, Fleurieu Peninsula
Break out your camera-phone, this is one of SA’s most instagrammable locations for a reason!
At only 100 metres long (give or take a few) Second Valley beach is tiny by SA standards. Surrounded by steep cliffs on both sides, its rocky outcrops and tidal rock pools will not only keep kids entertained, but adults too. A popular spot for Stand-Up-Paddle boarders and those who love to kayak, stunning views stretch out in both directions. Look out for thrill-seekers who have been known to take the daring plunge from the cliffs into the aqua blue waters below!
Henley Beach, Adelaide Metro
At just 20 minutes from the CBD on Adelaide’s underrated metropolitan coastline, Henley Beach delivers mellow vibes, clear waters and calm sands for families and sunbathers to enjoy. The suburb of Henley is a popular drawcard itself, with upscale cafes and well regarded eateries and pubs lining the main street and esplanade. Joggers and cyclists love nothing more than to end their effort at Henley Square with a swim, coffee and gourmet breakfast or brunch.
Salmon Hole, Limestone Coast
This is a swimming sanctuary for all manner of beachlover just minutes from the beautiful seaside town of Beachport on SA’s Limestone Coast. Sparkling waters lap at your feet and the softest of white sand beckons you to stay longer. Another small beach by SA standards at just 600 metres long, Salmon Hole is sheltered by a reef which results in a calm lagoon perfect for swimming, snorkelling and maybe even a spot of fishing! You’ll have to drag yourself away.
Dolphin Beach, Yorke Peninsula
On the southern tip of Yorke Peninsula, 800 metres of unspoilt sand blends with the calmest of turquoise waters and in front of dramatic, rugged cliffs. Easy to swim for the youngest members of your tribe, this picturesque bay is highly sought after on one of SA’s perfect sunny days, but that doesn't mean you won't still feel like you’ve got it all to yourself. Spend hours lazing in the sand and look out for dolphins who frequently play in its idyllic waters.
Port Willunga, Fleurieu Peninsula
Another of SA’s social media favourites, the love affair here goes way deeper than any instagram like. Shimmering waters that play off its iconic jetty remains and steep sandy cliffs that change colour make Port Willunga a ‘next-level’ scenic spot that South Australians keep coming back to.
Also known for the cliff on which the Star of Greece restaurant sits, offering impeccable views, Port Willunga Beach is one of SA’s ‘places to be’ on any given long summer day. The perfect location to paddle out, take a swim and watch the sun go down.
Almonta Beach, Eyre Peninsula
Yet another jewel in the crown of the Eyre Peninsula’s glorious array of beach paradises, the azure waters of Almonta Beach will have you believing that the Greek gods were born in South Australian waters.
Situated in the stunning Coffin Bay National Park, world class sand dunes surround this relaxing swimmers paradise. Friendly locals you’re likely to encounter include a local population of emus, goannas and a wide variety of local birdlife, while further afield, Coffin Bay Oyster Farm Tours operate an extremely popular working oyster farm where you’ll be served the freshest of oysters plucked from nearby waters. This is a must-do for locals and anyone arriving from interstate!
Carrickalinga Beach, Fleurieu Peninsula
Another family favourite destination, Carrickalinga Beach on South Australia’s Fleurieu Peninsula has long been a drawcard for its calm shallow waters, abundant sand dunes and gently lapping waves.
Popular as a spot to camp and launch boats, Carrickalinga is another underrated spot that would likely be packed if it lived in the eastern states. Although there isn’t much in the way of a cafe or pub scene, the nearby town of Normanville offers more than enough chances to fill up, including at the kiosk, which is right on the sand!