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With over 3,000 miles of coastline to explore and thousands of pristine beaches to discover, it’s hard to know where to start when it comes to Adelaide and South Australia’s seaside. Out of all the city beaches – and ones in South Australia’s other stunning regions – these are guaranteed to make your Instagram followers green with envy.
Vivonne Bay – Kangaroo Island
After driving up a red dirt track and following the signs for a jetty, you’ll be met by the sparkling blue water and curved white sand beach of Vivonne Bay. The smooth, clear and calm waters around the jetty, boat ramp and shallows of Harriet River are safe for swimming. Although it’s one of the most beautiful beaches on Kangaroo Island, it’s never too crowded – even during the peak summer season, you might be one of just a few on this secluded beach.
Baird Bay – Eyre Peninsula
This 3000 hectare bay is positively teeming with wildlife. The calm waters are ideal for canoe fishing, but one of the best experiences is an eco-tour of the bay. These tours give you the chance to swim and play with the inquisitive sea lions and bottlenose dolphins who frolic in the crystal clear waters. Just remember to pack an underwater phone case to capture the moment for social media.
Glenelg Beach – Adelaide
One of Adelaide’s best city beaches, Glenelg, is less than half an hour from downtown Adelaide by tram. The long sandy beach, calm turquoise waters and truly breathtaking sunsets are Instagrammable themselves, and when you step away from the water you’ll find plenty of cute indie boutiques, restaurants and coffee shops to pack your grid with envy-inducing shots.
Port Willunga Beach – Fleurieu Peninsula
Golden cliffs, soft white sands and crystal waters – it’s no wonder that Port Willunga Beach is one of the most photographed beaches on the Fleurieu Peninsula. It’s packed with history too. Look out for ‘the sticks’ – the remains of a jetty from the town’s days as a grain port – and the old fisherman’s caves. Once used to store boats, they make an ideal shelter from the sun. At low tide you might be able to spot the wreck of the Star of Greece boat – which wrecked in the bay back in 1888.
Greenly Beach – Eyre Peninsula
What makes this rugged beach most Instagrammable is the backdrop, with the peak of Mount Greenly sloping down to the sand dunes backing onto the shore. That and the incredible rock pools on the left-hand side of the beach. During low tide they fill with calm, clear waters making them ideal for a relaxing swim. Over on the beach itself, waves can get as high as 1 metre – so bring your surfboard!
Brighton Beach – Adelaide
Charming Brighton is another popular beach, with calm waters that are perfect for swimming and paddleboarding. Snap a shot of local fisherman throwing their lines off the jetty. After a bit of sunbathing on the soft white sand, take a stroll down Jetty Road. The quirky gift shops, quaint ice cream parlours and art deco Windsor Theatre are all utterly picturesque.
Moana Beach – Fleurieu Peninsula
You can drive your car straight onto the wide golden sands of Moana beach, which is less than an hour south of Adelaide. Still, the peaceful coastal reserve feels miles away from civilisation – arrive early enough and you’ll only have seagulls and the occasional kangaroo for company. A popular spot for surfers and body-boarders, it’s safe to swim here during the summer and there’s great snorkelling too.
Weirs Cove – Kangaroo Island
The hiking trail to Weirs Cove in Flinders Chase National Park is packed with incredible coastal scenery. At 2.8km total it only takes around an hour to complete. Starting from the Cape du Couedic Lighthouse, the route goes all the way to the jetty where supplies where once brought in and then winched up the dramatic cliffs which back onto the bay. During the hike you’ll catch a glimpse of the famous remarkable rocks – a cluster of uniquely shaped granite boulders perched above the sea.
Second Valley – Fleurieu Peninsula
The beach may be small, but the real magic of Second Valley happens in the water. The bay is especially popular with scuba divers, who come face to face with playful fur seals and get the chance to spot leafy sea dragons – a type of sea horse unique to this part of Australia. There are two small sea caves to explore at the base of the cliffs, and a few easy swim-throughs. If you don’t want to go underwater, it’s also ideal for snorkelling and sea kayaking.
Semaphore Beach – Adelaide
Backed by low dunes and blessed with pure white sand, you’ll feel like you’re miles from anywhere when you lounge on Semaphore Beach. But it’s just 15km from Central Adelaide and has its own little centre along Semaphore Road. One of Australia’s widest boulevards, it has some great Art Deco buildings and plenty of quirky cafés and gift shops to pop into if you fancy a break from splashing in the shallows.
There are literally thousands of beaches to explore on the Fleurieu and Eyre Peninsulas, as well as some hidden gems in Adelaide’s suburbs. So pack your swimmers, hop in your car and get ‘gramming!
For further info on all things South Australia head over to southaustralia.com