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Articles Adelaide’s best beaches
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Discover Adelaide's best beaches

adelaides best beaches

Bathers, towel and sunscreen? Check. Thongs? Well, of course. Let’s go – the beach is waiting!

While some may still think of SA as the City of Churches, we know better – South Australia’s beaches are one of our best-kept secrets. We’ve done a little research and found six of the best places to sink your toes in sand this summer.

Moana – the all-rounder

Drive from CBD: 40kms
Beachsafe info

Moana Beach is perfect for your next family day trip. The compacted sand is ideal for sandcastles and Moana’s waves are perfect for little ones to boogie board and body surf. One of the few Adelaide beaches where you can drive right on to the sand (on the southern side) and set up shade next to the car – heaven!

There’s a grassed area on the esplanade, shaded seating, barbecue facilities, a surf club and plenty of spots for lunch. Want to stay for the weekend? Moana Beach Tourist Park is right next door with caravanning and camping facilities.

Myponga Beach – oh, the serenity

Drive from CBD: 68kms
Beachsafe info

Myponga Beach lies in a small valley carved by Myponga Creek and is great for lovers of the great outdoors. This beach spot is secluded and dramatic – surrounded by wetlands and wide grassy areas perfect to pitch a tent.

The old jetties still stand in the grey sands and are great for shade and exploration. Enjoy safe swimming, majestic walks as well as fantastic fishing from the beach, rocks and the river – and the serenity.

Pop into Myponga, just 15 minutes drive away, for plenty of eatery options, but the Country Picnic Bakery comes highly recommended.

Normanville Beach – the family-friendly road trip

Drive from CBD: 76kms
Beachsafe info

One of South Australia’s favourite family-friendly beaches, Normanville on our southern Fleurieu Peninsula is a winner. Running along the coast for just over 7kms, this is a relatively flat, sandy beach that’s ideal for boating, fishing from the little jetty, swimming and long walks. The sheltered bay is also very popular for riding stand-up paddleboards and kayaks.

There’s plenty of grass to take a break from the sand and eat your packed lunch. If you feel like a treat, Normanville Kiosk and Café is a popular spot for a leisurely breakfast overlooking the sea – and the pastries at Normanville Bakery are hard to resist!

Second Valley – pristine and picturesque

Drive from CBD: 91kms
Beachsafe info

Sheltered in a valley amongst farming lands, Second Valley is one of Adelaide’s smallest yet most significant beaches. This area earned its name from Colonel William Light, quite simply because it was the second valley he had seen on the Peninsula. It’s also made the grade on the definitive list of 101 Australia’s Best Beaches http://www.101bestbeaches.com

It’s a picturesque little spot; the small car park leads to a rock jetty, with two small beaches to either side. You’ll love the gorgeous aqua waters, white sand and plentiful rocky areas for the kids to explore. Surrounded by scenes of cattle on the hillside, and if you’re lucky, a glimpse of Kangaroo Island in the distance, a trip to Second Valley really makes you feel like you’ve left it all behind.

Christies Beach – surf’s up!

Drive from CBD: 26kms
Beachsafe info

One of South Australia’s most popular surf beaches and an ever-popular seaside suburb, Christies Beach is a surfing and body boarding hotspot, but still perfect for families, as swells rarely get too rough. Take your snorkeling gear – the long boardwalk leads to a reef that’s popular all year-round.

Unlike some other popular beaches, this strip of sand is less likely to be crowded. If you’re having trouble coaxing everyone out of the water, the irresistible aroma of fish and chips should help – you’ll be spoilt for choice when it’s time for lunch (or early dinner), with plenty of dining options within walking distance.

Glenelg Beach – the sentimental favourite

Drive from CBD: 10kms (just take the tram!)
Beachsafe info

Last but not least, we can’t go past Glenelg, right at the end of the tramline from the city. Safe for swimming, great for beach sports like volleyball and cricket and plenty of grassed areas to eat your fish and chips.

A stroll along the foreshore and a walk on the jetty is an essential part of your Glenelg experience and during the summer, there are countless events and activities at this much-loved beachside destination. Add in Jetty Road’s cosmopolitan strip of cafes, restaurants and boutiques within walking distance and there really is something for everyone at Glenelg!

With summer well and truly upon us, a beach outing is a great way to entertain the whole family in the last days of the school holidays but always remember – safety first. Although our beaches are beautiful, some can conceal hidden dangers. Follow the advice on beach entrance signs. Strong rips and currents can carry even the most experienced swimmers out to sea. Always swim within the flags where lifesavers are on duty and don’t stand too close to unfenced cliff edges.

Member recommendations

Penneshaw Beach, Kangaroo Island

Drive from CBD: 127 km (but you’ll need to hop on a ferry!)
Beachsafe info

My vote is for Penneshaw Beach, Kangaroo Island.

Safe for kids and faces to the east – so no sun in your eyes during sunset!

Chris Trethewey