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The Best Beaches in South Australia for Fun Days in the Sun

Discover the finest beaches of South Australia for the ultimate coastal road trip.


 

Almonta Beach - Sarah Byden
Almonta Beach - Sarah Byden

When it comes to beaches in South Australia, they're nothing short of paradise with glistening waters, white sandy shores and native wildlife. Some perfect for ocean swimming while others are teeming with marine life. And the closer you get to Adelaide the more the beaches take on a different feel with a seaside vibrancy that lingers year-round; sidewalk cafes, playgrounds, picnic facilities and long jetty's that jut out, perfect for fishing. There's no denying, South Australia truly knows how to spoil us when it comes to surf, sun and sand. 

Best Beaches in Adelaide

Glenelg Beach - Josie Withers
Glenelg Beach - Josie Withers
Glenelg Beach

One of Adelaide's most popular beachside locations, Glenelg turns on the charm with its pristine beach, sidewalk cafes and casual, laid-back vibe. Glenelg feels more like a holiday destination than a suburb of Adelaide, with the beach itself perfect for swimming, sailing, kayaking, windsurfing and snorkelling.

Henley Beach

Another seaside suburb of Adelaide, Henley Beach is a pristine stretch of coast, while onshore, the vibrant café scene is abuzz with activity. Although a lot is going on, the beach itself has a laid-back holiday feel. It's a popular swimming spot, and the beach is also great for stand-up paddleboarding and kite surfing, while the jetty is best for fishing.

Brighton Beach - Jason Pascoe
Brighton Beach - Jason Pascoe
Brighton Beach

Sitting south of Glenelg, Brighton Beach holds its own along this string of beaches as the spot to go open water swimming. On windy days, a swell can form, and surfers can be seen bopping in the water vying for the perfect wave. There are plenty of cafes and eateries nearby to grab a quick bite, and the foreshore walk and jetty are perfect for strolling. 

Port Noarlunga - Jake Wundersitz
Port Noarlunga - Jake Wundersitz
Port Noarlunga

From Christies Beach to Moana Beach, this beautiful stretch of sand with red sandstone beach cliffs is one of the best beaches in Adelaide. A safe swimming spot, Port Noarlunga's long jetty and reefs also make this area an iconic diving destination. Off-shore, Port Noarlunga Reef and aquatic reserve is part of the Encounter Marine Park, which is a diver's and snorkeler's wonderland. 

Silver Sands - Isaac Forman
Silver Sands - Isaac Forman
Silver Sands - Aldinga Beach

When you want a change of pace to the wineries of McLaren Vale, duck over to Silver Sands Beach where you can drive onto the sand, and swim or surf to your heart's content. Although this alone is enough to make Silver Sands one of the best beaches in Adelaide, the views along the coastal walk and the convenience of Aldinga for a bite to eat makes beach days here a breeze. 

Maslin Beach - Jason Pasco
Maslin Beach - Jason Pasco
Maslin Beach

Just north of Aldinga, Maslin Beach is a beautiful seaside spot. Known locally as Maslins, the high cliffs near Blanche Point is a perfect picnic area, while at the southern end of the 3km stretch is Australia's first legal nudist beach with designated areas reserved for nude bathing. Fun fact, the annual Pilwarren Maslin Beach Nude Games are held here. Nude swimming aside, this is a perfect beachside setting.

Semaphore Beach - Gabrielle Walsh
Semaphore Beach - Gabrielle Walsh
Semaphore Beach

This family-friendly beach is just as much for swimmers as it is for kite-surfers and windsurfers. Sitting north of Adelaide, this seaside destination is a summertime destination. White sandy beach, expansive lawn foreshore and fun park-style activities, including a steam train during the summer months. It really does tick every box to be one of the best beaches in Adelaide.  

Best Beaches in South Australia

Memory Cove - Samantha Lodge
Memory Cove - Samantha Lodge
Memory Cove, Eyre Peninsula

This slice of paradise at the tip of Lincoln National Park is an hour and a half drive from Port Lincoln. It is absolutely mesmerising with its turquoise water, white sandy beaches and native bushland that's teeming with wildlife. Drive right onto the beach or set up camp for the night at the shady beachfront campsite. 

Vivonne Bay - Jess Caldwell
Vivonne Bay - Jess Caldwell
Vivonne Bay, Kangaroo Island

Seemingly world's away, yet so close, Vivonne Bay is reminiscent of a tropical beach. All six kilometres of the white sandy shores has been named one of Australia's best beaches, and rightfully so with its pristine waters and white sandy shores. With a jetty framing the south end and dunes to the north, this is the perfect spot for swimming, fishing and wildlife spotting. 

Waitpinga Beach - Jesse Ehlers
Waitpinga Beach - Jesse Ehlers
Waitpinga Beach, Fleurieu Peninsula

Sitting west of Victor Harbour, and off the well-beaten path is Waitpinga Beach, a popular surfing beach thanks to its beach breaks that can hold up to three-metre high waves. It's one for experienced surfers only, and with its dunes and conservation area shrouding this beach in natural beauty, this is one pretty spot for ocean fishing. 

Dolphin Bay - Callum Jackson
Dolphin Bay - Callum Jackson
Dolphin Bay, Yorke Peninsula

Tucked away on the southern tip of Yorke Peninsula in Innes National Park, this 800-metre long stretch of sand and glistening waters is a dreamy beach in South Australia to escape to. Considered one of the safest spots for a swim on the peninsula, here you can spend your days lazing on the shore while spotting playful dolphins in the water and friendly kangaroos on land.  

Almonta Beach - Sarah Byden
Almonta Beach - Sarah Byden
Almonta Beach, Eyre Peninsula

Located along the southern tip of the Eyre Peninsula in Coffin Bay National Park, Almonta Beach is where sandy dunes meet pristine waters. Bordering the beach is bushland, a playground for local wildlife – kangaroos, emus and goannas are just some of what can be spotted here. During low tide, a lagoon forms with rock pools, and for those who love freshly plucked oysters Coffin Bay Oyster Farm runs tours.   

Second Valley - Wanida Raksakaew
Second Valley - Wanida Raksakaew
Second Valley Beach, Fleurieu Peninsula

One of South Australia's most Instagrammed beaches, Second Valley has it all – swimming, jetty fishing, kayaking, snorkelling and scuba diving. Plus, the cliffs are a playground for heart-thumping cliff jumps. For those who like to relax along the shore, you will be in for a treat with incredible coastal views. There's no doubt that this is one of the best beaches in South Australia.

Horseshoe Bay Jetty (Credit: Jesse Ehlers)
Horseshoe Bay Jetty (Credit: Jesse Ehlers)
Horseshoe Bay, Fleurieu Peninsula

Just on the edge of Port Elliot, it doesn't get more family-friendly than this. Horseshoe Bay is not only a great swimming, snorkelling and diving beach, but it also has a playground, picnic facilities and a fish n' chips shop only steps away. Locals also love to swim out to the pontoon, where you will find more marine life, and there is a coastal walk, perfect for whale watching. 


From dreamy seaside suburbs to remote beaches tucked away in national parks, the beaches of South Australia will make you feel like you are in a tropical paradise. Keep discovering South Australia's gems with our edit of the dreamiest getaways in Kangaroo Island, and the best events in SA to entertain the whole family.