Port Elliot Beach - South Australia

The Best Beaches in South Australia

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South Australia is blessed with an abundance of stunning beaches that are sure to captivate every beach lover’s heart. From pristine white sands to crystal-clear turquoise waters, these beaches offer a perfect blend of natural beauty and tranquillity. Whether you are seeking a relaxing getaway or an adventure-filled experience, South Australia’s beaches have something for everyone. So, grab your sunscreen. Put on your favourite swimsuit. And get ready to explore the best beaches this state has to offer!

Here are South Australia’s best beaches:

1. Glenelg Beach

Located just a short distance from Adelaide, Glenelg Beach is a popular choice for locals and tourists alike. Its lively atmosphere with many events, lined with cafes, restaurants and shops, creates a vibrant beachside scene. Enjoy a refreshing swim in the crystal clear waters. Take a leisurely stroll along the jetty. Explore the adjacent Holdfast Marina. Splash in the waterpark. Or simply relax on the golden sands while soaking up the sun.

Its towering Norfolk pine trees that line the beach make for cool and shady spots in the morning. By the afternoon, the sun creates a gorgeous glow on them. This spot is also perfect for soaking in some of the best sunsets in South Australia.

Check out the Ultimate Guide to Glenelg Beach for Water Lovers for water activities, boat trips, Waterfront dining and Waterview accommodation ideas.

Glenelg Jetty and beach - one of the best beaches in South Australia
It’s not hard to see why Glenelg Beach is one of the best beaches in South Australia!

2. Port Willunga Beach

This hidden gem on the Fleurieu Peninsula boasts striking cliffs, magnificent caves, and the remnants of an old jetty, adding a touch of historical charm to the landscape. Port Willunga Beach is also renowned for its stunning sunsets, so be sure to capture the awe-inspiring hues as the sun dips below the horizon. It’s an ideal spot for romantic walks and memorable moments.

Port Willunga Beach - one of the best beaches in South Australia
Charming Port Willunga Beach from above

3. Vivonne Bay

Situated on Kangaroo Island, Vivonne Bay is often regarded as one of Australia’s best-kept secrets. The unspoiled beauty of this beach is truly unparalleled. Its pristine white sand, azure waters, and surrounding wilderness make it a paradise for nature lovers. Explore the abundant wildlife, go fishing, or simply relax and enjoy the untouched natural splendour.

Vivonne Bay definitely has the ‘wow’ factor

4. Maslin Beach

Known for its stunning cliffs and clear waters, Maslin Beach is a must-visit for those seeking a unique experience. It is famous for being Australia’s first legal nudist beach, offering visitors the chance to embrace their free-spirited side. Even if you prefer to keep your swimsuit on, you can still enjoy the beach’s striking beauty and its gentle waves for a refreshing swim.

If you are looking for a great beach to park your vehicle on the sand, check out nearby Aldinga, Moana, Sellicks and Silver Sands beaches.

Maslin Beach - South of Adelaide - best beaches
Maslin Beach, just south of Adelaide CBD with its gentle waves

5. Semaphore Beach

A family-friendly beach located near Adelaide, Semaphore Beach is perfect for a fun-filled beach day out. The long stretch of sandy shoreline is complemented by an amusement park, a playground, and a vibrant foreshore area with a main street full of shops, cafes and restaurants. Take a dip in the calm waters, build sandcastles with the kids, or enjoy a delightful picnic while relishing the panoramic coastal views.

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6. Port Noarlunga Beach

Port Noarlunga Beach is a paradise for snorkelers and divers with its beautiful reef and rich marine life. The crystal-clear waters provide excellent visibility, allowing you to explore the colourful underwater world teeming with vibrant corals and fish. For those seeking a more relaxed experience, the beach also offers beautiful sunsets and leisurely walks along the jetty.

7. West Beach

Located near Adelaide Airport, West Beach is a favourite among locals for its excellent surf and ideal conditions for windsurfing and kiteboarding. The long sandy beach provides ample space for beach games, sunbathing, and long walks, making it a perfect spot for active pursuits and relaxation.

West Beach Adelaide at sunset - one of the best beaches in South Australia
West Beach has one of the best sunset views in South Australia – Image credit: Trip.com

8. Second Valley

Tucked away on the Fleurieu Peninsula, Second Valley is a hidden Instagrammable gem that offers a secluded and tranquil beach experience. The beach is nestled between rugged cliffs and boasts clear turquoise waters that are perfect for swimming, snorkelling, and kayaking. Explore the rock pools, admire the unique rock formations, or simply unwind on the soft sand while enjoying the peaceful ambience. Second Valley also has a beautiful caravan park, set amongst beautiful shady pine trees, providing a cool breeze and shade in the summer months.

9. Coffin Bay National Park

Located on the Eyre Peninsula, Coffin Bay National Park is home to some of the most pristine beaches in South Australia. With its untouched coastline, dunes, and crystal-clear waters, this beach offers a truly immersive nature experience. Relax on the secluded beaches, go fishing, swim with sea lions or embark on scenic coastal walks to discover the diverse flora and fauna that call this park their home. And if you have a love for oysters, you’ll never want to leave!

If beach camping is your thing, don’t miss the iconic Perlubie Beach, South Australia, 5680, along the western Eyre Peninsula Coast – just north of Coffin Bay National Park. This spot is a must for those with a 4WD and camper in tow, with the best on-beach camping in the whole state.

10. Robe Beach

Nestled in the charming coastal town of Robe, this beach offers a serene and idyllic escape. With its dune-backed shores, Robe Beach is perfect for long walks and picnics amidst breathtaking scenery. The clear blue waters are ideal for swimming, fishing, and even surfing, making it a versatile destination for all water enthusiasts.

Why visit these South Australian Beaches:

Natural Beauty

South Australia’s beaches showcase the state’s natural beauty in all its glory. From breathtaking cliffs to pristine sands, these beaches offer picturesque landscapes that will leave you in awe.

Variety of Activities

Whether you are a thrill-seeker or someone who prefers a more relaxed experience, these beaches cater to all preferences. From swimming and surfing, to snorkelling and wildlife exploration, there is an activity for everyone to enjoy.

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Many beaches are conveniently located near major cities or towns, making them easily accessible for day trips or weekend getaways. You don’t have to venture far to enjoy the beauty of South Australia’s coast.


Several of these beaches, such as Semaphore Beach and West Beach, are family-friendly, offering amenities like playgrounds, picnic areas, and calm waters, ensuring a fun-filled day out for all ages.

Serenity and Seclusion

If you’re seeking a peaceful retreat away from the hustle and bustle, beaches like Second Valley and Coffin Bay National Park provide a tranquil atmosphere, where you can relax and unwind amidst nature’s beauty.

Stunning Sunsets

Many of South Australia’s beaches are well-known for their magical sunsets. Watching the sky ablaze with vibrant colours as the sun sets over the horizon is a truly magical experience not to be missed.

Wildlife Encounters

South Australia’s coastline teems with marine life, offering opportunities for snorkelers and divers to explore colourful reefs and encounter unique underwater creatures. Kangaroo Island, in particular, is famous for its wildlife, including sea lions, penguins, and dolphins.

Food and Dining

Several beaches, like Glenelg Beach and Port Noarlunga Beach are surrounded by a vibrant culinary scene. Indulge in fresh seafood, enjoy a beachside barbecue, or savour a meal at one of the many waterfront restaurants.

Coastal Walks and Scenic Views

Many of these beaches offer coastal walking trails with breathtaking views. Immerse yourself in the coastline’s natural beauty, spot native flora and fauna, and capture Instagram-worthy snapshots along the way.

Local Charm

Each beach has its own unique charm, often complemented by charming coastal towns or vibrant beachside communities. Experience the local culture, interact with friendly locals, and immerse yourself in the relaxed coastal lifestyle that South Australia is known for.

South Australia’s Beaches

South Australia’s beaches are a coastal paradise waiting to be explored. From the lively atmosphere of Glenelg Beach to the secluded beauty of Second Valley, these beaches offer a diverse range of experiences for every beach lover. Whether you seek adventure, relaxation, or simply a connection with nature, these beaches provide the perfect backdrop for unforgettable moments and cherished memories. So pack your bags, put on your sun hat, and get ready to embark on an incredible beach-hopping journey along South Australia’s stunning coastline.

Do you have a best beach in South Australia that you love visiting or have always wanted to? We’d love to know your thoughts in the comments below.

Featured Image: Horseshoe Bay at Port Elliott – another highly recommended best beach in South Australia.

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