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The 10 Best Beaches in Adelaide

This article is sponsored by The University of Adelaide

The glorious warm days are officially here! If you are spending your summer holidays in Adelaide, you may want to acquaint yourself with some of the best (and free) activities you can indulge in. 

Summer days call for embracing the outdoors and soaking up the sun (safely, of course!) Beaches are the perfect place to do exactly that, whether you go for a day trip or a weekend getaway. Fortunately, Adelaide has an impressive coastal region with a fantastic selection of beaches. To help you curate your summer plans, we have put together a list of the top beaches the city has to offer. So, grab your sunscreen, beach towel, swimsuit (also known as bathers in South Australia) and let’s get going!

Henley, Glenelg, Brighton

Renowned as Adelaide’s most popular metropolitan beaches, these three beaches are also the easiest to access from the city via the tram line or bus. All three have swim-worthy waters as well as jetties that make them great for fishing. They are also the best beaches for lunch given their proximity to quality cafés, restaurants and bars. The Moseley Beach Club at Glenelg is a local favourite where you can enjoy cocktails and good music right on the beach!


Further down, Seacliff is the perfect beach destination to enjoy various water-based activities such as swimming and paddle boarding. Bring a picnic or enjoy an afternoon barbecue with friends. Later, walk the Esplanade and watch the sunset on a warm summer evening.

Port Noarlunga (Southport)

Port Noarlunga is home to one of the best beaches for surfing for beginners. Here you will find a natural marine reserve and a long boardwalk that leads to a reef that’s popular all year-round. With that in mind, it’s worth bringing along your snorkelling gear. It’s also home to plenty of surf and sports stores as well as craft boutiques and gift shops.

While you are at Port Noarlunga, check out the picturesque Onkaparinga River Mount View Point on Southport Beach. This is one of the best beaches for photography in Adelaide as there is an incredibly stunning staircase overlooking Southport Beach where the waters of the Onkaparinga River meet the sea.

After your swim, you can grab a bite at Hortas, an award-winning seafood restaurant. Or, for something a little more budget-friendly, grab some takeaway from Port Noarlunga Fish & Chips and have a picnic on the sand.


Moana is a surfing and bodyboarding hotspot but is also one of the best beaches for swimming. A 50-minute drive away from Adelaide City, you will find that Moana is an ideal base to also explore the McLaren Vale wine region and the Fleurieu Peninsula. You can even walk to the southern end where the sand beach turns into a rock beach. 

Port Willunga

About an hour drive from Adelaide City is Port Willunga, which is also very close to Moana Beach. If you’re searching for clear turquoise waters with a white sand beach, Port Willunga is the place to be. A unique feature of this beach is the beachfront caves where you can sit and have a picnic while taking respite from the sun. Thanks to these one-of-a-kind caves, this spot is undoubtedly one of the best beaches for photography, especially at sunset. So, bring a camera!


Aldinga is one of the few beaches where you can drive your car onto the sand and park up for the whole day. Given its long coastline, you can easily spend your entire day swimming, snorkelling or even surfing.


Not only is this a stunning beach, but it is yet another that allows cars onto the sand. So, grab a group of friends, pack up your beach cricket gear and a picnic, and make a day of it!


Although the furthest away from the city, a trip to Myponga Beach is definitely worth doing, especially since it’s considered one of the best-hidden beaches in Adelaide. Tucked away in the Myponga Reservoir, this small seaside cove is a holiday hotspot – perfect for a weekend getaway! Bordered by rock pools and reefs, Myponga has crystal clear waters and is ideal for fishing enthusiasts. If that wasn’t alluring enough, the scenery is complemented by the ruins of an old jetty and coastal hills.

The University of Adelaide’s North Terrace campus is in the perfect position to explore many of the city’s best beaches. You’re just an easy tram, train or bus ride away from relaxing by the ocean. Eager to learn more about how you can study in one of the most liveable cities in the world? Click here!