The best beaches of Adelaide

One of the reasons I chose Adelaide as my new home in Australia was the large number of beaches that are very close to the city, easily accessible and beautiful. It may sound a bit shallow but when you live in Australia the beach is an important issue!
Summer has arrived in South Australia and with so many options at your fingertips, it looks very promising … take your thongs and discover with me the beautiful beaches of Adelaide City.


Glenelg is the busiest beach in Adelaide city and the first one I visited when I first arrived in Adelaide. Only 10 km away from the CBD, it is so easy and fast to get to Glenelg by tram, bus or bicycle, that this beach is the best option for all those looking for an emergency dip at any time of the year.

The suburb is family-oriented, with many activities, markets and concerts throughout the year, but especially in summer. Its main street, Jetty Road, is an entertaining mix of restaurants, cafes, ice cream shops and clothing stores, where you can have a great time if you want to take a break from the sand.

Glenelg centre. Picture by Natalia.

If you are one of those who do not move from the beach, you can enjoy the sun practising beach cricket or volleyball, snorkelling and even diving, going through the beautiful walk along the pier, from where you can see the famous Beach House of Glenelg, with slides, Bumper cars, mini golf, carousel … In Glenelg, you will always find something to do!


The second beach I visited – and the second most popular in Adelaide City – was Brighton Beach, so far my favourite among city beaches. After a day of classes at the CBD, I took the train that left me directly on this long and much more relaxed beach, known for its beautiful trees by the sand, dog-friendly area where dogs can enjoy the water as well, and tides very quiet to swim tirelessly.

With its own Jetty Road and its own jetty too, Brighton has a more relaxed and more exclusive vibe than other beaches such as Glenelg. The main street is small but very eclectic, very beachy style. Beautiful and exclusive clothing, art and interior design stores, along with restaurants and pubs, classics for locals and visitors, make Brighton an ideal beach to spend the day with friends and enjoy the sunset on the water.

Brighton Beach Jetty. Picture by Natalia.

You can reach Brighton by walking from Glenelg, where the coastal walk begins that reaches Seacliff (another busy beach where Standup Paddle is practised). The city coast is characterized by its calm waters, but do not worry about surfers who can, of course, take their board and take it a little further south, for example to Fleurie Peninsula, just 45 minutes from Adelaide.

So you know, in Brighton you can enjoy a quiet day, eat a delicious fish and chips in the pub facing the sea, walk along the pier and end up watching the sunset. Brighton offers you a beach to relax, very close to the city!


And while Brighton Beach is my favourite, Henley Beach is very close. Henley is very bubbly, with its unique beachfront square, Henley Square, which offers a wide range of restaurants from different countries, all among the best in Adelaide. Henley is my choice when I want to eat something delicious besides, of course, visiting a beautiful beach. Also in the same square, there are always outdoor activities, music (known as busking), street theatre or games for children.

And while there is no Jetty road in Henley Beach, there is jetty! As you have noticed, the docks are very characteristic on the beaches of Adelaide, different from what we are used to in Sydney. Here the beach visitors travel once and a thousand times on the pier enjoying nature, taking photos, and fishing. It is almost a ritual for everyone in Adelaide.

Henley Beach. Picture by Natalia.

This bustling and the cozy beach is 10 km from the city centre. To get to Henley you have the already named public transport option, from the city centre to the beach itself. But if you like to walk and want to take advantage of exploring, you can take the path of the Torrens River, which also starts in the city and guides you to Henley. It is a nice and quiet route, full of that constant mix that Adelaide has of nature and city life.

In Henley Beach, there will always be a nice dinner, live music and street art waiting for you!


Facing north to the city of Adelaide, you find Semaphore, 15 km from the CBD. Together with Port Adelaide, they are unmissable places if you are travelling north. Needless to say, you can arrive by public transport, but yes! You can arrive by public transport in less than 45 minutes.

Semaphore Beach transports you in time. Its colonial buildings, including the Clock Tower and the Palais of Semaphore, now a beautiful hotel and restaurant, are the prelude to an extensive beach surrounded by dunes. In the centre of Semaphore you have many options to eat, share a drink with friends in a typical Australian pub or, one of my weaknesses, explore the OP Shops, second-hand stores where you can find EVERYTHING, at very low prices and also helping to good causes like Red Cross or Salvation Army.

Semaphore Beach is one of the widest I’ve visited, inviting you to walk through its eternal sands where you can find the famous Kite Festival, the Semaphore Summer Carnival or the Semaphore Street Fair, as well as weekly markets and independent music festivals.

Semaphore Beach transports you in time enjoying the best of our days!


Port Noarlunga is a little further from the city, but I tell you that the trip is totally worth it. Port Noarlunga is the point where we can start surfing (or for now just doing bodyboarding, in my case lol), and more entertaining we can still snorkel and even dive! The Port Noarlunga reef is known to everyone in Adelaide and has free access throughout the year.

Although they are almost 30 km south, the train journey is very entertaining and comfortable, with views of the sea and the picturesque neighbourhoods farthest from the city, and during approximately 1.30 hours on the way, you can catch up with that book you left aside, listen to your favourite podcast or even move forward with some of your assessments.

The port of Noarlunga is a must-see tourist destination, whether you like or not surfing, because only being in one of its viewpoints appreciating the beauty of the place you already take for granted. And it is that Noarlunga is the gateway to the most “rebel” beaches of the south such as Moana, Maslin or Aldinga, characterized by its pristine nature, with many rocky areas and extensive green areas.

Port Noarlunga awaits you with an adventure under the sea, you can not miss this beach!

Hallet Cove Beach. Picture by Natalia.

These are just some of the beaches you can visit in Adelaide. If like me, you are used to living near the coast in Australia, do not just visit the east side of the big island. In the South, we also have extensive kilometres of beautiful and quiet beaches. The list continues with Grange Beach, West Beach, Seacliff, Hallett Cove but you better come and see for yourself;) Adelaide awaits you!

Natalia Lizama

Chilean globetrotter who chose Australia as her new home. Eternal apprentice, after studying journalism in Chile and yoga teacher in Argentina and India, now adds a diploma in Leadership and Management in the city of Adelaide. Join her experience in Australia!

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