6 of SA’s most unique coastal locations.
Port Willunga Beach
If Port Willunga was in a more populated neck of the woods, car parking would be a street fight and a wall of high-rise holiday apartments would cast long morning shadows across the sand.
But because it’s located just beyond Adelaide’s southern suburbs it remains a low-key weekender and commuter hub, with an awfully pretty beach.
In its heyday it was a bustling grain depot, but only a few scraps of the once substantial jetty remain.
Clean, white sands are the norm all along this stretch of coast, and the weathered, gullied cliffs at Port Willunga form a stunning backdrop. The man-made hollows gouged into the bluffs were once fishermen’s boat sheds.
The cliff-top ‘Star of Greece Restaurant’ offers excellent views and is a great place to revel in the smugness of just how lucky we are.
Swimming Hole, Whaler’s Way (Eyre Peninsula)
Sail due south from Eyre Peninsula and you’ll bump into Antarctica.
Whaler’s Way, at the very tip of the peninsula, is at the mercy of every tempest offered up by the Southern Ocean.
Even on a calm day powerful swells smash into the imposing bluffs, sending sea spray high into the air.
And this is what makes the swimming hole so special. Head down the ladder to the base of the cliffs and you’ll find a crystal clear lagoon, sheltered from the breakers by a rocky ridge.
Here you can bathe in utopian tranquillity while the surf carries on like a crazy thing all around you.
(Whaler’s Way is on private property and a fee applies. This can be paid when collecting the entrance key from Port Lincoln Visitor Information Centre.)
Tiddy Widdy Beach cliffs (Yorke Peninsula)
Best known for blue swimmer crabs (and its adorable name), Tiddy Widdy Beach has a backdrop of bright orange cliffs that dazzle in the morning sunlight.
The sea here is shallow, and when the tide goes out it doesn’t seem to know when to stop. It’s not really much of a swimming beach but the crabs are delicious.
Talia Caves/The Tub/Woolshed Cave (Eyre Peninsula)
Victoria has the Great Ocean Road and SA has the west coast of Eyre Peninsula. It’s wrong to compare scenic attractions so I won’t go dissing Victoria.
You’ll find glorious beaches, mighty cliffs, breathtaking views and all sorts of treasures along this stretch of coastline.
Talia Cave, The Tub and Woolshed Cave - south of Venus Bay - are among many sandstone features that have been sculpted by the swirling sea.
Powerful swells add to the drama, and to the south there’s a broad sandy beach, backed by dunes, arcing away to a distant horizon.
The Great Ocean Road’s okay too!
If you’re a pirate this is just the spot to park your brigantine, if only to look cool. There are few places along our coast that have more of a smuggler’s cove feel than Second Valley.
Here the hills plunge steeply into the sea, and the tiny squeak of a beach is the ideal place to assemble a raiding party.
Of course this may well startle the anglers and holiday-makers who find the valley’s charms irresistible.
The short jetty is popular for fishing and squidding and the view along the coast from the end of the rocky point is world class.
For top-shelf snorkelling, follow the pathway around the base of the cliffs and cross the pebbly beach to the next small bay.
And all of this among some of the most astonishing geological handiwork in the land.
There’s been some serious layering and folding of the rocks here, and the resultant colourful swirls have taken the form of an exotic dessert.
Remarkable Rocks, Flinders Chase National Park (Kangaroo Island)
The name says it all! Perched precariously atop high sea cliffs, these massive boulders are testament to what incessant weathering can do to granite.
Half a billion years of wind and spray has sculpted the rocks into grotesque shapes, akin to the melting figures Salvador Dali fans might find familiar.
Splashes of orange lichen add a nice touch of colour.
Just down the road, Admiral’s Arch is another coastal wonder, and a popular hangout for NZ fur seals.
RAA Travel offers unique SA Holiday Experiences throughout the state. For information click here.