27 Oct 2021
Outback roads

With so many exceptional beaches so close to the city centre, Adelaide's sand and surf are virtually inescapable.

One of our favourite things about Adelaide's metropolitan beaches is the fact that they’re so accessible. Jump in the car, chuck on your bathers and within the hour you can be sprawled on a towel in the sun at Glenelg or perfecting your freestyle at Semaphore. With so many options so close to the city, it’s easy to be overwhelmed. But fear not. Here are our top 5 beaches in Adelaide.

1. Glenelg

Moseley Beach Club, Glenelg
Moseley Beach Club, Glenelg

Family-friendly Glenelg is our most popular metropolitan beach. It’s also the easiest to access. Just hop on the tram from the city and get off at Moseley Square, just metres away from the water at Glenelg Beach.

Jetty Road is a bustling mix of quality cafés, clothing boutiques and restaurants. End your day in luxury at the plush Stamford Grand hotel or Seawall apartments, overlooking the beautiful Glenelg beach. 

2. Brighton

Brighton, Adelaide
Brighton, Adelaide

Jump back into the car for ten minutes and you’ll be at Brighton. Mirroring Glenelg with its own Jetty Road, Brighton has a similar relaxed vibe with eclectic cafés, restaurants and fish and chip shops aplenty. One of our favourite places to grab a bite is the Esplanade Hotel, with great pub food and impressive ocean views.

3. Henley

Seasalt, Henley Beach
Seasalt, Henley Beach

Surrounded by a range of high-end seafood restaurants and centring around a bustling grassed square, Henley is a must-visit whether you’re after a quality dinner, a quality swim, or a bit of both. The shoreline stretches as far as the eye can see, with plenty of space for laying out your towel or taking a dip.

4. Semaphore

Semaphore, Adelaide
Semaphore, Adelaide

Semaphore beach is long, wide and bordered by sand dunes. The expansive foreshore and boulevard are dotted with beautifully preserved Art Deco buildings. Nothing quite compares to the grandeur of Semaphore's Palais – originally a 1920s bathing pavilion, now a great place to grab a pub-style lunch or enjoy a glass of wine.

Semaphore Road, just metres away, is bordered by historic pubs, restaurants, awesome boutiques and a treasure-trove of op shops.

5. Port Noarlunga, Christies Beach and Moana

Port Noarlunga, Fleurieu Peninsula
Port Noarlunga, Fleurieu Peninsula

Port Noarlunga, Christies Beach and Moana are a bit further away from the city, but well-worth the trip. The three beaches are surfing and body boarding hot spots, but still perfect for families as swells rarely get too rough. Take your snorkelling gear to Port Noarlunga. Its long boardwalk leads to a reef that’s popular all year-round.

Post-swim, grab a bite at award-winning Hortas, then shack-up at the beautifully-appointed Coast Motel and Apartments.

STAYING SAFE at the beach

For your safety, surf lifesavers patrol many beaches throughout Adelaide and South Australia. Check out these safety tips for more information. 

For more picture-perfect South Australian beaches, travel a little further and discover our top five Fleurieu Peninsula beaches.


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