Adelaide’s shores come first in freedoms
South Australia is no slouch when it comes to the history books: the state was first in abolishing racial and sexual discrimination, putting the kibosh on capital punishment, recognising Aboriginal land rights and the first to give women voting rights.
It’s fair to say, then, that Adelaide is a progressive yet relaxed state capital that has contributed to Australia’s excellent reputation for multicultural life and high living standards.
As the first ‘free settler’ colony with no convict presence during English colonisation, this city has helped break down racial and cultural prejudice in Australia. From appointing Australia’s first Indigenous State Governor; Sir Douglas Nicholls in 1976, to giving us our first female Prime Minister Julia Gillard, there’s just one more (a-hem) important first for South Australia: it was also the first state to legalise nude swimming beaches!
Rest assured, you’re unlikely to ‘stumble upon’ the unexpected, however, as there’s just one clothing optional beach in existence for those who dare. For the rest of us, there’s a swagger of ‘mainstream’ beaches for travellers to soak up.
So, without further ado, here are some of our favourite coastal spots to enhance your next great Aussie road trip through South Australia.
With almost year-round sunshine, Adelaide beaches draw many thousands of visitors each year to walk in the shoes of this cultural way of life. Glenelg is the most popular beach in Adelaide, famous for its pristine coastal waters and fashionable postcode. There are a number of accommodation and dining options, from five star resorts to backpacker’s hostels and fine dining seafood restaurants, to casual eateries. For a more authentic local experience, try one of the fantastic fish and chip shops dotted throughout.
At the most southerly boundary of Adelaide sits Sellicks Beach – a sleepy coastal township of just over a thousand. Plunging cliffs give way to a white sand beach that is a surfing hot stop for the locals. This is also one of the few beaches in the area with vehicle access, making it a handy option for a spot of coastal fishing.
If surfing is your thing, the Mitsubishi Pajero is a fantastic off road FWD with plenty of space for a pair of surfboards and camping gear if you decide to spend the night under the stars.
With its proximity to the world renowned Barossa, Sellicks Beach’s local gastro-pub, The Victoria Hotel has great local produce and as you could imagine, a wine cellar containing some of the region’s top drops (and there are many!). Stop here for a casual meal after sunbathing or working up a hunger hitting the waves.
A beach destination for families, Hallett Cove has plenty of room for beach cricket, sand castle building and yes – that extra-large beach towel we hope you brought! With 60m cliff faces surrounding your every move, this is nature at its best.
Not just known for its serene beauty, Hallett Cove is one of the few archaeological sites showing evidence of an Australian ice age around 280 million years ago. The cliff tops feature developed glacial pavements which create a streaked texture along the rock faces, like a blended mottling of earthy reds and coffee colours. For those venturing out to the rocks, you’ll want to take your camera, as the cliff faces feature over 12,000 Aboriginal paintings that date back more than 4000 years.
If you would like to visit some of Adelaide’s most treasured beaches, check out the range of hire cars on offer at Europcar for your next ride to a coastal paradise.