One of my favourite day trips out of Adelaide is to a little town on the south coast of the Fleurieu Peninsula called Port Elliot. Not only are the beaches stunning but the town itself is bursting with character and charm.
Port Elliot is situated on picturesque Horseshoe Bay (a small bay off Encounter Bay), only an hours drive south of Adelaide. It is home to some of South Australia’s most pristine beaches, coastal walking tracks and a number of award-winning restaurants.
There is so much to see, do (and of course eat) in Port Elliott, you certainly wouldn’t be bored if you stayed for a week. Unfortunately, the town is now one of South Australia’s worst kept secrets, which is why the normally sleepy sea-side town is often crowded in summer months.
We started the day with a coffee at Cockles Cafe on the corner of North Terrace and The Strand, an ideal starting point for tourists. The town’s streets are full of bustling cafes, gorgeous furniture shops and beautiful historic buildings.
If you fancy a bit of vintage shopping, you’ll love the eclectic bric-a-brac stores and markets. From vintage crockery to clothing, you never know what gems you will find around the corner.
And how cute is the Port Elliot post office?
There’s even a second-hand bookstore where you can peruse a collection of second-hand book and old records.
No trip to Port Elliot is complete without a visit to the Flying Fish Cafe, situated on the idyllic beach front at Horseshoe Bay. The cafe/restaurant has developed a cult following amongst both locals and visitors to the Fleurieu Peninsula.
It’s a perfect spot to relax on the open deck to people watch and enjoy the scenery while enjoying their famous Coopers Sparkling Ale battered fish and chips.
But be prepared to fight the throngs of people waiting for takeaway or a table.
Lucky for us we nabbed one just in time…
Trust me the fish and chips (served in a cone) are definitely worth the wait. The fish flakes beautifully under the crispy golden batter.
For some fun by the sea-side, try your hand at sea kayaking or paddle surfing. Or join in the fun and jump off the old jetty!
For sweeping coastal views, head up the hill from the Surf Life Saving Club past the jetty through to Ladies Bay.
The views are spectacular.
A little further you can view Christmas Rock and Green Bay and its magnificent rock formations.
We were lucky enough to see a pod of dolphins swimming close to shore.
After working up an appetite we headed to one of South Australia’s best loved bakeries for some afternoon treats.
The Port Elliot Bakery was established in 1989 by the Gorman-Horrocks family with the original owners still in operation. The bakery bakes it products fresh daily on the premises. You will find a tummy tempting range of delicacies from their famous flaky pasty to their sumptuous blueberry scrolls.
Full of carbs, we headed to the beach for some more exploring. For larger swells try Knights and Boomer Beach or travel further field to Middleton and Goolwa surf beaches.
There’s no better way to cool off on a 30 degree day!
For an evening sundowner, The Hotel Elliot is a perfect spot to finish a fun filled day with an ice-cold beer and a steak. Or stay a little longer and explore some of their wonderful accommodation options. I can’t wait to come back next summer!
Where to Stay in Port Elliot
- The Port Elliot Holiday Park – provides camping, cottages, villas, cabins and holiday units.
- Port Elliot Beach House Accommodation – very comfortable budget accommodation housed within a historic building boasting 270 degree views.
- Trafalgar Premium Vintage Suites the last operating guest house in Port Elliot in a gorgeous old cottage.
- Authenticity Health and Wellness Retreat – the ideal sanctuary for a relaxing getaway.