While it may not be the city’s most common drawcard, the best Adelaide beaches are some of the most stunning seascapes in the world. But with so many options close to the city, it’s hard choosing between Glenelg beach, Aldinga and Goolwa for your day-trip. So, pack the kids up and get excited, we’re taking you to our top 10, where you find quaint towns, snorkelling spots and surfing oasis’- there’s something for everyone, just take your pick!
1. Glenelg Beach
Glenelg is by far one of the most popular Adelaide beaches, and we can see why. Not too far from the Adelaide CBD, Glenelg is just a tram ride away. The main road that runs adjacent to Glenelg beach is bustling with trendy cafes, clothing stores and restaurants. This is also a good spot to come for a night out on the town.
Postal code: 5045
Location: 9 km from Adelaide CBD
State electorate(s): Morphett
Located on the other side of Jetty Road, Brighton Beach is another Adelaide gem. Also super accessible from the CBD, Brighton is much sunnier than England’s infamous beach with the same name. However, the esplanade is reminiscent of the quaint British town, with more fish and chip shops than you can count on one hand!
Postal code: 5048
Location: 15 km from Adelaide CBD
State electorate(s): Gibson
3. Moana Beach
Slightly further out, Moana beach is perfect for a day trip or even a weekend holiday. It’s a great family spot, with small waves that are great for the kiddies. Take 45 minutes out of your day for the drive down and expect a long, sandy beach that makes you feel miles away.
Postal code: 5169
Location: 37 km from Adelaide CBD
State electorate(s): Kaurna
This beach is a little different from our other Adelaide favourites, but its why we like it. What used to be a river port, Goolwa beach is an 11km beach and sand dune system, one side zoned for agriculture use and the other for urban use. The town is also worth checking out, full of indigenous and maritime history.
Postal code: 5214
Location: 84 km from Adelaide CBD
State electorate(s): Alexandria Council
An upscale oasis for city slickers who love a pre-work dip or an evening drink by the water, Henley is close and divine. The beach also has a decent esplanade walk which is a popular exercise spot. The waters are bright blue and feel like they go on forever- walk up the jetty for the full experience.
Postal code: 5022
Location: 12 km from Adelaide CBD
State electorate(s): Colton
Semaphore is one of the more expansive of the Adelaide beaches and draws huge crowds. The beach is bordered by sand dunes and has iconic views of the CBD, Fleurieu coastlines and the Gulf St Vincent. Either go for a run up the sand dunes, lay on the beach or maybe fishing off the pier is more your cup of tea. Whatever it is, there’s something for everyone at Semaphore.
Postal code: 5019
Location: 14 km from Adelaide CBD
State electorate(s): Port Adelaide
7. Port Noarlunga
This one is for the snorkelers out there, with an enclosed reef that has some of the best snorkelling in the state. Only a 35-minute drive from the CBD, Port Noarlunga is surrounded by red sandstone cliffs and has a long jetty like most of Adelaide’s beaches. The village is also picturesque.
Postal code: 5167
Location: 30 km from Adelaide CBD
State electorate(s): Reynell
8. Seacliff Beach
A flat beach that is perfect for safe swimming, stand up paddleboarding and plenty more. The coastline is curved which means the waves are small, and it also offers stunning views out into the ocean. If you’re lucky, you may even spot a dolphin or two!
Postal code: 5049
Location: 17 km from Adelaide CBD
State electorate(s): Black
9. Second Valley Beach
Another South Australian gem, Second Valley Beach is one of our favourite spots for snorkelling, scuba diving and of course- swimming! There are also plenty of nice rocky spots to admire and walkabout. The sparkling waters, luscious reefs and sandy coastline make Second Valley Beach insta-worthy that’s for sure!
Postal code: 5204
Location: 74 km from Adelaide CBD
State electorate(s): Mawson
10. Aldinga Beach
Got a troop-carrier or a 4-wheel drive and find it hard to part ways? Fear not, at this Adelaide beach you can drive your car on to the sand and park up for the whole day. With a long coastline, there is usually a spot for you and your car and you can easily fill a whole day here swimming, snorkelling or even surfing, the beach providing some nice swells.
Postal code: 5173
Location: 41 km from Adelaide CBD
State electorate(s): Mawson
How far is Glenelg Beach from Adelaide?
Glenelg beach is one of the closest beaches from the Adelaide CBD, just 9 km and one short tram ride away.
What’s the closest beach to the Adelaide CBD?
If you're looking for convenience, the closest beach to the Adelaide CBD is Glenelg Beach. The good news is Glenelg is also one of the most interesting suburbs in outer Adelaide. Home to a number of trendy cafes, surf shops and high fashion outlets, there is definitely something for everyone here.
What’s the best beach for surfing in Adelaide?
If you are an avid surfer, Adelaide is home to a number of terrific surf beaches. Those immediate to experienced tend to head to Moana Beach and Aldinga Beach for solid break almost year-round.