Discover South Australia’s best beaches

Tourism Australia recently announced Stokes Bay as Australia’s top beach for 2023.

For most of us, it had us scratching our heads. Where?

Stokes Bay is a secluded beach on Kangaroo Island where one approach to the shore is almost as spectacular as the beach.

To get to the pristine beach, you can pass through towering rock formations and then pop out the other side to spend the day soaking up the sun.

But what are some of South Australia’s other ‘best’ beaches?

Here’s our guide.

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Vivonne Bay, Kangaroo Island.

Don’t just stop at Stokes Bay, there are plenty of beaches on Kangaroo Island and this is one of the best.

It’s been described as the island’s prettiest beach, and if you time it right you can have the whole place to yourself.

A charming wooden jetty breaks up the sand, but it’s all the better for your stay because this is where fishing boats come in. How else are you supposed to get your feed of crays and fresh-caught fish?

Don’t just take our word for it, The New York Times named Kangaroo Island as one of the 52 best places to go in 2023.

Glenelg Beach, Adelaide

Don’t disregard this beach just because it’s in the city.

If Victorians need a point of reference, it’s the St Kilda Beach of South Australia.

The wide sands, bustling shopping centre, and easy access via tram make it one of the most popular beaches in the state.

Once a sleepy backwater, sadly high rises now dominate the promenade, but at least that gives you plenty of accommodation options.

Coffin Bay 

The problem that isn’t a problem with Coffin Bay is which beach to choose.

There are three sensational beaches in the area, and naturally there’s one called Sensation Beach, then there’s Coffin Bay National Park Beach, Almonta Beach and Long Beach closer to the township.

Go to all three and then reward yourself with some of Coffin Bay’s best oysters at the end of the day.  

And as for that grim name? No, it’s not the home of coffins, Matthew Flinders named it in honour of his friend Sir Isaac Coffin.

Dolphin Beach

As part of the massive Innes National Park, Dolphin Beach is one of the state’s more remote locations, which is of course a part of its appeal.

The fishing is good, but surfers may need to look elsewhere as the waves are generally subdued.

But what’s bad for surfers is good for swimmers who just want to relax and enjoy the view.

And yes, the name is apt. It’s one of the more rewarding sites to hopefully spot dolphins.

Memory Cove

You won’t forget this one.

Sorry for the dad joke, but it had to be said.

But you probably won’t forget it anyway. It’s a classic Australian beach with white sands, brilliant blue waters and surrounded by Australian bush.

It’s 50km from Port Lincoln and not really a day trip place. But don’t worry about loads of fellow happy campers.

As it’s part of Port Lincoln National Park and it’s gated, you can only gain access by paying a $50 deposit for a key. The park only allows a maximum of 15 people a day across the five campsites.

Have we missed any? What are your favourite South Australia beaches? Why not let us know in the comment section below?

Also read: Top Australian destinations you need to see.

Jan Fisher
Jan Fisher
Accomplished journalist, feature writer and sub-editor with impressive knowledge of the retirement landscape, including retirement income, issues that affect Australians planning and living in retirement, and answering YLC members' Age Pension and Centrelink questions. She has also developed a passion for travel and lifestyle writing and is fast becoming a supermarket savings 'guru'.
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