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Best beaches: Glenelg, SA

Thursday, May 28, 2009
Catriona Rowntree headed to South Australia for its contribution to Getaway's best beaches stories.


Adelaide's most popular beach is a 20-minute drive from the CBD. Buses and a vintage tram from Victoria Square take you to Moseley Square, the end of the line and the beginning of the beach.

Glenelg is close enough to the centre of the city for friends to meet after work for a swim, coffee, dinner or a drink. Jetty Road has hotels, restaurants, cafes, shops and a beautiful beach which has been attracting people since the first European settlers arrived in 1836. The side streets are also worth checking out.

Not just for grown-ups, The Beachhouse Amusement Centre is open every day and has three waterslides and Australia's first single-arm Ferris wheel. There are bumper boats, dodgem cars, play castle and a beautiful 19th-century carousel.

The Oaks Plaza Pier has one- and two- bedroom apartment with balconies, indoor lap pool, gymnasium, spa, plunge pool, sauna, steam room and a selection of bars, restaurants and cafes. It overlooks the beach.

Port Willunga

Forty minutes from Adelaide on the laidback Fleurieu Peninsula, Port Willunga is another local favourite. The coastal village is home to ancient shipwrecks and fantastic marine life making it popular with divers, snorkelers and fishermen. The soft, sandy beach is popular as a safe family swimming haven. It has sea-view restaurants and some great ice-cream. It's perfect for a day trip or a longer stay.

Willunga was once a busy grain port but the Fisherman's Boat Caves in the cliff where boats and nets were stored and the old jetty pylons are all that remain of those times.

The wreck of the Star of Greece, a three-mast iron cargo ship which sank in 1888, is a poignant reminder of storms that can occasionally disturb the normally placid coastline.

Star of Greece restaurant on the waterfront was established in 1947 and is a little bit of the Mediterranean in South Australia. Enjoy a quick coffee, a meal of local squid and fish or other delights in colourful and quirky surroundings.

Adelaide Scuba

Josh D'Ambrosio of Adelaide Scuba specialises in diver training and offers great tours for those wanting to explore the wrecks.

McLaren Vale, where the vines meet the sea, isn't far away. The history of wine-growing in the area goes back to 1842 and wineries in the region produce some excellent vintages enjoyed the world over.


Glenelg and Port Willunga in South Australia.


Oaks Plaza Pier Glenelg Studios are $179, one-bedroom apartments are $195, two-bedroom apartments are $257 and three-bedroom apartments are $420. Apartments have self-contained kitchens, separate lounge rooms and balconies. They are offering a special rate for Getaway viewers:

Studio rooms apartments: $109
One-bedroom apartments: $129
Two-bedroom apartments: $199
Three-bedroom apartments: $249

Rates are valid for stays from June to August and must be booked by June 15, 2009, subject to availability.

Prices correct at May 28, 2009.

For further information

Oaks Plaza Pier, Glenelg
16 Holdfast Promenade
Glenelg 5045
Ph: (08) 8350 6688 or 1300 551 111
Fax: (08) 8350 6699

The Beachouse
Colley Terrace
Glenelg 5045
Ph: (08) 8295 1511
Fax: (08) 8295 6545

Star of Greece
Esplanade & Port Road
Port Wilunga 5172
Ph: (08) 8557 7420

Adelaide Scuba
Shop 4, 355 Brighton Road
Hove 5048
Ph: (08) 8296 0577

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