Neither Laura or myself had ever thought of travelling to South Australia, let alone imagined the kind of beaches that we’d find when we got there. Some of the most incredible places we visited in South Australia were the Fleurieu Peninsula beaches.
Being the first of the three Peninsulas west of Victoria, there are so many incredible beaches, most of them all hiding along the west coast of the Fleurieu.
We made sure we visited the best ones just for you, so make sure you write these down as they are all very close together but unique in their own right
Read More: Plan your ultimate Fleurieu Peninsula road trip using this guide!
Where is the Fleurieu Peninsula?
The first of three main Peninsulas in mainland South Australia, the Fleurieu Peninsula encapsulates the capital city of Adelaide and everything south of there.
Technically speaking if you draw a straight line from Goolwa in the East to Aldinga beach to the West, everything below that line is the Fleurieu Peninsula.
It includes McLaren Vale wine region, Deep Creek conservation park in the south right to the very end at Cape Jervis from where you take the Ferry cross to Kangaroo island.
A short 45 minute drive from Adelaide and all of the best beaches on the fleurieu peninsula await you.
South Australia is also known for a unique array of wildlife like Stingrays, sharks and Dolphins, in fact we saw more Dolphins along the coast here than anywhere else in Victoria!
Location: 163 Main South Rd, Yankalilla SA
Phone: (08) 8558 0240
For more information you can visit the Fleurieu Coast Visitor Information Centre
READ MORE: Sort out the rest of your South Australia trip using our comprehensive Travel Guide right here
Top 7 beaches on the Fleurieu Peninsula to visit this summer
1 . Horseshoe Bay
An incredible spot along the Peninsula in Port Elliot, 10 minutes from the main town of Victor Harbor on the Eatern side of the Fleurieu Peninsula.
Horseshoe Bay is well known for its beautiful crystal clear waters with a small but cute jetty that juts out from the side of the hill.
On a sunny day the waters become turquoise blue and illuminate the hidden rocks beneath the surface making this place one of the best beaches on the Fleurieu Peninsula.
Horseshoe Bay encapsulates Nelson Harbour looking out towards Pullen Island not far from the shore line where some seals spend their days playing in the safety of the rocky coral reef.
From Victor Harbor you have the unique opportunity to experience a Southern Ocean Adventure Cruise where you can see Dolphins, seal lions and whales!
Take the path up the hill to discover a hidden beach called Lady Bay on the other side of the pier.
Continue to explore up the hill as you head towards Freeman Lookout and you will be rewarded with views over Boomer Beach, Rocky Bay Green beach and Boomer beach.
The walk itself will take you no more than 15 minutes to complete.
If you feel up for it there is a small pontoon anchored in the middle of the bay you can swim out to and sun-bake undisturbed by others in the middle of Horseshoe Bay.
2. Sellicks Beach
We returned to Sellicks beach time and time again over the course of our road trip through South Australia and we still maintain that Sellicks Beach tops the list of the best beaches on the Fleurieu Peninsula.
The main draw card in our opinion is the hard white sand that stretches the entire length letting you drive your car onto.
There is a large carpark to the right of the entrance where we found ourselves free camping most nights along the Fleurieu Peninsula.
The landscape and topography of the cliff side is incredibly beautiful and even more so illuminated at sunset, so make sure you have a camera ready at golden hour
Walking south along the sand towards the cliffs edge nestled within the face of the cliff is a long staircase that leads back up to the main road, the views from here are incredible as you see Sellicks beach in its entirety.
Park the van on the beach for the entire day and pull up a chair and a cold one to enjoy.
The beach is also dog friendly at any time of day or night.
Location: 88 Esplanade, Sellicks Beach SA (opposite a row of shops including a post office)
Dog friendly, Public toilets on site 24 hours
Book your accommodation at Sellicks from your apartment overlooking the beach
3. Maslin Beach
Ever felt like walking along a beach completely nude? Well at Maslin beach you definitely can!
In fact, it is renowned as being Australia’s first non-clad (nudie) beach.
But dont worry too much, it’s not a prerequisite that you strip down to your privates to be here, there is a dedicated section far south of the main beach where pro-skin enthusiasts come to bare it all.
If showing your junk to random strangers isn’t your thing, then you are free to enjoy the rest of the incredibly beautiful beach of Maslins.
There’s something freeing about, well, free-ing your junk in the open ocean.
Suffice to say we tried it and loved it!
If you decide to free camp at Maslin beach there are two car parks to choose from as well as being access points onto the beach.
Further north there is access via the top end car park at the corner of Vernon Crescent and Gulf Parade where there are public toilets.
Or from the southern end of Gulf parade at the official Maslin Beach car park that has quick easy access to the beach, as well as being closer to the nudie beach !
A small sandy walkway leads down to the shore and when you’re done there’s a small water tap to wash your sandy feet to get back in your van.
Maslin Beach is also an unpatrolled beach, but is however normally calm and flat.
Just make sure you always check the tides and surf conditions before going for a swim
Location: Corner Gulf Parade / Vernon Crescent, Maslin Beach (city of Onkaparinga)
4. Aldinga Beach
Nestled between Sellicks and Port Willunga is Aldinga beach.
Seriously all the beaches along the Fleurieu peninsula coastline are just incredible so you will never ever be short of amazement and awe.
Aldinga is another beach that’s easily accessible from the sand via car or bus.
There aren’t too many shop front directly in front of the beach, however there is a really cool cafe not far from the main entrance called Aldinga Breeze Cafe and bar where we made a pit stop for a couple of hours to chill and do some work.
Location: 163 Esplanade, Aldinga Beach SA
5. Port Willunga
A favourite amongst locals and a truly magical spot is Port Willunga beach.
Not only is the water crystal clear and turquoise blue as far as the eye can see, it has something no other beach on the coast has.
Grab a bite to eat or a take away coffee at Star of Greece, where you can grab a bite to eat or a coffee head down the set of stairs either at the end of the carpark near the public toilets or head down the long set of stairs behind the restaurant.
Find your perfect fleurieu peninsula accommodation here
The beach is known for the last remaining pylons of an old jetty that jutted out from the cliff into the ocean where boats would dock.
Sunsets at Port Willy (as it’s affectionately known) are stunning and breathtaking as the sky lights up all shades of orange, pink and purple.
Port Willunga was our second favourite of all the Fleurieu Peninsula beaches.
Port Willy has one more secret: 4-5 caves carved out of the side of the cliff face used to store boats away from the elements when they were not out at sea.
Location: 1 The Esplanade, Port Willunga
Dog Friendly, public toilets in the car park 24 hours
Fine dining on site at Star of Greece
6. Rapid Bay
One of the final stops on your way towards Kangaroo island is Rapid Bay along the Great southern Drive.
Hidden at the very tip of the coast and a bit further out of the way but none less stunning and epic than the other 5 previously mentioned!
Of all the Fleurieu Peninsula beaches this one takes the cake for uniqueness and hidden mystery.
There is quite a large campground on the foreshore that will cost you $25 a night in a self contained vehicle, a little pricey for what you get but great views of the beach.
There is limited wifi in and around Rapid Bay so using the internet or maps might be a little difficult, try and download offline maps before you get here.
If you happen to have a paddle board or kayak, or you’re a great swimmer there is a small beach hidden amongst the backdrop of limestone cliffs and mountains that are simply epic and otherwise undiscoverable without some form of board or boat.
Marine wildlife are known for exploring the coastlines of all Fleurieu Peninsula beaches so its a good idea to remember if you decide to go swimming you are always sharing the water with others!
We recommend booking before you arrive to secure your spot, and the grounds keeper will come and meet you at the front gate to collect your cash-only payment
Location: Corner Rapid Bay Rd / Essington Lewis Dr,, Rapid Bay SA
7. Morgans Beach
Not very well known of all the Fleurieu Peninsula beaches is Morgans Beach.
Just before you take your ferry across Back-passage straight to Kangaroo island, why not wait at a beautiful white sandy beach for a couple hours?
Take the main road of Flinders Drive into town and bear right onto a dirt road just before Fleurieu Avenue that will take you to the carpark of Morgans Beach.
If you’re feeling adventurous and are 4WD capable you can also drive your car along this stretch of sand.
Whilst here we saw a small pod of Dolphins swim along the rocks, not coming in close enough to check us out but on low tide you can walk along the rocks to get a better glimpse.
Just make sure you have proper reef shoes because it gets very slippery.
Location: Cape Jervis, SA
Access: Via Flinders Drive – main road heading in/out of town
No public toilets, showers. Dog friendly
IF YOU LIKE IT, PIN IT FOR LATER!