Set in South Australia, Port Elliot is only 85 kilometres from the capital city, Adelaide. This costal town is a popular holiday destination in the summer months, when city dwellers flock to the shores of Horseshoe Bay. With such a swell in seasonal inhabitants, a variety of holiday accommodations are on offer, including private residences and luxurious apartments with great views over the water. Once in Port Elliot, travellers have access to coastal trails, surf and swim beaches and plenty of fishing spots. Expect to spend your holidays walking, biking and boating.
The waters surrounding Port Elliot are filled with a great variety of fish. Grab your friends and book one of the deep sea charters that sail out of Port Elliot for day-long expeditions in the open water. Fishing from the beach is another option, if you prefer to keep your feet planted firmly on the ground. Yet another fishing alternative is to head over to Port Elliot's long jetty and cast your line side-by-side with other fishermen from the region. Finish off your fishing excursion by barbecuing your big catch, and start again the next day.
Surfers are welcome at Boomer Beach, which is set on the western edge of town. Boomer Beach is not for the inexperienced surfer, as the waves reach heights of up to 15 feet on the roughest days, though it is ideal for body boarders of nearly all levels. If you are inexperienced with surfing but hope to learn, there many companies offer both private and group lessons.
The sandy beach the surrounds Horseshoe Bay is the best play to go if you have children in tow. The waters here are calmer and provide the perfect environment for shallow-water swimming. Additionally, Horseshoe Bay is a great learning environment for beginner surfers. And when you’re done, the shore offers plenty of space to run around or organize a picnic.
The Port Elliot area is teeming with wildlife and changing coastal scenery. You can take it all in on foot, by bike or by boat. Traipse along the walking path that is set high up in the cliffs to take in wonderful views over the water. Maybe you’ll spot some of the locals: bottlenose dolphins, seals and even Australia’s little blue penguins are at home here. If you tire of walking, try the Encounter Bikeway, a cycling path that takes riders through the town of Port Elliot one street at a time. Touring the waters of Port Elliot is an option, as well, with whale watching tours during migration season and further cruises available throughout the year.
When visiting Port Elliot, the best way to get a taste of the town’s atmosphere is to check out the central business district, which is known as the Strand. This area of Port Elliot is home to quaint cafes that serve fresh-made coffee, as well as delicious treats. If you enjoy antiquing, pop into one of the many antique stores that are located on the Strand. Do not forget to pick up something for your friends and family back home; there are many gift shops set throughout the area. Other retail amenities and conveniences are all set within close proximity to one another to put everything you need within easy grasp.
The Mediterranean climate of Port Elliot means that even off-season winter holidays remain comfortable. This is fortunate, considering that most of the town and surrounding area’s attractions are located outside. Getting to Port Elliot is straightforward. Visitors can either drive in from Adelaide in less than an hour or hop on the public bus service that takes you right into town.
My favourite holiday destination above all else is Port Elliot, as its where I used to holiday as a child. It’s also where I used to holiday with my then future husbands family, and its where I used to sit on the beach at Horseshoe Bay and watch my fiancée run up the beach after a surf. We went on to have our honeymoon overlooking Boomer Beach in Port Elliot. The most important thing is that I have kept the tradition going and I holiday there every year with my children and my little granddaughter.
We still are making memories as a family and every time we are down there, we do the headlands walk where we start near the Memorial Gardens above Horseshoe Bay and walk through the old pines I use to walk through as a child. We head around to Lady’s Bay, Knights Beach and Green Bay, then continue on to Boomer Beach to walk up the 100 year-old steps above the strand.
We love the tram ride over to Granite Island, or we walk over and get the tram back again. My children will tell you that I always say that I don't feel like I have been to Victor Harbour until I have walked across the causeway with the wind in my hair. No matter how cold it is, it gets the cobwebs out of my head and makes me feel refreshed. The famous fish and chip shop towards the end of the main street in Victor Harbour always calls you after your tiring journey across to the Island.
As a family holiday spot or a daytrip, Port Elliot is held dear to my heart as its my childhood memories that always call me back - its almost like going home!