Stairs to the beach at Locks Well (South Australian Tourism Commission)


On the shores of Waterloo Bay is the coastal town of Elliston, laid-back and full of surfy vibes. Enjoy the beach, something tasty from the local bakery or a drink at the local pub and unwind. The annual Australian Salmon Fishing Championships are held here every year from June 1 to August 31, and is definitely worth entering if you’re looking for a fun fishing challenge! The coast around Elliston is pretty wild, and there are some beautiful views of the cliffs to be found.

Locks Well has a great viewpoint, as well as a 283-step staircase down to the beach below where you can get some excellent beach fishing. It’s not great for swimming though due to the currents, so please don’t swim here. Cummings Monument at nearby Kiana is another one to check out, and the beaches at Sheringa and Walker’s Rock are popular both for their surf and fishing as well as for camping and can be booked online in advance. If you’re looking for something really remote and wild though, check out Flinders Island Eco Escape for your very own private island.

A little further west you’ll find Venus Bay and Port Kenny, smaller beach towns with limited services but are perfect to kick back and relax. Port Kenny is best-known for its classic country pub, with fresh seafood on the menu and great vibes. Look out for one of their live music events! A little way off the highway is Venus Bay, a popular holiday town. With a good caravan park and a General Store which sells the basics as well as doubling as a takeaway, bar, bottle shop and restaurant on select nights, it’s a great place to kick back for a few days (or weeks). Follow the South Head Walking Trail around the point for beautiful wild views, and don’t forget to see the Needle Eye, a hole through the cliffs out ‘the back’ of the town. The bay is great for fishing and water sports, so bring the boat! And Camel Beach House at nearby Mount Camel is a stunning getaway for those who want to get off-grid and reconnect with nature.

Follow the clifftop drive

The Elliston Coastal Trail spans 13.6km along the clifftop near Elliston, between Little Bay Surf Break and Cape Finnis. You can walk or drive this trail, which has spectacular views over the coast – and before you think 13km is too far, you can also split the trail up! The Clifftop Trail is 6.5km long, the Beach Loop is 5.7km, and the Little Bay Trail is just 2.4km. If you’re driving there are plenty of places to stop and park the car for a while. Dotted along the trail are large sculptures, like the giant pair of thongs and the funky head statues, which are a great excuse to jump out the car and take some photos. The Recognition Sculpture at Little Bay Surf Break is also a must-visit. The memorial recognises the massacre of Indigenous people at Waterloo Bay, and is a place for reflection on our shared past.

Visit Talia Caves & rockpools

Between Elliston and Venus Bay is Talia, which you may have seen on Instagram – the Woolshed Cave is pretty popular! The huge cavern was created in the cliff by waves, slowly wearing away the rock over the years. The inside is very steep, and its recommended you don’t go inside the cave past the large rock that sits near the entrance. There’s more to it than just the cave though. The Tub, a large crater with a 30m tunnel connection to the sea, is also epic – adventure-seekers can climb down into it when the weather permits. The coast near the Woolshed is also dotted with rockpools that act as mini bathtubs, which can be seen when the tide is out. Be careful of the waves and tides when exploring here. And don’t forget Talia Beach, great for surf fishing, and the sand dunes that sit behind it. They make a great playground for the kids, so don’t forget the sandboards!

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