My Top 5 Coastal Locations
Here is a list of my favourite coastal locations that aren’t too far from Adelaide. I haven’t included any locations from further afield on the Eyre Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, Yorke Peninsula or the Flinders Ranges. These 5 spots are great for experienced and novice photographers alike.
I wanted to include at least one metro beach in this list as this is where I cut my teeth as a landscape photographer, shooting the many jetties that jut out from the mainland from Largs Bay down to Brighton. Semaphore probably edges out the other beach side suburbs due to the jetty retaining its old wooden charm and also having the watch tower alongside for that awesome foreground or background interest. I’ve witnessed some of the best sunsets I’ve ever seen at Semaphore. Turn around from looking out to see and the foreshore is also very photogenic.
Top Tip: Stand next to the watch tower, with a super wide lens and shoot the jetty with the watch tower as your foreground interest.
Port Elliot is a popular spot for holidaying South Australians and rightly so. The stretch of coastline from Horseshoe Bay to Knights Beach faces south so you can capture the setting sun looking towards Victor Harbor, and dawn sees first light in the direction of Goolwa. Another reason this location is superb for photography is the red rocks that sit on the waters edge acting as a barrier against the rough seas blowing in from the Southern Ocean.
Top Tip: Set up your camera down at the rocks at the entrance to Knights Beach facing West at sunset. Capture the sun as it sets over the coastline while the waves crash into the huge rocks in your foreground.
Second Valley might be up there as my number one location for photography. It offers stunning views of the coastline and unique geological formations. This beach is popular for swimming, jetty fishing and snorkelling and looks particularly turquoise in summer. Named as such because it was the second valley after Rapid Bay that early settlers discovered, the white and buff-coloured dolomitic limestone, grey to black slate, and quartz veins offer great foreground interest in any direction. A miniature rocky peninsula offers coastline views north and south of the rolling hills unique to this particular area of the Fleurieu.
Top Tip: Walk round to the left of the jetty and out onto the rocks that jut out into the sea. Then look back towards the jetty with the hills in the background either at Sunrise or sunset.
Hallet Cove is another place that’s great because of the interesting geology that can be found in the conservation park there. You can’t really go wrong for compositions in any direction when looking for interesting foregrounds. The Sugarloaf, formed 280 million years ago is a popular tourist attraction and is great to photograph for obvious reasons. The boardwalks around the place are useful for getting leading lines into your images and one even goes all the way to Marino along the coastline. Right on the water’s edge, big waves offer interesting action shots if you get your shutter speed correct.
Top Tip: Walk along the boardwalk towards Marino until you come to a little valley in the hillside which sometimes has a little stream flowing down on to the pebbles on the beach in winter.
The Onkaparinga river mouth is definitely very photogenic as proven by the amount of images we see on social media of steps leading down to the ocean! With easy access from the carpark at the top, the views on offer here of fresh water snaking its way round until it meets the vast salt water of the ocean are SA iconic. The leading lines of the steps offer your obvious foreground interest with the beautiful coastal scene in the background. Port Noarlunga jetty can be seen in the distance.
Top Tip: Walk down the steps and go around the corner to the left and set up camera on the rock ledges and capture some wave action. In winter, these ledges are covered in colourful green moss.