The Port Elliot and Middleton coast is very familiar and popular with a lot of South Aussies, it’s so close to Adelaide (around 80 kilometres away) that it can be a day trip destination. Once in Port Elliot a good way to stretch the legs and see the really picturesque coastline of this Fleurieu region is to take a walk from Horseshoe Bay to Middleton.
Some new signage and viewing areas have been installed on this walk with more improvements being planned. A lot of stakeholders have an interest in the area so there have been consultative meetings with landholder families, council, friends groups, the Port Elliot Caravan Park and local Ngarringjeri and Ramindjeri elders. All of this has been done with a view of future improvements being made to this conservation area known as Ratalang Basham Beach Conservation Reserve.
The area stretches from Horseshoe Bay at Port Elliot to the edge of Middleton and takes in sandy bays, rocky headlands, coastal dunes and heathland. A path begins from the Commodore Point end of Horseshoe Bay, through the caravan park and up to a new viewing platform at the point where you get a good view over the bay.
Continue on the path and you will come to another viewing platform, an ideal spot to see whales as they cruise past this part of the coast. The next beach you come to is Crockery Bay and you pick up the path again at the far end of the beach.
This next section takes you past the remains of a quarry site, seal rock blowhole and pink granite cliffs. This area is a popular fishing spot and a little further on is the next bay, Fisherman’s Bay and a popular surfing and body boarding spot known as ‘The Chicken Run’. Keep your eyes on the water as you go you can often see seals and pods of dolphins.
From here you can continue walking around the bay which turns into Basham Beach, or join up with a path (the Encounter Bikeway) that will lead all the way into Middleton. The walk from Horseshoe Bay to Middleton is around 4 kilometres.
This is an easy walk for any fitness level, where you can appreciate the natural vegetation and rock formations and boulders that edge the coast and sparkling blue water that crashes into them. A great place to explore and enjoy at a leisurely pace.