My home state of South Australia is blessed with around 5,000 kilometres of coastline and with two gulfs there are plenty of beaches to visit. Depending on where you stay you can be greeted with the sun rising from the sea at east facing beaches or witness some spectacular sunsets when the sun dips into the sea in the west.
Most Australians tend to gravitate to the beaches during summer holidays and with more than 1200 beaches on mainland South Australia, there is space aplenty if you know where to go and beaches to suit everyone. Whether you are looking for surf and action water sport beaches or something more sedate for swimming, kayaking or paddle boarding, there is a beach in South Australia perfect for it.
There is also nothing better than having a beach view from the caravan. Places where you are only a few steps from the sand, making it easy to carry gear to the beach or wander backwards and forwards from van to beach, saving on having to carry armfuls of gear for a family day of fun. With that in mind I have listed my Top 5 best beachside caravan parks because of their proximity to the beach, the views and other reasons that make them top spots to visit.
Port Vincent – Yorke Peninsula
If you get a prime beachfront site at this Foreshore Caravan Park, only a small wall and terraced steps separate your van from the beach and water. The park is positioned on a point of land and has two sides of water frontage, with caravans facing a sheltered bay and cabins facing a beach that is populated with heaps of pelicans.
Port Vincent is on the east facing side of Yorke Peninsula so you get some beautiful golden sunrises and then you can watch the sun track across the bay during the day. The bay is popular for boating, sailing, swimming, paddle boarding and fishing and crabbing are also popular pastimes from the east facing beach or from the breakwater at Surveyors Point.
The beauty of this park is that the town is within walking distance with shopping, eating out, a playground and local tourism information all easy to access by foot.
Powered foreshore sites are very reasonably priced from $38.00 to $42.00 per night (based on 2 people).
Moonta Bay – Yorke Peninsula
Another favourite on Yorkes is the Moonta Bay Caravan Park with excellent broad views of the bay and jetty at this west facing beach. The sunsets here are just magical and make for Insta worthy photos as the sun sets behind the jetty
The tide goes out a long way at Moonta Bay making the sandy beach a popular space for beach cricket games and other group game fun before the tide comes in again every evening. The bay is very popular for mostly sheltered fishing and crabbing whether in a boat or land based. At its calmest it is a top spot for paddle boarding with the water staying shallow for a long distance before hitting a seaweed patch (the blue line) where squid can be caught. When the wind and small waves whip up then you can watch windsurfers and kite surfers come out to play.
The best part of the location of this caravan park is that there is always something to watch in front of you, there is a great long jetty for fishing and a water park for the kids to have splashing good fun in. There is a deli with a very limited range, but they also have decent takeaway food, but other than that the town of Moonta is a little over three kilometres back from the coast and has everything else you could want.
Pets are welcome at Moonta Bay Caravan Park and they love the beach! The park is situated over two levels with powered beach front sites costing around $49 per night in peak summer season.
Port Elliot Holiday Park – Fleurieu Peninsula
A big park with wide grassed beachfront sites that give views over Horseshoe Bay and paths over dunes onto the sand. There is a park and playground area next to the caravan park too and lots of really good walks in the area. The town of Port Elliot is an easy walk from the park too.
The beach at the caravan park end can be a little bit treacherous with dumping waves, but it is fun for body boarding with care. The safer swimming part of the beach is at the jetty end where surf life savers set up in the busy times to patrol the beach. You can fish from the small jetty or better still buy fish and chips freshly cooked at the Flying Fish Café situated on the bay. Horseshoe Bay has a history of shipwrecks in its past and there is a lot of historical information to read as you walk around the foreshore and headland area. You can often spot dolphins and seals in this bay.
Beachfront sites cost a premium, starting at $53 per night, but it’s all about location, location, location here.
Brighton Beachfront Holiday Park – Metro Adelaide
This park is in an excellent location only 17 kilometres from Adelaide and with lots of metropolitan shopping and dining options nearby. One of the best options is the Seacliff Surf Lifesaving Club right next to the park so easy to walk to.
Only a foreshore boardwalk separates you from the sand of Seacliff beach which is a very popular suburban swimming beach. The boardwalk forms part of a Coast Park Trail which extends for 70 kilometres along the metropolitan Adelaide coastline.
Being closer to the city the rates go up too, with beachfront sites here starting from around $55 per night. This is a west facing beach so the summer sun sinking into the sea can be viewed from your caravan.
Normanville Jetty Caravan Park – Fleurieu Peninsula
Another favourite because of the calm water here. I’ve barely seen a wave at this beach in summer so it’s really popular for young kids to be able to have fun in the water. This is another surf lifesaver patrolled beach at peak times and the club is walking distance from the caravan park. There is also an excellent café for beach side dining.
There is a very small jetty that sometimes barely has water under it but people do go fishing from it at the right times and shore based fishing is popular too. Part of the beach can be driven on but only if you are launching or retrieving boats.
A couple of things worth mentioning about this beach is that I have almost lost count of how many cars I’ve seen swamped by the water when they are attempting to retrieve boats, I don’t know if it’s due to soft sinking sand or inexperience but it’s almost a regular occurrence here. The other thing is that for a few years when we regularly stayed at this beach in summer, it was common on at least one day for a shark sighting to happen. Everyone would evacuate the water if a shark spotting plane advised of a sighting and the surf life savers would be quick to warn beach goers too. One of the unavoidable pitfalls of beach going unfortunately. This is another west facing beach with beautiful views south to coastal cliffs.
The caravan park is pet friendly and has an excellent camp kitchen where groups can eat together indoors. At peak times, powered sites start from $49 per night.
These are just a few beachfront parks that we have stayed in and loved, but there are plenty more to enjoy during the summer holiday time in South Australia.