For a traditional beachside feel in a historic setting, head to the maritime Adelaide suburb of Semaphore.
By Marc Llewellyn
Charming Semaphore, a beachside suburb 14 kilometres (9 miles) from central Adelaide, has plenty of seaside character. A vibrant place with a strong maritime heritage, Semaphore is known for its vast expanse of golden sand and shallow sea, clusters of heritage buildings, traditional amusement park rides, and plenty of major events.
- Check out the shops and cafés on Semaphore Road
- Explore the foreshore and its many attractions
- Attend one of Semaphore's exciting events
How to get there
Semaphore is about 30 minutes by taxi from central Adelaide. Alternatively, take the Adelaide Metro (Outer Harbor line) from Adelaide Railway Station on North Terrace (20 minutes) then a 333 bus to Semaphore (about 10 minutes).
Top things to do in Semaphore
Take a stroll along Semaphore Road
Semaphore Road is one of Adelaide's widest boulevards, home to heritage buildings, funky boutiques, antique shops, café, restaurants and pubs. Enjoy the beer garden at the Sweet Amber Brew Café, which serves brews from micro-breweries and showcases some of South Australia's best cheeses, cured meats and artisan breads. A historic pub worth popping into is The Fed on Semaphore, built in 1865. It offers good "pub grub" (Australian slang for pub food) and live music on Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoons. Semaphore Road ends at the grassy Semaphore Foreshore Reserve, where you'll find the beach, and beyond that, the emerald green sea. Head to Sotos Fish Shop for award-winning fish and chips.
Enjoy Semaphore Beach and the Esplanade
Semaphore Beach is a wide expanse of sand set against a backdrop of sand dunes. The Semaphore Jetty, built in 1860, is a major landmark. Another standout is the stone Time Ball Tower, constructed in 1875 to enable ships at sea to align their navigation instruments. The foreshore also has a mini-golf course, a 70 metre (230 foot) water slide, and the largest operating carousel in Australia, built in 1928. The foreshore forms part of the Coast Park Path, a 70 kilometre (44 mile) walking and cycling track along Adelaide's metropolitan coastline. A miniature steam train belonging to the Semaphore and Fort Glanville Tourist Railway travels for two kilometres (1.2 miles) along the foreshore. It leaves from the foot of the jetty.
Enjoy the local event calendar
Several major events take place at Semaphore during the year, including the Semaphore Summer Carnival. As well as impressive fireworks displays on New Year's Eve and Australia Day (a public holiday in Australia, celebrated on January 26), the carnival has traditional fairground rides and free entertainment for kids. Another big event is the Semaphore Music Festival, held over the annual October Labour Day long weekend on the beach and Foreshore Reserve. Expect dozens of music performers from South Australia, as well as food trucks, carnival rides and local craft beers and wines. Other events include the Semaphore Greek Cultural Festival, the Adelaide International Kite Festival and the Semaphore Street Fair.
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