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Published February 25th 2016
A gift to the people of South Australia
Imagine a park on the South Coast of the Fleurieu where you walk the beach in private, explore the rocks, kick the football, ride the bike or simply watch the whales. In an area where land is at a premium, it is hard to contemplate, but welcome to Basham's Beach Regional Park.
Basham's Beach Regional Park is situated halfway between the towns of Port Elliot and Middleton and is bordered by the Port Elliot Caravan Park, the railway line, Basham Beach Road and the wide open expanses of the Southern Ocean.
The Park is on land that was formerly owned by the Basham family who used it as their farm and a place for their homestead known as 'Pleasant Banks'. Following the passing of members of the Basham family, the land now forms part of the Basham Beach Regional Park Trust and is maintained by the Alexandrina Council for the enjoyment of all.
Access to the Park is via the car parks at the southern or northern ends, or via the long beach that fronts the Park. For cyclists (and skateboarders and the like), access is via the paved Encounter Bikeway which traverses through the park from north to south.
At the northern end of the Park are a series of part restored historic buildings and sheds that are available for inspection. These buildings formed part of the Basham's farm during the last century. Information boards and signs give some indication as to the lives that these buildings once had.
Numerous walking trails take walkers across the rocky granite outcrop on the headland along sandy trails and through native vegetation which are magnets for the birds and bees particularly during spring and summer. The small rocky granite outcrop is a haven for young kids to explore in relative safety with prizes of small crabs for the bravest, while adults can sit atop the rocks and ponder the shipwrecks that lie just off the coast.
The beach itself stretches for over a kilometre and because it faces east it fails to attract any of the swell and surf waves that are so attractive a little further up the coast. Fisherman cast their rods a fair way in to the ocean, while young kids and families are often seen frolicking or walking through the shallow waters.
In winter, the beach and the nearby seats come alive with the sounds of visitors with their cameras and binoculars during the annual whale watching season. The calmer waters of this beach has seen more than its fair share of whales as mothers look to give birth or rear their young calves with some security.
Basham's Beach Regional Park is open all year round with no entry fee. As expected at all parks, visitors are encouraged to leave nothing behind but footprints and to take only memories, and perhaps lots of photos.
Having spent much of my childhood going to Pt.Elliot and looking at this magnificent Basham's beach,I never got around to walking along it.Now that I have read your article,I must get down that way soon and do it.