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Port Willunga Beach

Home > Adelaide > Beaches | Dog Friendly | Escape the City | Fun Things To Do | Outdoor
by Bowen Bowie-Woodham (subscribe)
I write, read, travel, garden, renovate, work, drink coffee - all the usual things. My lovely partner often accompanies me, and of course my constant companions, two feisty terriers, are never far from my side. We live in and enjoy South Australia.
Published March 16th 2017
Fishermen's caves to fossils at Pt Willunga Beach
Port Willunga at the top of the Fleurieu Peninsula, on the coast of Gulf St Vincent, has a sandy white beach curving along the coast beneath yellow cliffs. Pigeons live in the pock-marked cliff face.

Port Willunga, cliffs, sandy cliffs, coastline, South Australia, wild, sandy beach, ocean, waves
Port Willunga beach


Peeking over the edge of the cliff top is the Star of Greece restaurant , which was named for an early shipwreck off of this treacherous piece of coast. Sections of the hull of the Star of Greece, which came to grief in 1888, remain on the ocean floor and make for a popular diving spot. At low tide parts of the wreck may still be visible from the shore.

Port Willunga, cliffs, sandy cliffs, coastline, South Australia, wild, Star Of Greece restaurant
The Star of Greece restaurant on the cliff top


Caves, carved by a former generation, cluster near the base of the cliffs in one area. These "fishermen's caves", (see pages 52-54 in the link) some large enough to shelter a small boat from a turbulent sea, were dug out by keen fishing people in the early to mid 20th century. These days the caves are clearly popular with visitors. Signs of camp fires in front of the caves are a give-away that they are sometimes used for overnight camping.

Port Willunga caves, cliffs, sandy cliffs, caves, Aldinga, shelter, sea shelter, South Australia, jetty ruins, pylons of lost jetty
Caves seen through jetty legs


Port Willunga caves, cliffs, sandy cliffs, caves, Aldinga, shelter, sea shelter, South Australia, ruins
The best equipped of the caves


One cave is smaller and higher than the others and requires a bit of climbing to reach.

Port Willunga, cliffs, sandy cliffs, coastline, South Australia, wild, climb
Port Willunga cliff caves


Dogs are welcome on the beach. On any day you will meet a number of happy pooches frolicking in the waves, running on the sand, or waiting patiently while their people picnic.

Port Willunga caves, cliffs, sandy cliffs, caves, Aldinga, shelter, sea shelter, South Australia
Port Willunga cliff caves


The beach is good for interesting geological finds, from stones smoothed by tides over aeons, to fossils securely embedded in rock.

fossils, beaches, rocks, geological finds, archeology, Port Willunga, Aldinga, South Australia
Fossils in the bedrock, Port Willunga


Pylons from a long lost jetty continue to take a battering in the tide. These pylons date back to 1868, when the jetty was built.

Tides can be big and rough. This stretch of coast appeals to some surfers and body-boarders.

Port Willunga, cliffs, sandy cliffs, coastline, South Australia, wild ocean, tide, pier legs, pillar posts
Port Willunga, legs of the lost jetty


dog, stump, timber, weathered wood, post, beach
A little more water won't hurt!


There is parking at the Star of Greece restaurant, Esplanade, Port Willunga, or else at the end of a no-through dirt track that runs off the junction of the Esplanade and Star of Greece Road. At the bottom of the Star of Greece car park are the public toilets, with an outdoor cold water shower to rinse off after diving, swimming or surfing. There is also a dog water bowl located here, under a small porch.
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Why? Explore the beach and caves
When: year round
Where: Port Willunga, South Australia
Cost: free
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