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Harbourmaster's Walking Trail

Home > Adelaide > Walks | Views | Fun Things To Do | Dog Friendly | Beaches
by Alicia Strous (subscribe)
I am a Science student with more hobbies than university subjects.
Published February 27th 2013
Simply stunning scenery
Harbourmaster's walk is a short but delightful path that runs from Horseshoe Bay to Knights beach in Port Elliot, or in the opposite direction if one wishes. The views are panoramic to the east, south and west, providing excellent views and photographic opportunities from dawn to sunset. The area with the path, and indeed most of Freemen's Knob, is a part of the Commodore Reserve.

night long exposure photo moon moonlight photography couple people Port Elliot Harbourmasters
The Horseshoe Bay views are fantastic from this angle


The history of the track appears to begin when the proposed shipping port (at what was then) Elliot halted due to the growing number of shipwrecks and ensuing public outcry. Tourists started coming to escape the heat of the Adelaide plains in summer, and the tracks they made walking around the island were paved by volunteers in the 1930's and 40's. Keith Dodd and the Lion's Club are responsible for the plantings of succulents, which grow very well in the harsh conditions on the slopes.

night long exposure photo moon moonlight photography couple people Port Elliot Harbourmasters Ladies Beach
Ladies Beach, viewed from the Harbourmaster's walking path.


The track starts on the right of Horseshoe Bay and can be found by taking the upward path next to the Surf Life Saving Club and jetty, or just opposite from the Port Elliot YHA. First stop is Ladies Beach, a quiet patch of sand with great views at sunrise and sheltered swimming.

night long exposure photo moon moonlight photography couple people Port Elliot Harbourmasters bench seat chair view
Bench facing the east with a view of Pullen's Island.


Continuing along the Harbourmaster's walk there are plenty of benches, each with a magnificent view. The path curves around the side of Freemen's Knob, roughly a third of the way between the top of the hill and the water below. You can hear the waves as you walk, and it must get very windy at times especially in winter.

night long exposure photo moon moonlight photography couple people Port Elliot Harbourmasters
The steps down to Knights Beach on a lovely summers eve.


Stairs leading to the top to the lookout offer a different view, but the path continues along around to the west.

night long exposure photo moon moonlight photography couple people Port Elliot Harbourmasters
Lit only by the moon and stars, this long exposure shows part of the view from the lookout at Freemen's Knob


Green Beach is accessed via a stairway down to the rocks, and can have fairly rough water at times due to its angle to the sea. Further still down the path is descent to Knights Beach. This is the side with the sunset views, and the granite outcrops with steep sides are often explored by the bold and the young.

night long exposure photo moon moonlight photography couple people Port Elliot Harbourmasters
Sunset view towards Victor Harbour


Although the Harbourmaster's path ends here, one can follow the beaches and walk all the way to Victor Harbour. It is advisable to check the Cockle Train schedule as a method of return.
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Why? Harbourmaster's Walk offers stunning panoramic views, and should definitely be on the list of things to do in Port Elliot.
When: All year round
Where: Port Elliot, from Horseshoe Bay to Knights Beach
Cost: Free
Your Comment
It's the iconic 'must do' walk at Port Elliott, stunning views that you never tire of, plenty of place to rest and just 'drink in' the beauty of the location. You may well see whales during the winter months. Thanks for the information in this report.
by PAMMI (score: 1|18) 2306 days ago
It is indeed a lovely walk, but watch our for snakes. Last weekend we saw a quite long adult snake, light brown, the same colour as the rocks. So they are out and about in this area now the warmer weather has arrived. We saw the snake in the area overlooking the beach the surfers use. Marram
by marym (score: 0|6) 1708 days ago
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