Henley Beach to the Torrens Outlet - A Coastal Walk

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Posted 2023-11-20 by Barry Silkstonefollow
juvenile Pacific Gull

‘Look an Albatross,’ exclaims a child pointing to the large gull-like bird perched atop one of the jetty’s light poles. A common but understandable mistake. The bird is actually a juvenile Pacific Gull , the largest gull species along our coast.
One of many renovated older-styled buildings

I am walking around Henley’s popular jetty and square then along the shoreline to the Ozone Reserve where the Torrens River enters the sea. I will walk on the beach and then continue along the promenade to the Torrens outlet. It is a route abounding with interesting plant and animal life, diverse architecture and places to stop, look, swim or grab a bite to eat.
Wedge Shell

seagrass as well as red and green algae

With the tide out, there is quite a lot of ‘washed up’ marine life in the tidal pools and along the beachfront. I notice a wide variety of shells ranging from gastropods which are single snail-like shells, to bivalves such as cockles and mussels, with hinged shells and two parts. There are also strands of seagrass which are flowering plants as well as detached red, brown and green algae.
Cuttle 'bone'

Look carefully and you will also see traces of other marine creatures: a crab claw, Cuttlefish bone (not a bone but the internal support for the squid-like mollusc), pieces of sponge and hard coral, spiral Port Jackson Shark eggs, barnacles attached to driftwood, sea squirts and an occasional shark tooth.
A little loo art

I leave the beach opposite the Henley Hotel and, strange as that might seem, I stop and admire the local toilet. It is painted deep blue and decorated with wonderful mosaics of the local marine life. The hotel is an excellent venue for a coffee break before continuing along the promenade pathway.
One of numerous wattle or acacia species suitable for coastal conditions

The beachside housing along this stretch is varied as are the gardens. Numerous urban birds are common in them, including Welcome Swallows, Blackbirds, Australian Magpies, House Sparrows, Mudlarks, Rainbow Lorikeets, feral pigeons as well as more coastal species such as Silver Gulls and Singing Honeyeaters . Native coastal plants are also a feature of the zone between the path and the beach. They include Pigface, coastal acacias, tea trees, saltbush and numerous grasses and ground covers.
Cested Terns and Silver Gulls

I finish my walk at the Ozone Reserve, which is a small park situated where the Torrens empties into the sea. I note several small sand bars at this location which are providing an ideal resting place for a mixed group of Silver Gulls and Crested Terns. This small estuary is also a favourite spot for anglers and quite often Australian Pelicans stay close to them in the hope of snagging a fish or some leftover bait.
Anglers at the mouth of the Torrens

My beach and promenade trek has been quite successful and I take a rest at the park before a
more vigorous walk back to my starting point and a well-earned bite to eat at one of Henley Square’s many fine cafes and restaurants.

Additional notes
This is an easy walk which is quite suitable for families and seniors with public toilets, parking and other facilities nearby. It is dog-friendly.


270656 - 2023-11-17 11:03:18


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