Most people don't explore much further North along the coast than Semaphore or Largs Bay. After Jetty Road in Largs, the Esplanade turns into Lady Gowrie Drive. And, well, the rest is unknown. I thought that the road only led to Outer Harbor. Thankfully, my curious personality kicked in a few days ago and I decided to travel further along the seaside road and see what I could find.
It was pleasantly surprising to discover the peaceful North Haven Marina. This huge marina has multiple sections to it and docks hundreds of boats. You can find both small, tacky vessels and ginormous, quadruple level luxuries. The marina is an absolute dream for those who love to boat-watch and pick their favourites.
It's tempting to use the ramps, but they are for boat owners only. Image: Emma Jane Warren
Around the edge of the marina, there are small housing units and apartments that overlook the water. Despite them all being filled with residents, the entire suburb is quiet and serene. Even on a weekend, I couldn't hear a single noise except for the water lapping against itself and the slight hum of boats.
A clean, paved walking trail weaves around the marina. Along the path edge, there are bright blossoming flowers that add colour and character to the walk. Pontoons lead off of the trail, however, they are privately owned and not for public use.
Look for this sign to know where to go. Image: Emma Jane Warren
The quiet water makes the area a perfect hideaway for wildlife. Not only were there birds ducking and diving into the water, but I managed to spot a dolphin. It followed me for about 20 minutes before I stopped at the Gulf Point Centre. A local resident informed me that it's not uncommon for dolphins and other sea creatures to swim between the boats.
The Gulf Point Centre has a number of cafes and restaurants that have priceless views over the marina. If you just want a treat or snack, there's a small deli right next to the marina entrance. But if you want a meal, there's the Abbracci Cafe, with affordable, classic Italian cuisine. The most popular eatery along the water's edge is the Sailmaster Tavern. They offer $13.90 dinner Monday-Thursday nights, and $9.90 senior lunches.
Neighbouring the North Haven Marina is a large park. There's a playground, exercise equipment, sheltered seating, and a public bbq. The green grass is always kept to a great standard by the council, making it a fun place for families or kids. The seats and tables are perfect for a picnic lunch, as they look out onto the marina. There's also The Beach Pit Kiosk for ice-cream, drinks, and fish & chips.
The North Haven Marina is about 7km North of Semaphore, or just over a 30 minute drive from Adelaide city. You can park your car in the marina car park off of Arcadia Court. The nearest bus stop is right by the marina entrance on Lady Gowrie Road. Bus numbers 655, 659, 664, and 672 make stops there.
I agree that this is a place well worth a visit...I have always found it so relaxing having a meal/drink there gazing over the marina.The Sailmaster Tavern is one of the best places to be for a casual lunch.