On this day steep cliffs provide shade from the warm sun that glistens off the ocean below. A crowd forms to watch a dolphin as it casually cruises through the pristine waters and welcomes tourists to the cove.
[ADVERT]This small pocket of paradise is Second Valley, imaginatively named for being the second valley noticed by Colonel William Light when he explored the area in 1836. It is located approximately ninety minutes south of Adelaide on the road to Cape Jervis. It makes a nice setting for a lazy seaside holiday and provides an excellent base to explore this corner of the Fleurieu Peninsula.
Nearby you will find Yankalilla, Carrickalinga and Normanville. If you continue the drive along Main South Road you will head to Rapid Bay, Cape Jervis and onto the ferry to Kangaroo Island. Natural attractions nearby include Deep Creek Conservation Park, Waitpinga, Ingalalla Waterfalls, Glacier Rock, Hindmarsh Waterfalls and Myponga Reservoir.
Part of the appeal is that there really isn't much to do here other than enjoy the rugged natural beauty, historical sites and relaxed atmosphere. You can stay at the Second Valley Caravan Park, eat at Leonard's Mill and spend some time getting cosy with sleepy Second Valley. There are three sites in Second Valley listed on the State Heritage Register. Be sure to check out the jetty and causeway, the geological formations along the cliff line and Leonard's Mill.
Most activities in Second Valley involve the beach. The beach is serviced with car parking and public rest rooms. There is a small area of soft white sand suitable for the construction of sandcastles. With crystal clear water it is great for swimming and kayaking. The jetty was originally established over 150 years ago and still is a busy spot for locals and holidaymakers to try their luck fishing and squidding.
Across from the jetty, the area is shaped by a rocky outcrop known as 'The Island'. It forms a small bay on either side where snorkelers can observe an abundance of marine life- maybe even a friendly dolphin. The sunken remains of the HMAS Hobart between Second Valley and Normanville is a popular site for divers.
The dramatic cliffs have curious caves and prehistoric markings that match the rocky beach below. It makes for a fun and adventurous walk with lots of rock pools to investigate. Depending on tidal conditions, there are isolated inlets just waiting to be discovered. If you do choose to go clambering over the rocks it is advisable to wear shoes instead of thongs to help avoid slips and also because there is unfortunately often broken bottles.
Traipse over "The Island" and you will be walking along what was once the site of the old boat sheds that Second Valley was famous for. The sheds once housed fishing boats but they were sadly demolished after sixty years in the interest of public safety. Lobbying by the Second Valley Progress Association has ensured a rusty boat winch remains with a plaque to immortalise this piece of history.
For a bird's eye view, walk along the cliff tops and admire the breathtaking ocean views and coastal scenes below. Be greeted along the way by galahs and cockatoos amidst the native eucalypts and see lizards and local wildlife.
After a day at the beach, stop in at the historic Leonard's Mill for a drink and a bite to eat. The old flour mill is now a restaurant, bar, art gallery and offers accommodation. It has been restored but the chimney and some of the timber are relics from the 1850s. With a strong sense of time and place, unwind and immerse yourself in a piece of history and the charm of Second Valley.