I am a Science student with more hobbies than university subjects.
Published February 25th 2013
Not second rate
Second Valley is a beach located around 2 hours south of Adelaide. It is a lovely location for a holiday with a caravan park, playground, kiosk, jetty and more concentrated in a small area just off the beach.
The snorkelling here is fantastic, with lots of shallow areas to explore and tons of creatures to discover.
The only disappointment is that the beach is small and surrounded by cliffs, thus one cannot actually stay right at the water's edge, but that can easily be overlooked because the area is utterly magnificent. Besides, those same hills offer walks and views and a change of scenery if one becomes bored with water-related activities.
These hills are sure to offer stunning views, especially at sunset.
This sheltered beach is a great place to introduce kids to the water with intertidal rock pools, a jetty for fishing, and swimming and snorkelling.
Snorkelling and diving are the best way to see the unique marine life below the surface. You really don't have to go far to see a large variety of species. The distance away from Adelaide reduces the amount of pollution and rubbish in the water but it is still within the relatively protected waters of the gulf (unlike Victor Harbour, which often has rough conditions). Walk into the water from the beach, don the mask and flippers, and swim to the right to avoid the fishing lines and the jetty.
Some fish are more camouflaged than others - dont forget to take a close look at the rocks and vegetation from time to time.
The rocks crop out from the shore and provide a ton of hidden mini bays to explore. After about 100 meters, the water deepens a little and the foliage changes: this is an area worthy of further exploration.
On one short snorkel at Second Valley, I saw a small ray, a hermit crab, various other molluscs, and a velvet and a biscuit sea star. At least nine species of fish were counted, some of which are not commonly seen in the metropolitan waters at places like Noarlunga Reef. Occasionally Leafy Sea Dragons are found here, and it is very close to Yankalilla where the biannual Leafy Sea Dragon Festival is held. Divers also frequently report other species of rays and fish.
Gardens of taller seaweed spread out over the sand in the deeper parts of the area, and it is lovely to be able to float serenely over the area.
Do yourself a favour and go snorkelling at Second Valley - you will be back for more.