I am a freelance writer, photographer & fitness instructor. I enjoy hiking and kayaking and writing walking guides. Visit our website www.greataussiewalks.com.au or Facebook https://www.facebook.com/greataussiewalks
Published March 16th 2016
A colourful seaside town with activities for everyone
A variety of shops including a bakery, hardware store, chemist, surf shop and supermarket supply the local and tourist trade. Colourful shopfronts, small art galleries and street art enhance the seaside town look and make an interesting contrast to the older style buildings sharing the main street.
The Normanville Hotel, one of the oldest hotels in South Australia was opened in 1851 by Robert Norman and has been family owned and operated since 1973. In the early days, the hotel was also used for public meetings such as the first Yankalilla Council meeting in 1854.
Further along the main street, the Court House, built in 1865, has been transformed from a circuit court venue to a maternity hospital, boarding house and dive shop before being converted into the current restaurant in 2010. Open from 11 am, Wednesday to Sunday and renowned for fine local food, wine and art, main meals are around $29 to $35. The Court House was attached to the original police station, with the local officer and family residing in the second floor. The stocks on the footpath are a reminder of the buildings former life.
From the pastries and baked goods from the Normanville Bakery, to the breakfast and light lunch options from the Caffe on Bungala, a wide variety of cafes and eateries provide light meals for all tastes. For a more substantial meal, the Min Palace Chinese and Thai Restaurant offers a selection of Asian foods for lunch and dinner everyday except Monday, or the Peninsula Restaurant and bar at the Links Lady Bay offers a wide selection of meals daily for lunch and dinner.
A large car park and toilet facilities in Normanville make accessibility to the 7.3km beach easy for families. Alternatively, Lady Bay and Hancock Point are also good access points to the beach. Visitors to Normanville can enjoy a stroll along the white sandy beaches to Carrickalinga or Lady Bay taking in the beauty of the sand dunes extending 2.5km either side of Bungala Creek. The sand dunes in this area, estimated to be around 5000 years old, were heritage listed in 1996. The sand dunes are undergoing a reclamation program to prevent further erosion due to the loss of vegetation caused by mining for silica for the production of glass between 1969 and 1988.
Normanville Jetty 1868. State Library of South Australia B24281
The Normanville jetty, a popular place to walk or fish, has an interesting history. Originally built near the mouth of the Bungala River and rebuilt due to weather damage, in 1856 north of the river mouth, it was then removed in 1865 and rebuilt in 1868 to allow ships to transport wheat from Normanville. Unfortunately, this jetty was also damaged by bad weather in 1948 and again in 1952. In 1974, the jetty was shortened to its current length.
Other activities in Normanville include horse riding at High Country Trails, golf, cycling and walking. Normanville is home to the Links Lady Bay Golf Club and Resort near both the beach and Lady Bay Vineyard and Winery.
Walking trails in the area include the 5km loop trail from Normanville Heights to Yankalilla Heights. This two and a half hour undulating trail provides views of the Gulf of St. Vincent, Yankalilla and neighbouring hills. Other trail options include the Old Normanville Walk and the Normanville Jetty to Carrickalinga walk, both approximately two hours return and the Normanville circuit walk through Carrickalinga and Wattle Flat which takes about 3.5 hours return.
Whether passing through on the journey to Cape Jervis, visiting nearby Yankalilla or travelling to Normanville for a quiet seaside escape, Normanville has something for everyone and is definitely worth a visit.