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Thompson Beach

Home > Adelaide > Beaches | Outdoor | Unusual Things to do
by Michael Genrich (subscribe)
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Published December 14th 2019
Explore the Samphire Coast

Thompson Beach is a little known beach that's off the beaten track and a bit different to your average beach. It's on the 'Samphire Coast' a few kilometres west of Dublin and about an hour north of Adelaide on Port Wakefield Road.

thompson beach, beach, adelaide, crabs, whiting, tidal
You can drive on the beach but you won't get far.

thompson beach, beach, adelaide, crabs, whiting, tidal
High tide. Image courtesy outdoorstype.com.au

thompson beach, beach, adelaide, crabs, whiting, tidal
Esplanade - Thompson Beach

Turn off the highway at Dublin and travel west along Ruskin Road across flat cropping land that quickly changes to saltbush flats then to salt pans before reaching the scrubby dunes along the coast.


Depending on the tide you may find the waterline near the beach or you may not even be able to see the water from the beach. Thompson Beach is a huge tidal flat which makes it different but perfect for wading, fishing and crabbing.

It's a great place to bring the kids for a wade around the calm shores and explore the myriad of discoveries to be had along the beach. There's heaps of shells and plants around and small fish dart around in the shallows that seem to go on forever.

thompson beach, beach, adelaide, crabs, whiting, tidal
Image courtesy outdoorstype.com.au

Fisherfolk flock here in summer to chase yellowfin whiting and the area is a mecca for crab rakers who come to rake up a feed of blue swimmer crab on the sandy flats. Taking shellfish, molluscs and crabs in rocky inter-tidal zones is banned in SA. Stick with chasing legal size whiting and crabs and you'll be right.

Thompson Beach is right in the middle of the Adelaide International Bird Sanctuary. There's a trail to explore at either end of the township with signage and car parking at each trailhead. Most daytrippers are happy enough to park at the main car park opposite Ruskin Road. There's a public toilet, bins and a picnic shelter but that's about it for facilities.


Thompson Beach is a beautiful spot for a bit of a weekend adventure that many people don't bother to visit. It's a marvel to wade out and watch the incoming tide as it creeps across the flats at walking pace.

Put Thompson Beach on your list soon for a weekend drive and a bit of a wade in the sea under a big sky.

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Why? Explore the Samphire Coast
When: Anytime
Where: Thompson Beach. North of Adelaide
Cost: Free
Your Comment
Sounds like a great outing day for the kids during the school hols Michael. Will have to check it out.
by William Boland (score: 1|56) 346 days ago
Looks like a great beach to go exploring for interesting little critters.
by Gayle Beveridge (score: 3|8042) 333 days ago
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