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Adelaide's Beach Vehicle Pass

Home > Adelaide > Australia Day | Beaches | Escape the City | Family | School Holiday Activities
by Kat May (subscribe)
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Published January 1st 2019
Spend the best beach day ever with all your gear
Adelaide's southern beaches are wide with sweeping views out toward the cliffs of the southern Mt Lofty Ranges. At Aldinga, the beach curves a little farther south into Sellicks Beach, where the hills meet the sea. It really is very beautiful here.

Vehicle Beach Pass, Adelaide,
No parking hassles here. Enjoy our beautiful southern beaches this summer. Image by Kat May.

The thing that makes four of our southern beaches extra special, is you are allowed to drive your car onto them. All cars can be driven onto the beach but do not go onto the softer sand if you only have a 2WD. There is a small fee for this privilege and convenience. To have a place to park with a family on board is money well spent. For a fee of $6 in cash, at time of writing, will get a beach pass from the volunteers who sit all day under an umbrella at the ramp leading to the beach. The beach pass is only valid on the day of issue. Residents of the Onkaparinga Council district are entitled to a free summer-long vehicle access permit.

The beach day pass covers vehicle access for Aldinga, Sellicks, Moana and Silver Sands Beaches.

For this review, I visited Aldinga Beach. Turn off the main road onto Aldinga Beach Road. The sandy part of the beach has many small pebbles, which are protected and must be left on the beach. Fines are imposed for anyone taking the pebbles. The beach here is good for swimming with younger children and there are no rocks underfoot. The water was clear blue and blissful. To me, it seems a lot clearer and bluer than the northern beaches. Aldinga suburb has a small shopping mall with a supermarket if you want to stock up on supplies for the beach. The library here also has lots of beach equipment for kids to hire with your library card. For a short visit, there is a free carpark above the beach, near the ramp with a toilet block.

Vehicle Beach Pass, Adelaide,
You can drive for a long way on the firm sand here at Aldinga Beach in Adelaide. Image by Kat May.

Sellicks is a little farther on from Aldinga. You could, in fact, keep driving slowly along the beach from Aldinga and onto Sellicks and explore the cliff area. A fun activity for later in the day perhaps. Wear footwear for climbing on rocks.

Vehicle access is from 5.30 am to midnight, so a visit here makes a great all day or a pleasant night out. You could stay and swim during the day, then have supper by the sea watching the sunset. Be mindful where you park and go and park alongside other cars in the row. Watch out when you drive along the beachfront for kids and dogs running down to the water. It was good to see lots of young people coming down here and getting active, playing a game of beach cricket. There is a lot of activity going on so watch carefully when driving.

Vehicle Beach Pass, Adelaide,
There are so many fun things to do at the beach. Image by Kat May

In summer, you really cannot sit out here for long without protection from the strong sun. People take their beach shelters or pop up gazebos for shade. Some gazebos have a silver lining on them which are good blackouts. But be warned, the slightest breeze can pick these things up like Mary Poppins' umbrella and tumble down the beach heading towards nearby cars. Some people were unaware of this hazard as we witnessed a tumbling gazebo and some frazzled beachgoers running along after it. This looked amusing but they can do lots of damage to people or cars. Once this happens the frame will be ready for the bin, as the aluminium legs get bent and it will not fold down. If taking a gazebo to sit under, take some large water containers and fill them up with sea water and secure them with guy ropes from the gazebo. Buckets full of sand may also work. Have all this ready before you put the cover on.

Dogs are allowed on the beach in your car but must be secured or walked on a leash. There are many areas dogs are allowed, but also some restricted areas along Onkaparinga council's beaches. If you want to take your pooch for a day at the seaside, check the website dog page on the council website here. If you have a noisy barking dog, please leave it at home. We all want a blissful day at the beach.

Another thing you can do at Aldinga Beach is to take a stroll along the boardwalk across the top of the dunes in the Aldinga Scrub Conservation Park. There is no vehicle access into this park, only walking tracks. The boardwalk is right behind Aldinga Beach. As there is only one car space, it is best to take the short walk up the beach ramp and follow the sign past the holiday cottages. Here you will have a grand vista of the beach, the ranges and south to Sellicks. To the rear, you can see for miles with farmlands of the Willunga region. It may be better to do this short boardwalk excursion in the morning before it gets too hot.

Vehicle Beach Pass, Adelaide,
The boardwalk on top of the Aldinga dunes gives a glimpse into the Conservation Park. Image by Kat May

I must say this was one of the most pleasant days I have spent at any beach. We took a gazebo, comfortable camping chairs, a table, esky with a gourmet picnic hamper, picnic plates and cups, jumbo size sunblock, a heavy watermelon, esky of drink bottles, towels, hats, boogies boards, sand play tools and magazines to read. And everyone had a beach bag with all their personal gear in it. Imagine lugging all that down to the beach for the day. Not to mention carrying it all back to the car up on the road in the hot sun while burning your feet on the sand.

Vehicle Beach Pass, Adelaide,
This is so much easier when taking kids and all the beach gear. Image by Kat May.

We went on a weekday during the school holidays, which I recommend for taking children. It was very quiet with more cars arriving in the afternoon. On weekends or busy holidays, the cars make two rows on the sand. You are forbidden to drive on the pebbles. It took us one hour drive from near Adelaide city via the southern expressway. Driving onto the beach and choosing a perfect spot with a view of the sea, with all your gear right with you was sheer summer bliss. My tip is to not go on a windy day. Check wind speed on the weather. Less than 10 -15 kms is suitable.

So now I had written you a list of all you need, what are you waiting for? Head down early to one of our beautiful southern beaches soon for a day of absolute beach bliss.

Vehicle Beach Pass, Adelaide,
Looking north on Aldinga Beach. Absolute bliss! Image by Kat May.
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Why? For blissful beach fun with family and friends.
When: Vehicle access only from 5.30am-midnight. All year round. Some seasonal restrictions apply.
Phone: For enquiries and to report inappopriate behaviour on beaches 8384 0666 8.30am - 5pm Monday to Friday or after hours on 8384 0622.
Where: Beach pass is valid for Moana, Silver Sands, Sellicks, Aldinga Beaches.
Cost: $6 as of January 2019
Your Comment
What a great article. Aren't we so very lucky to have such beautiful beaches!
by Paula McManus (score: 3|3750) 1020 days ago
In your article you mentioned the following:
"Sellicks is a little farther on from Aldinga. You could, in fact, keep driving slowly along the beach from Aldinga and onto Sellicks....."
This is INCORRECT, as you can not drive along a portion of the beach adjacent to Silver Sands, which is between Aldinga Beach & Sellicks Beach.
Otherwise, great article!
by sharo (score: 0|5) 1019 days ago
Just a note you cannot drive on the beach from Aldinga to Sellicks Beach as there is a no vehicle section between Aldinga and Silver Sands. Other than that what a great article
by bazza (score: 0|2) 1019 days ago
We are Residents of Sellicks Beach and have been since 2001. The reason for our move was to be near the sea and for Hubby to have access to the boat launching area at Aldinga. It is very important that visitors to our local beaches abide by the rules. One of the most important is that the speed on the beach is 10kph. The others have been mentioned but these in particular are VERY important. - i.e. Do not park on the pebble banks! NOT even a bit touching the pebbles. If the Rangers are checking the behaviour or position of cars, if not abiding the rules, you will receive a fine! If you are not a Resident, a day pass of $6 (CASH PLEASE) is applicable.
by saghs (score: 1|54) 1018 days ago
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