Antechamber Bay - Chapman River
You could easily spend a day relaxing at Antechamber Bay and Chapman River. The area is full of tracks leading through bushland, sand-hills and lagoons, and is a favourite spot for canoeists and campers. Chapman River is a wonderful place to spend a day and a great place for children to play in the shallow waters of the river mouth. A stroll on the long, sandy beach will reveal the splendour of Antechamber Bay; and more often than not, you'll have the beach to yourself. Swimming, picnic areas, camping and toilets are available.
This small community of approximately 50 residents is actively preserving the local area for the enjoyment of all. Next to the boat ramp is an interesting copper sculpture celebrating Mary Beckwith, the first recorded European woman to set foot on South Australian soil. Facilities include a boat ramp, viewing platform, cliff-top walking path and public toilet.
A sheltered and easily accessible beach suitable for families with children. Great for swimming, wading in the shallows or fossicking for shells on the beach. Camping facilities, picnic area and public toilets are available.
Hog Bay Beach, Penneshaw
Clean sand, safe swimming and views across Backstairs Passage to the mainland make Hog Bay the ideal holiday beach for all ages. The Lloyd Collins Reserve provides toilets, electric barbecue and picnic facilities, and being in Penneshaw, you're not too far away from the ice cream shop!
Known locally as Millionaires' Row for its fabulous real estate, Island Beach is the quintessential beach holiday location. Fringed by dense bush land, the sandy beach stretches almost as far as the eye can see and provides very safe swimming. A walk along the coast towards American River has plenty of bird watching opportunities. Boats can be launched from the beach.
American River and Districts
Flour Cask Bay
This secluded beach is a great place to experience the raw power of the Southern Ocean. Enjoy sweeping views of the South Coast, salt lakes and dunes with a wide variety of bird species and other wildlife. Private camping available at Flour Cask Bay Sanctuary, phone (08) 8553 2356.
A faded sign on Hog Bay Road points to Pennington Bay - a photographer's dream, a superb surf beach and a popular place for fishing and swimming. But as with all beaches, care must be taken, as Pennington Bay can, at times, be dangerous for even experienced swimmers and surfers. In rough weather, the southerly winds blow at gale force, causing huge waves that can be heard at American River, 9km away.
One of Kangaroo Island's best-kept secrets, Red Banks is a stretch of interesting, coloured cliffs just five minutes north of American River. Take in the views of the bay from atop of the cliffs, walk along the beach, or better still, view it all from a boat in Western Cove. Watching the sunset on the cliffs is a special experience. Note: infrastructure at Red Banks is minimal so please take care, follow designated tracks and respect the environment.
Kingscote and Districts
The beach area in front of the Ozone Hotel is a popular family picnic spot with elevated grass banks. Little Brownlow Beach, in front of the Yacht Club, is also a pleasant area providing shallow swimming and wading.
Emu Bay is a beautiful, four-kilometre long (4km), safe beach with vehicle access onto the hard sand. It is one of the most popular spots on the Island with safe, clear water for swimming. Anglers can try their luck from the jetty or launch their boats from the access ramp. The jetty was built in 1916 and, until the early 1930s, grain, stock and merchandise were taken to and from the Island from this jetty. Barbecue and picnic area, toilets.
Walk to the east of the Bay, follow the signs pointing to the ‘Beach' and make your way through the headland of boulders. There you'll find a fine, white beach surrounded by cliffs, a large rock-enclosed pool that provides protection from the surf, and a safe swimming spot for all the family. Facilities include barbecue and picnic areas, camping, toilets and the Rockpool Café.
At the mouth of Middle River, this beach is excellent for swimming and surf-fishing, while either end of the beach offer quality rock-fishing. Care should be used when swimming in the river because of hidden logs and weeds. If approaching Snellings Beach from the west, make sure you have your camera ready for the view from the top of Constitution Hill. Barbecue, picnic area and toilets are available.
Western River Cove
Following a spectacular drive into the valley, proceed over the footbridge, along the riverbank to a hidden sandy cove. This picturesque area is ideal for swimming, rock and surf-fishing. Diving and fishing charters depart from Western River Cove along the spectacular North Coast. Not accessible for caravans and campervans over 5m. Barbecue, camping facilities and toilets are available.
Hanson Bay is a popular surf-fishing area with large Australian salmon often caught along the spectacular sandy beach. At a rocky outcrop a short way down the beach, a walkway leads to a second section of beach or, for the more energetic, a hike begins to Kelly Hill Conservation Park. The hike is approximately 8 hours (18km) return.
The closest beach to Seal Bay. Take a walk around the sweeping bay towards the Cape Gantheaume Wilderness Protection Area. Picnic, BBQ and toilet facilities are located just a short drive from the beach.
Once proclaimed one of the ‘best beaches' in Australia after research by Sydney University Professor Andrew Short, Vivonne Bay is a long, curved, sandy beach superb for picnics, beachcombing, surfing and fishing. Experienced surfers enjoy the wonderful turquoise waters; fishing from the jetty, beach, boat or the Harriet River mouth is excellent. The beach can be reached by taking the road just past the Vivonne Bay store. Safe swimming areas can be found near the jetty or the sandy-bottomed Harriet River that enters the bay nearby. On the other side of the river, Point Ellen provides photographers with spectacular views of the Southern Ocean sending its waves crashing onto the cliff-face. Vivonne Bay is the only safe harbour on the south coast of the Island and is the base for crayfishing boats from November to May. Barbecue, picnic areas, toilets and camping facilities are available.
An attractive area that has seen much history with the establishment of a whaling station and the wrecks of ships. Today it is virtually unspoilt, with shore-wading birds and pelicans feeding on the long stretches of beach. Many hours can be spent exploring the large bay or driving along the coast to the south. The track is rough, but passable with a conventional vehicle, and leads to a horseshoe-shaped cove, site of a popular surf-break.
Note: trekkers to Cape Gantheaume should discuss their plans with National Parks staff at Kingscote before beginning their trek. The need for adequate and appropriate equipment is essential. Camping, swimming, fishing, toilets.
Keep Yourself Safe
Although our beaches are beautiful, there are some dangers associated with open ocean. Beware of rips and undertows. Seek advice from locals on current conditions. Shark attacks, although rare, have occurred in waters around the world and indeed around the Australian coastline. If diving, adhere to the usual diving rules. Advise someone of your whereabouts and dive with a 'buddy'. Use common sense, and enjoy the Island's beautiful beaches.