About Port Elliot

The historic township of Port Elliot is situated on the coastline between the towns of Victor Harbor and Middleton. Take in the magnificent coastal scenery from its many viewing spots or follow the coastal walks around the headlands and protected bays. 

Frolic on the sand and in the waters. Horseshoe Bay is a protected swimming beach which is very popular with families all year round while Knight’s Beach is one of the top 10 body boarding beaches in the world.  Boomer Beach is perfect for surf enthusiasts who want to catch that wave. 

If whale watching is your thing visit between May and September annually to view the migration of whales to this coastal area for feeding and giving birth to their young.

Perched on the Fleurieu Peninsula’s southern coast, just 90 kilometres from Adelaide, Port Elliot is a slice of laid back coastal heaven – but that wasn’t always the case. The town was founded in the early 1850s, intended to be the main ocean port for transporting goods up the Murray River. But the stretch of coastline where Port Elliot was located, Horseshoe Bay (a small cove in the larger Encounter Bay), proved more treacherous than expected. No fewer than seven shipwrecks occurred in the space of 11 years and as a result, Port Elliot lost its trade to Victor Harbor.

Thankfully, maritime catastrophes are long gone and, these days, Port Elliot is a delightful heritage seaside town. Daily, one only needs to observe the snaking lines of customers outside the famed Port Elliot Bakery to realise this township has a small but thriving local community. As for Horseshoe Bay, it may not have been so easy for boats to navigate, but for swimmers, it’s perfectly sheltered. Frolic on the sand and in the waters. Horseshoe Bay and Ladies Bay are protected swimming beaches, very popular with families all year round.

Places to Eat. 

There are plenty of places to enjoy a coffee, light snack or meal In Port Elliot.  Why not try:

Cockles Café.  For modern café fare, look no further than this smart establishment, bang in the heart of town. Start the day at Cockles Cafe with a delicious full breakfast or continental fare. For lunch, it’s hard to beat the extensive menu, while pizzas are the pick for evenings. (Dinner is served on Fridays and Saturdays).

The Flying Fish.  Boasting seductive views over Horseshoe Bay, this restaurant is a firm favourite with locals and visitors alike. Seafood is the main attraction at The Flying Fish, and the vast majority on the menu is South Australia-sourced. If you’re after a more relaxed meal, grab takeaway fish ‘n’ chips from the attached café.

Port Elliot Hotel. Located on The Strand, by the railway line.  Serving lunch and dinner seven days, with daily specials, seniors lunches and kids menu.  With indoor and outdoor dining, pizzas and gelati available, two bar areas, a Pool table, Big screen TVs, Function spaces and entertainment every weekend.

Mr India on The Strand.  Experience authentic Indian fare.  Dine in or take away.

Chicken Run on North Terrace.  Visit this takeaway shop for cooked chickens, fish and chips, burgers and steak sandwiches.

De Groot Coffee Co. Given its location in a small industrial business estate on one of the back roads of Port Elliot, you’d never guess that De Groot serves some of the best coffee on the Fleurieu. But it does. In this cavernous shed on the corner Hill Street and Waterport Road, enjoy coffee and pastries.

  • Flying Fish Cafe Horseshoe Bay Port Elliot Encounter Holiday Rentals
    Flying Fish Cafe Horseshoe Bay Port Elliot Encounter Holiday Rentals


Lookouts at Freemans Knob (the Obelisk) or Crows Nest 

 At the end of The Strand is the mighty Southern Ocean with a sensational lookout at Freeman’s Knob with views over the beautiful Horseshoe Bay and along the coast. This is a great spot to view the passing Southern Right Whales in the Winter. There are a series of beautiful trails meandering around the granite cliffs, making for a fantastic stroll.  Ramble along the walking trails which hug the coastline and connect Bashams Beach Marine Park, scenic Horseshoe Bay, Ladies Bay, Green Bay and Knight’s Beach. The views are breathtaking!  (Please remember to pack comfortable shoes).  Alternatively take a drive or bike ride up Crows Nest Road to Crows Nest Lookout.  Overlooking Goolwa and the Coorong, Middleton and Port Elliot, these are some of the best views you will ever see. 

Horseshoe Bay

A family friendly, well known and highly regarded swimming beach. You can fish from the Jetty, watch the kids play in the Playground or go for a swim in this sheltered bay. Why not follow the rugged cliff around the coast and explore the little bays and beaches. Horseshoe Bay has been a favoured destination for visitors to the Fleurieu Peninsula for a long time. Be sure come and experience this very popular destination.

The Strand

Wander the Strand and you will find yourself moving in and out of craft shops, old buildings and cafes.  On the main thoroughfare (North Terrace) you’ll also find the Port Elliot Bakery, Butcher, IGA Supermarket and specialty food shops, perfect for stocking up for a night in.

The Cockle Train

Ride on The Cockle Train the oldest steel railed railway in Australia dating back to 1887.  The Cockle Train was constructed to provide a link between the River Murray and the ocean wharfs at Pt Elliot and later at Victor Harbor.The Cockle Train commences its run each day at Goolwa station, in the historic Wharf Precinct alongside the River Murray. The line heads off across the plains to Middleton, picking up or dropping off passengers on request, and then to Port Elliot where the station is operated by the local National Trust and features a small historical museum.  After leaving Port Elliot the train climbs to the top of the coastal cliffs and passengers then experience some of the most picturesque coastal scenery on the Fleurieu Peninsula, with nothing separating you from the beach below and a perfect view of the Southern Ocean.

Tour the Wineries. 

There are plenty of wineries situated in the immediate area, starting at Currency Creek, Langhorne Creek or within 30 minutes the famous Mclaren Vale area.

Play a round of Golf. 

Golf enthusiasts will enjoy the courses at Victor Harbor with the magnificent first tee overlooking the ocean, links course at McCracken or last but not least the Goolwa and Mount Compass Courses.  A little further afield but definitely worth a round is Echunga Golf Course where players share the course with the resident kangaroo population.  Ask us, we have played them all!

Ride the Encounter Bikeway

The 30km Encounter Bikeway is on on-road and shared trail that follows the spectacular coast line linking Victor Harbor with the river port town of Goolwa, passing through Port Elliot and Middleton. A range of riding distances is available, making it suitable for all ages and levels of fitness. The bikeway can by used by cyclist, walkers, skaters, rollerbladers and is wheelchair accessible.  Bicycles can be hired from the Port Elliot IGA supermarket, the YHA Youth Hostel, the Spinway Bike Hire at the Port Elliot Caravan Park or the Surf and Sun Surf Shop at Middleton.

So much to see and do, all available at the doorstep of your home away from home with Encounter Holiday Rentals Port Elliot!