Glenelg, South Australia

Glenelg sits prettily along the coast as Adelaide’s most popular beach town. About 25-minutes by tram from the bustling city, Glenelg promises visitors a peaceful dose of seaside charm with a pristine sandy white beach, local shops and sidewalk cafes, and plenty of things to get stuck into.

Glenelg, SA

Glenelg is Adelaide’s most popular beach and both locals and tourists flock there when the weather gets into the warmer months.  Whether you’re looking for an adventurous time in the turquoise ocean or want to discover the fascinating history of this part of Australia, Glenelg has you covered.

History and Settlement of Glenelg

On December 28th, 1836, Captain Hindmarsh arrives on the land that will soon be known as Glenelg. He decides that inland will be the site of a new colony but decides that the area in which he landed will be named Glenelg, after Lord Glenelg, the Secretary of State. On the same day, under an old gum tree, the proclamation of South Australia is read by Governor Hindmarsh establishing a government in the newest colony. Twenty years later, Glenelg is registered as a municipality and over one hundred years on, Glenelg residents still carry the same pride with them over their historical town. A pioneer memorial was erected in 1936, one hundred years later from the first landing.

Top Activities in Glenelg

  • Swim with Dolphins

    Swimming with wild dolphins is at the top of a lot of people’s bucket lists, and in Glenelg, you can get stuck into this once-in-a-lifetime activity. Boat trips leave every day, taking you out into the ocean to get up close and personal with these magnificent creatures.

  • Go Fishing

    If you’d rather keep dry but still want to explore the ocean and everything it has to offer, you can go snorkelling or ride out with a fishing charter. This popular activity has been a part of Glenelg life for many years and is a great way to get to know the local culture.

  • Learn About History

    At the Glenelg Museum, you can trace the history and backstory of this fascinating town. Browse exhibits that hark back to yesteryear and dig deep into the rich stories that have made Glenelg the place it is today.

  • Take a Walk

    Walking is a popular pastime in Glenelg, which boasts plenty of picturesque hiking trails and routes that take you along the stunning coastline and further inland. Keep your eyes peeled for some of the region’s native wildlife, and marvel at breath-taking views as you emerge onto mesmerising lookout points.

  • Shop and People Spot

    There are numerous boutique shops and local stores in Glenelg to explore and, once you’ve shopped till you’ve dropped, you can kick back in one of the many cute cafes and watch the world unfold around you.

  • Explore the Beach

    Glenelg Beach is beautiful, with expansive white sands and turquoise shallows. Relax on the shoreline and soak up the sun, or check out the nearby Beach House, which is a hive of entertainment. There’s also Glenelg Pier, which offers you the chance to step back in time and try all sorts of fun activities. For those on the hunt for some adrenalin-pumping adventures, there are loads of water sporting opportunities to try out, where you can explore the coastline from a different perspective.

  • Visit the Bay Discovery Centre

    Glenelg has a lot of history attached to it and this can all be discovered in the historical centre. There is a celebration here of Glenelg’s culture and the historic timeline of South Australia. It’s easily located in the beautiful town hall and you can even check out the other exhibitions such as the permanent display of vintage swimwear from the 1930s to 1960s, graciously donated by fashion collector Violet Rowe. There are also exhibitions which outline the voyage to South Australia and the pioneers that helped create the town.

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