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Port Elliot Fast Facts
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Distance & Driving times from Port Elliot to

Victor Harbor
14km 14 mins

Cape Jervis
69km 1 hour

11km 10 minutes

91km 1:30 hours

Closest Town:
Adelaide 91km

Closest Airport:

Banking Facilities / ATM:

Activities: golf, wine tasting, swimming, sailing, scuba diving, fishing, surfing, wind surfing, whale watching, bush walking, bird watching, cycling , tennis




Port Elliot Tourism Information

 About Port Elliot

The charming historic port town of Port Elliot is located 91 km south of Adelaide, on the coastline between the towns of Victor Harbor and Middleton. The villages 19th Century heritage is reflected in the architecture including The Strand, an historic shopping precinct well known for its cafes, antique and gift shops. The remains of a breakwater built in 1854 remains at the southern end of the beach. It is a reminder of the shipping harbour that was constructed and linked to the Murray river by steam train. Goods were shipped up and down the Murray River by paddlesteamer. Port Elliot was surveyed in 1852 and named after Sir Charles Elliot who was the Governor of Bermuda, Trinidad and St Helena.

The shipping port at Port Elliot turned out to be a bit of a disaster. A profit was rarely made. The waters at Port Elliot were too shallow, the jetty that was built was not long enough and the location of rocks close off the shore which caused several shipwrecks meant that the port was eventually moved to Victor Harbor. The town continued to grow though with the establishment of a number of guest houses and hotels. Today, Port Elliot is a popular and relatively unspoiled seaside holiday destination.

Port Elliot is the ideal location for a spot of whale watching between June and October. A scenic lookout provides wonderful vantage point to watch the Southern Right Whale during breeding season. At the same time enjoy views over Horseshoe Bay, Pullen Island and across Encounter Bay to Granite Island and Victor Harbor. Seals can also sometimes be seen diving in the waters.

For swimmers and surfers safe surfing beach is located in the picturesque Horseshoe Bay. There is also a cliff top walking path Which provides stunning views of Encounter Bay.

Things to do

Boomers Beach
An ideal surfing spot, ride the huge waves which caused problems for early sailing ships. Boomers Beach, is well known by surfers and when the waves are up it is considered one of the best surfing locations on the South Australian coast.

Crows Nest Lookout
Overlooking Goolwa, Middleton and part of Port Elliot this lookout will provide some of the best views you will ever see.

Discovery Trail
The Discovery trail passes numerous attractions in the area around Port Elliot. The coastal walk passes Aboriginal middens, the blowhole and Watsons Gap at the end of Boomers Beach, whilst the Red Walk passes 28 buildings in the heart of town including the Hotel Elliot (1868), the Council Chambers (1879), and in The Strand, the Library (1880), the Institute (1882), the Court House (1866) and Police Station including old court room (1853). The walking maps are available at the Port Elliot Historical Centre, located in the Railway Station between The Strand and Young Street.

Horseshoe Bay
A protected swimming beach is located in Horseshoe Bay and is popular with families. There is a playground for the kids or try a spot of fishing from the Jetty. A pathway follows the rugged coastal cliffs allowing you to explore the small bays and beaches.

Pullen Island Conservation Park
This small 1 hectare island off Port Elliot, can be viewed from Freeman Nob. It is a haven for a variety of seabirds. Permission from the NPW SA office in Victor Harbor is required prior to visiting the island.

The Steam Ranger Cockle Train
The steam train which runs during school holidays is a great testimonial to the history of the area. It has played a major part of Victor Harbor's history since 1853 when the rail line was extended from Goolwa and Port Elliot.

Steam Ranger travels the original route between Goolwa and Port Elliot to Victor Harbor. It was the first railway in South Australia and also the first public line to be laid with iron rails in Australia. It started in 1853 and was officially opened in May 1854.

The steam trains of the region were soon known as 'cockle trains' due to the train's close proximity to the foreshore which are abundant with cockles (a type of shell fish).

The Strand
The historic Strand contains craft shops, cafes, antique shops and gift shops. At the end of The Strand is the magnificent Southern Ocean and access to a viewing point over Horseshoe Bay. This lookout is a great spot to watch the Southern Right Whales in Winter.


The area has a Mediterranean style climate with an annual rainfall of approximately 500mm or 20 inches. The majority of rain is received from May to September.

Average winter temperatures 10-18 degrees celsius
Average summer temperatures 24-35 degrees celsius

Getting there

Port Elliot is easily accessed by:

  • Car
    Port Elliot is an easy drive about 91 kms taking approximately 1 hour 30 minutes from Adelaide CBD


Seaside accommodation in Port Elliot ranges from heritage bed and breakfasts, hotels, motels, beach holiday homes, self contained apartments and a caravan park offering cabins and camping grounds.

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