Along the Away

a traveler's tales

We intended to spend our third day in Adelaide making the most of the city’s free bike program, which is open to everyone, everyday. Free bikes are located all around the city at places like tourist attractions, education centres, and hotels, and can be hired for daylight hours just by providing ID. It sounded like a great way to enjoy more of the path by the River Torrens, especially as the path runs all the way from the CBD to Henley Beach via the Linear Park Trail (more information is provided on the SA Trails website and on the Bikely website).

Unfortunately, despite our grand plans it was not to be. Free bikes can’t be booked ahead, it’s first in first served so we decided we better get in early. We walked to one of the university campus bike hire locations but sadly temperature restrictions kicked in! Bikes won’t be hired out on days forecast to reach over 38 degrees. This was a disappointment as we thought we’d be able to handle the heat considering we were starting so early in the day, however it is good to have safety precautions for the Australian heat.

We decided to get the tram to Glenelg Beach and walk along the coastal path there instead of cycling. The tram was easy enough to navigate to using the Metro trip planner again. Glenelg is at the end of the line so it was obvious when we arrived – especially the fresh salty air and beach greeting as right at the tram stop.

Glenelg to Henley Beach Walk Glenelg to Henley Beach Walk

The Glenelg Jetty is a beautiful site stretching out 215m into Holdfast Bay, in the Gulf of St Vincent. It is a shorter replacement of the 381m original built in 1859 which suffered damage on a number of occasions over the years due to storms, a lighthouse fire and finally a freak cyclone in 1948 when it was replaced.

Glenelg to Henley Beach Walk

Glenelg to Henley Beach Walk

We started on our walk making a few decisions to navigate around some hotel and shop developments to pick up the coastal path. The one-way distance is 7.5km which was bearable in the heat thanks to the coastal breeze and opportunities to walk along the water’s edge to cool our ankles as we walked along West Beach.

We were careful to keep lathering the sunblock on as there is no shade along the walk at all, we walked on or beside the sand the whole way.

The are numerous art sculptures and memorials along the way which are nice to stop and admire.

Glenelg to Henley Beach Walk Glenelg to Henley Beach Walk

Henley Beach is a gorgeous long beach which also has a long jetty and a smaller, quieter row of cafes and shops than Glenelg.

Glenelg to Henley Beach Walk

I loved the pretty chalk art on the pavement in Henley Square outside the Surf Life Saving Club.

Chalk Mehendi at Henley Beach

Ironically, along our walk we noticed a number of people riding free bikes along the coastal path so some of the hire outlets obviously did not get the weather forecast memo that morning!

By the time we arrived at Henley Beach we had worked up not just a sweat but a raging appetite. We had lunch at a cute cafe called Swedish Tarts. I had the Mushroom flatbread and a coffee slushie – yummo!

Henley Beach SLSC Swedish Tarts - Henley Beach

We also bought some tarts to take with us back to the beach. We went for a swim which was delightfully refreshing. There was no surf so it was very relaxing just floating around. By this time of day the heat was pretty brutal, we kept intending to get out of the water but found it hard to leave. Eventually we got out and join the crowd of sunbathers all crammed into the shade formed under the jetty.

That was a pretty funny sight as the long sparkling stretch of sand was left empty while we all sheltered from the sun. It was just too hot, but we were still able to relax and enjoy the beach and our treats!

Relaxing at Henley Beach

We decided to walk back to Glenelg in the afternoon – which was pretty bearable for me but my sister suffered a bit. It was HOT walking beside the sand reflecting the sun’s heat back up at us! Our idea to walk in the morning was a better one than in the extreme heat of the day.

Glenelg to Henley Beach Walk Glenelg to Henley Beach Walk

By the time we got back to Glenelg we were hungry again so we decided to have dinner at a restaurant called Goodlife – delicious healthy salads and bread to share. It was good food, but a ridiculously looooong wait, though perhaps that was the exhaustion setting in.

We grabbed some gelato from a nearby store while we waited for a tram back to the CBD. It was great to have an active day to feel that healthy summer buzz but we sure did sleep well that night :-)

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Sydney based, coastal dwelling. When I'm not at work I'm somewhere outdoors, or in the yoga studio, or at my local cafe, or pottering at home.

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