Rapid Bay Accommodation, Hotels, Tours & Information

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Rapid Bay

Nestled between a long sandy beach and towering cliffs, Rapid Bay is 105 kilometres south of Adelaide and reached by a steeply descending road from the main Normanville-Cape Jervis Road. Here you'll find an important South Australian landmark - a boulder on which Colonel Light carved his initials after he first stepped ashore. It's reported that he said 'I have hardly seen a place I like better'. Rapid Bay was named after the brig HMS Rapid in which Colonel Light and his staff came to South Australia, discovering Rapid Bay in 1830 en route to Glenelg. The HMAS Hobart was scuttled off Rapid Bay in November 2002 which has created an even more exciting dive experience for dive enthusiasts. See more of the Fleurieu Peninsula and a coastal playground famed for its laidback lifestyle, beach breaks for surfers of all levels of experience, and top fishing spots. It's a paradise for divers and snorkellers, with dramatic shipwrecks and stunning marine life, including the famed Leafy Seadragon. Enjoy some of the best produce and vineyards in Australia. The Fleurieu Peninsula is home to some prestigious winemaking regions, including McLaren Vale. The history of winemaking in this region goes all the way back to 1842, and it consistently produces some of the best drops you'll ever taste. There's also national parks, golf courses, top quality cuisine and more.

Rapid Bay

Rapid Bay: Where To Go / Sightseeing

Rapid Bay Beach


Nestled between long sandy beaches and towering cliffs, Rapid Bay is 105 kilometres south of Adelaide and reached by a steeply descending road from the main Normanville-Cape Jervis Road.

Rapid Bay is well known for its very long jetty. While the original jetty built in 1940 is closed to the public, a new jetty (opened in early 2009) is now available for use. Take a stroll along the jetty and enjoy fishing or the beautiful views.

At Rapid Bay, you'll also find an important South Australian landmark - a boulder on which Colonel Light carved his initials after he first stepped ashore. It's reported that he said "I have hardly seen a place I like better".

Rapid Bay was named after the brig HMS Rapid in which Colonel Light and his staff came to South Australia, discovering Rapid Bay in 1830 enroute to Glenelg.

Rapid Bay is usually calm and relatively safe, just watch the deep water right off both beaches. It's a paradise for divers and snorkelers, with dramatic shipwrecks and stunning marine life, including the famed Leafy Sea dragon.

It is an unpatrolled beach.





Finnis Drive
Rapid Bay, SA, 5204

Located 0.4K from Rapid Bay

Second Valley Lasseters Reef


There are multiple ways to to begin your dive, swim across the first bay, walk around the second bay and begin there or enter from the jetty.

Two small caves are easily found at the base of the cliff on the southern point of the second bay and around a little bit further are some easy swim-throughs.

About 20 meters of shore is a small bommie which is home to a good variety of fish including both Leafy and Weedy Sea Dragons.

Best dived in south easterly winds.






Second Valley Jetty
Second Valley, SA, 5204

Located 3.0K from Rapid Bay

Second Valley Beach


Second Valley Beach is an unpatrolled beach, divided by a jetty into two smaller beaches.

Follow the open valley that narrows at the coast to a gap, through which flows the small Parananacooka Creek and the road to the beach. The small town and caravan park lies on the landward side of the gap. Once through the gap there is a small car park leading to a rock jetty with the two small beaches to either side.

To the west is a north facing curving long boulder beach attached by rock reefs to a small headland. At the base there are several boat sheds. Conditions are usually calm at this part of the beach, however it is dominated by rocks and reef.

The main beach is popular in summer and usually calm. It offers stunning views of the coastline and unique geological formations. This beach is popular for swimming, jetty fishing, snorkelling and scuba diving. The boat beach is unsuitable for swimming due to rocks and boat traffic.




Finnis Vale Drive
Second Valley, SA, 5204

Located 3.0K from Rapid Bay

The Stable Studio by the Mill


The Stable Studio by the Mill is a working studio and gallery where artists Judith Sweetman and Gilbert Dashorst produce art work inspired by the beautiful Fleurieu and surrounds.

At The Stable Studio by the Mill (trading as Art Adventures) they display their art work for sale and also exhibit works by other local artists.

Gilbert runs workshops in Botanical Drawing and Painting (Gilbert was the Scientific Illustrator at the Botanical Gardens for 30 years). Also he specialises in other media and techniques.

Judith is a qualified art teacher with 30 years' experience teaching in South Australian schools, currently working part time at the Art Gallery of South Australia facilitating school workshops. She offers a wide range of classes in different media.

Be inspired by the Fleurieu Peninsula and tap into your inner creativity. Begin an Art Adventure!

A program of workshops is continuously being developed to suit groups and individuals. Please contact Judith for details.




7869 Main South Road
Second Valley, SA, 5204

Located 3.4K from Rapid Bay

Starfish Hill Windfarm


The Starfish Hill Wind Farm is located across two hills on the tip of the Fleurieu Peninsula near Cape Jervis. It was the first wind farm built in South Australia. The site was selected because the area has consistently high winds, is sparsely populated and was previously cleared for farming and grazing.

There are 23 wind turbines with 15 located on Salt Creek Hill and eight on Starfish Hill. Each of the turbines has three blades with a tower height of 68 metres and overall height of 100 metres from the ground to the blade tip.

The wind farm provides enough energy to meet the needs of about 18,000 households (around two per cent of the State's residential customers) and adds one per cent to the available generation capacity in South Australia.

Access to the wind farm is not permitted however there is a public observation area located close to the wind farm and is accessed via a gravel road off Main South Road. For further information contact the Yankalilla Bay Visitor Information Centre.




Yoho Road
Cape Jervis, SA, 5204

Located 4.0K from Rapid Bay

Delamere Art Wall


The picnic area by the general store at Delamere has been colourfully decorated by local artists, residents and students from Yankalilla Area School and Rapid Bay Area School. The artists worked on developing artistic panels that are now permanently on display as part of the Leafy Sea Dragon Festival (now Festival Fleurieu) which is well worth a stop to enjoy the artwork.




104 Main South Road
Delamere, SA, 5204

Located 4.9K from Rapid Bay

Deep Creek Conservation Park


Come and experience a wide range of activities such as bushwalking on an extensive network of trails, camping in five campgrounds and viewing the spectacular scenery of Backstairs Passage, Kangaroo Island and the rugged Deep Creek valley.

Deep Creek Conservation Park is the largest portion of remaining natural vegetation on the Fleurieu Peninsula and is home to an array of native wildlife such as western grey kangaroos, short beaked echidnas and 100 species of birds that can be heard and seen while walking in the park.

Deep Creek is the only national park within 100km of Adelaide that offers bush camping. Four campgrounds are accessible by 2WD and one is 'hike-in' only and situated on the Heysen trail, making it an ideal environment for a family adventure.

The 15 walking trails in the park provide spectacular scenery of Backstairs Passage, Kangaroo Island and the rugged Deep Creek Valley. The walks range from easy to very difficult so accommodating for all ages and abilities. The walking trail network in Deep Creek Conservation Park includes sections of the famous Heysen Trail.




Range Road
The Range, SA, 5172

Located 9.0K from Rapid Bay

HMAS Hobart Lookout


The HMAS Hobart was a Charles F Adams class guided missile destroyer in the Royal Australia Navy (DDG 39), built in the United States of America and commissioned in 1965 in Boston. Her role was air defence of the fleet.

One of Australia's greatest naval destroyers, her distinguished career included being the first Royal Australian Navy combat ship deployed to fight in the Vietnam War and being part of the Royal Australian Navy disaster relief effort following Cyclone Tracy in Darwin in 1974 before being decommissioned in 2000.

Scuttled on 5 November 2002 at Yankalilla Bay, the ship is now a premier eco-tourism dive site and a declared marine reserve. It is also a lasting memorial to the ship and its crew.

The HMAS Hobart Lookout is located a three to five minute drive south of Normanville on the Main South Road, en route to Cape Jervis. The scenic site has off road parking and interpretive signage.




Main South Road
Normanville, SA, 5204

Located 9.3K from Rapid Bay

Rapid Bay: Events

Wirrina Bluegrass and Acoustic Roots Festival


Weekend festival celebrating hands-on bluegrass and acoustic roots music, featuring concerts and workshops from some of the best exponents around Australia. All activities centred around a single green space, with camping and accommodation options available onsite.


Event Dates
2016
      2nd Sep
      3rd Sep
      4th Sep


Paradise Drive
Wirrina Cove, SA, 5204

Located 6.5K from Rapid Bay

SA Endurance Riders Association State Championships


The SA Endurance Riders Association State Championships will be held at Wirrina Cove from 1 to 3 July.

Approximately 30 riders will leave camp at Wirrina Cove at midnight and follow a course marked with reflective arrows.

Riders will rest every 40 kilometres. The course is 160 kilometres long and spread over 24 hours. All riders start together, however over time they will separate into smaller groups.

Spectators are welcome to watch the action from designated viewing areas. Entry is free so head to Wirrina Cove to collect a course map and choose your viewing point.




163 Main South Road
Wirrina, SA, 5204

Located 6.9K from Rapid Bay

Rapid Bay Map

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