A Beautiful Day at Henley Beach
Henley beach Adelaide.
We all have a rough idea of what the land down under is like: kangaroos, vegemite, scorching hot, koalas and people running around saying g’day, shrimp on the barbie and mate. Some of these may be true, but especially the one about the heat deffo is.
All major Australian cities are right next to a seashore. Beaches are the best way to cool down when the heat reaches +40C. Adelaide is no exception. With an average of 30C-40C degrees in the summer, the beach is a great way to spend your weekends.
Today, we’ll be talking about the less touristic Henley beach.
Like Glenelg, Henley beach is a fairly easy beach to access from the city. An easy option to organise a group of mates to head out for a day out You’ll want to catch one of a few bus lines that go down that road from currie street for a forty minute ride. Once you get off your air-conditioned carriage, you’ll want to make your way to the main plaza.
The plaza which is located at the edge of the beach is a spectacular place to grab a bite. After a couple of years of renovations, the water-filled plaza had finally been built. This area allows children, dogs and adults alike to walk about it and cool their feet from the scorching heat. The water is only a few millimeters high and runs downwards in the beach’s direction.
They also erected high steel reinforced wooden sun roofs for people to lounge under. With the ground under covered in large stone-potted plants to give the area a more natural feel.
In the plaza, you also have access to a couple of gelato shops that sell the most delicious flavours you could possibly want. From cake batter, snickers and nutella to coconut, mango and more. The prices are pretty reasonable and worth every cent on a hot scorching day. Another nearby shop just a minute down the street that would sate your ice-cream urges is the Royal Copenhagen. A branch that sells ice-creams and waffles, a bit pricey but also another great option. Here you could also get cold shakes and other sugary delights if you’re looking for something much thicker in consistency.
Back to the plaza. The area is also flanked by many different restaurants and takeaway shops. If you’re looking to go mediterranean to match the heat, the nearby ‘Estia restaurant’ has you covered. This cozy restaurant offers a large selection of meals ranging from seafood such as calamari and salmon to steaks, quiches salads and more. It also offers a great selection of refreshments to help you cool down. Esti restaurant also offers an outdoor area to enjoy your meal, however, the indoor area is air conditioned.
Malobo kitchen bar
If you’re looking for some burgers and beer, on the opposite side of the restaurant there’s the Malobo kitchen bar. This restaurant, staffed by the friendliest waiters on this side of the sea, can offer you great recommendations for your meal. You could grab a juicy chicken and egg burger, a quinoa salad using their own dressings, mussels, fish and chips and more. They are famed for their fruity yogurt dishes and serve very good coffees.
The bar itself is designed with an open floor style that leaves plenty of space to navigate around. If you’re looking for something sweeter, they also sell pastries and different locally made cakes to takeaway. They offer takeaway salads and certain dishes if you’re keen to eat by the seaside.
As the name implies, they also serve alcohol. If you’re looking to soak your throat at the hot beach then you can select one of their many cocktails. You could also simply order one of their many regional beers to beat the heat.
If you’re looking for something more refined, then look no further. Another mediterranean focused restaurant, Stella provides you with a selection of tasty fish, pizzas and more. Reputation wise, they are more known for their mediterranean style pizzas. I can personally vouch for this as I have ordered pizzas here on several occasions whenever I went to Henley beach with my mates. Another great detail about this venue is its beautiful view of the pristine ocean. Its large windows facing the sea allow for unadulterated views of the Aussie waters; This view is especially beautiful on a clear day as the sun glistens on the ocean.
If you’re looking for a more exotic meal with a view of the ocean, the Orchid Restaurant is a fine option. Here you can grab many types of thai curries, fried fish or thai-style salads. The restaurant also offers its High Tide bar if you’re looking to enjoy a drink by the sea. Its a hole in a wall style shop right next to a fish and chips shop.
Fish and chips
Finally, and my most favourite eatery, the Henley takeaway fish and chips shop. This greek-esque takeaway shop offers many great options. For example, fried calamari soaked in seasoning and lemon or yiros filled to the brim with meaty goodness,
This small establishment is quite often crowded and at times I would have to wait upwards of twenty minutes simply to order my takeaway, The one thing I always order is the regular fried fish and beer battered fries. The beer battered fries have to be some of the best fries I’ve ever tried. Quite often I would simply pay 5 AUD and buy a large box to chow down, without any accompanying foods.The fries were always a good option as my mates and I would lounge about by the sea while playing cards or chit chatting as we shared boxes of fries.
Quite often whenever I visited, I would spot several baskers performing for the beach-goers. Many of these performers focused on music with guitars and cajons. However, one more than one occasion there were dance performances. They were either breakdancing or something similarly acrobatic. It is a nice scene to witness while laying down in the grass.
Also, if you wanted to sunbathe without getting any sand on you, there is a large grass field between the plaza and the ocean. I wouldn’t really recommend this area if you’re looking to doze off under the sun as its a popular area for children and teens to play football.
This area is also very popular with dog owners. Adelaide has a large family to dog ratio and you will mostly likely see many dogs of different breeds enjoying a nice walk outside with their owners. The grassy area also sports several wavy benches that look like face-down brackets. These are especially good to enjoy a good book while facing the sea.
Henley Surf Life Saving Club
Right before hitting the beach, you would probably spot a large building with a ramp. This here is the ‘Henley Surf Life Saving Club’. This club would engage in many crucial activities dedicated to lifeguarding in severe situations. However, they do tend to have their bit of relaxation. Often they would grab paddle boats and slowly glide their way around the outer parts of the sea. It seems very therapeutic. One time I witnessed a large rubber boat being rowed by half a dozen young people with an older couch roaring commands. It was a sight to behold as it broke through the serenity of the beach. They were taught how to act as swiftly and efficiently as possible. This was witnessed by their military style discipline when they jumped overboard and pulled the rubber boats by rope and quickly up the club’s ramp.
Sticking out proudly over the water, you have the Henley beach jetty. A great place to take photos of the surrounding beach and sea. On most days its calm and a serene place to simply soak in the atmosphere. It's also a picturesque place to catch the sun as it sets under the sea.
However, on some days Henley gets battered by strong winds, and the pier especially is hit by the brunt of it. It's also a very common fishing area for locals to try their luck with the local sea life.
If you’re looking for a relaxing beach that is still relatively nearby, Henley beach is the way to go. Glenelg tends to be busier and with more tourists as the tram makes it a very conventional beach to get to. This place has plenty to eat and plenty of quiet spots to doze off or spend with mates.