A big future was envisioned for Port Elliot when it was earmarked in 1854 as the major Encounter Bay outlet through which the rich agricultural bounty shipped down the River Murray would be exported.
Nature, however, refused to be harnessed and the storm-ravaged breakwater built at the south end of the port beach is all that remains of the failed attempt to construct a safe shipping harbour.
But, in hindsight, the engineers’ loss was the peoples’ gain because Port Elliot is now a charming and relatively unspoiled seaside resort renowned for its cafes, antique and gift shops.
There is a safe, protected surfing beach in picturesque Horseshoe Bay and vantage points on Freeman Nob and the cliff-top walking path present stunning views of the Encounter Bay coast from Goolwar to Victor Harbour.
You can follow the heritage trail of historic buildings down The Strand, while the cockle train opens up singular views of Encounter Bay as it makes its way from Goolwa, through Port Elliot to Victor Harbour.