Sunday, June 5, 2016

Brighton and Seacliff: cafe culture and yacht races on the metropolitan beaches

Brighton, South Australia -- a fantastic place to spend a sunny winter's afternoon in June...
Brighton is all about cafe culture: gourmet coffee and good food, along Jetty Road --
Jetty Road, Brighton, in the summer ... cafes galore to your left as you head to the beach. See that arch up ahead...?
The Arch of Remembrance is the "gateway" to Brighton's jetty --
The Brighton Jetty is easy to pick out of any assortment of jetty pictures...'s the structures ON the Jetty that make it so easy to recognize. Like --
The Aeolian Harp, or "wind harp." Stand under it, when the breeze blows!
The view south from the Brighton Jetty looking towards Seacliff. We're going there next.
Time to head back for dry land ... and coffee!
Cafe culture on a lavish scale. It's your choice of a dozen different places to eat. Then --
Turn left from the end of Jetty Road ... Seacliff is a whole whopping kilometer away!
Seacliff is all about holiday homes and mansions, right above the rocky reef.
Seacliff on a summer day -- not much difference visually between summer and a sunny day in winter.
The big difference is the temperature. Winter's not really cold, but summer...!
A close-up look at the reef itself. Paradise for beachcombers. See the houses at left, there? Well --
--here they are in summer. Could be the Mediterranean, or the Adriatic. 
Low tide on Seacliff Reef ... tidepools full of tiny crabs.
Seacliff Beach looking back towards Brighton, where we were ten minutes ago.
On top of the cliff at Seacliff is a lovely little gazebo with incomparable views, like...
The view from the top, at Seacliff, over the Surf Life Saving Club roof, to those mansions. And --
The famous "Seacliff ZigZag," which is a zig-zag ramp connecting clifftop with beach and yacht club.
Seacliff Reef is a rich fishing ground for local professional fishermen and amateurs alike...
Also the perfect place to put a 'trailer sailer' in the water for an afternoon. Or --
Water skiing? Sure. You also see paragliders, kite flyers, beach cricket -- the works.But if you want boat races...
Setting up for a boat race at Seacliff Yacht Club.
The tractor helps launch boats at Seacliff.
Yachts ranked on the Seacliff beach, ready to race...

And they're racing! 

Anyone for coffee? A kilometer north, and you'e back to Brighton's world of cafes on Jetty Road!
Down under, June is the middle of winter, and when the sun shines, people make the most of it. Winter has to happen sooner or later ... it's gotta rain, or we'd be living in the Sahara, and we don't want that! In fact, we're always glad to see a drop of rain, especially on the rare occasions when it comes in summer; but in winter, when we see a blue sky day, we grab the opportunity.

Today we headed 'in' rather than 'out' ... of town, that is. Usually, we make tracks for the hills and valleys -- national parks and woodland. But with this sky, we headed into the southern suburbs with the idea of doing a "beach crawl," from Brighton to Seacliff, then on to Marino and Hallett Cove. Here's the first of two posts: Brighton and Seacliff. Well go to Marino and Hallett Cove in the next post.

Most of Adelaide, South Australia, has access to what we call the 'metropolitan beaches.' It's just what it sounds like: the beach where the city ends on the west side. Look at a Google satellite image of the Adelaide area --

We're one loooong coastline, with the city sprawling north-to-south. The beaches begin at Port Adelaide in the north and extend ... forever. We've covered Glenelg on the blog here in another post, and in the next post we'll take you to Marino and Hallett Cove ... we've already shared Christie's Beach here and here, as well as Silver Sands. One day soon, we'll "join the dots" and post a major "beach crawl" from top to bottom. For now --

June 4, 2016, was warm, sunny ... perfect. We were actually on our way out to hit the shops, and couldn't resist "going to the beach" first. The beauty of it is, the whole thing could be done within fifteen or twenty minutes of home; and nowhere was more than a few kilometers from anywhere else. You don't have to drive for hours to get there, or back.

Brighton, South Australia, is all about cafe culture; and it has one of the world's most recognizable jetties. You could pick it out of any Police lineup because of the structures on it; for example, the "Aeolian Harp," or wind harp. When the breeze blows through, it makes odd music ... and the breeze is always blowing. Scuba diving, boat handling, swimming and surf life saving are all taught and practiced off this beach ... and even in the height of summer, you won't see it crowded.

From the cafes of Jetty Road, Brighton, turn south along the Esplanade ... in a kilometer you're on Seacliff Beach, which revolves around the Yacht Club and Surf Life Saving Club. It's even quieter than Brighton, unless there's a boat race in progress -- at low tide it's gorgeous with fields of tidepools filled with tiny crabs and microscopic fish.

From the top of the cliff, the views are superb. You can drive up from the Seacliff Hotel corner, or else flex your muscles and walk up the famous Seacliff Zigzag -- the zip-zag ramp which connects clifftop with beach and yacht club.

From here we headed south to Marino and Hallett Cove.   

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