Semaphore is located on the LeFevre Peninsula by the Gulf St Vincent, 14kms to the north west of Adelaide city centre and a few kilometres from Port Adelaide.

Of numerous beach resorts on Gulf St Vincent Semaphore is one of my favourite, if not my favourite, and I certainly recommend you visit it.

This review is merely a short introduction to excite my Reader in the hope that you will read an extended series of reviews on this lovely seaside suburb which I will include under a separate category ‘Semaphore‘.


The Semaphore region was first surveyed in 1849. In 1851 George Coppin, a prominent Port Adelaide publican, built a timber hotel on the southern corner of The Esplanade where it intersects with Blackler Street. He erected a high flagpole to attract customers here or direct them to his “White Horse Cellars” hotel at Port Adelaide earning the area the name Semaphore after his christening his flagpole thus.

The area was isolated from Port Adelaide by the Port River until 1859 when a wooden bridge, later replaced by the Jervois Bridge, was opened leading to its development as a residential area for Port Adelaide. In 1878 a railway connected the town to Adelaide attracting holiday makers to Semaphore from which time it became an important and affluent seaside resort. The opening of a tramline in 1917 saw even greater numbers coming to Semaphore and the 1920s were boom times during which the Palais dance hall (final picture), amusement rides, the jetty and picture palaces attracted large crowds.

Mid-century (when more people had their own cars and could travel further), a change occurred in Semaphore’s fortunes and numbers declined but a revival began again in the 1990s and Semaphore is once again a popular stop for people from Adelaide and further afield.


All in all, a delightful historic seaside resort a short distance from the centre of Adelaide and certainly worthy at least a few hours visit. I suggest you combine it with a trip to Port Adelaide making for a long, but very worthwhile day out. Do have a look at my separate Semaphore and Port Adelaide categories/loops for addition information on each place.

For my next Adelaide – ADELAIDE BY THE SEA review click HERE.
For other Adelaide reviews click HERE.


3 thoughts on “Semaphore – A More Traditional Seaside Resort

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