Semaphore Jetty was built in 1860 and was originally 652 metres long but is now only 585 metres. That is still a substantial walk out to the end and back in and affords you excellent views along a fantastic white sand beach (pictures below looking north and south) and back to the shore with its low lying dunes and pine trees.
The jetty was originally build to provide berths for pilot and quarantine launches and a later branch spur hosted customs and stores sheds together with a lifeboat shed, crew’s quarters and a shelter shed.
Over time bathing facilities and a kiosk were added. The baths were washed away in a 1917 storm, and the kiosk burned in 1947. As I explained in my on on Glenelg beach the sexes were strictly segregated for bathing purposes. It was likewise here at Semaphore.
Today there are no restrictions as to when you can bathe or with whom you bathe – the beautiful white sand beach is open to all. The jetty, in addition to being a great walk, is now a popular spot for fishing or crabbing and people seem to spend hours here with little to show for it – but I guess that’s not the point.
A sealed walk runs in both directions along the beach from the jetty. I generally head south – as the miniature railway does. The path on this side runs for about 2kms and makes for a great walk. It can be rather fresh in the winter time so bring a good jumper / windbreaker. This is the more frequented section to walk and you will have to share the path with joggers, prams and dogs.
Heading north from the jetty by the Palais and amusement rides is equally pleasant and also less crowded. I rarely head this way – for no good reason – old habits die hard. If you are using public transport I recommend this northern section as you can arrive at, or depart from, Largs train station a short walk from Largs Jetty along via Jetty Road.
There is ample car parking and toilet facilities within a short distance of the Semaphore Jetty though some of it (the parking that is!) is timed so do read the signs.
Directions: Jetty – At the end of Semaphore Road (the towns main street)