• John

Semaphore Beach

Updated: Nov 20, 2019


Semaphore is a northwestern suburb of Adelaide in the Australian state of South Australia. It is located on the Gulf St Vincent coastline of the Lefevre Peninsula about 14 kilometres from the Adelaide city centre.


Semaphore was first surveyed for sale in 1849, at which time it was isolated by swamps to the south and the Port River to the east. In 1851, George Coppin, a prominent publican, theatrical entrepreneur and actor, built a two-storeyed timber hotel on the southern corner of The Esplanade and Blackler Street. A very high flagpole was erected to signal to his "White Horse Cellars" hotel at Port Adelaide the approach of ships, earning the area the name Semaphore, often called "The Semaphore".

Semaphore's beach is the busiest of those on the LeFevre Peninsula, as it is the most convenient beach to people living in the northern suburbs of metropolitan Adelaide.

The beach is wide, with a large amount of wide sand. The surf is low and good for swimming, but surfing is generally not possible. Sandbars extend out a considerable distance, with holes, troughs and channels in the bars creating the major safety hazard on a generally safe beach. Other substantial hazards on the beach are jumping from the jetty (the depth of the water under the jetty varies considerably during the day and between visits) and non-swimmers climbing on the groyne at Semaphore South finding themselves cut off from land by a rising tide. Both activities are illegal, which is pointed out by warning signs; nevertheless, both activities have claimed lives in past years.


My wife and I visited the Beach on an overcast day during winter. I was taken by the silhouettes of the palm trees and pine trees which are iconic of the foreshore along Semaphore as well as the mark making possibilities of the seaweed and vegetation in the sand further up the beach.

This is the second print done from that day at the beach. the other is somewhat more detailed concentrating more on the plants that grow on the beach in a strip along where the sand meets the land.




All three are printed in limited editions can be purchased from the gallery. See link above.

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