Simply stunning scenery… Harbourmaster’s walk is a short but delightful path that runs from Horseshoe Bay to Knights beach in Port Elliot, or in the opposite direction if one wishes. The views are panoramic to the east, south and west, providing excellent views and photographic opportunities from dawn to sunset. The area with the path, and indeed most of Freemen’s Knob, is a part of the Commodore Reserve.
The history of the track appears to begin when the proposed shipping port (at what was then) Elliot halted due to the growing number of shipwrecks and ensuing public outcry. Tourists started coming to escape the heat of the Adelaide plains in summer, and the tracks they made walking around the island were paved by volunteers in the 1930’s and 40’s. Keith Dodd and the Lion’s Club are responsible for the plantings of succulents, which grow very well in the harsh conditions on the slopes.
The track starts on the right of Horseshoe Bay and can be found by taking the upward path next to the Surf Life Saving Club and jetty, or just opposite from the Port Elliot YHA. First stop is Ladies Beach, a quiet patch of sand with great views at sunrise and sheltered swimming.
Continuing along the Harbourmaster’s walk there are plenty of benches, each with a magnificent view. The path curves around the side of Freemen’s Knob, roughly a third of the way between the top of the hill and the water below. You can hear the waves as you walk, and it must get very windy at times – especially in winter.
Stairs leading to the top to the lookout offer a different view, but the path continues along around to the west.
Green Beach is accessed via a stairway down to the rocks, and can have fairly rough water at times due to its angle to the sea. Further still down the path is descent to Knights Beach. This is the side with the sunset views, and the granite outcrops with steep sides are often explored by the bold and the young.
Although the Harbourmaster’s path ends here, one can follow the beaches and walk all the way to Victor Harbour. It is advisable to check the Cockle Train schedule as a method of return.
*Image courtesy of walkingsa.org.au