An aerial photo of cars lined up along the beach at Aldinga/Sellicks Beach.

Published on 24 January 2023

Beach tips for Australia Day

IMPORTANT: Moana Beach is currently suitable for 4WD vehicles ONLY (not 2WD or AWD) due to deep soft sand. There will also be limited room on the beach in the morning due to the 7:30am high tide. Read more.

Heading to the beach for Australia Day? You'll need to arrive early if you intend to park on the sand!

Onkaparinga beaches are always a popular place to be, but every year on Australia Day, council anticipates so many cars on the sand at Moana, Aldinga, Silver Sands and Sellicks Beach, that once the beaches reach maximum capacity—SA Police will close vehicle access to the beach.

The City of Onkaparinga is asking everyone to respect the beautiful environment and help ensure everyone has a safe and enjoyable visit that protects the coast and its wildlife for future generations to enjoy.

Here are some top tips ahead of your visit:

Please visit council's Facebook page on Australia Day to check when the beach vehicle ramps are closed

  • stay on the hard sand
  • keep to the 10 km/hour speed limit
  • look out for the signs about where to drive and park
  • exit the beach before high tide
  • take your rubbish home
  • bring your free beach permit or pay the $8 ramp access fee
  • observe parking restrictions, and leash your dogs, around Hooded Plover nests. These birds are threatened with extinction if we don’t give them safe places to breed over summer.

Traffic management

Traffic management teams will be set up on all four drive on beach ramps, if beaches become overcrowded or there are other safety concerns then the beaches may be closed. Council will monitor the situation throughout the day and provide updates on its Facebook page.

Free beach permit

Did you know Onkaparinga residents are entitled to a FREE summer-long 'cars on beach' permit? Find out more on council’s website.

EFTPOS facilities

During the summer months, access ramps are staffed by community group volunteers and an $8 vehicle access fee applies, to those without a free permit, to drive onto the beach in accordance with council bylaws. EFTPOS facilities are available for your convenience. The fees are split between the community group and council, which puts the funds back into managing Onkaparinga’s 31 kilometres of beautiful coastline.

Speed limit

Please keep children and wildlife safe by driving at the recommended speed limit of 10km per hour on Onkaparinga’s beaches. Vehicle offences such as speeding, dangerous or hoon driving should be reported to SA Police at the time it’s occurring on 131 444, or 000 if there’s an immediate danger to people.


Look out for the signs that have been erected to help guide motorists about where to drive and park.

To protect sensitive coastal areas, it’s important not to drive on the sand dunes, pebble banks, high beach (where the seaweed accumulates) and dry soft sands.

Driving on these areas can disrupt the beaches’ natural recovery process, making them more susceptible to erosion and storm damage. It can also destroy habitat for wildlife such as the vulnerable Hooded Plover.

Hooded Plovers

All dogs must be on leash within 100 metres of Hooded Plover signage 24 hours a day. There’s currently an active Hooded Plover nesting zone on Aldinga Beach with the eggs due to hatch in the coming weeks. The Hooded Plover is an endangered species, so please give this nesting zone some space with your vehicles. The nesting zone will be monitored by the volunteers from BirdLife Australia—feel free to have a chat and learn about the plight of this endangered species.

Dry zones

Alcohol restrictions (dry areas) will be enforced at some of the foreshore locations. Check council’s website for details.

Toilets and bins

Portable toilets and extra bins will be placed at selected locations along the foreshore. Please take your rubbish home with you and don't litter the beautiful environment.

Barbecues and fires

You can use a portable gas or electric BBQ on a non-total fire ban day on the foreshore (not coal/solid fuel). You'll need to make sure there are no flammable materials within four metres of the BBQ.

On a total fire ban day, a gas or electric barbecue can be used within 15 metres of a domestic or commercial premises, or on a coastal foreshore providing: the barbecue/cooking appliance is clear of all flammable vegetation to a distance of at least four metres, and a person who is able to control the fire is present at the site of the fire until it is extinguished. An appropriate extinguisher must also be at hand.


Dogs must be on-leash between 10am to 8pm during daylight savings in the vehicle access zones at Aldinga Beach, Sellicks Beach Moana and Silver Sands.

Dogs may be exercised off-leash at these locations at other times if under effective control.

Please see council’s website for dedicated dog off leash areas.

Jet skis

Council has seen an increase in the use of jet skis on Onkaparinga’s beaches this summer due to River Murray restrictions. Council is reminding jet ski users that launching is only permitted in designated launching areas.

They’re also asking people who are not launching jet skis or boats to be mindful that these designated areas are the only areas that these beachgoers can launch/retrieve their vessels from, and it’s much safer for families to set up for their day in areas outside of these designated areas.

Get off the beaten track and have fun!

While drive-on beaches are always very popular, remember there are 31 kilometres of amazing coastline in Onkaparinga as part of the Route 31 Coastal Drive. So, if you find things a little busy at Moana, Silver Sands and Sellicks, why not go exploring – you could find the beach of your dreams. Have a look on Google Maps… try something new!

Above all, have a great day and remember to slip, slop, slap and stay hydrated. HAVE FUN!

Have a great day

Photo by Bryan Piol @bryanfromadelaide