Located 45 km south of Adelaide on the Fleurieu Peninsula, Aldinga is an interesting and unusual township which is notable more for its beautiful long, flat beach rather than the township itself. Today Aldinga is rapidly becoming a desirable commuter destination south of Adelaide with the advantages of rural quietness and ready access to the city.
The region was first explored in 1802 when Matthew Flinders circumnavigated Australia. Flinders was impressed by long beaches and gently rolling green hills behind them which characterise much of the Fleurieu Peninsula.
Aldinga became a thriving settlement in the 1860s when it operated as a port for the surrounding farming communities. As such it had two mills for the wheat and there were, for both locals and the sailors who plied the coast, no fewer than six pubs. The Aldinga Hotel, which reputedly first came into existence in the 1840s although it was updated in the 1860s and the 1880s, is a remnant of this earlier history.
Sir Ivor Hele, who was an official war artist in both World War II and the Korean War and who won the Archibald Prize in 1951, 1953, 1954, 1955 and 1957, lived in an old coaching inn situated on the corner of Little Road and Adey Road. The inn had been built about 1840 and Sir Ivor rented it in 1935. He subsequently purchased it in 1937 and lived their until he died in 1993. The house is currently owned by the artist Fred Schmidt.
Things to see
The town's oldest church is St. Anne's Anglican Church which was built in 1866. The cemetery at the town's Methodist (now Uniting) Church has the mass grave for the eleven people who died aboard the Star of Greece which sank when it was driven ashore at Port Willunga during a gale in 1888. It is still possible to see parts of the wreck of the Star of Greece at Port Willunga at low tide.
Most people visit Aldinga to go to the beach which is located 4 km from the town centre. There are other attractions in the area including the Aldinga Scrub Conservation Park which offers pleasant bushwalks at there are interesting views across Gulf St Vincent from the various rocky headlands to the north and south of the town.