Adelaide beach works


Update 26 July 2021

Recent  strong winds, large seas and significant rainfall has caused erosion of sand dunes at locations such as West Beach, Semaphore South and elsewhere along the coast. The state government’s beach replenishment program is critical to providing protection to infrastructure from these storm events. The department continues to work through the current lockdown to replenish affected areas.  

The Chief Executive of the Department for Environment and Water has determined that beach management works are essential services as per the Level 5 essential workers list, specifically: “Government or local government services (whether provided by government, local government or outsourced) determined to be essential by the relevant Chief Executive”.

Find out about upcoming events


Sand is a finite resource - it needs to be shared equitably along our coastline so we can all enjoy Adelaide's stunning coastline.

Sand movement from Semaphore and Largs Bay to West Beach and Henley Beach South

Works: Sand movement from Semaphore and Largs Bay to West Beach and Henley Beach South
Duration: Periodically 2-3 times per year (autumn and spring) in 2020 and 2021.
Autumn/winter works are being undertaken from May - July 2021
Contact: or phone 8124 4928

The Department for Environment and Water is continuing its beach replenishment program for West Beach with sand being moved from Semaphore.

Sand is normally moved in spring to provide sandy beaches for summer and again in autumn to protect the coast through winter. In response to community feedback in Semaphore as a trial, the department is moving sand to West Beach closer to winter. View the project flyer

Works update (at 12 July 2021)

  • Works commenced in the week of 17 May 2021. Sand was initially moved from the Semaphore South breakwater to replenish West Beach (completed early July 2021).
  • Sand is now being moved from between the Semaphore and Largs Bay jetties to West Beach. This sand is being moved to the West Beach Parks dunes, via West Beach Harbour.
  • Sand may also be moved from north of the Largs Bay jetty. 
  • The works will be happening between May and August 2021 and are subject to change depending on the weather and tides.

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Autumn-Winter 2021 Semaphore sand movement works graphic

The department regularly meets with community representatives and council to help guide the Semaphore sand movement works.

Semaphore South dune replenishment

Works: Replenishment of dunes at Semaphore South
When: Periodically as required (last replenished in June/July 2021 & March/April 2021)
Contact: phone 8124 4928

Replenishing the dunes between Noonies Café and Hart Street, Semaphore South is required periodically. This was undertaken in late March/early April 2021.

In late May 2021, high tides and severe weather caused further erosion of the Semaphore South dunes, to the north of the breakwater. The area was replenished again in June/July 2021 so that the vegetation and drift net fences are not at further risk. 

The dunes will continue to be monitored in the coming months, and will be periodically replenished with sand from the north of the Largs Bay jetty.  


What was done?

  • From Thursday 3 June 2021 a land plane collected sand from between the Largs Bay jetty and Strathfield Tce, Largs North. Sand was stockpiled near the Largs Bay jetty. The land plane operates on the beach between the hours of 7:00am – 5:00pm.
  • From Monday 7 June 2021 the sand was moved from Largs Bay to Semaphore South (under the Semaphore jetty using a conveyor system).

The works were expected to take up to 2 weeks, subject to the weather and tides. However due to the weather and tides the works extended into early July 2021.

  • More than 4,000 additional plants will be planted in the area later in 2021. 

Works are subject to change.


A severe storm in 2016 impacted the area, resulting in the loss of the dune and its vegetation. Works to restore eroded dunes at Semaphore South were completed in 2020.

Replenishment of this area is required periodically to keep the dunes topped up. 

The department regularly meets with community representatives and council to help guide the Semaphore sand movement works. 


 Photo: Semaphore South in 2016 following a severe storm

Quarry sand delivery to West Beach

Works: Delivery of sand from land-based quarries to West Beach
Timeframe: Commencing August – December 2021 
Contact: or phone 8124 4928


The state government has announced that up to 250,000 cubic metres of sand from land-based quarries will be delivered to West Beach in 2021. 

This is part of the state government’s $48.4 million Securing the Future of our coastline project, which includes a commitment to deliver a large quantity of sand (500,000 cubic metres) to West Beach from outside of Adelaide’s beach system

Using quarry sand for the first phase of the mass replenishment will ensure that large volumes of sand are delivered to West Beach before the end of the year while investigation of other potential sand sources continues. 

Delivery of the quarry sand is due to commence in August 2021. 


Sand pumping from Glenelg to Kingston Park

Works: Annual sand recycling with sand being pumped to replenish beaches from Glenelg to Kingston Park.
Duration: Annually every June to November
Contact: or phone 8232 1882

Sand recycling to replenish beaches from Glenelg to Kingston Park through the underground pipeline system is undertaken annually. Works normally commence in June and run through to November.  McConnell Dowell undertakes this work on behalf of the department.

Sand collection and pumping takes place between 7.00 am and 7.00 pm Monday to Friday.  During this time, residents and beachgoers are requested to take care during works and adhere to safety signage and flagging that will be in place during operation. 

Works update: Commencing in the week of 14 June 2021, the significant build up of seagrass wrack on Glenelg beach was moved by truck to the beach at West Beach Parks. These works were completed in the week of 5 July 2021.  The removal of seagrass wrack in exceptional circumstances is included in the City of Holdfast Bay’s Beach Wrack policy, with a preference for the beach wrack to remain within the coastal ecosystem.

Sand collection from Glenelg beach continues, with pumping to the southern beaches of Holdfast Bay underway. 


Works are subject to change depending on the weather and operational requirements.

Semaphore to West Beach sand recycling pipeline preliminary investigations (recently completed)

Works: Preliminary ground assessment investigations for Semaphore to West Beach sand recycling pipeline design
Timeframe: May & June 2021
Locations: Various locations between Henley Beach and Largs Bay phone 8124 4928

Preliminary investigations of ground conditions at various locations between West Beach and Largs Bay were undertaken in May and June 2021. 

The investigations are one of a number of studies being undertaken to inform the design of the sand recycling pipeline to be constructed from Semaphore to West Beach. A small rig mounted on the back of a truck was used to take core samples to assess ground conditions at locations where the pipeline could be constructed.

The extent, exact location of the underground pipeline and how it will be built will be determined in the planning and design period that is now underway. The current project scope is to extend the pipeline from West Beach to the Semaphore South breakwater. However, extending the pipeline further north may be considered to reduce the need to use trucks along this section of coastline. Investigations further north at Semaphore and Largs Bay are therefore being undertaken as part of the initial design process.

Sand movement from Torrens Outlet to West Beach

Works: Replenishment of eroded dunes at West Beach (Rockingham Street dunes) with sand from the Torrens Outlet.
When: Periodically as required (works last undertaken Monday 17 May - Wednesday 19 May 2021). phone 8124 4928


Works to replenish the dune near Rockingham Street, West Beach with sand from the Torrens Outlet is undertaken regularly. 

The works are a rapid response to address erosion at this vulnerable location where the dunes are subject to ongoing erosion.

Work will be undertaken between 7:00am 5:00pm. Sand will be moved by truck from the Torrens Outlet along the beach to the affected areas. 

The community are asked to please take extra care on the beaches while the works are underway and adhere to all safety signage and flagging in place during operations. The works are subject to change depending on the weather and tides.

More sand will be moved to West Beach from Semaphore later in the week commencing 17 May 2021. 

See also: Quarry sand delivery to West Beach and learn more about the government’s long term plan to address the problems at West Beach

Glenelg North beach replenishment 

Works: Sand movement works from West Beach harbour bridge to Glenelg North
Duration: 3 - 18 November 2020 or phone 8124 4928

Works to replenish the beach at Glenelg North was undertaken in November 2020. 

Sand was collected from the area just south of the West Beach harbour bridge and moved by trucks along the beach to the foreshore south of Burns Street, Glenelg North.

The sand will help to raise the beach level along the narrower stretch of Glenelg North beach.

The removal of sand will help prevent excess sand moving around the harbour breakwater and into the harbour where it would otherwise need to be removed with a dredge.

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