Middleton ( 35°30’S, 138°42’E) is a town in South Australia on the eastern end of the south coast of the Fleurieu Peninsula. It is situated between the towns of Port Elliot and Goolwa. As of 2006 its population was 1337.
Middleton is a holiday and tourist destination. Some Southern Right Whales calve and mate in the waters off of Middleton’s beaches. Middleton is part of the Alexandrina Council area. It is in the state electorate of Finniss and the federal Division of Mayo.
A small township located on the main road from Port Elliot to Goolwa, approximately four kilometres from Port Elliot. Middleton is a popular spot for surfers and fishermen with its spectacular beach.
Middleton is also known for its bakery, bed and breakfasts, beaches, swimming and holiday opportunities. The Southern Right Whale can often be seen off the low cliffs during June to September, with the most common location being off Middleton Point. For about 90 per cent of the time, the whales are spotted at Basham’s Beach between Middleton and Port Elliot. The beaches are also great for kite flying. Encounter pathway is a shared bike path running along the foreshore, connecting through to Victor Harbor, and the stretch between Middleton and Port Elliot is its most spectacular.
The name is believed to have been derived from ‘Middle Town’ – the town half way between Goolwa and Port Elliot on the railway line, which opened in May 1854. When the single track railway was built it was necessary to provide loop lines for the carriages to pass. It was from one such loop and siding that the township developed. When the railway was extended to Strathalbyn in 1869 the residents of Middleton were able to persuade the authorities to make their town the junction for the new line.
During the early days of the settlement the beach extended more than 400 metres from the ocean to the sand hills. Suddenly, the ocean encroached on the beach and came up to the sand hills, believed to have been caused by an offshore movement on the ocean floor.