Port Elliot is a town in South Australia on the eastern end of the south coast of the Fleurieu Peninsula. It is situated on the sheltered Horseshoe Bay, a small bay off the much larger Encounter Bay. Port Elliot had a population of around 3098 in 2006, although along the coast it is now built up almost all the way to Victor Harbor.
Port Elliot was one end of the first railway in Australia (built in 1854) when it was established to provide a harbour for ocean-going ships to exchange cargo with river boats at Goolwa, as the Murray Mouth was too treacherous and unpredictable for safe navigation. In 1864 the railway was extended to Victor Harbor which provided safer access for ships. Port Elliot was named after Charles Elliot, the Governor of Bermuda and a friend of the Governor of South Australia, Sir Henry Young.
Today, Port Elliot is a quiet village with two hotels, three churches, eight coffee shops, no fast food chains, and is a popular holiday destination close enough to Adelaide for day trips.
An influx of “seachange retirees” in recent years has impacted adversely on housing affordability and rates, and the ability of local young people and families to remain in their area. Employment prospects are largely limited to part-time hospitality work and aged care.