Nestled between West Beach and Grange to Adelaide’s north-west, Henley Beach is a picturesque coastal suburb in the City of Charles Sturt. It’s a largely residential area with an attractive waterfront precinct and an alluring stretch of sand, all just a short hop from the city centre.
Most of the action in the suburb centres around the newly redeveloped open plaza of Henley Square, which is situated behind the Henley Jetty and home to a cluster of cafes and restaurants. Adjacent is the Henley Square Pavilion, named after a historic pavilion built here in the early 1900s where visitors once sipped tea and listened to live music while taking in the ocean views. Its modern counterpart is filled with gourmet grocers, high-end fashion and lifestyle stores. The beach extends north to south along the entire suburb, with safe waters for swimming and numerous events held during the warm summer months. Away from the sands, Henley Beach is predominantly residential, with a good selection of primary and high schools, in addition to public green spaces, ovals and the privately-run Western Hospital.
Henley Beach is connected to Adelaide’s city centre by public bus, and a suburban connector route weaves south to Glenelg also. It’s a pleasant area to explore on foot, with an expansive esplanade running parallel to the beach and cycling paths for those on two wheels.
Henley Beach was named after the English town of Henley-on-Thames, and in the formative decades of the colony, it was considered one of the finest places to live in the settlement. In 1882, a horse-drawn tram service connected the beachside district to Adelaide, with a narrow gauge tram line added in 1894 from Woodville. It wasn’t until the post-war years that housing development boomed with the increased availability of motor transport.