Thompson Beach is located approximately 72 kilometres from the centre of Adelaide. It’s very easy to find – just travel north along Port Wakefield Road to the Dublin turnoff and after the turnoff take the first left – and keep following that. There’s only one road in and out of Thompson Beach, so it’s unlikely you’ll get lost!
Here’s how to get there from Adelaide, starting from Port Wakefield Road at Waterloo Corner.
Thompson Beach (sometimes incorrectly called Thompson’s Beach) takes its name from a family that began farming in the area in the late 1800’s. A subdivision was created in the 1980’s, the township formalised in 1992 and boundaries mapped out in 1997.
There were 152 private dwellings in Thompson Beach in 2016 and at that point, the town had a population of 187.
There are approximately 400 building blocks in Thompson Beach and given the settlement is now fully surrounded by National Park, no further blocks will be released.
From around September to the end of April each year, you can try your luck at chasing after the blue swimmer crabs that Thompson Beach is famous for – but be sure to observe sizes and limits. The area is regularly patrolled by fisheries officers who check on catches. It’s important to note all female crabs in berry (with eggs) must be immediately returned to the water, regardless of size.
Salmon trout and whiting are also regularly caught in the waters around Thompson Beach.
Here’s weather and tide details to help you plan your trip:
Thompson Beach is the northern gateway of Adelaide International Bird Sanctuary and Winaityinaityi Pangkara National Park, which have been established to create a safe haven for the native fauna and flora of the area.
There are two “Shorebirds Trails” at Thompson Beach that provide for very interesting and relaxing walks. At the southern end of the Esplanade is Third Creek Trail which is approximately 3.6km return. At the northern end is Bakers Creek Trail, approximately 5km return.
At the start of both trails are information bays, detailing some of the species you may come across during your walk and the environmental importance of the area.
Full colour guides are usually available from the Third Creek Trail information bay at the southern end of town.
Thompson Beach has so much more than just shorebirds. It’s also home to around ninety species of inland birds, plus other wildlife including kangaroos, echidnas and various reptiles.
- Shopping: There are no shops in Thompson Beach, but Dublin is only 8 minutes away for all your food, fuel and fishing/crabbing needs.
- Public toilets: These are situated at the car park at the intersection of Ruskin Road and The Esplanade and also at the southern end of the Esplanade.
- Picnic area: This can be found next to the car park at the intersection of Ruskin Road and The Esplanade.
- Boat ramp: Towards southern end of The Esplanade
- Mobile coverage: There is good Telstra mobile coverage throughout Thompson Beach.
- Camping: not permitted anywhere in Thompson Beach or the Park. However, there is a free camping ground at Parham.
- Car parks: there are car parking areas at the intersection of Ruskin Road and the Esplanade, and at the northern and southern ends of the Esplanade.
If you’re looking to stay in Thompson Beach, there aren’t any hotels – but you may be able to take advantage of Airbnb or short stay properties such as this one.
- Note the speed limit throughout the area is 40 km/hr.
- Rubbish bins are situated at the Ruskin road car park and at the northern and southern ends of The Esplanade. Please use them, or better still, take your rubbish with you.
- If you have cans or bottles with a container deposit to discard, these can be dropped off in the bin outside the Community Hall on Ruskin Road. The funds raised go towards Progress Association projects.
- Beach driving is permitted on the beach in front of the township, but the speed limit is 25 kmh. NOTE: Bogging regularly occurs at Thompson Beach. If you’re not very familiar with sand driving and don’t carry the necessary equipment to get yourself out of trouble, it’s probably best avoided.
- Dogs must be kept on leash at all times.
- Camping and cooking fires are not permitted anywhere within the town or Park.
- Removal of shells and beach materials is prohibited.
- Dirt bike riding is not permitted within the Park area.
- There are numerous paths from the Esplanade to the beach – please use them rather than going off track through the dune area, which is very sensitive and provides important protection to the township.
- Information and a map of the town can be found on the large notice board situated at the Community Hall on Ruskin Road, on the left-hand side just as you enter the town.