Algal species which are ubiquitous along the coastlines of many countries reflect the environmental conditions of the coastal seawater and may serve as useful biomonitors of anthropogenic pollution. Heavy metal concentrations of ten elements (As, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni, Pb and Zn) of potential environmental concern were determined in seawater, sediments and twelve species of benthic marine macroalgae from four locations (Glenelg, Port Adelaide, Port Broughton and Port Pirie) along the South Australian coastline. The four sites chosen represented varying degrees of metal contamination, where the capacity for benthic macroalgae to accumulate heavy metals from the environment was evaluated. Spatial differences in heavy metal concentration in both seawaters and sediments were observed at all sites with the highest concentrations of heavy metals including Cd (125 μg g−1), Pb (2,425 μg g−1) and Zn (7,974 μg g−1) found in the finer sediment fractions (<250 μm) of Port Pirie. While all algal species studied (Acrosorium polyneurum, Anotrichium tenue, Cystophora Cephalornithos Cystophora monillifera, Cystophora monilliformis, Dictyopteris australis, Gelidium micropterum, Gracilaria, Hormophysa Cuneiformis, Sargassum cinctum, Scaberia agardhii and Ulva lactuca) accumulated metals to varying degrees, Blindigia marginata was a good biomonitor species for a number of metals including Cd, Co, Cr, Fe, Pb and Zn, exhibiting both relatively high total metal concentrations and significant concentration factors.