Yorke Peninsula begins some 100km northwest of Adelaide
. Surrounded by water on three sides, the Gulf St Vincent lies to the east, the Spencer Gulf to the west and the Investigator Strait to the south. The leg-shaped peninsula is made up of a network of carefree small towns and villages and boasts a diversely scenic coastline ranging from white sandy beaches to red ochre cliffs and rugged headlands.
Ardrossan, on Yorke Peninsula’s eastern side, is characterised by its magnificent fiery red ochre cliffs fringing the shores. Fishing and crabbing are the main activities here with Tommy Ruffs, Squid, Cuttlefish and Garfish being caught from the jetty and Blue Swimmers from the beach. The town has a caravan park, supermarket, variety store, hotel and takeaway food bar.
Port Vincent is another seaside getaway big on fishing. With an excellent boat launching facility at the marina, anglers can launch and retrieve their vessels at any tide, note daily launching fees of $5 apply or periodic permits can be purchased. The calm waters with swimming pontoon, bombing wharf and fishing jetty make the beach a pleasant place to spend time relaxing. Port Vincnet has two caravan parks and several other cabin options, supermarket, hotel, post office, butcher and a few other small shops.
Edithburgh, at the bottom of the peninsula’s eastern side, is a fishing haven with its enormous jetty so iconic to this peninsula and a protected boat ramp with fees payable. While the anglers are off wetting a line the rest of the party can enjoy the saltwater foreshore swimming pool which fills as the tide comes in. Edithburgh has a foreshore caravan park, general store, hotels, cafes and restaurants.
Marion Bay is on the foot of Yorke Peninsula on the outskirts of Innes National Park. The seaside holiday village boasts calm bay waters good for crab scooping, swimming and snorkelling. A 200m walking trail around Penguin Point to Willyama Beach finds another sweeping sandy bay to enjoy. Marion Bay has a caravan park, beachside apartments and villas, general store and tavern and is a good place to base camp when exploring the national park.
Innes National Park, with its alternating sandy and rocky coastline, is just stunning and one of the state’s highlights. The silky sands of Jollys Beach are flanked by rocky headland either side, good for fishing and snorkelling.
The Jollys Beach Rd Lookout offers views of the sweeping sandy bay around towards Rhino Head in the distance.
The coastline takes a rugged change from here and the views just keep getting better. The Stenhouse Bay Lookout Walk is a must. The 2km easy circuit around the headland provides beautiful coastal views either side and across to Rhino Head. History of the area is detailed on signs along the walk.
The Cape Spencer Lighthouse Walk sees the coastline changing once again. The cliffs take on a honeycomb-like appearance and are absolutely stunning. The walk is an easy 10 minutes return.
is magnificent and from the lookout you can see the remains of an old shipwreck buried in the sand below. The treacherous waters of the Investigator Strait have claimed many vessels in the past and consequently this coastline has been labelled the “Shipwreck Trail”.
West Cape offers beautiful scenery either side from the carpark lookout. A 1km walking circuit also leaves from here around the headland to the unique stainless steel lighthouse at the tip of the cape.
Pondalowie Bay has beach, rugged coast and reef. A short walk explores the rocky coastline and finds good abalone ground. Note fishing for bottom dwelling seafood from inter-tidal reef must be in water at least 2 metres deep.
Further on, Dolphin Bay is characterised by its rusty granite boulders, Shell Beach by its prominent rocky headland and Browns Beach by its Salmon Hole. Research shows that the Western Salmon caught here travel with the current from Cape Leeuwin in WA’s southwest.
The Innes National Park is the Yorke Peninsula’s gem. The stunning coastal park offers magnificent scenery, fishing, surfing, snorkelling, diving and camping. The main camp ground is at Pondalowie, however there are many more designated sites within the park. Camping fees and park entry fees of $8.50 per vehicle apply. This park is easily explored in a day, small in size and big on scenery.
On the western side of Yorke Peninsula is Port Victoria, a reasonable sized seaside town with jetty, maritime museum, caravan park, general store, hotel and other assorted shops. The foreshore museum is open on weekends and public holidays between 2pm and 4pm.
There are several free camps
located along the western coastline. Barker Rocks and Wauraltee Beach are south of Port Victoria and Tiparra Rocks, The Bamboos and The Gap are north of town. These are all beachside bush camps with no facilities and pets are permitted at each.
Moonta Bay is a beautiful spot with a beachside caravan park, enormous L-shaped jetty and protected swimming area with floating pontoon. The relaxing coastal getaway is a short drive from Moonta where there are shops and copper mining history.
on the peninsula’s north coast boasts an impressive jetty, clear blue waters and stark white sand nearby at North Beach. The town has a beachside caravan park and runs a vehicular and passenger ferry across to Lucky Bay on the Eyre Peninsula.
Between North Beach and Tickera the coastal drive finds good fishing ground and plenty of land-based and offshore fishermen frequent the area.
At the top of the peninsula is Port Broughton. The shallow inlet is great for crabbing, there is a waterfront caravan park and nice grassy foreshore with facilities.
The Yorke Peninsula is so diverse in its landscape. From the fiery red cliffs at Ardrossan in the north to the sandy beaches and many jetties fringing the eastern coastline, the rugged headlands of Innes National Park and the calm bays and shallow inlets on the west, the peninsula is a scenic delight and a fisherman’s haven.
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Destinations in South Australia
Lincoln National Park
Return from Yorke Peninsula to South Australia