Port Vincent and the Top 5 of driving around the heel.
It’s impossible not to be happy if you are staying at the Foreshore Caravan Park at Port Vincent on South Australia’s Yorke Peninsula. It’s a big call, but when you only have to take a dozen paces from your caravan to be on the beach overlooking a sheltered bay, dolphins dipping in and out of the water and pelicans flying by, it’s a call I’m prepared to stand by!
To add to this it’s just a very short stroll to the town’s shops for everything you may need or want, with helpful and friendly country service thrown in. The Ventnor Hotel is even closer to the park and for a top meal and fun night out, go on a Friday night and you’ll get caught up in the local social club raffles too. Good food and fun times.
Port Vincent is on the Gulf St Vincent side of Yorkes and faces east which means you get some pretty spectacular sunrises over the water. A quiet and calm way to start the day, watching the pelicans wake up and take off, dolphins slipping by and the sun rays hitting the town and lighting it up behind you.
If you are holidaying on this side of the peninsula there are a few unmissable things to do.
1. Stansbury Seaside Market
Every month from October through to April the town of Stansbury, 17 kilometres further south, holds its seaside market. This is a really busy market with fantastic variety. There are food trucks and entertainment and all with the sparkling ocean as a backdrop. The choices here are truly amazing everything from fresh produce, books, candles, pastries, fishing gear, jewellery, home wares, fashion…I could go on, but just visit!
Stansbury also has some incredible street art, buildings completely covered in murals, painted pieces around town (by Ann Harris) and even some that have seen better days but look amazing (by Tania Heaslip).
2.Wool Bay & Port Giles
A further 10 minutes’ drive south is the town of Wool Bay. Take your fishing rod there is a big jetty with plenty of squid ink stains on it, or have a look from above where the old lime kiln is on the cliff top. Also a good spot to see dolphins swimming by, we did! Continuing down the coast the next location is the deep shipping port of Port Giles where you may see a grain ship in, being filled from the huge grain silos.
This town on the south eastern tip of the peninsula has another good fishing jetty, a caravan park on the water and one of the most quiet and secluded white sandy beaches (but don’t tell anyone) at Sultana Point.
Take the signposted scenic drive heading out through the Wattle Point Wind Farm-you can’t miss them standing tall and looming from the farmland. The graded dirt road drive is easy for a conventional car and after passing through the centre of the wind turbine structures you can take the Troubridge point scenic drive which will take you on a winding drive along the spectacular rugged coastline.
Along the way you will see the Troubridge Hill lighthouse, it’s made of clay bricks and 32 metres high – you can see it for miles in all directions. Next comes Troubridge Hill beach and what a stunner it is. A steep set of stairs will take you down there or you can just take in its magnificent colours from above. At the end of the drive you are taken back to another road where you can choose to continue on a scenic coastal way or as we did, head inland around 40 kilometres to the town of Minlaton.
5.Watsacowie Brewing Company – Minlaton
These guys are a relatively new business in town, they’d only been up and running a few months when we visited. At the end of a no through road you’ll find the shed – and a shed it is, but don’t let the exterior fool you, go inside and wow what an interesting place you’ll find. And your doggo is welcome too, Jazz the red kelpie is at home here and you will feel it too. We spoke with owners Brendan and Roxanne about the beginning of their brewing company, the beers they make and the relaxed and comfy place they’ve made here. Well worth a visit, great beers but they also offer wines and ciders and water for the dog! The décor is amazing, an old windmill blade adorned with lights, comfy couch and wood fire for the cooler months and the bar and tables and chairs are made from reclaimed 120 year old shearing shed timbers.
Leaving Minlaton we complete our circle of touring and head back to Port Vincent to end the day watching the boat traffic return and the day turn into night – what a picture.