The Yorke Peninsula is a holiday playground for South Aussies who love to flock to ‘Yorkes’, especially over December and January, making the most of scorching summer days to take a relaxing break on the coast.
There is more than 700 kilometres of coastline on the peninsula and in less than 3 hours from Adelaide you can be at any one of the friendly little towns on the east or west coast. It only takes around 40 minutes to go from one side of the peninsula to the other, so visiting other nearby towns is an easy option too.
For first time visitors to this region of South Australia, here is my list of the top towns to visit on Yorkes.
Situated on the western side, Moonta Bay caravan park is built over two levels and overlooks the bay and jetty, which means during summer you have front row seats to some pretty spectacular sunsets. The jetty is popular with locals and holiday makers and you can catch a number of fish species as well as squid and blue swimmer crabs.
The beach is perfect for kayaking, Stand up Paddle Boarding, and fishing in a tinny and when the tide is out the huge expanse of sand is a top spot for kids and dogs to run amok. There is also a water play park on the foreshore where the young and young at heart can have fun.
The town of Moonta is around 3 kilometres inland from the bay and the variety of shops are always busy in summer, catering to the influx of holiday makers, but they do it well and are very welcoming as the population swells.
For history lovers you can visit the Moonta Mines Area where the town’s history of copper mining has been preserved with original buildings and mining sites to view as you take a self-guided walk around.
The town of Marion Bay is in the toe of the peninsula and is the gateway to Dhilba Guuranda – Innes National Park. While the town is small it has a supermarket for basics as well as a very good tavern for meals and drinks.
There is a jetty to fish from as well as beaches suitable for swimming and some excellent surf beaches nearby. Its proximity to the national park is what makes this town so popular too with Innes having spectacular surf spots, kangaroos and emus galore, historic ruins, lighthouses and more jaw dropping vistas to see as you drive through the park.
Edithburgh is in the heel of the peninsula and as well as being known for its great fishing, there are some spectacular swimming beaches and a scenic coastal drive to rival any in Australia.
Sultana Point Beach is a spectacularly white sand beach where you can relax or have a swim and there’s also a tidal swimming pool along the foreshore of the town.
The scenic drive takes you along the craggy coast and past more incredible beaches to the unique Troubridge Point Lighthouse which is made of wedge shaped clay bricks and was designed to withstand the high winds and even earthquakes.
Fishing, swimming and snorkeling are all popular pursuits when holidaying in Edithburgh but you have to keep in mind that Great White Sharks have also been known to like the area too.
On the eastern side of the peninsula, Stansbury has a lot going for it. The caravan park is absolute beach front and it only takes a few steps to get from your van to the sand for fishing and swimming in the sheltered waters of Oyster Bay.
The foreshore has a brilliant playground area for the kids as well as shaded BBQ and picnic areas. The town is also full of colourful painted wall murals and the seaside markets are something to see with stalls stretching along the foreshore, food and drinks on offer and entertainment which makes it a great whole family experience. The next planned markets for 2021 / 2022 are, Saturday 11th December, Friday 31st December, Saturday 22nd January and Saturday 12th March and they usually run from 9am to 1pm.
Stansbury also has boat launching facilities and a good jetty for fishing as well as shopping and dining options in town.
Another favourite town on the eastern side of the peninsula is Port Vincent, 19 kilometres north of Stansbury.
This is yet another caravan park set in prime position on the sheltered bay, where pods of dolphins and pelicans often cruise by. It’s only a short walk from the park to the centre of town and all your shopping needs. The curve of the bay makes it very sheltered and the foreshore is a popular spot for families to enjoy the facilities or swim in the bay and out to a pontoon.
There are clifftop lookouts and a walking trail to take and a sheltered marina at the northern end of the bay, with Port Vincent being well known as a boating and sailing destination.
Be sure to add these to your Yorke Peninsula holiday itinerary.