The Yorke Peninsula is one of South Australia’s most accessible beach retreats, located just over an hour’s drive from Adelaide and boasting 700 kilometers of beautiful coastline. Spend your days swimming, surfing, fishing, camping, and bushwalking on the Yorke Peninsula with our Yorke Peninsula itinerary, which includes the finest places to stay, dine, and activities to do.
Visit Yorke Peninsula, Port Hughes
You can think about starting your time in Innes National Park by heading to the Yorke Peninsula. On the Yorke Peninsula, you’ll find sheltered coves, snow-white sand, and brilliant, turquoise seas. The Yorke Peninsula, which is surrounded by 700 kilometers of pristine coastline, is home to some of the nicest beaches in the world, and you’ll have them almost entirely to yourself most of the time. There’s a slice of heaven for any beach bum to call their own, from big swells favored by surfers to tranquil coves ideal for a family day at the beach, reefs teeming with aquatic life best explored snorkeling or diving, or vast expanses of powdery sand to laze around. Pack your bathing suit and sunscreen as well.
Head to the Yorke Peninsula’s Shell Beach
A mermaid wouldn’t seem out of place lounging in the sun-drenched waters of the Blue Hole rock pool, another hidden beauty in Dhilba Guuranda-Innes National Park. Follow Shell Beach’s pure white sand to your own private beachfront pool, where crystal clear, protected waters on the edge of the Southern Ocean greet you. Wait till the tide is low and the weather is calm before diving into the quiet seaside rockpool to discover an underwater world of fish, coral, crabs, and starfish. Pack your belongings and stay longer in paradise; a campsite is located right off Shell Beach. Check out our guide to the greatest isolated swimming holes in South Australia for more secret swimming holes.
Eat at Yorke Peninsula’s Bond Store
A microbrewery, distillery, and restaurant all within walking distance of the beach? The Bond Store in Wallaroo is a wonderful place to stop for a leisurely lunch on the beach. With 12 tap selections available, including artisan brews from throughout South Australia and a variety made locally on site, the bar and restaurant is set against towering stainless steel brewing tanks. Downstairs in the cellar, the gin bar awaits, equipped with a 500L copper still named Ginger.
Head to the Marion Bay
When you’re ready, head to Marion Bay, a little seaside village that serves as the park’s entrance. Continue down the Yorke Highway to the park entrance and tourist information center, where the helpful park personnel can supply you with a map of the area as well as any other suggestions and information.
Keep your eyes on the road as you progress farther into the park, as the rich animals may appear. For your protection and the safety of animals, it’s essential to be cautious and stick to the posted speed restrictions.
Lookout Chinaman’s Hat Sanctuary Zone
Take a brief photo stop at Chinamans Hat Island overlook, which is called for the uniquely shaped island. The view spans the Chinamans Hat Sanctuary Zone, which is part of the Southern Spencer Gulf Marine Park and preserves a variety of marine habitats for species including the leafy sea dragon, blue groper, ocean sweep, redfish, and blue devil fish.
Spend the night at Yorke Peninsula’s Hillocks Ocean Pod
Hillocks Ocean Pod is a magnificent seaside cabin surrounded by coastal vegetation, with unbroken views of Butler’s Beach and Hillocks Point, and is just a three-and-a-half-hour drive from Adelaide. During the winter months, you may see whales pass by your dining room window and be lulled to sleep by the sounds of the ocean. The sunsets you’ll witness will be just breathtaking.
Explore Yorke Peninsula’s Pacific Estate Oysters
Stansbury is a bastion for an astonishing harvest of fresh oysters taken straight from the Southern Ocean halfway around the Yorke Peninsula. Pluck oysters straight from the sea and spend the day on a functioning oyster boat with Pacific Estate Oysters as a dickie. Travel to oyster leases, learn the ins and outs of the trade, then shuck and eat the freshest oysters you can find.
Visit National Park of Dhilba Guuranda-Innes
Dhilba Guuranda-Innes National Park, near the southern extremity of the Yorke Peninsula, is a natural playground abounding with gorgeous beaches, spectacular surf, and towering cliffs. You might easily spend a whole day wandering and never see another person. Ethel Beach, Dolphin Bay, and the Cape Spencer Lighthouse are all must-sees. For additional information, see our list of the best 5 Yorke Peninsula beaches.
Enjoy your meals at Yorke Peninsula’s Watsacowie Brewing
Minlaton is home to Watsacowie Brewing Company, which is located in the heart of the Yorke Peninsula and surrounded by beautiful barley fields. Sip your way through their outstanding collection of craft beers with a taster paddle or pick for a cider or wine matched with a plate from the cellar door, which pours brews made with local barley. On weekends, stay for a few drinks while listening to live music, or relax on one of the Yorke Peninsula’s gorgeous beaches with your own supplies.
Visit Cape Spencer Lighthouse
Return to your automobile and drive down Pondalowie Bay Road. Turn left at the fork in the road and follow the signs to the Cape Spencer Lighthouse. The lighthouse and viewpoint are a short 300-meter walk from the parking and give a nearly 360-degree coastline view of the stunning cliffs, as well as over Investigator Strait to Althorpe Island.
If you look closely, you may see the Althorpe Island Lighthouse and the houses that housed the resident lighthouse keepers from 1879 until 1991 on the horizon.
Enjoy views of the Cape Spencer Lighthouse
Return to Pondalowie Bay Road and make a left. Turn right about 2 kilometers down the road towards the old, abandoned settlement of Inneston. In the early 1900s, Inneston was a thriving gypsum mining town with a population of around 200 people. During the Great Depression, mining activities ended, and by 1970, the site had been fully abandoned.
The Inneston Heritage Walk, which includes a schoolhouse, bakery, general store, post office, managers and workers cottages, a plaster factory, and stables, provides an insight into the mining era as you walk around the historic buildings, which include a schoolhouse, bakery, general store, post office, managers and workers cottages, and a plaster factory. There’s also an ancient cricket pitch and tennis courts that were once utilized by the locals.
Have a snack or your dinner at the picnic shelters
You’ve undoubtedly worked up an appetite by now. At West Cape Lighthouse, take use of the picnic shelters and tables to take in the breathtaking views. This location is ideal for a pit stop because there are restrooms conveniently accessible near the parking. Set off on the West Cape Headland Hike once you’ve eaten your lunch (30-minute loop, 1 km). Exhilarating vistas of the high-energy shoreline will be your reward.
Spend the night at My Sister and the Sea at Yoke Peninsula
Check into My Sister & The Sea, a picture-perfect beachfront home in Marion Bay, for another wonderful seaside retreat. The white weatherboard home conjures up images of limitless summer days in the sun, and it’s the ideal location for making new ones. Relax on the outside deck, soak in the heated outdoor bath, wander down to the beach, or visit the nearby Dhilba Guuranda-Innes National Park. The cottage is fully equipped and can accommodate up to six people.
Visit Innes National Park’s Inneston Lake
Inneston Lake’s piercing blue waters give the Maldives a run for their money. This secluded Salt Lake is one of the Yorke Peninsula’s best kept secrets, best experienced on a beautiful summer day when the waters are at their bluest. This corner of heaven is nestled in an abandoned ancient village in the middle of Dhilba Guuranda-Innes National Park, surrounded by mountainous nature, spectacular coastline, and plentiful animals. Check out our list of the greatest beach paradise spots in South Australia for more magnificent blue seas.
Head to the Yorke Peninsula Aboriginal Cultural Tours
An Aboriginal Cultural Tour led by Quenten Agius will allow you to experience the strong spiritual and physical connection Aboriginal people have with their homeland. Explore the craggy earth gorges, clean unspoilt beaches, and old archaeological sites of the Yorke Peninsula. Share stories about dreaming and creation that bring the landscape to life while also connecting with nature and the environment.
Enjoy a meal at Coopers Alehouse is located in Wallaroo.
On the Yorke Peninsula, you don’t have to travel far to get a nice country bar, and Coopers Alehouse is one of the best. Lunch is served with a view of the marina at Wallaroo, which is located in a superb location on the protected west coast. With a seafood platter that includes oysters, prawns, scallops, and fish, you can sample the Yorke Peninsula’s outstanding fresh seafood while enjoying a refreshing beer.
Spend your afternoon at the beaches of Pondalowie Bay
Explore the beaches of Pondalowie Bay, Dolphin Beach, and Shell Beach in the afternoon. Pondalowie Bay is known for its surfing and is host to The Yorkes Classic, one of the state’s most prominent pro-am surfing tournaments, which attracts some of the greatest surfers in the country.
The trail and boardwalk that runs from the Pondalowie Surf Break parking to the beach may be used to get to the beach. If the weather is nice, relax on the beach and watch the surfers, or go for a swim. Strong currents and rips may make swimming risky, so use caution and always swim with a partner. If you’re in the mood for a swim, head to nature’s own pool! The Blue Pool is a natural rock pool located on Shell Beach’s northern edge.
Explore Ethel Wreck
Return to the park gate once you’ve done exploring and relaxing on the beautiful sandy beaches. Take the access road opposite Deep Lake to the shore and the Ethel Wreck. The Ethel was a 711-tonne, three-masted iron ship that sank in a storm off the coast of South Africa in 1904. The ship was driven onto the beach by the storm, where it remained intact for many years.
The hull ultimately collapsed in the mid-1980s, but there is still much to see, with numerous enormous chunks of rusty iron protruding from the sand. The twisted debris now provides for wonderful photographs, and the hike down to the shore is well worth it.
Spending your last evening
Keep a watch out for Tammar wallabies, who were reintroduced to the park in 2004, if you’re lucky enough to be in the park as twilight approaches. They were previously common over the Yorke Peninsula, but by the 1920s, they had become extinct on the Australian mainland.
The Park currently has a robust population of Tammar wallabies, and the best time to watch them is when they come out to eat at night and after dark. Remember to bring a torch and look for them on the Inneston Historic Walk.
Spend the night at Yorke Peninsula Bayside Glamping
At Bayside, cozy up to the ocean in a beautiful coastal little cottage. The off-grid tiny home is the perfect lovers escape on the Yorke Peninsula, located within walking distance of Marion Bay and on the doorstep of Innes National Park. From every window, take in the views of the surrounding wild grassland, ascend the ladder to your loft-style bedroom, enjoy your morning coffee on the terrace with kangaroos and emus for company, then prepare breakfast in the fully furnished kitchen before heading out to explore. Your stay will have minimal influence on the beautiful surrounding environment because it is solar powered, rainwater dependent, and has a natural composting toilet. There’s also a glamping option that’s just as lovely.
If you can plan according to this, you can get the best experience of staying at the Innes National Park.