Coastal way road trip: Explore Yorke Peninsula's coastal playground
Relax at a beach cottage where the beach is literally just outside your door. Feel the salty breeze in your hair and the sand between your toes. Don't worry about the one that got away; it'll be waiting for you at the end of your line at one of Yorke Peninsula's famous fishing sites. The Coastal Way road tour takes you through the Yorke Peninsula's sandy playground, where you'll find pristine beaches, quiet hideaways, quirky communities, and extensive national parks.
Overlooking the calm waters of St Vincent Gulf on the east side of the Yorke Peninsula, locals flock to the seaside village of Port Vincent for its family-safe sheltered beach and laid-back coastal lifestyle. Soak up the sun on the sandy shores of the town’s protected beach and plunge into the tranquil turquoise waters from the famous wharf jump before refueling with fish and chips from the popular beachside kiosk. Hire a kayak or stand-up paddleboard from Port Vincent Outdoors to explore the shoreline, or throw a line off the jetty for garfish, squid, snook, flathead, and King George whiting. When dinner calls, settle down at a table by the sea at the Ventnor Hotel for a quality pub meal. By night, check-in to the beachfront Port Vincent Foreshore Caravan Park or Seaside Cabins, or settle down at one of the town’s many beachside abodes.
Port VincentPort Vincent SA, Australia
If you’re feeling hungry on the road, stop off at Stansbury; the stronghold for an impressive bounty of fresh oysters hauled straight from the Yorke Peninsula waters. Pluck oysters fresh from the ocean yourself and be a deckie for the day on a working oyster boat with Pacific Estate Oysters. Journey out to oyster leases, learn the tricks of the trade then shuck and chow down on the freshest oysters you’ll find. If oysters aren’t your thing, then seaside bliss awaits on Stansbury’s picturesque Oyster Bay with calm waters making it the ideal spot for a dip. You'll almost certainly meet some of the locals, as dolphins can often be seen frolicking in the sheltered waters early in the morning and late in the evening. The Stansbury Markets take over the seafront every month from October to May, with stalls selling everything from fresh oysters to wine, arts and crafts, pastries, and fishing supplies.
StansburyStansbury Yorke Peninsula, SA, Australia
Sitting on the doorstep of Dhilba Guuranda-Innes National Park, Marion Bay is an idyllic coastal town popular for swimming, fishing and surfing. With a sheltered swimming beach on one side and a surf beach on the other, it’s the perfect spot for your salt water fix. The town is also a popular fishing destination with plenty of spots to cast a line and try your luck beach, jetty, rock and surf fishing. After a day at the beach, settle your stomach at Marion Bay Tavern, where you'll find all the local seafood favorites, as well as a fine wine bar and a wood-fired pizza menu, before retiring to your own deluxe beachfront cabin in a Hillocks Ocean Pod, seaside serenity at My Sister and The Sea, or pitching your tent by the ocean at Marion Bay Caravan Park.
Marion BayMarion Bay SA, Australia
Dhilba Guuranda - Innes Nation Park
Escape to a remote coastal wilderness on the tip of the Yorke Peninsula and soak in the sun without another soul in sight. In Dhilba Guuranda-Innes National Park, it's simple to find your own slice of paradise: simply park the car, set up camp for the weekend, and spend your days swimming, fishing, surfing, boating, and bushwalking through this remote corner of Australia, where pristine beaches meet wildlife-rich bushland. The Yorke Peninsula is brimming with beautiful beaches and this neck of the woods packs more than its fair share. Be sure to check out Dolphin Beach, Shell Beach and Pondalowie Bay. Cape Spencer Lighthouse, the historic township of Inneston, the Maldives-material blue waters of Inneston Lake and the Ethel shipwreck are also well-worth a look.
Dolphin Beach, Innes National ParkDolphin Beach, Innes National Park, Inneston SA, Australia
Daly Head National Surfing Reserve
The surf’s always up on the Yorke Peninsula and the breaks off the coast of Daily Head National Park have become the stuff of surfing legend. The pristine waters at Daly Head, on the southwest coast of the peninsula, a stone's throw from the little beach community of Corny Point, are considered as some of the best for surfing in Australia and the globe. Passionate surfers from all around Australia and beyond go to these waters to carve up the big waves. Conveniently, there’s a bush camp right on the coast so you can pitch a tent and spend a few days soaking in the surf, sand and sun. Here's our guide to South Australia's best surf spots.
Daly HeadDaly Head, White Hut Yorke Peninsula, SA, Australia
Baker Bros Gallery, Warooka
Baker Bros Gallery is the perfect pit stop on the road trip to grab a coffee and browse the local produce offerings, from freshly grown garlic and citrus fruits to homemade fruit and vegetable preserves. The gallery, which is housed in a historic building at Warooka, the gateway to the Yorke Peninsula's tip, features a diverse range of local artist's work, including ceramics, glassware, driftwood sculptures, photography, paintings, handmade furniture, and lamps. After you’ve shopped up a storm, continue exploring. Just outside of Warooka, insta-famoous pink lakes dot the landscape while minute’s away lay some of the peninsula’s best beaches.
WarookaWarooka SA, Australia
Sitting centre-stage to the Yorke Peninsula and surrounded by golden fields of barley, Minlaton is home to Watsacowie Brewing Company. Pouring brews created with local barley, take a day off from driving and sip your way through their impressive selection of craft beers with a tasting paddle and platter from the cellar door. Beyond the beer, the agricultural town also has a rich aviation history to discover.Captain Harry Butler flew his Bristol monoplane over water for the first time in the Southern Hemisphere in 1919. In 27 minutes, he flew 108 kilometers from Adelaide to Minlaton, his hometown. As you enter town, you'll see the Red Devil Bristol, the last of its kind. There are also cafes and a few businesses placed around the town's main street, as well as a golf course.
MinlatonMinlaton SA, Australia
Reel in a whopper from Port Hughes, one of the best spots to cast a line on the Yorke Peninsula. Anglers flock to these waters with blue swimmer crabs, garfish, tommies and squid regular fare from the iconic long jetty. The Deck Bar & Cafe is the place to go if you want to eat seafood without having to catch it yourself. It's the ideal area to eat, drink, and relax, with stunning views of the dunes and the ocean. The Copperclub Golf Course is located behind the café, so you can tee off after lunch and play a round of golf on a PGA quality course built by Australian golf legend Greg Norman. Port Hughes is also home to one of the most picturesque beaches on the peninsula and boasts an abundance of accommodation options including the popular beachfront Port Hughes Tourist Park.
Port HughesPort Hughes SA, Australia
The shallow waters around Moonta Bay are a favourite for city-living families looking to get away from it all. This idyllic summer escape is the perfect spot to unplug, unwind and spend long summer days swimming, surfing, fishing, fossicking along the shoreline and watching the sunset over the ocean. Just a scenic two-hour drive from Adelaide, the waters around here are also teeming with delicious blue swimmer crabs at the right time of year (locals tell us that’s every month with an ‘r’ in its name). Moonta's rich history has earned it national historic status, and you may learn more about it by walking the Moonta Mines Walking Trails or visiting the Moonta Mines Museum. Make a point of stopping by one of Moonta's bakeries to try one of the town's famed Cornish pasties, a delectable relic of the town's mining past.
Moonta BayMoonta Bay SA, Australia
Wallaroo, one of the most popular coastal retreats on the Yorke Peninsula, is a beachfront beauty nestled on the peninsula's west coast, about a two-hour drive from Adelaide. The popular family resort features sandy beaches ideal for swimming, a rich maritime heritage, trendy cafes, and a variety of coastal housing options. Anglers from all over the world come to Wallaroo to cast a line from the famous jetty, where they can catch snapper, King George whiting, squid, and flathead. Check into Wallaroo Marina Apartments and head straight for a dip at Office Beach or drive right onto the sand at North Beach and dive into the surf before refueling with a cold one and fresh seafood at the Coopers Alehouse Restaurant.
WallarooWallaroo SA, Australia
Credit: Tourism Australia and South Australian Tourism Commission