Explore Yorke Peninsula
If you're looking for a fun family getaway, it's hard to go past Yorke Peninsula! Just over an hour's drive from Adelaide, South Australia, and home to stunning beaches, friendly coastal towns and spectacular national parks, Yorke Peninsula is a great place for a holiday.
Yorke Peninsula Beaches
Some of the most beautiful beaches in Australia can be found on Yorke Peninsula. Whether you prefer a quiet, secluded cove with wide sandy beaches, or a bustling beachside town, there is something for everyone.
If you are swimming with young children, try Stansbury and Port Vincent along the eastern coast, or Port Rickaby on the west. These beaches are all very accessible, although you do need to be careful of the of the prominent rock flats along the shore at Port Rickaby. Also worthy of mention are Hardwicke Bay and Flaherty's Beach, both on the western side of the Peninsula.
Both beaches are relatively safe, with deeper water off the bay beach in the east, while at Marion Bay shallow flats front the shore.
This beautiful swimming beach is located just 5 minutes drive from Edithburgh.
The tidal pool, located on the northern foreshore, is the best place for swimming. The beaches are generally unsuitable due to rocks, shallow flats and boat traffic at high tide.
Three sandy beaches east of the town, accessible from the Lighthouse Road. These usually calm beaches can only be used for swimming at high tide.
The jetty beach in front of the caravan park is the most popular town beach. Watch for the rocks and rock flats on most of the other beaches.
There are many beaches to choose from, and it's important to be aware of the possibility of unstable cliffs, strong currents, slippery rocks, submerged objects and of course changing conditions.
Our beaches don't have surf life saving patrols, so please be careful.
While at the beach, or travelling around the Peninsula, keep a watch out for the bottle nose dolphins that visit many of our beaches on a regular basis. You may even spot a southern right whale. We also have visits from other species such as killer and sperm whales, and even the rare beaked whale has been spotted in our waters.
State and Territory governments are responsible for conservation and protection of whales in coastal waters (out to the 3 nautical mile limit). This includes responding to strandings and entangled whales.
If you think a marine mammal is sick or injured, report the matter to the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources on 0427 556 676.
Yorke Peninsula Walking Trails
If you enjoy trail walking or bushwalking, Yorke Peninsula has you covered: bush walks, cliff top and shoreline tracks, and interesting geology trails are all available.
Local inland towns such as Maitland, Minlaton and Yorketown all have walking trails. The coastal towns offer some great photography opportunities while you explore cliff tops and beaches.
Walk the Yorke is an exciting concept initiated by Yorke Peninsula Council. This trail links many existing coastal walking trails and provides you with a magnificent walking experience of approximately 500 kms around the coast of Yorke Peninsula.
Explore cliffs, beaches, secluded coves, reefs and tidal pools, sand dunes, and historic lighthouses.
Brochures depicting the walks of central and southern Yorke Peninsula are available from any of Yorke Peninsula Council's visitor informaton providers.
Yorke Peninsula Lighthouses
Lighthouses played a vital role for Yorke Peninsula, providing safe navigation around the rugged coastline for ships and boats that travel the area. Yorke Peninsula has some of the most treacherous coastline in Australia and, consequently, many shipwrecks.
There are six lighthouses found arond the coastline of Yorke Peninsula Council:
Troubridge Island (1885)
Althorpe Island (1879)
Corny Point (1882)
Cape Spencer (1950)
Troubridge Hill (1980)
West Cape (1980)
Yorke Peninsula Shipwrecks
From the 1840s through to the 1940s, ships of various types and sizes were the major means of transport of cargo and people to and from Yorke Peninsula.
There are a total of 85 shipwrecks scattered around the coastline. Explore it for yourself and discover the stories of the many wrecks in this region.
Some of the best shipwrecks to dive in South Australia are located in this stretch of clearer water, beginning with the SS Clan Ranald located near Troubridge Hill.
There are two maritime trails on Yorke Peninsula. Eight shipwrecks form the basis of the Investigator Strait Shipwreck Trail. They provide an enjoyable underwater experience for beginners and advanced divers alike.
The Wardang Island Maritime Heritage Trail includes the once spectacular 'wind jammers' such as the Songvaar and the Notre Dame D'Arvor. These vessels were wrecked here in 1912 and 1920 respectively. Permission is needed to land on Wardang Island. Please contact the Point Pearce Community Council (ph. 08 8836 7298).
The Zanoni shipwreck can be found ten nautical miles south east of Ardrossan. It is one of the best preserved sailing shipwrecks in Australia, and one of the most complete 19th century shipwrecks in South Australia. Permits for diving on the wreck can be obtained from the Maritime Heritage Branch of the Department for Environment and Heritage.
Please dive, photograph and explore these shipwrecks if you wish, but do not interfere with them by disturbing or removing anything from them, or by anchoring into the remains.
Shipwrecks provide fragile marine environments and are treasurred pieces of maritime history. They are protected under Historic Shipwrecks legislation, which aims to ensure that historic shipwrecks are protected for their heritage values and maintained for recreational, scientific and educational purposes. It also seeks to control actions which may result in damage, interference, removal or destruction of an historic shipwreck or associated relic. Divers can use wreck sites for recreational purposes but relics must not be removed from the wreck site and the physical fabric of the wreck must not be disturbed, unless a permit has been obtained.