Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Yorke Peninsula and Innes National Park

Not far west from Adelaide you will come across the Yorke Peninsula.... Not the Cape York Peninsula, but the Yorke Peninsula. Since we had already done Cape York, New York and York UK, we figured we had to keep up the York work and check out the Yorke! The Yorke Peninsula is very different to the one up north, very dry land ensconced in a beautiful southern shoreline. Throughout the peninsula you will find plenty of small towns connected via a web of roads. Most of the roads are sealed, however plenty of dirt roads still exist.

One thing that amazed us with this place was how quiet it was compared to a lot of other coastal regions we have travelled. It is quite easy to make your way to a bit of coastline, not too far from one of the small towns and have it all to yourself. The council does however charge a $10 a night bush camping fee in many places.

You'll also find a whole heap of emus out bush in South Australia, one morning we were driving along "Happy Valley Road" on a cruisy 80ks, kicking up a heap of dust behind us. As we approach a crest I let off the speed just in case of other vehicles or wildlife only to be greeted with a massive flock of emu's screaming away from us through a paddock, streaking in and out in confusion and chaos. Those things either had a mad fear of the troopy, or the dust, not sure which, but the whole situation reminded me of the T-Rex chasing the little dinosaurs in the first Jurassic Park!

On the south west of the peninsula you will find Innes National Park (The emus here are a little more accustomed to humans and cars!). Here you will find something for everyone, bushwalks, swimming, snorkelling, surfing boating, fishing, culture and history. We didn't do so, but it is even possible to camp in multiple locations within the park. Like us, it is possible to have a cram packed day full of all sorts of adventures or you can camp here and easily stretch it out over a week.

If you care to take a stroll through the Inneston historic walk you can venture around some buildings of the old township of Inneston. A few cottages have been restored and are able to be rented out as holiday units. Nearby you'll find a huge salt lake by the old cricket grounds!
Further along you will find West Cape Lighthouse, which also happens to have quite a stunning beach near the carpark and a little further along will bring you to Pandalowie Bay, a renown surfing beach of South Australia.

Royston Head hiking trail was the highlight walk for us. At 4ks return this is a nice sized walk, a few larger trails are available along with many more shorter ones. Once you reach the end of Royston Head you are rewarded with spectacular overhead views of some magnificent looking shoreline. Sadly you are going to need some really serious gear, or a boat to reach the beach! This was still a great fun walk and the photos just do not give the views any justice whatsoever.

The last place within Innes for Jeni and I to visit was a place known as China Man's Hat, a sheltered beach with a reef and an island that looks a little like a hat you could imagine a bloke from China wearing. We saw a nice variety of beautiful fish happily doing there thing, along with some beautiful coral and marine life. Not long after we jumped in the clouds stole away the late arvo sun and the water became quite cold, it was at this moment we realised we were swimming as far south as we had yet and that the next land mass south of us was Antarctica! Brrr! 

After a great snorkel we continued up the west coast of the Yorke Peninsula. A really nice place we stayed at was Barker Rocks (North West of Minlaton), would highly recommend checking out this free camp site. The site itself is not too flash, but it is close to the ocean and would be a great place to snorkel, swim or fish. We only stayed one night, but was keen for a snorkel if the weather gods had behaved a little better than they did.


The Yorke Peninsula is a great place to head out if you like the water. Keep in mind in can get a bit cold, so be prepared. We also found this peninsula really quiet, even on a weekend. A top destination for anyone from the Adelaide location and not worth skipping thinking "It's just another peninsula". We both cannot wait to come back to the Yorke Peninsula and spend a little more time enjoying its beauty!