A little over an hour from Adelaide, Port Wakefield is the gateway to Yorke Peninsula. You’ll need at least a week to truly appreciate this well-loved region of South Australia.
Drive across the peninsula to Kadina, the region’s largest town and the start of the Copper Triangle. When copper was discovered here in 1860 it attracted a wave of Cornish immigrants who brought with them technical prowess, distinctive architecture and of course the famous Cornish pasties.
Wallaroo was the smelting town of “Little Cornwall” and the Historic Post Office has displays about the era as well as other curios including a preserved giant squid. When the mines were running at full capacity, Moontawas a bustling town and you can explore the National Heritage listed Moonta Mine Sites on a walking trail or a tourist railway. The Moonta Mines Museum is childfriendly, as is the old time sweet shop.
Head inland to Maitland, home to craft markets and one of the region’s few wineries. Even in the middle of the peninsula you’re only 20 minutes drive from the coast in either direction. Head west to Port Victoria to discover a relaxed holiday town with white sandy beaches, a small maritime museum and a range of excellent dive sites.
As you reach the bottom of the peninsula, the towns get smaller so it’s worth stocking up on supplies at Minlatonbefore seeing the original WWI monoplane that belonged to ace pilot Harry Butler. The north facing beaches of Point Turton are among the most sheltered along the entire coast and the peaceful town is particularly popular with families.
Corny Point is home to a historic lighthouse and close to a range of great surfing spots – the drive to Berry Bay is particularly beautiful. At the tip of the peninsula, secluded Marion Bay is a great place to get away from it all. The surrounding beaches are great for both swimming and fishing while nearby Inneston National Park is home to a former gypsum mining town and great birdwatching.
Drive past the giant turbines of the Wattle Point Wind Farm to Edithburgh. The coastline here is dotted with cliffs and you can see the offshore lighthouse on Troubridge Island with its distinctive candy striped paint. Closer to town, the jetty is home to a wide variety of marine life and the tidal swimming pool is one of only a few in South Australia.
Follow the east coast up to Stansbury, where you can catch your own crabs or buy local oysters and fish before visiting the coastal garden at the base of the jetty that’s planted with native species. The peaceful waters of Point Vincent are perfect for families and the floating pontoon is a popular landmark. If you’d prefer to venture further out, it’s also a great base for kayaking, surfing, stand up paddleboarding and even kitesurfing.
Half an hour further north, the Ardrossan lookout offers views over Yorke Peninsula, and on a clear day all the way across Gulf St Vincent to the Adelaide Hills. The Ardrossan Heritage Museum delves into the region’s agricultural heritage, including the stump jump plough that was invented here. Look out over the town’s red cliffs before driving the two hours back to Adelaide.