01 Feb 2023

4 days in Moonta, Moonta Bay & Port Hughes


Travel through spectacular agricultural lands which change from season to season to arrive in the township of Moonta. On arrival, visit one of the many delicious cafes in town for a quick coffee and cake before a spot of retail therapy in the main street. Moonta’s George Street has a range of  boutiques and niche outlets to visit including Mother Duck & Mee, Stylish Bird Boutique and Vivian Frank Fashion.

At lunchtime, head to Ellen Street and choose between The Cornish Kitchen or The Indian Grill for a delicious meal.  

Then walk off lunch by exploring Moonta’s main street once again with many more shops including The Moonta Collective, Make It A Home, Moonta Antiques, Shippy’s Hardware and much, much more.

Nothing beats heading out to the locally owned and made Gelateria and Coffee Barn (situated just out of town to the south) and stocking up on locally made gelato and then heading back to Moonta Bay to soak in the sun, sand and water!

If you’re staying between October and April, you can visit Splash Town Water Park on Moonta Bay’s foreshore.  This epic (and FREE) waterpark is a community project with tipping buckets, slides and water mushrooms and all sorts of water fun for all ages.

Stay the night at your choice of accommodation, recommended is Cliff House Beachfront Villas or Moonta Bay Holiday Park.  Both offer stunning beachfront views with the sounds of the beach and waves lapping sending you to sleep.

Dinner tonight takes you to Port Hughes Tavern overlooking the jetty. You can save yourself driving by ordering the courtesy shuttle.


Wake up overlooking the beach from your chosen accommodation.

Head into breakfast at Nook & Nourish with a range of smoothies, raw foods and much more on the daily menu.

Today is all about Moonta’s fascinating history at the Moonta Mines National Heritage Area.

The iconic tourist train at the Moonta Mines will take you back in time learning about the copper mining era and the lifestyle of the locals back then. After you depart your train carriage jump in the car and drive the self-drive mining trail to view the Hughes Pump House and Ryan’s Tailing Heap.

Drive back to the main street of town and enjoy a leisurely lunch at Taste The Yorke, Yorke Peninsula’s only providore which specialises in locally sourced produce with an ever-changing menu inspired by the range of produce available on that day.  Purchase some local product including jams, chutneys, artisan breads, regional honey & oils, and much more.

After lunch head to Ellen Street and visit the Moonta Mines Family History & Resource Centre. This is a great opportunity to delve into your ancestry and trace Cornish connections.  

If you time your visit to Yorke Peninsula during May in odd-numbered years, the biennial Kernewek Lowender Cornish Festival will be held.  Celebrating everything Cornish, this event is the worlds’ largest Cornish festival and one not to be missed!

In the afternoon hire a bike or e-bike from Copper Trail Bike Hire, and explore the Moonta Mines area on two wheels at your own pace.

Head out of town towards Moonta Mines and grab yourself something sweet at the Moonta Mines Sweet Shop. This little hidden gem is located in the Moonta Mines Post Office and has old fashioned jars of lollies lining the walls! You can also purchase a Bickfords soft drink – a well celebrated South Australian brand of beverages.

Once you have finished exploring the Cornish heritage and Moonta Mines drive to Port Hughes for a brief walk along one of the most spectacular beaches you will ever see on Australian soil. A favourite with the locals, South Beach is great for an evening beach walk and you might even see horses being exercised in the shallows.

After you have walked up an appetite head to a local favourite, Capella's for dinner, known for its wood oven pizzas and delicious pastas, with indoor or outdoor dining available.


Today you’ll need brekky takeaway as you will be meeting local fisherman and charter operator, Mick at the Port Hughes boat ramp for a half day or full day fishing charter, with Port Hughes Fishing Charters. Let Mick show you the best spots for inshore or deep-sea fishing. 

Or, if you’ve brought your boat with you, launch it from the Port Hughes boat ramp, one of the most visited boat ramps in South Australia.  

Enjoy the results of your fishing expedition with a BBQ of freshly caught seafood overlooking the beach from your accommodation.  Or, if you had no luck with your fishing rod, head into town to the local butcher to purchase some meats for your evening BBQ, and further down the main street is a well-supplied supermarket.

Start the afternoon with a late lunch or afternoon tea at Ye Olde Café , located just by the Moonta Bay jetty with fantastic views of the coast.

If you feel like a round of golf, drive to the Dunes Port Hughes, where you can hire clubs and golf buggy’s on this Greg Norman designed golf course.

Or for some more retail therapy or an immersive hands-on workshop, head to Moonta Garden & Landscape Supplies.  As well as garden supplies and décor for sale, the nursery also hosts a range of workshops including sip & graze experiences, painting & art classes, pottery workshops and much more on their regular event calendar.  There’s also an on-site cafe offering coffee and cake.

Head back towards your accommodation, stopping by Drakes Moonta for some fresh salad ingredients, and cook up your feast of freshly caught local seafood from the mornings charter or local butcher delicacies, and enjoy them paired with delicious crusty bread.


Finish your last morning with a hearty breakfast at Port Hughes General Store.  The traditional fry-up comes direct from the stovetop in a hot cast-iron pan, and this huge breakfast will set you up for your travels home.
Make sure you ask for a late checkout to make the most of your last day in Moonta.  After breakfast, head back to your accommodation to pack up the car and checkout.

Before heading home be sure to drive back to the Main Street of Moonta to discover the exhibition of the month at the Moonta Gallery of the Arts.

Then stretch your legs with a stroll on the Walk The Yorke trail from Moonta Bay to Port Hughes, and return. This small section of the much larger Walk The Yorke trail is around 4 kilometres and takes around 1 hour to walk one-way (the full trail is 700km in length and circumvents the Yorke Peninsula from Port Wakefield to Moonta Bay).

Before departing Moonta you must visit the Cornish Kitchen Bakery and purchase one of those tasty morsels known as the Cornish Pasty. You can buy them takeaway to enjoy at your leisure on the car-ride home, but be warned, the delicious crumbly pastry can make a mess so is best enjoyed whilst strolling the streets!

Once you return home scroll through your phone and look at all the great photos that you took and reminisce on your truly unforgettable experience at Moonta. 

The Yorke Peninsula is the traditional lands of the Narungga (Nharangga) people, who have lived on, and cared for, this country since the beginning of time. We work, live and travel on Nharannga Banggara [Country], and we take time away from those pursuits to acknowledge and pay our deep respects to the Nharangga Elders of the past and present. 

Today, it is essential that we continue to care for and protect our spectacular natural environment. Tread lightly and leave no trace. Learn more about responsible and respectful travel on Yorke Peninsula.