01 Dec 2022

Six reasons to visit Yorke Peninsula this summer

As the temperatures begin to soar and the sun sizzles over the golden grain crops of Yorke Peninsula, there are two numbers you need to bear in mind: 700 and 29,000.

Seven hundred is the total length of the Yorke Peninsula coastline in kilometres; 29,000 is the total population of Yorkes. So even if the entire population decided to go to the beach at the same time, each person would have 24 metres of sand and sea to themselves.

Who’s ready for summer?


Get into it!

Seven hundred kilometres of coastline offers a lot of options for experiences on Yorke Peninsula.

This summer, why not try something new?

Learn to kite surf: Kite surfing is as exhilarating as it looks, but the key is mastering the kite. Yorke Peninsula Kite Surfing in Wallaroo’s North Beach provide lessons and sell kitesurfing gear.

Try kayaking in the gulf waters: A range of accommodation businesses hire kayaks and equipment, and you don’t need to be staying with them to take advantage of the hire equipment. Wallaroo Marina Apartments, Port Vincent Foreshore Caravan Park and Wallaroo Holiday Park all hire single or double kayaks on Yorke Peninsula.  Why not take your fishing gear with you and drop a line over the side of the kayak to see what’s biting.

Immerse in a tidal pool: Edithburgh has had a seawater swimming pool since the 1880's (when it was meant to preserve ladies’ modesty). The present pool started life in the 1930s and offers a protected bathing experience for all. And you can seek out one of the myriad hidden rock pools in Dhilba Guuranda-Innes National Park, where you’ll swim for hours without seeing another soul.

What’s SUP?: Why not try stand-up paddleboarding on your next summer holiday to Yorke Peninsula?  If you don’t have your own, paddleboards can be hired in the south from Port Vincent Foreshore Caravan Park and Neptunes Surf Coaching at Corny Point, and up north both Wallaroo Holiday Park and Wallaroo Marina Apartments offer paddleboard hire.

Master the art of raking for Blue Swimmer crabs: You need a rake ($8 from most local stores), a bucket and some closed shoes (trainers will do). Wait for the tide to turn in the shallows and start raking where the sand meets the weed. Who knew crustaceans could be this much fun?  The rule of thumb is that crabbing is best in months with an ‘r’ in them, which means you can try crabbing all through summer. The best spots are along the eastern coastline from Tiddy Widdy Beach and south to Edithburgh, and north of Moonta Bay up to Fisherman Bay.

Go jetty snorkelling: Jetty pylons offer shelter for marine animals and make for excellent snorkelling opportunities. Try Edithburgh, Port Victoria and Wool Bay jetties for the likes of eagle rays, big-bellied seahorses and Port Jackson sharks. The biggest prize is the leafy sea dragon – once seen, never forgotten.  
Dive deeper: more capable divers should try Stenhouse Bay for leafy sea dragons and Point Turton for abalone and crayfish. If you really know what you’re doing, wreck dives are available at Wardang Island and The Zanoni sites (check for permits).

Ride the waves: Where the peninsula meets the Southern Ocean, the surf gets BIG, especially off celebrated beaches like Chinaman’s near Marion Bay. Beginners however can find some gentler breaks (as well as occasional surf schools) at Berry Bay near Corny Point. Book a private or group surf coaching lesson with Nepptunes Surf Coaching, who operate out of Corny Point and provide lessons at Berry Bay. Yorkes Junior Surf Club meets there on the last Sunday of every month. 

Let the little kids loose in the free water park: Splash Town is a series of water slides, water mushrooms and the Big Bucket near the foreshore at Moonta Bay. Free to the public, it’s open in school holidays and on weekends during October to March.

Do a fishing charter: Charters offer all the benefits of local knowledge, fully-equipped boats and deeper waters. Expect to have your arm stretched by tuna, nannygai, morwong, groper and trevally. Whiting? Of course…

Operators include Balgowan Fishing Charters, Bottom End Fishing Charters, Double Header Fishing Charters, Point Turton Reel Screamer, Port Hughes Fishing Charters, Marion Bay Fishing Charters and Reef Encounters. 

Christmas cheers!

It’s that time of the year when everyone starts getting into the Christmas spirit, and visitors to Yorke Peninsula are spoilt for choice with the regions emerging beverage industry offering beer, wine and spirits.
At Minlaton, the Phasey family operates Watsacowie Brewery with a range of beers, ciders and on weekends there’s a range of food offerings and music.

The premises – a huge Highways Department maintenance shed in Minlaton -- was bought in January 2017, and later that year the Phaseys had converted the substantial space to house their brewing gear as well as a fine-looking public space. (We especially like the bar top made from recycled jarrah timber beams!).  The Watsacowie Brewery team are celebrating their 5th birthday in December, so stop by to congratulate them!

At the top of the peninsula, the Bond Store is going from strength to strength with its microbrewery, gin distillery and restaurant housed in the former Elands Bond Store (built in 1865) in Wallaroo’s main street.  Offering handcrafted beer with a range of 12 beers produced on-site, visitors can sample the whole range with a beer flight, or head downstairs to the basement bar where ‘Ginger’ the 500-litre gleaming copper still takes pride of place behind the gin bar.

Bond Store Wallaroo prides itself on delivering the freshest seasonal local produce. Using their charcoal grill “Parrilla”, which is a key feature of the kitchen, the flavour of their renowned steaks and locally caught seafood is enhanced to tantalise even the fussiest palates.

Open for tastings and sales most Sundays (or by appointment), Emoyeni Wines is a boutique family-run gourmet winery at Ardrossan with a focus on quality grapes and wines. Stop by on winery open days to enjoy great wine, local music and food in the spacious winery courtyard overlooking the kids play area.

The Hollitt family proudly grow and produce their range of wines to be enjoyed with family & friends because ‘life is too short to drink poor wines’.  Established in 2000, Ossie & Maria have 400 Shiraz and 300 Riesling in their coastal vineyard on Ardrossan’s outskirts, producing Shiraz, Riesling, Port, and the award-winning fan-favourite ‘The Mooster' Sparkling Shiraz.  

A family-owned distillery, Sunny Hill Distillery is located just north of Arthurton, with scenic views across to the western coastline of Yorke Peninsula. This crop-to-drop beverage producer offers award-winning gin, vodka, rum and whisky, plus chocolate and coffee liqueurs, and limoncello.

Enjoy a cocktail in the comforts of the tasting room with super-soft leather chesterfield lounges, or head outside to the large deck and lawn area perfect for kids and dogs to play, or to enjoy a picnic on the lawn.

Book ahead for tours offered at Sunny Hill Distillery, with the head distiller guiding visitors through the Production Floor Tour or add on a Private Tasting experience of the spirits or liqueurs produced on-site.

A new collaboration between Sunny Hill Distillery and Watsacowie Brewery is a range of hard vodka seltzers with 4 flavours including Kakadu Plum & Lemon Myrtle, Rose & Cucumber, Peach & Green Tea, and Pineapple & Coconut.  This perfect for summer thirst quencher is available at both the distillery and brewery.

Surrounded by flourishing crops and in the middle of Yorke Peninsula’s traditional barley belt, Barley Stacks Wines was the first commercial vineyard and winery to be established in the region.

The winery is owned and operated by the Schulz family, who have a high level of determination, passion and commitment to ensuring only premium wines are produced, with the whole process being completed on-site at the winery premises between Maitland and Minlaton.

Visitors can choose from a range of wines – Chardonnay, Rose, Viognier, Moscato, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon – and their sparkling varieties paired with cheese platters and pizzas in the classic rustic cellar door set amongst rich farmland and barley crops.

Coming soon to the region’s growing beverage trail is Hedonbar Brewing Company, with the newest brewery anticipated to be opening in Kadina in early 2023.  Watch out for their pop-ups around the region during the 22/23 summer season, where you can taste their selection of craft brews.

The craft brewery and tap room will add to the experiences in the Copper Coast Visitor Information Centre complex on Mines Road, with the 18-hole putt putt, museum, indoor play centre and miniature railway already established activities.

Still with Christmas, festive lights will be illuminating two towns on the Peninsula:

  • The Curramulka Christmas Light Display starts early December with a community event at the town oval on Saturday 3rd December featuring a range of activities, entertainment and festivities, including the Curry Cave and the official switching-on of the town-wide lights display, Curramulka Lights Up! The Christmas lights will be on every night in December with self-guided walks throughout the streets of Curramulka, continuing through till the end of the month.
  • The Moonta Mines tram will be doing their Christmas Lights Tram Tours throughout Moonta and Moonta Bay in the lead up to Christmas with the first tour starting on Monday 12th December and continuing through until Christmas Eve.  The unique road tram will traverse the Moonta and Moonta Bay streets for around an hour on the nightly tours.

Bellissimo Gelato

We can’t let summer go without mention of ice cream, or for that matter its near cousin, gelato.

The Coffee Barn & Gelateria is based in a colourful outlet just to the south of Moonta. It’s a quirky spot, with prickly pear cactus, old mine machinery and a vintage Holden and Fiat parked outside.

Though somewhat off the beaten track, the reputation for superb gelato has travelled far and wide. With at least 16 types of gelato made on-site, including white chocolate cherry, salted caramel and roasted almond, the flavour possibilities are endless. Each gelato is made in the time-honoured artisan tradition with real fruit, home-roasted nuts and a few other ingredients like Ferrero Rocher chocolates.

If the flavour combinations of the artisan gelato don’t appeal to your tastebuds, there are plenty of other menu items to choose from including sweet pancakes and Belgian waffles, sundaes, milkshakes and delicious barista-made coffee.

The Coffee Barn is open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday; and daily during South Australian school holidays. For current opening details, visit The Coffee Barn & Gelateria Moonta facebook page.

Cast yourself away on this tiny island… 

Troubridge Island Conservation Park is one of those curious corners of the world that have somehow fallen off the map.

Located 7km off Edithburgh, Troubridge Island is where you can stay in historic accommodation and effectively have an island all to yourself. It’s a sandy shoal and home to little penguins, seals and some 60 species of birds. Until 1980 it was also the home to lighthouse keepers, maintaining a light that shone from 1856 to 2001.

In addition to being home to one of the largest little penguin colonies in South Australia, Sammy the resident Australian Sea Lion can often be found soaking up the sun on the island’s beach.

The 24m-tall lighthouse is now decommissioned, but one of two lighthouse keeper’s cottages has been maintained with basic comforts for visitors who want to play castaway.

Troubridge Island Escape offers car parking on the mainland, before departing on a 15-minute boat ride for the island transfer.

Summer is the perfect time to visit, not least because sea conditions allow for an easier crossing. You get the keys (and the boat crossing) from caretakers Mark and Lois Petersons by boat launch from Edithburgh.

The Troubridge Island Escape holiday package includes accommodation in the 3-bedroom lighthouse keepers cottage with boat transfers to and from the island to Edithburgh. 

Check out Windara Reef!

Windara Reef is a $4.2m artificial shellfish reef off Ardrossan offering great fishing for recreational fishers with fish species including King George whiting.

The first of its kind in South Australia & currently the largest in Australia, Windara Reef is named after the Nharangga name for the eastern section of Yorke Peninsula, which is one of the 4 clans making up Nharangga.  

The 20-hectare Windara Reef site is made of 60 custom-made concrete structures ('reef balls') and over 18,000 tonnes of Yorke Peninsula limestone laid on the seabed, covered with Pacific Oyster shells & 7 million juvenile native oysters.

The reef offers a number of benefits to the Gulf St Vincent waters, including:

  • A home to the native mud oyster, a species that was all but cleaned out by the mid-1900s. These oysters will act as water filters (each shell is capable of filtering 100 litres a day), plus their empty shells will act as habitat for other species.
  • The reef will also stimulate increased marine biodiversity, attracting larger fish species and thus extending benefits to recreational fishers. 
  • It will improve the marine habitat, and will help attract fish species that are popular with anglers.
  • In the longer-term, the reef will act as a breeding ground for these and other fish.
  • Windara Reef is south of Ardrossan near Rouges Point, located 1km off the coast, 7km south of Ardrossan and is at a water depth of 8-10 metres.  Boaties can launch from Ardrossan and head south to start their fishing expedition.


See the year in with a bang

If you’re in the northern part of Yorke Peninsula, Port Broughton and Wallaroo both offer great family-friendly events seeing out 2022 and welcoming in 2023.

Relax on Port Broughton’s foreshore lawn with a front row seat to the fireworks display beginning at 9.00pm. Enjoy the food market atmosphere with a range of food trucks, or bring a picnic.

The skies will light up at 9.30pm & then again at midnight as part of the Copper Coast New Year’s Eve celebrations at Wallaroo.   It’s a family friendly event with sideshows, amusements, foods stalls & entertainment to celebrate the end of 2022.

Down south, Stansbury continues the tradition of New Year’s Eve fireworks, ringing in 2023 with a fireworks display that brings the town to a standstill owing to the sheer volume of gunpowder that’s sent into the night sky. It’s a chance to plant your feet in warm sand and go ‘ooh’ and ‘ahhhh’! 


Written by Max Anderson for Yorke Peninsula Tourism; updated 1 December 2022

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.