Six reasons to visit Yorke Peninsula this AUTUMN…
If you’re looking for the gentlest of all seasons and the best of all worlds, think Autumn on Yorkes. Sunny days, cool nights and windless skies make it perfect for camping, fishing and walking…
1. Don’t miss the boat
The Yorke Peninsula Saltwater Classic sails into view for its biennial weekend on April 20-22. The regatta has been part of the scenery since it was first held in 2003, though of course it celebrates the peninsula’s maritime heritage which dates back nearly two centuries.
The heroes of the event are the 60-odd wooden boats, many of them historic, a few of them steam-powered and all of them greatly loved by their owners. Boats are brought from all over the country to be part of the traditional two-hour run from Stansbury to Port Vincent, which sees these evocative craft set against some of Australia’s most pristine coastline.
The event, attracting some 4000 people officially begins on Friday evening in Stansbury with boats arriving along the foreshore. The following day, the craft are on display to the public, while the town celebrates with displays of vintage cars, motorbikes, caravans, and stationary engines, as well as Stansbury’s lively Seaside Markets. In the early afternoon, vessels depart the boat ramp for the two-hour run north to Port Vincent Marina, where the craft are moored ahead of Port Vincent’s celebrations and displays which begin on the Sunday.
More information: www.ypsaltwaterclassic.org.au
2. Red wine and chocolate – a no-brainer right?
As you’d know by now, ‘red wine and chocolate’ is officially a thing. And let’s face it, chocolate and wine are right up there among our favourite indulgences, so how could they not go together?
Well, first the good news.
Yorke Peninsula happens to be home to Minlaton Chocolaterie, a world-class Chocolatier that combines the finest chocolate with peninsula-grown fruits and an attention to detail that has earned them a slew of awards.
Yorke Peninsula also happens to grow some very fine red wine. There’s Barley Stacks Wines (barleystackswines.com) serving award-winning Shiraz, Pinor and sparkling reds out of its huge barrel shed near Maitland. There’s also boutique producer, Emoyeni Wines (on Facebook), sharing its Shiraz and old Tawny Port at weekends in Ardrossan.
Now the bad news.
Pairing chocolate and wine isn’t as simple as it sounds! If your chocolate is sweet, you need to match it with a sweet wine (dry won’t work), and the fruitier the better. If you’re going with more bitter dark chocolate (especially when the cacao content is around 90 percent) you’ll need a strong intense red that packs some oomph. Milk chocolate is good with a port, a sweet sparkling or even a lush strawberry-ish Rosé. White chocolate (which isn’t technically chocolate) can work surprisingly well with Pinot Noir.
Our advice is select a dozen choice chocs from Minlaton Chocolaterie and head to a tasting room – or a pub – near you. Let us know how you get on…
3. Still waters
The Yorke Peninsula Art Exhibition for 2018 gets off to a gorgeous start thanks to a beautiful piece of poster work submitted by seven-year-old Zoe Holmes. Zoe captured the perfect image – a picture of her sister fishing – and then used software to alter the shot, making it soft and hyper-colourful. Forming the basis of the 2018 poster, Zoe won a $250 gift card for her efforts!
Three exhibitions will run concurrently from March 29 until April 1: there’s fine art in Ardrossan Town Hall; sculpture in the Edithburgh Institute; and photography in Yorketown Town Hall (followed by a photography workshop). For more information visit yorkepeninsulaartexhibition.com.au
Still with artful distractions, have you heard of Ballara Art and Lifestyle Retreat? This stunning 100-year-old stone property is located in Warooka and regularly hosts workshops dedicated to creative pursuits. Lasting one to two days, workshops share skills in the like of painting, basketry, lino printing, writing and photography. Costs include tuition, accommodation and all meals. For more information visit ballararetreat.com.au
4. ANZAC Day
Australia’s day of remembrance is especially poignant at the Bublacowie Military Museum. Run and maintained by ex-servicemen volunteers (including tireless owner, Chris Soar) this remarkable collection of militaria – the largest in SA – is housed in a 19th-century schoolhouse, surrounded by gardens and views over fields.
The service is held at 11am in the memorial gardens.
Afterwards, be sure to look over the collection. Numbering some 8000 million items, it includes a German WW2 Storch reconnaissance aircraft, a flare pistol used in Gallipoli and personally-signed letters from every royal since Queen Victoria.
For more information: phone (08) 8853 4379
5. Give the kids a taste of life on the land
Orrie Cowie’s Farmer for A Day experience (orriecowie.com.au): Help out on this working sheep property near Warooka. You’ll learn the ropes, hear some history and lend a hand with whatever jobs need doing according to the season! You can also indulge in a little Shearer’s Smoko of homemade goodies whilst on tour!
Tarnasey Farm: This Wallaroo property offers Little Farm Tours by appointment and is busy setting up new accommodation. Watch this space!
Ballywire Farm and Tearooms: This rural property near Yorketown is a home for rescued animals and a guaranteed heart-warmer. It has a five-room renovated farmhouse available for rental. There’s also mini-golf and cream teas!
Bush Camping: There’s no shortage of campsites on Yorke Peninsula. Within Innes National Park there’s wildlife galore around the campsites and historic accommodation at Inneston. And thanks to a successful program you can see a species that was until recently extinct on the Peninsula. Ten Tammar Wallabies were reintroduced to the park in 2004, some 80 years after they were wiped out in South Australia. The colony is now said to number more than 100. Outside of the National Park there are an additional 19 designated campgrounds offering scenic views and they are pet-friendly too!
6. Off the beaten track
Autumn is the perfect time for bush-walking and Walk the Yorke is the perfect bush-walking trail. Launched in 2015, it’s still relatively new, and opens 500km of mostly coastal landscape from Port Wakefield to Moonta Bay. The busiest sections of the track are (understandably) those traversing famous Innes National Park. But in the spirit of roads less taken, here are the less well-known coastal Conservation Parks along the route, as well as some of the treasures you might find within…
Clinton Conservation Park is one of the larger parks on the peninsula, protecting 1,923 hectares of mainly low-lying, coastal-fringe habitats, with mangroves, samphire, and mudflats. Located at the head of the Gulf St Vincent, it’s an important fish nursery and a significant site for migratory wading birds. Birders visit for a chance to see the Blue-winged Parrot, Nankeen Night Heron, Sacred Kingfisher and White-winged Fairywren. (Section: Port Wakefield to Port Clinton)
Wills Creek Conservation Park is a mangrove and samphire habitat extending from Port Clinton to Price. It’s a significant home for wetland birds and is unusual for woodland backed by eroding limestone cliffs topped with mallee and tea-tree vegetation. (Section: Port Clinton to Ardrossan)
Point Davenport Conservation Park is between Foul Bay and Sturt Bay and valued for its diverse habitats including beaches, foredunes and an estuary listed as a nationally important wetland. Look for nesting sites on the cliffs, including those of the white-bellied sea eagle and osprey. (Section: Port Moorowie to Foul Bay)
Leven Beach Conservation Park has a six-kilometre beach frontage backed by low cliffs. Located on Hardwicke Bay, its sheoak woodland keeps lepidopterists eagle-eyed, hopeful of spotting the nationally endangered Yellowish Sedge-skipper Butterfly. (Section: Corny Point to Point Turton)
Bird Islands Conservation Park is a 369ha refuge for visiting shorebirds including sharp-tailed sandpiper, red knot, red-necked stint, greater sand plover, grey-tailed tattler, Caspian tern and Terek sandpiper. It’s 4km north of Moonta and the islands can be reached by wading out at low tide. (Section: Balgowan to Moonta Bay)
More information: yorkepeninsula.com.au/walk-the-yorke
Written by Max Anderson for Yorke Peninsula Tourism