Marion Bay to Gleesons Landing

Distance: 53.1km (13 hours 16 minutes)

Marion Bay is a small coastal township, said to be named after the steamer ‘Marion’ which was shipwrecked there in 1862.  This section of Walk The Yorke starts at the Marion Bay Jetty, and is one of the longest, taking over 13 hours and covering a distance of more than 53 kilometres.

While you can do the whole section at once, you can also break it down into 3 shorter walks:

  • Marion Bay Jetty to Gym Beach 30.4km (7 hours 36 minutes)
  • Gym Beach to Formby Bay 10km (2 hours 30 minutes)
  • Formby Bay to Daly Head 8.5km (2 hours 7 minutes)
  • Daly Head to Gleesons Landing 4.2km (1 hour 3 minutes)

From Marion Bay, cyclists & walkers travel along the shared trail in a south-westerly direction towards Stenhouse Bay.  The trail will take you through the entrance to Dhilba Guuranda-Innes National Park and past the Visitor Information Centre (walkers & cyclists are exempt from entrance fees).

Stenhouse Bay Jetty is worth a stop before continuing on through the park on the designated trail. The jetty was once used for the exporting of gypsum, which was mined in the Inneston village within the National Park.  Today the jetty is popular for fishing, and provides a great photo opportunity.

Just up from the jetty is another spot worth a visit.  A Vietnamese seaman, Dao Thanh was buried on the clifftop overlooking the jetty in 1940, after he broke his neck in an accident upon a ship that was collecting gypsum bound for Noumea.  Unsure how to deal with a death at sea, it was decided to bury Dao Thanh in a Buddhist ceremony at Stenhouse Bay, however the grave remained unmarked until 1997 when the Vietnamese community erected a memorial plaque on the grave.

Within Dhilba Guuranda-Innes National Park, walkers & cyclists follow 2 different trails, so please take note of the signage and directions.

Some of the experiences in Dhilba Guuranda-Innes National Park are off the Walk The Yorke trail, including Cape Spencer Lighthouse and West Cape.  They are worth a visit, but please remember that Dhilba Guuranda-Innes National Park has roaming wildlife and to be mindful of the vehicles in the park.

There are camping opportunities within the park – but if you plan to stay the night, please book ahead to avoid being disappointed.  If you don’t feel like camping, Inneston has self-contained accommodation available.

Continue to follow the Walk The Yorke trail through Dhilba Guuranda-Innes National Park – from Pondalowie Bay it’s a shared trail for walkers & cyclists – and stop in at Shell Beach, Browns Beach and Gym Beach along the way.

At Gym Beach, and where Walk The Yorke leaves Dhilba Guuranda-Innes National Park, the trail splits once again with walkers following the coastline on walking trails & beach walks, and cyclists a little further inland along the established roads.

The Southern coastline, from Gym Beach to Daly Head provide some of South Australia’s best surfing, with popular spots including Baby Lizards and Formby Bay.   Daly Head has been recognised as a National Surfing Reserve and is worth a visit; plus, provides yet another photo opportunity.

To help plan your walk, download the Marion Bay to Gleesons Landing map.

Continue on to the next section of Walk The Yorke –  Gleesons Landing to Corny Point, or search other trails on Yorke Peninsula.

All distances are one-way, as Walk The Yorke is a continuous linear trail covering more than 500kms.


Walking Distances & Times
Total length 53.1km (13 hours 16 minutes); or broken into 4 smaller sections:

  • Marion Bay Jetty to Gym Beach 30.4km (7 hours 36 minutes)
  • Gym Beach to Formby Bay 10km (2 hours 30 minutes)
  • Formby Bay to Daly Head 8.5km (2 hours 7 minutes)
  • Daly Head to Gleesons Landing 4.2km (1 hour 3 minutes)

Trail Notes & Important Information

  • Walkers & cyclists are exempt from paying entry to Dhilba Guuranda-Innes National Park, but payment applies for vehicle entry.
  • Within Dhilba Guuranda-Innes National Park, a section of trail between the Pondalowie Surf Break car park & the start of the Gym Beach Hiking Trail is shared by walkers and vehicles (speed limit 40km/h). This section is around 7.8km along a gravel road, and walkers should be aware of traffic using that section of road.
  • Keep watch for trail markers throughout this section, in particular when walking along the beach walk part of the trail section towards the north between Gym Beach & Formby Bay (Baby Lizards).  
    The trail marker at the end of Gym Beach will show where the walking trail continues as a climb up the sand dunes.
  • If you continue north along the beach and reach a set of private access stairs, please retrace your steps back to the trail marker indicating the sand dune climb.  
  • Walkers going from Formby Bay towards Gym Beach start the trail on the headland, so the sand dune climb & awareness of the private stairs does not apply.
  • Please take care to remain on the marked route as not all beaches within this section are accessible at both ends.
  • Between Gym Beach & Formby Bay there are trail markers are located on top of the sand dunes and headlands which are to be used as a guide when walking and there is no formed track, except for a small section at Baby Lizards.
  • As with all sections of the trail, please select your route carefully and be aware of surrounding plants and vegetation to avoid treading on them.
  • The section of trail along the top of the sand dunes & headland between Gym Beach & Formby Bay is a narrow strip of publicly accessible Crown Land.  Please take care not to enter private property.
    Please be careful & allow extra time for parts of this section.  When walking along Dust Hole Beach (Formby Bay, from Baby Lizards to Daly Heads) there may be very soft and deep sands.
  • Cyclists may find some parts between Browns Beach & Gym Beach a little sandy, however it is recommended to be worth the ride.  To avoid the sandy parts, an alternate route is following the sealed Marion Bay Road before reconnecting with the marked trail, cyclists can choose to divert into Gym Beach by following Gym Beach Road.

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.