South Australia’s best-kept secret

The Barossa Valley steals much of South Australia’s tourism spotlight, but the state is packed with other amazing attractions, and the Yorke Peninsula may well be its best-kept secret.

Yorke Peninsula is home to Innes National Park – an easy three-and-a-half-hour drive from the capital, Adelaide. Road trippers are treated to stunning coastal landscapes, pristine beaches and seaside scenes on the way to one of South Australia’s most accessible seaside escapes. 

And once you’re there, you can spend your days swimming, surfing, fishing, camping and bushwalking with this idyllic Yorke Peninsula itinerary.

Day one: Arrive at Hillocks Ocean Pod
After your escape from Adelaide, settle in to the Hillocks Ocean Pod – a deluxe seaside cabin, surrounded by coastal bush, with uninterrupted views of Butler’s Beach and Hillocks Point.

hillocks ocean pod

Take some time to explore the bush and marine environment or just laze on the beach. Watch whales pass by your dining room window (during winter months) and be lulled to sleep by the sounds of the surf. The pod can sleep four and has been designed to leave a low environmental footprint. Oh, and the sunsets will be nothing short of spectacular.

 
 
 

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Butlers Beach by Drone # Hillocks Drive

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Spend the afternoon of your first day exploring Innes National Park – a natural playground boasting beautiful beaches, outstanding surf and dramatic cliffs. Make sure you visit Ethel Beach, Dolphin Bay and Cape Spencer Lighthouse.

Then a seven-minute drive will get you to the Marion Bay Tavern, where you can enjoy local seafood staples paired with a fine wine and wood-fired pizza.

Day two: Explore the peninsula
Head to the Stansbury Boat Ramp and become a Pacific Estate Oysters’ Deckie for the Day where you’ll experience life as a salty sea dog aboard a fully functioning oyster boat. Learn the tricks of the trade and devour oysters fresh from the sea.

oysters

Looking for some active adventure? Why not learn to surf with Neptune’s Surf Coaching? Neptune’s coaches offer tailored surfing lessons for all ages and experience levels, or you could try your hand at paddle boarding. It’s the perfect way to see the stunning shores of Corny Point.

surfer

Spend your evening enjoying a seafood dinner or tucking into some comfort foods at Café Capella’s, which is famous for its traditional pasta dishes, pizza and fresh seafood.

Day three: Cop a load of culture (and good vino!)
Visit Maitland’s Barley Stacks Wines – the first commercial vineyard and winery established in the Yorke Peninsula’s traditional Barley Belt. The cellar door opens daily at 10am and you can sample fine wines paired with fantastic foods.

Afterwards, experience the deep spiritual and physical connection Aboriginal people have with their country on an Aboriginal Cultural Tour. Led by Quentin Agius, you’ll explore the area’s rugged gorges, pristine untouched beaches and ancient archaeological sites, while hearing Dreaming and Creation stories that bring the landscape to life.

You probably won’t want to leave Yorke Peninsula, but when you do, stop off at Minlaton’s Watsacowie Brewing Company for a sip of its amazing beer. Try handcrafted ale, wine and cider while digging into a tasting platter featuring local produce.

watsacowie brewery

In three days, you can soak up a sample of what the Yorke Peninsula has to offer, but if you’d like to stay longer, head to www.southaustralia.com to see the other wonderful attractions.

Information supplied by South Australia Tourism

Have you been to the Yorke Peninsula? What attractions did you most enjoy? Why not share your tips with our members?

Related articles:
Why you should visit South Australia
Three-day Barossa foodie itinerary
Capital Drives: Adelaide

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.
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