The Yorke Peninsula is such a diverse and stunning region with so many things to do. You'll be able to experience everything from pristine coastlines to charming towns and witness the abundance of wildlife. The best part is that it's only a short 2 hour drive from Adelaide, so what are you waiting for! If you're planning a visit, here are some of the best things to do on the Yorke Peninsula.
Best time to visit the Yorke Peninsula
In terms of weather, summer (December to February) is a great time to visit the Yorke Peninsula. You'll have long days of sunshine, clear skies and warm to hot temperatures. However summer is the peak season, which often means more crowds and more flies! If you're still after good weather and not so many crowds, autumn is also a great option. The Yorke Peninsula can be very windy no matter what time of year. The best way to avoid this is to check the wind direction and go to the side of the peninsula that is protected.
Best Things To Do On The Yorke Peninsula
Simms Cove in Moonta Bay
Moonta Bay is located on the upper Yorke Peninsula and is a charming town with a laid-back vibe. Simms Cove is a place that we stumbled upon by accident but it quickly became one of our favourite things to do on the Yorke Peninsula. Simms Cove is a secluded and quiet beach. The cove is surrounded by red cliffs, making it the perfect place to escape the wind and go swimming. The water is incredibly clear and as the tide goes out, the sand banks create little lagoons.
South Beach in Port Hughes
Just a short drive from Moonta is Port Hughes, another little town with a stunning beach. South Beach is a must visit destination that we were surprised we never heard of. With crystal clear waters and white sand, it's the perfect spot to bring your beach umbrella and set up for the day. South Beach also extends for 2.5kms, ensuring you'll always have a secluded spot to yourself. While in Port Hughes, be sure to also check out the jetty. It's a popular spot known for fishing and it's the perfect place to take in the view looking back over the beach.
Magazine Bay Cave in Point Turton
Magazine Bay is another beautiful hidden gem in Point Turton. The small cove is secluded and protected from strong winds, making it the ideal place to go snorkelling and swimming. Although the beach doesn't have white sand, it makes up for it with it's incredibly clear water and underwater views when snorkelling along the rocks. The beach is made up of small flat rocks, almost giving it the impression of a European beach. What makes this place even more unique is the small cave overlooking the cove. On a really hot day, the cave is the best place to escape the heat.
Flahertys is one of the most well-known things to do on the Yorke Peninsula. The beach boasts sparkling white sand and turquoise water. As a bonus, 4WD's are also able to drive along the beach. The tide goes out a fair distance, leaving behind sand banks and shallow pools of water. Flahertys Beach is the ideal place to relax and enjoy the water.
Further south along the Yorke Peninsula is when the coastline starts to become raw and untouched. Berry Bay is a place that left us speechless. The local dolphins that swim up and down the coast often make an appearance, sometimes even surfing amongst the waves. If you're after some surf, Berry Bay also has some good beach breaks when the conditions are right. The southern end of the beach is a little bit more protected. Here you'll often find families setting up for the day to take advantage of the calm ocean conditions.
Camping at Daly Head is one of the most popular things to do on the Yorke Peninsula. The beachside campsite offers some of the most incredible views overlooking the ocean. There are plenty of sites to choose from, however flat sites and sites overlooking the beach are limited. Be sure to get there early in the day to secure the best spot.
The stairs down to the beach are from the campsite. Daly Head is a pristine beach with crystal clear water and white sand. As you explore the beach, you'll be sure to come across your own little rock pool. We spent a couple of nights at Daly Head as it was one of our favourite beaches, not to mention that it's also dog friendly!
Yorketown Salt Lake Trail
The Yorke Peninsula is home to over 200 salt lakes with a variety of trails you can explore for the best views. The crystal formations and unique colours and pattern of the salt lakes make Yorketown a popular destination for photographers. If you have a drone, we definitely recommend going for a flight and checking some of them out. You'll be blown away by the textures and pink hues left behind from the high salinity levels.
Throughout the year, the salt lakes will appear differently. Towards the end of summer, majority of the salt lakes are dry, leaving behind more crystallised salt and textures. During the wet months, the lakes are full of water, with some of them appearing incredibly pink.
Edithburgh is a small charming town on the south east corner of the Yorke Peninsula. The main attraction is the tidal swimming pool which is the perfect place to escape the heat. It's also one of the few towns on the Yorke Peninsula to offer free cold showers in the changing rooms. The local cafe is another reason to visit. They make delicious meals and shakes which you can enjoy to some live music.
Yorke Peninsula Council Bush Camping Permits
There are 19 bush camping options along the Yorke Peninsula that the council provides for a fee. Daily fees are $20 per night but we would recommend getting the weekly permit for $100 if you plan on staying a couple of nights. The weekly bush camping permit gives you access to all 19 sites which operate on a first come first serve basis. Our favourite campsite was definitely Daly Head which overlooks the stunning beach. You can grab your Yorke Peninsula bush camping permits here.
Other good cheap camping options are at the campsites in Moonta town and Warooka Oval where they accept donations. Both of these sites also have water and dump points.
Where to stay on the Yorke Peninsula
If camping isn't for you or you're looking to treat yourself for a couple of nights, there are plenty of accommodation options available.
BIG4 Breeze Holiday Parks in Port Hughes is a great midrange option, providing villas, suites and campsites to suit everyones needs. It overlooks the stunning beach and the park facilities offer guests a BBQ area, children playground and shared lounge area.
Moonta Bay Accommodation is the perfect place to stay that's located in one of the most cosy towns on the Yorke. The beach and town is just a short distance away with plenty of cute cafes and boutique shops.