By Rebecca Francis
October 9, 2020 | 4 minute read
Image credit: @lochiecameronphotography
The Yorke Peninsula is blessed with some of the most beautiful beaches in South Australia, and being only a short three hours from Adelaide, they’re the perfect place to explore when you need a weekend away. With high cliff ocean views and golden stretches of sand, the beaches of Yorke Peninsula are an explorers dream. Here are my top five beaches to visit on the Yorke Peninsula.
On the northwest tip of the Peninsula, lies Berry Bay, a beautiful white sandy beach with crystal clear waters. One of the peninsula's most spectacular drives is from Corny Point to Berry Bay so grab a coffee and take in the scenery, making sure you stop in at the Corny Point Lighthouse along the way. The lighthouse was completed in 1882 and the ancient rocks surrounding it are believed to be around 1800 million years old.
A popular destination for surfers and fishermen, Berry Bay is a great spot to watch dolphins surf the waves. The bay stretches for 6km between Point Deburg and Corny Point, giving you sweeping views across the pristine coastline. So pack a picnic blanket and admire the beauty while you’re dishing up lunch.
Innes National Park at the southern end of the Yorke Peninsula is home to pristine coastlines and breathtaking lookouts, but it’s also hiding a natural rock pool at one of its beaches. To discover this beauty, head to Shell Beach. You’ll be greeted by white sand and turquoise water, but keep walking until you reach the rocks at the far end of the beach. Hidden amongst the tall rocks, 20m from shore, lies an enchanting rock pool.
Jump in and explore the deep underwater world with small fish, crabs, starfish and coral. Not many people know of its whereabouts, so you’ll more than likely have it all to yourselves!
Please note: Vehicle entry fees apply to the Park and cost $10, you can buy tickets here.
In a northern pocket on the Peninsula, just off the highway, lies a local favourite. Flaherty’s Beach is a sandy white beach that’s the ultimate playground for both kids and adults. The shallows make it a great swimming and fishing spot, and if you’re up for a drive on the beach, you’re in luck.
The beach is easily accessible for 4WD and stretches between Hardwicke Bay and Point Turton. For some food with your views, drive on down to the Tavern on Turton in the heart of Point Turton for a bite to eat and a cold drink or two as you look out onto the blue horizon. The Yorke Peninsula is one big coastal playground.
Another popular spot in Innes National Park is West Cape beach. Soak up magnificent 360-degree views of the untouched coastline at West Cape lookout before taking a stroll along the boardwalk to the beach. Frolic in the shallows, stretch out in the sunshine, or enjoy a long walk along the shore, whatever you do this beach will keep you coming back for more.
A picnic shelter and tables, along with toilet facilities, are also available at the lookout. To really get the best coastal views, take a short hike along the headland. A 1km loop trail will navigate you through coastal vegetation to the lighthouse at the end of the cape where you’ll have spectacular sea views.
Ethel Beach is 450 metres of mesmerising colours in Innes National Park. The beach is named after the famous Norwegian ship Ethel, which washed ashore in 1904 after being destroyed on the nearby reef during a storm. A second ship, Ferret, came to its rescue in 1920 but unfortunately got washed ashore too. Read the incredible story on the information boards at the car park before descending the stairs onto the magnificent beach and exploring the wreck for yourself.
The beach is towered over by large cliff faces and is the perfect spot to pull up for a quick bite to eat on the beach. Be careful if you take a dip, the waves are pretty heavy and there are a few rips to be aware of. After a long day of exploring the beaches of Innes National Park, pull up for some local seafood or wood-fired pizza at the warm and welcoming Marion Bay Tavern.
Whether you want to witness a stunning sunset amongst the towering cliffs, leave footprints in the white stretches of sand, or discover hidden rock pools, there is something for everyone in this South Australian pocket of beauty. Pack up the car, hit the highway and explore the scenic coastline for a few days away from the hustle and bustle.
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