September 11, 2020 | 4 minute read
It’s time to do a little happy dance as Spring is finally in the air, bringing with it the perfect temps for swimming, bushwalking, water sports and hiking. To make the most of the season, the Yorke Peninsula is the perfect place to head, with its yellow canola fields, wildflowers blooming and lush, rolling hills providing the backdrop for a fantastic array of adventure activities. Here’s some of the top picks to enjoy with family and friends.
* At the time of writing, activities and places mentioned in this guide are at varying stages of recovery from COVID-19. Please check government and business websites for specific details on opening times and any restrictions before you travel.
Don’t forget to pack your comfy walking shoes for a Yorke Peninsula escape. Walk the Yorke is one of the country’s longest trails, with over 500 km of tracks that stretch from Port Wakefield to Moonta. Choose different sections to cover, such as Gleesons Landing to Corny Point, which is a five-hour trek in the company of wild ocean vistas with the possibility of seeing dolphins and ospreys. If you’re bringing your mountain bike or want to hire one there, you’ll find marked trails for cyclists too, including Ardrossan to Pine Point.
Another spectacular all-day walk is The Sole Walk at Hillocks Drive between Butlers Beach to Kangaroo Island, or Butlers Beach to Meehan and back. It’s pretty challenging, with rocky surfaces to cross over about five hours and wind to contend with. However, your rewards are incredible coastline views, remote beaches, sparkling rock pools and plenty of birds to spot - not mention a great way to exercise without even noticing!
Embarking on day-long treks might be out if you’re taking the little ones, but the Yorke Peninsula serves up adventures galore for them too. Indulge in a farm adventure at Ballywire Farm and Tearooms, complete with donkeys, rabbits, horses, chickens, mini golf and a games area for kids. They can interact with the animals, while you shop for handmade products or sip wine at the restaurant.
For more farm fun, explore the Yorke Peninsula Home Grown Trail and get a behind-the-scenes view of the daily working lives, products and produce from across the region. Playgrounds abound, with Walk in the Trees at Kadina, Stansbury Playground with views over Oyster Bay and numerous skate parks. Get in on the waterslide action at Splash Town in Moonta Bay and relax while the kids swim in safety at the Edithburgh Tidal Pool.
Fingers crossed it doesn’t, but if it happens to rain on your spring adventure here, there’s no need to worry about the dreaded, “I’m bored”, statement occurring more than once. Head straight to the Copper Coast Indoor Play Centre, for kids aged 10 and under. There’s the Farm Shed Cafe there for you and hours of adventurous fun to be had for them.
Name your favourite water-based adventure and you can do it on the Yorke Peninsula. The ocean surrounds the area on three sides, so you’re never far from fishing, surfing, kayaking, sailing, kite or windsurfing. Toss a coin to pick from an array of gorgeous beaches and sheltered bays for watery fun, like Black Point, Coobowie, Marion Bay and Port Hughes.
It’s diving and snorkelling that really take centre stage here though. The area is perhaps most famous for the elusive leafy sea dragon and big-bellied seahorses. For divers, the Investigator Strait Shipwreck Trail and the Wardang Island Maritime Trail offer shipwrecks and diverse marine life. You can snorkel straight from the shore and around jetties at Parsons Beach Reef, Point Gilbert and from any bay really, when the water’s calm enough.
From dolphins and southern-right whales to emus and kangaroos, wildlife abounds throughout this nature lover’s paradise. Make a beeline for Innes National Park, which explodes with colour in spring and is home to western pygmy possums and the malleefowl, a rare ground-dwelling bird.
Speaking of birds, over 120 species have been found in the park, including the white-bellied sea eagle and purple-crowned lorikeet. To take the adventure up a notch, head out in a boat with a permit or take a guided tour of Troubridge Island Conservation Park to see a colony of penguins and a heritage-listed lighthouse and cottage.
That’s a lot to pack into a weekend escape, so you might want to consider a few more trips to the Yorke Peninsula as the weather warms up this year and in the years to come!