The Yorke Peninsula is an hour or so drive away from the state capital Adelaide. It is filled with white sand beaches, rock pools, lighthouses, great food and Innes National park. Easily, you could spend weeks here, exploring each town and the coastline. I only spent 2 days which was enough time to see the National Park and some other attractions. Here is what I recommend!
I would like to note that the roads along the Yorke Peninsula are bitumen, but are very bumpy and uneven.
I mean who doesn’t love a pink lake? You will find this lake in a Lochiel, roughly a 2hr drive from Adelaide. It changes colour from cotton candy pink to, bright white, to blue, depending on the time of year. It makes a great stop to take a walk and explore. There are several art structures on the lake and walking trails. You can even step out onto the lake! A great spot to fly the drone.
Point Turton is a small coastal town, about 114 km from Adelaide. The bay is very sheltered from the wind, perfect for fishing, water sports or just relaxing on the beach. I only stopped off for a few hours, mainly to visit the swimming centre. The swimming centre is a jetty structure that walks out into the bay to a natural swimming pool. It’s a great place to go snorkelling, swimming or just chill for the day! Be sure the visit at low tide to make the most of the jetty. This is a great place to start your Yorke Peninsula road trip.
Unfortunately, when I visited this stunning beach, it was very overcast. It made it hard for my drone pictures to sure you just how blue these waters are. This beach is a white sand beach with pockets of very shallow waters. The water and the sand run in an almost marble effect up the coastline. Making it the perfect place to come and relax, especially with kids. If you have a 4WD you can drive onto the beach and set up camp for the day. You can visit during high or low tide. Low tide will bring out more of the small sand bars, whereas at high tide the water will just be very shallow.
Secret Rock pool
This may be my favourite rock pool I’ve found in South Australia. It was crystal clear, had 2 waterfalls, one draining out the pool and one in the pool on a big swell. Filled with heaps of fish and wildlife, and very protected. The climb down to the pool was a bit sketchy but slow and steady!
I bet you are wondering where it is? I am not going to give out the exact location of the pool…yes I’m one of those people. Personally, I think this should be something people go out searching for because that’s what makes a road trip fun! Finding new places and special gems. I will give you a hint though. It is located towards the bottom of the peninsula, between Marion Bay and Foul Bay, it doesn’t show up on Google maps so you will have to go explore! You might even find some new ones for yourself.
Dhilba Gurranda – Innes National Park
Located at the very bottom of the Yorke Peninsula, this National Park offers surfing, fishing, swimming and camping opportunities. I spent 1 day exploring the whole park, which honestly felt like enough. I spent the night at shell beach campground which is a small (8 sites) campground. There are many other camping or accommodation options in the national park. You can also base yourself in Marion bay, which is just outside the park.
Pondalowie Road Lookout
This stop is first off when you arrive in the park. The road overlooks the headlands of the National park and makes for some great shots. To get photos like I did, you will need to wander down the road slightly to the “60-speed signs”. Be careful of traffic, or use a zoom/telephoto lens if possible. I visited early morning so there was no traffic, I recommend trying for sunset! That way you can watch the sky light up in different colours.
Ethel Wreck Beach
This beach is surrounded by massive cliffs and a very rough sea. Oh, and there is a shipwreck too. The Ethel was a 711-tonne, three-mast iron ship that ran aground into a storm, eventually washing up on this shoreline. Rusty parts of the ship still lay on the beach to this day. However, my favourite part of the beach was the cliffs! I highly recommend visiting 2-3 hours before sunset if you want to capture some great shots.
Shell Beach and Rock pools
This beach is amazing! Probably the best in the National Park. White sand, blue water and fairly protected. It would be a great place to relax for the day. The main attraction is the rock pools. To get to the rock pools you will need to turn right after the staircase and walk along the beach to a cluster of rocks. You will then need to do a bit of a rock scramble, there are several rock pools located in this area.
I found a not so popular one and called it the “spa pool” because when the water rushes in from behind the big rock it creates a spa effect. The main one you see on social media is on the very end of the rocks. Try to get to a high point on the rocks to see it better. You can visit during high or low tide. At high tide, the pool is deep and can be a little rough. At low tide, the pool is calm and shallow.
Ship Wreck on Pondalowie Beach
Pondalowie beach was a miss for me, too much seaweed. It did look like the surf break has some good waves though. When you park at the surf break car park, turn left and walk along the beach a bit. You will find a ship which washed up onto the beach. I thought this was pretty cool and made for some great photos. It’s worth a stop if you are in the park. The walk from the car park to the ship is about 800 metres, give or take.
Cape Spencer Lighthouse
Offers some great views over the coastline and the cliffs. It’s a short walk from the car park to the lighthouse and it is worth the stroll to really take in where you are. The road up to the lighthouse is corrugated and bumpy. While I was going up two 2WD we’re going down, struggling. I had to move over heaps (causing my car to get scratched) because they had to take up the majority of the road. Just keep that in mind.
Now I did not explore half of the Yorke Peninsula! There is so much more to see and do. If you have time, spend a week or so visiting each little town, really embrace the good nature of the people living on the Yorke. If you are short on time, I do recommend going to the National Park.
Looking for more destinations in South Australia? Check out my guides to the Eyre Peninsula, Fleurieu Peninsula and Kangaroo Island.
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Amazing Rock Pools in South Australia – TREKwithBECK
17th January 2022 at 6:16 pm
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