The Yorke Peninsula road trip
The Yorke Peninsula, west of Adelaide, is a tucked away traveller’s gem. Often overshadowed in South Australia by the more well-known holiday destinations such as Victor Harbour and the Barossa Valley the peninsula is still largely undiscovered by holiday makers. Yet given half a chance the rugged coastline, dramatic cliff faces and crystal blue sea offer a fantastic road trip and one I just couldn’t resist. With the open road in front of me and responsibilities left behind, my boyfriend and I set off on my road trip down the east side of the peninsula using my trusty CamperMate app to guide us through! The peninsula offers more than 700km of coastline and our first destination of Ardrossan provided a large proportion of that! We followed directions to Ardrossan Caravan Park using the CamperMate app and easily arrived in time to book ourselves a powered site costing $30/pn (this is the off peak rate, peak time the price rises to $32). The caravan park is centrally located meaning you can walk to all the lovely independent cafes and restaurants in the town centre. The town itself is surprisingly quiet on the weekend and for a little bit more atmosphere it’s best to visit on a weekday. The Yorke Peninsula produces large amounts of grain that historically has been shipped out to sea due to the lack of rail services. Therefore, most of the coastal towns have very long, impressive jetties. Ardrossan’s jetty dates back to 1876 and was once the hub of a busy barley port. Today however when my boyfriend and I went for an afternoon walk we found it to be full of families with little buckets and spades, fishermen casting their lines out to sea and teenagers jumping into the inky blue water below. From the end of the jetty you have a fantastic view back along the red iconic coastal cliffs of Ardrossan. [caption id="attachment_2783" align="alignnone" width="900"] Ardrossan's long jetty[/caption] South Australia offers delicious seafood wherever you go and we found plenty to choose from when dining out. Expect to find fresh mullet, squid and the local catch of King George Whiting on any menu. Sitting eating breakfast in the sunshine after a good night’s sleep we consulted the CamperMate app to find the next suitable place to stay. We opted for the settlement of Edithburgh, located on the south-eastern tip of the peninsula. Edithburgh Caravan Park, costing $28pn, is close by to both surf and swimming beaches and only a 10-minute walk away lies a free tidal pool. We took advantage of this one sunny morning and were joined by some incredibly friendly dolphins who decided to come and swim close by. It was an amazing experience! There were also plenty of people snorkelling around the tidal pool looking for resident crabs and coral fish. [caption id="attachment_2790" align="alignnone" width="900"] Edithburgh's tidal pool[/caption] A one-hour drive from Edithburgh lies the Innes National Park. The park comprises 9,415 hectares of coastal vegetation and offers beautiful views as you drive along the winding roads. As you enter, make sure you drop into the visitor’s centre to book and pay for a camp spot (if you haven’t already done so online) and the national park entry fee. We parked up and headed to a long, deserted beach by just walking over the sand dune in front of us. Cue an afternoon of reading, sunbathing and swimming! We took a drive to discover Innes’s mining and maritime history exploring the remnants of Inneston, once a booming gypsum-mining town. You can also go scuba diving among the shipwrecks that lie off the coast of the park. When booking our camp spot we had several areas to choose from with varying facilities offered. Some areas have toilets (non-flushing) and barbeque areas whilst others are completely self-sufficient. Make sure you are well equipped and understand what to do if in an emergency whilst staying in Innes park. We only had time to stay in one more place on the Yorke Peninsula and decided on the tiny holiday retreat of Corny Point. Taking its name from the explorer Matthew Flinders who believed it to look like a corn on a metaphorical foot, the small settlement has an estimated population of around 160. CamperMate recommended Corny Point Caravan Park as the closest campsite in the area and at $24 (off-peak) for an unpowered site it was a cheap stay. The campsite was small but offered clean toilets, an undercover camp kitchen with ample seating space and a modern children’s playground. We could walk to the beach, a sprawling streak of white sand and coral blue sea, and watch the little fishing boats bob up and down. After two days enjoying the chilled-out vibes of Corny Point and visiting the iconic lighthouse (a must see!) we made tracks for Adelaide stopping off at the inland towns of Minlaton and Maitland along the way for a slice of homemade cake and a cup of local brew.