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Your guide to a weekend in Yorke Peninsula

yorke peninsula art trail

Yorke Peninsula is one of South Australia’s most stunning natural playgrounds, and also has history, art, local produce and shopping to discover.

Feature image photo credit: AdBe Photography

Well known for its unspoilt beaches and dramatic coastlines, Yorke Peninsula is also worth the trip if you’re into history, love locally made food, and can’t resist checking out some gorgeous regional art or perusing through local craft shops.

Here’s a list of some of the best places to visit if you’re into any (or more likely all) of the above.

History

Get your history fix at the Port Victoria Maritime Museum by the jetty at Port Victoria. Still housed in the original cargo shed that was brought out from England in 1877, the micro-museum provides a fascinating insight into the life of the early British settlers, and includes the story of the local Nharungga Aboriginal people.

Some historical dates worth circling this year are the 17th-23rd of May. That’s when Kernewek Lowender, known as the world’s largest Cornish Festival, takes place in the towns of Moonta, Kadina and Wallaroo. Held every two years since 1973, the event is a huge contributor to the local economy, attracting up to 50,000 people each year in celebration of SA’s Cornish heritage. And yes, Cornish pasties are definitely on the menu.

Art

The Yorke Peninsula art scene is flourishing. With so many shops and galleries to visit, including Harvest Corner in Minlanton, Baker Bros Top Shop in Warooka, or Kadina’s Copper Country Keepsakes, and dozens of public murals and sculptures to admire, we can’t fit them all in here.

One that we will, however, is the Moonta Gallery of the Arts, where a different local artist takes centre stage each month. In March, that artist is Peter Aitchison, whose exhibition ‘Still More Pieces’ is open from 11am-3pm daily, the gallery is at the Moonta Town Hall on George Street, Moonta.

If you’re super keen, and have a few days up your sleeve, the Ballara Art & Lifestyle Retreat could be the perfect getaway for you and a group of friends. Staying in high-end vintage accommodation inside a spacious 100-year-old stone cottage, the retreat includes your meals and heaps of arty workshop options for up to six guests. They have a rolling artist-in-residency program to take advantage of and also offer activities like yoga, massage, kids sessions and surf lessons from their beautifully secluded grounds at 56 Main Street, Warooka.

You can read more about the Yorke Peninsula Art Trail which spans street art, scultures, and walking trail mosaics here.

Credit: AdBe Photography

Food & Beverage

It’s hard to know where to start when it comes to eating and drinking on Yorkes because there are so many great options. Here’s a list within a list to get you started.

Offering locally caught crayfish sold direct to the public, Lower Yorke Seafood is a family-owned business that catches the best seafood in the state from the bluest waters of the Spencer Gulf. 

Always promoting specials on oysters, prawns, scallops and cray, keep an eye on their Facebook page for the latest. They normally have stock available from their shop at 3 Francis Ave, Point Turton, one street back from the Esplanade.

Photo Credit: Dalrymple Hotel, Stansbury

Recent award winners, Dalrymple Hotel are also a great option for a mid-trip treat. They won best ‘Bistro Casual Dining – Country’ at the AHA and their fresh food and comforting vibes is a testament to this award.

Another locally-owned diner raising the bar is the Cracked Pepper Cafe in the heart of Kadina. Making a range of wraps, salads, Vietnamese cold rolls and sandwiches, they’re well known for keeping the entre family happy and are always brewing fresh coffee and pouring delicious shakes. Check them out at 24 Taylor Street, Kadina.

Located in the heart of Wallaroo at 13 Owen Terrace, Bond Store Microbrewery is an exciting new microbrewery, distillery and restaurant on the peninsula. Designed with sharing in mind, the menu includes quality local produce cooked on their custom-made parilla charcoal grill, and 12 taps of beer made on the premises.

Photo Credit: Bond Store

Proud of their preference for local products, North Beach Kitchen is the beachside diner fast becoming a hit on Wallaroo’s foreshore. With uninterrupted views of the Spencer Gulf, an all-day brunch and burger menu worth exploring and what locals are describing as the ‘best coffee in Yorkes’, you can do a lot worse than while away a few hours at this addition to the Yorke Peninsula dining scene. Check them out 1 Pamir Court, Wallaroo.

With a claim to being Yorke Peninsula’s first micro-distillery, Sunny Hill Distillery is located on the Colliver family farm, which has been used as a broadacre-cropping venture since it was established in 1872. With a beautiful deck overlooking the property where you can sample the Sunny Hill range of Dry & Pink Gins, award-winning Wheat Vodka or any of their local craft beers, wines or ciders. Sunny Hill Distillery is at 8658 Upper Yorke Road, Arthurton.

Photo Credit: Sunny Hill Distillery

Finally, while there are many bakeries worth mentioning on Yorke Peninsula, the Maitland Bakery is among the best of them. Much loved by the local community, Maitland Bakery is family-owned and home to a range of delicious pastries and tempting cakes, specializing in children’s parties. Go see them at 47 Robert Street, Maitland.

If you’re looking to order in then make sure to check out delivery app – HereUgo app, and support local businesses.

For more irresistible delights, check out the Yorke Peninsula Food & Beverage Guide in advance of your next road trip.

Shopping

If pulling a market bargain is just your thing, Yorke Peninsula has a plethora of opportunities to do just that.

For example, the award-winning Stansbury Seaside Markets is the quintessential country market by the sea. With so many stalls to choose from beneath the Moreton Bay Fig Trees, it’s worth making a morning of it on Anzac Parade, Stansbury. Plenty of local food makers are usually out in force, and it runs from October – April every year.

Usually taking place at the Minlaton Town Hall on the second Saturday of each month, The PepperTree Market is a unique community market that was created by locals Kellie Saint and Jill Pethick in 2013. Often featuring live music and a range of local foodies, their tag line of ‘Make it: Bake it: Grow it,’ sums up the ethos of this community-spirited market.

For more ways to support local producers from the Yorke Peninsula check out this Yorke Peninsula Shopping guide.

Nature

We couldn’t end this piece without pointing out the obvious – the Yorke Peninsula is full of natural beauty!

To not explore this aspect of the region during your trip would be a crime, so here are just a couple of nature must-do’s, starting with a classic.

Arguably the jewel in the crown that is the Yorke Peninsula, the Dhilba Guuranda-Innes National Park offers visitors the best of Australian flora and fauna.

Photo Credit: Mark Bondarenko

After you’ve perused the beautiful, rugged, coastline, we highly recommend you visit the historic town of Inneston, which has its own deserted post-office and general store. After that a bird’s eye view from West Cape lookout is essential, as is a walk along Ethel Beach – home to the Ethel shipwreck. Then kick back and relax at one of the brilliant accommodations in the town.

Also worth considering is any part of the 500 kilometres worth of walking trails offered by Walk the Yorke. With beautiful coastal towns to explore and surf beaches to enjoy along the way, ‘Walk the Yorke’ is the perfect showcase of Yorke Peninsula’s incredible natural environment. It’s also a great way to spend time with the family, or just your favourite person, while enjoying the great outdoors.

Photo Credit: Susie Reynolds

Download the Walk the Yorke map before your next trip to this amazing part of the country!

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