Tour Description

Yorke Explorer

Five Days: 1st – 5th October 2019

Twin Share: $939 per person. Sole Use: $1025 per person.

Included in the tour:
  • Home pick-ups & set downs (most metro areas – please contact us for details)
  • Picnic-style morning teas & all meals as per the itinerary
  • All accommodation & admissions to all attractions
  • Experienced & informative tour driver/guide.

 

With over 700 kilometres of stunning coastline, the Yorke Peninsula is a gorgeous holiday destination and a favourite for many South Australians. We spend five days exploring the peninsula from top to ‘toe’, taking in all the highlights, from it’s spectacular scenery to it’s fascinating mining and nautical history. The upper Yorke towns of Wallaroo, Kadina and Moonta are well known as both Australia’s ‘Little Cornwall’ and the ‘Copper Triangle’.  Whilst the southern tip boasts the spectacular Innes National Park, one of South Australia’s best kept secrets. This tour is the perfect way to experience the whole Peninsula and all it has to offer.

 

Day One – TUESDAY 1 OCTOBER 2019

(includes light lunch and three course dinner)

We depart this morning after completing home pick-ups (limited areas*) and follow the Port Wakefield Road north.  We soon reach the town of Two Wells where we pause for our morning tea.

Passing Port Wakefield, we cross over to the Yorke Peninsula and continue to Moonta, a unique and important part of the Cornish mining heritage of Australia. On arrival, we enjoy our lunch in town before heading to the Moonta Mines Museum, located in the former Moonta Mines Model School erected in 1878. Now, this 14 room museum tells the story of the  Cornish pioneers who came to South Australia for the copper mines from 1861-1923.  We can learn all about their lifestyle, from their work to what they wore, their pastimes, hardships and even see a classroom furnished circa.1900.

From the museum we board the Tourist Railway Train. It takes us on a special journey around the mines and other historic landmarks of the former mining operations, whilst we listen to the drivers extensive commentary.

Upon disembarking the train we drive the short distance to Kadina, where we settle into our accommodation for the next two nights at the Kadina Gateway Motor Inn (Ph. 8821 2777). Kadina is the largest town of the Copper Triangle and was established in the 1860’s to house miners for the nearby Wallaroo Mines.

 

Day Two – WEDNESDAY 2 OCTOBER 2019

(includes cooked breakfast, light lunch and three course dinner)

After breakfast we drive the short distance to Wallaroo at the apex of the ‘Copper Triangle’. The town has developed dramatically in recent years, most notably with the major development of the new marina. A popular seaside destination for South Australians, Wallaroo is also a working industrial town and surrounded by some of the best grain-growing and grazing land in Australia. At one time, it was the second busiest port in South Australia, due to the mining and smelting activities that occurred here and many of the historic buildings of this era are still preserved. We meet a local guide who takes us on a tour of the town and enlightens us with the history and stories of Wallaroo.

At the conclusion of our tour we enjoy morning tea before visiting the Wallaroo Heritage and Nautical Museum. Originally a post office, this historic building houses extensive displays of the copper smelting era (1861-1923), a variety of local history displays and of course the nautical complex.  Alongside much maritime history is the popular ‘George the Giant Squid’ exhibit: Obtained from the stomach of a whale and measuring over eight metres in length, the huge deep ocean squid has been preserved for visitors to see.

The former 1877 Tipara Reef Lighthouse can be also seen in Investigator Park, just in front of the museum.

We return to Kadina for lunch and some free time to wander around the town before we head to The Farm Shed Museum & Tourism Centre.  This incredible museum covers over a century of Australian dry land farming, laying claim to the country’s most comprehensive collection of equipment.  There is also much to be learnt about the social history of the area as we tour the centre.

We return to our accommodation with time to relax before dinner together.

 

Day Three – THURSDAY 3 OCTOBER 2019

(includes cooked breakfast, light lunch and three course dinner)

We farewell Kadina this morning and begin our journey south towards Edithburgh.

We travel via Moonta in order to visit the Moonta Miners Cottage and Heritage Garden. The cottage is an excellently preserved example of those constructed by copper miners in the 1870’s for their families.  Consisting of many different building techniques including wattle and daub, the interior is furnished with artefacts donated by the descendants of local miners. The cottage also has a beautifully maintained cottage garden that we are able to wander around.

We can’t leave Moonta without visiting the Moonta Mines Sweet Shop. Selling a large range of old-fashioned sweets and drinks, we can make some nostalgic purchases to take home with us.

On the coast just out from Moonta is Port Hughes, a picturesque town featuring one of the prettiest beaches on the northern peninsula. With its clear, blue waters and long jetty, it is a popular area which has grown dramatically in recent times. We take a drive around the town to see the new mixing with the old before we cross the peninsula to Ardrossan.

Situated on top of the imposing and towering cliffs of red clay, Ardrossan is noted for its deep water shipping port and centre for agriculture. It is here that we have lunch today and prior to continuing our journey south, we take the opportunity to view the spectacular scenery from a cliff top lookout.

The coast road leads us south to Port Vincent, with it’s stunning coastline and sheltered bay, it is a popular spot for tourists and retirees.  We take a drive around to see the town as well as the amazing 90 berth marina and views across the Gulf St Vincent.

Further along the Gulf we come to Stansbury, a small town on the east coast affording wonderful views of beautiful Oyster Bay.  After our drive around we continue on through Wool Bay and Coobowie to Sultana Point.

Today’s destination is the coastal town of Edithburgh, originally developed as a port for servicing pastoralist pioneers.  Grain farming has since been the mainstay of the local economy, as well as vast salt lakes in the area resulting in salt being exported as far as Russia.  We check into our accommodation for the next two nights at the Edithburgh Seaside Motel (Ph. 08 8852 6172).

 

Day Four – FRIDAY 4 OCTOBER 2019

(includes cooked breakfast, picnic lunch and three course dinner)

We begin exploring the ‘foot’ of the Peninsula, travelling west to Corny Point to see its lighthouse and spectacular coastal views. We then turn south as we travel to Innes National Park in time for morning tea in Stenhouse Bay.

Innes National Park boasts magnificent scenery, from rugged coastal cliffs to sweeping sandy beaches. Its rich mining and seafaring history is fascinating and evidence can be seen in the old gypsum mining town of Inneston, situated within the park, and many ship wrecks along the coast. We take the opportunity to see the parks highlights, including The Gap, West Cape, Pondalowie Bay and the remains of Ethel Wreck, which ran aground in a severe storm in 1904.  We also enjoy a picnic lunch, making the most of our time in this amazing location.  As we travel around, keep a lookout for grey kangaroos and emus that often roam in the park or the white-bellied sea-eagle and mallee fowl that make their homes here! During our time at Innes there are a number of opportunities to take short walks to vantage points for the best coastal views, although much can be seen from the comfort of our mini coach.

We return to Edithburgh via Marion Bay and the inland towns of Warooka and Yorketown, ready for dinner and a good nights rest.

 

Day Five – SATURDAY 5 OCTOBER 2019

(includes cooked breakfast and two course lunch)

Today we make sure to visit the last few highlights on the Peninsula. First we travel around the ‘heel’ to Troubridge Point and the striking brick lighthouse at Troubridge Hill.

We then begin our drive north, travelling up the centre of the Peninsula through Yorketown to Minlaton where we stop for morning tea.  We also take the opportunity to browse through the Harvest Corner Craft Cottage, known for it’s range of local art and craft.  There is also a wonderful range of produce including biscuits, preserves,  honey and sea salt available to purchase if we wish.

Heading to the western side of the Peninsula, we reach Port Victoria on the coast. By 1884 Port Victoria was regarded as the most important loading point on the west of the Peninsula, primarily for the wheat grown in the area, and by 1914 it was the fourth largest overseas shipping port in South Australia. Today the town is more peaceful, with the jetty reminding visitors of the town’s heyday. We take a look around the town and those who would like to, can wander along the jetty.

Turning inland we stop in Maitland, the geographical ‘heart’ of the peninsula for a delicious two course lunch.  The afternoon drive takes us up and round the Spencer Gulf to Two Wells where we can make a comfort stop and stretch our legs.  Making our way through the norther suburbs we return everyone home after a trip that took us across the gulf and a world away.