10 Jan 2023
Outback roads High river flows

Just over an hour’s drive from Adelaide, the Yorke Peninsula is home to a whopping 700 kilometres of picture-perfect coast.

Pack your bags, jump in the car and follow our lead. It’s time to set off on an iconic Yorke Peninsula road trip!Relax, wind down the window, and inhale that ocean air. Stop-off for a mandatory servo pie, then spend the day sprawled on your towel at any one of these five picture-perfect Yorke Peninsula beaches.

1. SHELL BEACH

Shell Beach, Dhilba Guuranda-Innes National Park
Shell Beach, Dhilba Guuranda-Innes National Park

Located on the far end of Dhilba Guuranda-Innes National Park, this secluded beach is big enough to reinforce the vastness of the peninsula, but small enough to make it feel like your own private island. A climb over the dune from the car park provides panoramic views of the white sand, crystal blue water and neighbouring Brown’s Beach.

2. CAP CLAIROUT

Corny Point, Yorke Peninsula
Corny Point, Yorke Peninsula

Nestled below the lighthouse of Corny Point, this beach dishes up exceptional views of the white sands and blue waters from the moment your car comes to a stop, to when you step foot in the sand. The walkway from the car park gently carries you down onto the southern end of the beach giving you the chance to leave some of the only footprints on the beach as you stroll across. 

3. BERRY BAY

Berry Bay, Yorke Peninsula
Berry Bay, Yorke Peninsula

A few minutes from Cap Clairout, along the white metal Lighthouse Road, is Berry Bay. Its seemingly endless stretch of white sand and beach break make it the perfect home for surf schools. The clifftop views from the car park give you a sweeping look back over to Corny Point Lighthouse.

4. THE HORSESHOE

Horeshoe, Yorke Peninsula
Horeshoe, Yorke Peninsula

This beach isn’t officially named, however it does bear resemblance to a horseshoe so we’ll stick with that. Located 1 kilometre south of Berry Bay, this tiny beach exists in its own world. The gentle walkway down to the beach follows the contours of the headland, wrapping down and around while keeping the beach in full view.

5. ETHEL BEACH

Ethel Beach, Dhilba Guuranda-Innes National Park
Ethel Beach, Dhilba Guuranda-Innes National Park

While there are many stretches of soft, pillowy sand beaches within the national park – Ethel Beach offers unrivaled majesty. The cove itself looks as though a giant took a bite out of the peninsula – with rugged, steep cliffs enclosing the protected nook of coastline. Ethel’s strong surf spits up a visible ocean haze, that turns this pristine 450-metre-long beach into a moody and magical display of nature – particularly during golden hour, when the light catches the sea mist.

Ethel Beach is named after the Norwegian ship that came to its final resting place in 1904 on the shores of this cove. Now, the rusty remnants of the ‘Ethel’ can still be spotted at the northern end of the beach. Meander along the walking path that weaves along the clifftop, before taking a seat and looking out at the rough surf that wrecked not just the ‘Ethel,’ but a second ship – the ‘Ferret’ – in 1920. Alternatively, pack up a picnic and wind your way down the steep staircase to the desolate beach below.

Ready to hit the road?

Set off on your own roadtrip or check out our 5 best beaches on the Eyre Peninsula, on Kangaroo Island, on the Fleurieu Peninsula and in Adelaide for more inspiration.

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