The Coastal Way is one of Australia’s most stunning road trips. So why haven’t you heard of it?
The seemingly undiscovered Yorke Peninsula spans a 700 km coastline from Spencer Gulf to Gulf St Vincent – meaning there are routes, tracks, and hidden hot spots waiting to be discovered. Quaint seaside towns and quiet secluded beaches beckon you to find a serene stretch of sand to call your own.
You know what to do, right? Hire an Adelaide rental car from any of the locations in the city, and away you go. Parts of the journey can be done in a day, or you can turn this into a weekend getaway to see more of what this journey has to offer. You won’t be short on stops, it just depends on what you’re in the mood for.
1. Walk the line
Trails are throughout the peninsula
Whenever you’re embarking on an Australian road trip, you need to schedule in some time to stretch the legs. The Coastal Way makes this easy thanks to Walk the Yorke. With more than 500 km of walking and cycling trails along Yorke Peninsula’s coastline, it’s safe to say you won’t get stopped short in your tracks.
Now that you know about it, what are you waiting for? There’s no better way to uncover the Yorke Peninsula’s pristine coastline than with a self-drive, go-at-your-own-pace road trip. If you’re coming in from interstate, we’ve got you covered too. Pick up your Adelaide airport hire car, zip through the city, and head straight towards the Coastal Way.
2. All hands on deck
Distance from Adelaide to Stansbury: 2h30/206km
Be a ‘deckie for a day’ and head to Pacific Estate Oysters in Stansbury where you can literally fill your boots with the magical molluscs that you’ve picked yourself.
The tour takes you to all three leases, where they produce around 2.5 million oysters. You can learn how they grow in the aquatic microclimates, about regionality, and sustainable farming.
3. A sight for sore shipwrecks
Distance from Stansbury to Edithburgh: 20 minutes /23km
Enjoy magnificent vistas from many coastal lookouts, or camp under the stars. Either way, the towering cliffs of Edithburgh will have you in awe. As will the 40 or so shipwrecks that form part of the Investigator Shipwreck Trail. For this reason, Edithburgh is highly appealing to scuba divers who love to explore the ruins that lie beneath the sea.
4. When the surf’s up
Distance from Edithburgh to Marion Bay: 1 hour/ 87km
Known as the Gateway to the National Park, and with a population of just 241, Marion Bay is understandably relaxed. It’s also a hot spot for surfers, who come far and wide to conquer the towering swells here.
Nearby, Innes is also a particularly popular surfing destination, hosting the Cutloose Coopers Classic – South Australia’s most prestigious surfing event.
5. The pièce de résistance
Distance from Marion Bay to Innes National Park: 7 minutes/6km
Innes National Park is the Peninsula’s prime natural asset and a place of great beauty. Long jagged cliffs stretch across white sandy beaches. Islands that once belonged to the mainland look over the national park and the two lone lighthouses that guard the ships and shores. And, in the middle of it all lies Inneston Lake – one of the only places in the world where stromatolites (very rare marine coral) grow.
Now that you know about it, what are you waiting for? There’s no better way to uncover the Yorke Peninsula’s pristine coastline than with a self-drive, go-at-your-own-pace road trip. If you’re coming in from interstate, we’ve got you covered too. Pick up your car at Adelaide airport, zip through the city, and head straight towards the Coastal Way.
6. Step back in (Dream)time
Inside Innes National Park
Exploring Adjadura country with Aboriginal Cultural Tours director Quenten Agius is somewhat of an unmissable experience when travelling along the Coastal Way. The award-winning tours are full of creation stories from the Dreamtime to the sobering tales of settlement, taking you on a journey in the footsteps of our ancestors in ancient lands.
7. Taste a Cornish pasty
Distance from Innes National Park to Kernewek Lowender: 2h05/186km
The Coast’s Cornish connection is impossible to miss on this road trip. Kernewek Lowender is the world’s largest Cornish Festival, held in the Cornish Triangle, every second odd year. Though the 2017 festival is now over, there’s still plenty of Cornish lifestyle to observe on your journey.
Do yourself a favour and grab a Cornish pasty en route – they don’t call it “Australia’s Little Cornwall” for nothing.
8. Explore the Copper Coast
Distance from Kernewek Lowender to Moonta: 18km/20min
Once the home of Australia’s richest copper mine, the Copper Coast towns of Kadina, Moonta and Wallaroo can’t be missed. These small towns offer history and heritage through a variety of museums including the Farm Shed Museum and Tourism Centre, Wallaroo Heritage and Nautical Museum, and the Moonta Mines Museum. The old-world wealth is evident with grand buildings that line the streets reminiscent of the 19th-century mining boom. Beyond that, they’re perfect for beach lovers – the stretch between Wallaroo and Moonta Bay have some of the best beaches in South Australia. Not to mention, these three towns, and in particular Moonta, have lots of shops and restaurants to break up your trip.
That’s our guide to The Coastal Way – a perfect summer road trip for those visiting the region.