When we told fellow travellers we were going to spend 10 days or so on the Yorke Peninsula we were told ‘not to bother as there was nothing there’. We are loving being here. The scenery is brilliant, there is plenty to see and the locals encourage your visit by providing the option of free camping areas. We have been on here three days now and are only one third of the way down the west coast.
We stayed Friday night in Port Pirie and spent Saturday stocking up at ‘Woolies’ and having a good look around the city. The standout feature in Port Pirie for us was the worlds largest lead smelter plant operated by Nyrstar on the outskirts of the city. – the site was huge. The smelter has been in production since 1889 and in addition to its lead production, it also produces refined silver, zinc, copper and gold.
Late Saturday afternoon we drove further south into the Yorke Peninsula to the township of Port Broughton. The place was very picturesque and I think we would have stayed there the night but there was no free camping allowed and the camp ground was asking A$32 a night for a bit of grass to stop on. You know our feelings on that so we carried on to the hamlet of Alford.
Alford consists of one hotel, a half a dozen homes (occupied) and three shops (unoccupied). Its primary attraction for us was their complimentary overnight parking at the local sports ground for self-contained motorhomes and caravans. We were joined later in the evening by two German girls touring Australia in their car. A lovely quiet spot, a great evening and highly recommended if you are on the Peninsula.
On Sunday morning we made our way 27 kilometres to the west coast of the Yorke Peninsula and into the township of Wallaroo. Wallaroo settlement was established on Wallaroo Bay in 1861 and was proclaimed as a town in 1862. Wallaroo today is a deep-sea port and is home to the Spencer Gulf prawn fleet. The Wallaroo jetty is one of the most popular in the state for fishers whilst under the jetty divers have access to a variety of sea life.
We stayed on the Wallaroo waterfront at the Wallaroo boat ramp – an area of about 2 hectares and a 10 second walk across to the sand and into the water.
This morning (after a rather late start – it must have been the salt air that made us sleep in) we drove inland to the township of Kadina. Our onboard printer ran out of black ink last night and Kadina was the closest town selling office supplies. Luck was on our side and we were able to purchase replacements at our first stop. The navigator wants to prepare a new Japanese prawn dish tonight so it was into “Woolies’ to find a supply of panko bread crumbs and coconut shred. I am sure the dish will go very well with either a Pinot Gris or a rum and coke.
After the shopping we had a roadside lunch then drove onto Moonta, our stopover for tonight.
Moonta’s origins in 1861 were very fortunate – a shepherd noticed traces of copper on a wombat burrow, which led to the establishment of the Moonta Mining Company that soon became one of the richest copper mines in Australia. The ensuing flood of skilled miners from Cornwall in England changed South Australia’s cultural mix. Apart from contributing to an economic explosion, the immigrants brought Cornish architecture and the delicious Cornish pasties. The area is sometimes known as “little Cornwall”.
It is 4pm in the afternoon, we’re parked up at Port Hughes about 5 km out of Moonta and we are twenty metres from white sand and the ocean on a 30C day. You cannot ask for much more than that on a Monday.
The Peninsula hasn’t disappointed thus far.