Yorke Peninsula

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Yorke Peninsula
South Australia
The town of Ardrossan, located in Yorke Peninsula
Population 25,143 (2005)[1]
Established 1840s
State electorate(s) Goyder
Federal Division(s) Grey
Yorke Peninsula, South Australia.png
Website www.yorkepeninsula.com.au
Yorke Peninsula is in South Australia, and should not be confused with Cape York Peninsula, in Queensland.

The Yorke Peninsula is a peninsula located north-west and west of Adelaide in South Australia, Australia, between Spencer Gulf on the west and Gulf St Vincent on the east. It has geographic coordinates of 34°21′S 137°37′E / 34.350°S 137.617°E / -34.350; 137.617. The peninsula is separated from Kangaroo Island to the south by Investigator Strait. The most populous town in the region is Kadina.


Yorke Peninsula is the central, boot-shaped protuberance between the two inlets

Yorke Peninsula was named by Captain Matthew Flinders, R.N., after the Right Honourable Charles Philip Yorke (1764–1834) (later Lord Hardwicke), narrowly beating French navigator Captain Nicolas Baudin (who preferred the name 'Cambaceres Peninsula'). Charles P. Yorke came from a very distinguished political family (his father had been Lord High Chancellor and grandfather had been Lord Chief Justice, Speaker of the House, and Lord High Chancellor), and had a lengthy political career of his own, serving as Member of Parliament (1790–1810), Secretary of State for War (1801–1803), Home Secretary (1803–1804), and First Lord of the Admiralty (1810–1812).

Before white settlement around 1840, Yorke Peninsula was the home to the Narungga people. Today the descendants of these people still live on Yorke Peninsula, supported by the Narungga Aboriginal Progress Association in Maitland, and in the community at Point Pearce near the northern end of Gulf St Vincent.

Principal towns include the Copper Coast towns of Kadina, Moonta and Wallaroo; farming centres of Maitland, Minlaton and Yorketown; and the port of Ardrossan. A number of smaller coastal towns are popular destinations for fishing and holidays, particularly from Adelaide. The south-western tip is occupied by Innes National Park.

Crop Production[edit]

Yorke Peninsula is a major producer of grain, particularly barley and the Peninsula's grain crops are worth more than $290 million annually. Historically this has been sent out by sea because there are no rail services. Most coastal towns on the peninsula have substantial jetties. In the past these were used by ketches, schooners, and later steamships, to collect the grain in bags, and deliver fertiliser and other supplies. As roads in the region improved, and freight-handling techniques changed from bags to bulk, this became obsolete. A deep-water port was opened in 1970 near the south-eastern tip at Port Giles to export grain in bulk, and almost all the other ports ceased to be used for freight in the 1950s and 1960s. The only other ports with bulk-handling facilities are Wallaroo at the north-western side, and Ardrossan at the top of Gulf St Vincent, also used to ship dolomite from a nearby mine for OneSteel. Maitland has a grain-receiving depot operated by AWB, serviced only by road.

Wine production has also begun on the Peninsula, taking advantage of the rich grey, limestone-based soil.


Aerial view of Yorke Peninsula, looking south from around Ardrossan. Gulf St Vincent is in the foreground, Spencer Gulf in the background. The "foot" of the "boot" can be discerned near the horizon

The area is also known as the Yorke Horst, which is distinct physiographic section of the larger South Australian Shatter Belt province, which in turn is part of the larger West Australian Shield physiographic division. Along with Cape Eyre the peninsula is also part of the Eyre Yorke Block bioregion.


Sea SA Car & Passenger Ferries has a daily service between Wallaroo and Lucky Bay, near Cowell on Eyre Peninsula.

Notable residents - past and present[edit]


See also[edit]

Copper Coast[edit]

Further information: Copper Coast

Since the discovery of Copper on Yorke Peninsula over 150 years ago, the towns of Kadina, Moonta and Wallaroo have been collectively known as the Copper Coast.

Kernewek Lowender[edit]

Further information: Kernewek Lowender

The world's largest Cornish Festival takes place every 2 years (in odd-numbered years) in the Copper Coast towns of Kadina, Moonta and Wallaroo.

Yorke Peninsula Field Days[edit]

Further information: Yorke Peninsula Field Days

Acknowledged as Australia's oldest Field Days, the Yorke Peninsula Field Days have been held since 1894. The Field Days site just outside of Paskeville is a hive of agricultural activity every 2 years, at the end of September.[3]

Brown Point[edit]

A unique boat winching system can be seen at Brown Point, 13 kilometres west of Minlaton.



  1. ^ "Population health profile of the Yorke Peninsula". Retrieved 29 May 2012. 
  2. ^ Ronnie Taherny
  3. ^ Yorke Peninsula Field Days website, The Yorke Peninsula Field Days are acknowledged as the oldest in Australia with the first trial held near Bute, SA, on 31 July 1895.

External links[edit]