Join Taylor on this 155km section from Edithburgh to Gleeson’s Landing for a hike past towering cliffs, crystalline beaches, and moody-ass shipwrecks just aching to be witnessed firsthand.


We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the Countries on which these adventures take place who have occupied and cared for these lands, waters, and their inhabitants for thousands of years. We pay our respects to them and recognise that sovereignty was never ceded.

Quick Overview of Walk the Yorke

The Walk the Yorke might just be Australia’s best coastal multi-day hiking experience. For those of us who enjoy the serenity of a quiet trail, it’s hailed as a much-welcomed escape from the resort crowds of the nearby Eyre Peninsula, the popularity of Victoria’s Great Ocean Walk, and the encroaching infrastructure projects that are crowding more and more of the country’s other coastal walks.

Walk the Yorke Facts

Distance: 155km (this section)
Duration: 7 days
Elevation Gain: 1310m
Nearest Town: Edithburgh


This was the closest I ever came to owning a boat

About Walk the Yorke

The Walk the Yorke is a 500km walking track that circumnavigates the entirety of the Yorke Peninsula in South Australia.

It was officially completed in 2015 by connecting newly-cut tracks with unsealed roads, beach walks, and pre-existing footpaths.

This 155km section of the Yorke hike between Edithburgh and Gleeson’s Landing covers the highlights: whimsical tracks through rolling emerald farmland, desolate expanses of un-beheld beach, knife-edge cliff walks, and dense mallee forest meanderings.

Did I mention the creepy haunted ghost town and a couple of stoic old shipwrecks?! It’s half Turner painting, half Scooby Doo episode. You’re in for a treat.


Only a touch of vertigo on the cliff walks

History of Walk the Yorke

The Yorke Peninsula is home to the traditional lands of the Narungga people, who’ve inhabited the region for thousands of years. A portion of this hike also passes through Dhilba Guuranda-Innes National Park.

The wildly-unpredictable weather of the peninsula has resulted in over 85 shipwrecks dotted along the coastline.

The other detail you’ll notice as soon as you reach the Yorke peninsula is how overwhelmingly agricultural it still is. Historically the farming practices here were dominated by grains and beans, as well as extensive sheep grazing. Many of those crops, and the associated machines required to maintain them, remain today.


Half sunk our shattered ankles lie ((from long-ass beach walks))

How to Get to Walk the Yorke

By Car

The best point of access for this particular section of the hike is Edithburgh, which lies 2.5 hours west of Adelaide by car. It can be reached by leaving Adelaide northwest on the A1, then following St Vincent Highway/B88 southwest until you reach Edithburgh.

Ideally, this walk is done point-to-point with cars waiting for you at both ends.

By Bus

If you don’t have access to a car, there’s a bus that currently runs Mondays and Fridays from Adelaide to Edithburgh. But there’s no service from Gleeson’s Landing (or the nearby town of Corny Point, if you end there instead), so if you opt for the bus option, it’ll likely involve a bit of hitchhiking or backtracking along roads.


Walking into the sunset like it’s a Jimmy Buffet song

Where to Stay Along Walk the Yorke

Although they are quite sleepy little towns, both Edithburgh and Marion Bay have at least one hotel, motel, and caravan park. We camped at the Edithburgh Caravan Park, and arranged to leave our car there for the duration of the trip.

Marion Bay Caravan Park was also very helpful, and is the only ‘camping’ option anywhere near the town — so it’s the cheapest choice if you want to have dinner/drinks in civilisation.

Apart from this, camping is free* and permitted for walkers and bikers at these 19 designated bush camping grounds along the Walk the Yorke trail.

Read more: Remember to leave no trace

* This doesn’t include sections that pass through the national park, where campgrounds must be reserved in advance. And if you’re car camping at Gleeson’s Landing before or after your trip, a $20 permit is required.


The Shack. Before you ask…don’t. I don’t know why.

Skill Level

Beginner – Intermediate

This walk is very well-signed, and extremely straightforward. A healthy portion of the hike is on dirt roads, though there are some longer sand sections. The sand can be a little tedious, but if that’s the worst part about your hike, then you’re probably still having a great time.

Coupled with easy navigation, there are now rainwater tanks (filter recommended) and toilets at every bush camping and national park campground along the walk. This takes out a bit of guesswork but remember that just because there are tanks, it doesn’t mean that they’ll be full.

Finally, there’s generally good phone service along the majority of this hike. If you don’t have it, you’re never far from it.

Read more: How to Purify Water

Distance / Duration / Elevation Gain of Walk the Yorke

155km / 7 days / 1310m

It’s seven days and 155km from Edithburgh to Gleeson’s Landing, with an extra 3km tacked on for the side trip to the Ethel shipwreck (don’t be silly, you’ve gotta do it).

The net elevation gain is 1,310m which, if you love coastal walking like me, comes out to less than 200m a day.  The maps for individual sections can be downloaded on the Yorke Peninsula website, but we used the very handy FarOut Guide, which covers the whole trail.


Every day we offer up a Snickers bar to the deities of firmly packed sand

Essential Gear for Walk the Yorke

  • Sunscreen (always<3)
  • Swimsuit/microfibre towel for afternoon swims
  • Trail gaiters help with the sandy beach walks
  • Water filter for the rainwater tanks
  • Freestanding or semi-freestanding tent, as a lot of the ground is quite sandy/rocky
  • First aid kit, including snake bite kit
  • PLB for safety, although there is good reception for nearly all of the walk.

Read more: Overnight Hiking Packing List with 20+ Essentials


They say you can do more when you carry less, but like also you can do as much as you want with whatever you want because this is a very flat walk

What It’s Like Hiking Walk the Yorke

Ah the galvanising sting of salt on your face. That unsung solidarity in a beach-brew coffee as you watch the Bottlenose dolphins also doing their morning foraging. Walking in a wave-haze, under the inquisitive gaze of Tammar wallabies and emus. From the bones of tractors in the fields, to abandoned buildings, and the rusted-out ship hulls on the beaches, the trail bursts with monuments to the passing of time.

The Yorke Peninsula wears its colonial and geological histories like rhinestones, kind of like a living museum display.

The walking part is also pretty cruisy. Here’s my breakdown:

Day 1 — Edithburgh to Kemp Bay Shelter

Distance: 24.6km
Duration: 8 hours

Going into this walk with no expectations is great, because it wastes no time in subverting them. The gigantic turbines loom ominously as you make your way through the mosaic art walk. Yes, you read that correctly, there are some really cool mosaics on rocks on the way. After that it’s easy walking on dirt roads along an incredible coastline.

The lion’s share of this day is spent approaching Troubridge lighthouse, which seems to stand sentry at the horizon for ages until suddenly you’re upon it. Don’t forget to have some fun interpreting historical plaques along the way.

The last section of the day, leaving the lighthouse, is the entire reason I wanted to start this walk from Edithburgh instead of something shorter. The coastline here at sunset is simply unbelievable. It was my favourite part of the entire walk. Don’t worry about taking your time as you make your way casually into Kemp Bay after dark, it’s worth every extra minute.


It’s cool to walk away from explosions, but even cooler to walk into sunsets

Day 2 — Kemp Bay Shelter to Sturt Bay Shelter

Distance: 19.8km
Duration: 6.5 hours

This morning has you experiencing your first introduction to the expansive farmland that occupies much of the peninsula’s inner geography. There are tonnes of kangaroos in this section, and so much wild rocket that I could’ve made a salad for lunch at Port Moorowie.

The small settlement of houses at Port Moorowie isn’t quite a town, but it’s got a nice beach with a shelter for a break, as well as public bathrooms in a park. It appears they’ve stolen some of the state of Victoria’s thunder by declaring Port Moorowie ‘the place to be’, lmao.

Mozzie Flat is about 1.5km west of town and it’s a pretty long beach walk from there to Sturt Bay. If the tide is high, and there’s no way around the seaweed, any reasonable person would forgive you for walking the coastal dirt road to Sturt Bay Shelter instead.


For the most part, the trail is well-signed throughout the hike

Day 3 — Sturt Bay Shelter to Foul Bay Shelter

Distance: 22.7km
Duration: 7.5 hours

The calmness of Sturt Bay makes for a lovely morning beach walk until you leave the beach and head inland at Point Davenport Conservation Park. The birdwatching here is particularly good, as the convergence of various habitats makes for an insane amount of biodiversity. The park itself is a victory for conservationists, and a great example of what life looks like outside of human interference.

Leaving the conservation park, it’s easy walking all the way to Foul Bay, which totally doesn’t deserve such a downer of a name. But hey, maybe that helps it to keep flying under the radar? Who knows.

Read more: Why Birdwatching Will Improve Your Next Adventure & How To Get Started


See? Nothing foul about this at all

Day 4 — Foul Bay Shelter to Marion Bay

Distance: 29.3km
Duration: 9.5 hours

This is a long-ass day with some sandy beach walks but some of the best views of the whole trip. There’s simply no other way to cut it up — as there aren’t really any accommodation options (unless Hillcocks Drive is open, see the tips section).

At Kangaroo Island Lookout, it’s a mixture of dirt roads, sand dune climbs, and beach walks all the way to the carpark at Meehan Hill Lookout. The coastline here is truly spectacular though, and the water is calm enough for at least one swim.

From Meehan lookout, make your way back down to the beach and it’s only another 8.5km to Marion Bay. This section was so desolate and completely abandoned that an old Victorian shipwreck had been slowly unearthing itself on the beach, and nobody seemed to even notice. Or am I just way more excited by shipwrecks than everyone else?!?


Eat your heart out, UL bros, we finally found another use for the poo trowel

Day 5 — Marion Bay to Pondalowie Bay Bush Campground

Distance: 23.3km
Duration: 8 hours

It could be argued that this is where the hike really begins, as there’s definitely a noticeable uptick in signage, histories, manicuring, and infrastructure on the remaining sections.

From Marion Bay the trail is mostly a combination of coastlines as you enter Dhilba Guuranda-Innes National Park and reach Stenhouse Bay. This is where the track shifts its tone — taking you suddenly very inland along an old plaster factory tramway, all the way to Inneston Ghost Town.

Crazy right? After five days of sand and ocean, suddenly you’re in eucalyptus and mallee, wandering through a bunch of crumbling old buildings, a century of jonquils, the spirits in the old school house and post office, moth-eaten curtains and old preserved chalk drawings. It’s hard not to imagine what the town used to look like in its heyday.

After you leave the ‘historic township’ my recommendation is to leave the official Walk the Yorke, and instead take the road down to the Ethel Wreck and beach. This adds about 3km, but the shipwreck was simply massive, and the remains on the beach are SO haunted-feeling.

Having lunch here was almost a spiritual experience. I don’t know. It was nuts. Then you can walk the road back to the intersection with the trail, and cruise into Pondalowie Bay Bush Campground right around sunset, no problemo.


History, history, no curtains or blinds…

Day 6 — Pondalowie Bay Bush Campground to Formby Bay Shelter

Distance: 26km
Duration: 8.5 hours

Leaving the campground in the morning, you’re immediately thrown into the mix, as the views of Pondalowie and Goblet Bay are both, simply put, unreal. I’m sorry y’all, but I just couldn’t stop having my mind blown. It was too sweet. And it may be another long beach walk here, but it’s punctuated by checking out the surfers out in the swell and also the wreck of the ‘O U DOG’ fishing boat.

From Pondalowie, it’s onwards to the absolutely wicked rock pools of Shell Beach. Although the Walk the Yorke doesn’t officially head down to the beach, you’d kick yourself if you skipped it.

The pools are famous for how warm they are later in the day, and the lucid-blue clarity within them makes it easy to see all of the coral, crabs, and starfish that you’re sharing the water with.

The day isn’t even over though, and the section from Shell to Gym Beach is also remarkable. It’s insanely green, unnervingly luscious, and full of life. Emus and wallabies bound everywhere. The hardest part about this section was trying not to get beauty fatigue.

You thought you were done? Sorry. Now it’s a bit of semi-technical cliff-skirting and wayfinding over to Formby Bay, where some of the wildest and weirdest artwork awaits you at the shelter. This day is like four days in one. What a ride.


You must answer the riddle correctly to continue

Day 7 — Formby Bay Shelter to Gleeson’s Landing

Distance: 12.9km
Duration: 5.5 hours

This might be the beach walk to end all beach walks. It’s a solid 10km of totally unbroken, totally desolate soft sand all the way up to Daly Head. Yes it will numb your mind, but hopefully there is something zen and spiritual about all that solitude.

Perhaps this is the moment to reflect on all the crazy things you’ve seen in such a limited space of time. Perhaps it’s raining and you can’t wait to finish? Well the good news is that you’re basically done.

The staircase off the beach and up to Daly Head is like a stairway to heaven. It’s unending, vast, providing sweeping views of everything, everywhere, in every direction. This is the home stretch now. Despite how close the end is, Daly Head Shelter is a prime, exposed place to camp and would be totally unreal on a calmer evening. It’s worth considering camping here for a night if you’ve got the time. 

Regardless, now you can cruise into Gleeson’s landing, where the sun is hopefully shining, and where you may observe the sweet, gentle breakers rolling in with the predictability of an assembly line. This may mark the end of the hike, but it marks the beginning of the only subject you’ll be able to talk about at parties for the next two years.


I died and reincarnated inside a landscape painting

Tips For Hiking the Walk the Yorke

  • Hillcocks Drive is closed for bush camping from 18 June – 18 August every year. If you’re doing Walk the Yorke while they’re open, I’d recommend splitting up the section between Foul Bay and Marion Bay with a stop there. It breaks up the long beach walk, and also makes that section much more manageable. Plus, ice cream.
  • The general store in Marion Bay has hot food, plus all of the essentials (including an unnecessarily delicious burrito). I carried breakfast, lunch, and dinner for six days, then supplemented with snacks from the general store
  • Bring gaiters for the beach sections
  • If you don’t have a freestanding tent, practice using the rock method to secure your tent before you leave.


Good place to practice some cloudsplitting

FAQs Walk the Yorke

How long is Walk the Yorke?

The full trail extends 500km but the section between Edithburgh and Gleeson’s Landing is 155km.

Is Walk the Yorke suitable for beginners?

Yes – kind of. The terrain is easygoing and includes lots of beach sections and gravel roads. But the length is more suited to intermediate hikers. If you’re a beginner, I’d recommend taking a mate with you.

Is winter a good time to do Walk the Yorke?

The swims might be a bit more brisk, but I really really loved doing Walk the Yorke in winter. I don’t know how much busier the peninsula gets in summertime, but the absolute emptiness of some of these sections was SO intoxicating.

Do many people attempt Walk the Yorke in winter?

Nope. We went nearly three days without seeing a single person between Edithburgh and Marion Bay. We only saw one other group of backpackers the whole time that we were in the national park, and only a handful of cars otherwise. Gleeson’s Landing looked like it would get nuts in the summer, but it was completely, and I mean totally, deserted when we arrived and camped there. Unbelievable.

What are some similar hikes to Walk the Yorke?

For more trail changes than you can point your camera at, check out the Overland Track in Tassie. If you want more secluded coastlines try the Light to Light Walk that hugs the coast between NSW and Victoria. Or, for some island life, try the popular K’gari / Fraser Island Great Walk or the quieter Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail.

We Are Explorers uses affiliate links. If you buy anything through our Wild Earth links we earn a small commission, which helps keep our site free! We choose products for gear lists based on our understanding of outdoor gear, its impact, and what we know is good from our experience.

The stories we share are written by real human beings who felt the wind in their hair and described their adventure in their own words. This is because we rate authenticity and the sharing of great experiences in the natural world – it’s all part of our ethos here at We Are Explorers. You can read more about it in our Editorial Standards.