Yorke Peninsula - South Australia

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The Yorke Peninsula is 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 / 34.35°S 137.617°E / -34.35; 137.617.  The peninsula is separated from Kangaroo Island to the southeast by Investigator Strait.

Yorke Peninsula is 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.

Yorke Peninsula is one of South Australia's favourite holiday spots. The beaches of the Yorke Peninsula are great places to go swimming, surfing, fishing or on a family picnic.

Innes National Park is an amazing place to visit - peaceful, yet full of wildlife, with bushland, rugged cliffs and secluded ocean beaches.You can also treat yourself to some of the best fishing in the country, just by dropping a line off one of the region's historic jetties.

Copper was found on the Peninsula and this led to the formation of an area called the Copper Triangle.

Copper Triangle[edit | edit source]

Principal towns include the Copper Triangle 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.

Yorke Peninsula is a major producer of grain, particularly barley. 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.  Maitland also has a grain receiving depot.