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Published December 18th 2016
There's something for everyone
Just over a couple of hours from Adelaide lies the picturesque seaside town of Port Vincent. Located on the eastern side of the Yorke Peninsula in a bay sheltered from the predominant south-westerly breezes, Port Vincent is a magnet for holiday makers and tourists looking for a weekend (or longer) escape with the choice of many or minimal things to do.
Eating local foods is always a great option when travelling and there is no shortage of great places at Port Vincent. The Ventnor Hotel has been serving classic pub style meals for years with seafood as a delicacy, while the beachside Kiosk and the Corner Deli both serve a grand offering of fish and chips or ice creams. Or for something different, Chill Out on the Main Street is open daily and provides a 1645 coffee blend and a range of breakfast / lunch options to tempt and tease most tastebuds.
And sometimes one of the best things to do while you are away is to do nothing. Why not visit the Yorke Peninsula's only winery at Barley Stacks Wine, some fresh Stansbury oysters, and perhaps some delights from the Minlaton Chocolaterie, and return to one of the parks or beaches for the ultimate picnic indulgence. With picnic shelters on each of the shelters, BBQs and lawn on the foreshore, and several small parks, there are plenty of options to choose from.
However for those who may want to try their own luck at catching seafood, there always seems to be plenty around. The warmer months of the year see the blue swimmer crabs sheltering along the northern and southern beaches, while the razor fish also use this period to leave their mark in the escaping tide.
If fish are your go, then bream and squid make regular appearances at the wharf, while in the sand patches or across the spit, the whiting and garfish love the summer tides while a bit deeper still and snapper often feature in the fisherman's catch of the day.
The waters of Port Vincent bay are rarely troubled and this makes it ideal for boating activities, much of which commences from the sheltered Marina or from the Sailing Club. The Marina is the resting place for many yachts on the biennial Saltwater Classic or for a number of the larger cruisers alongside some of the newer and larger homes in the town.
Alternatively the all-weather boat ramp is a great launching spot for those fishing boats looking for the sandy spots in and around the spit on either side of the high tide. While at the Sailing Club, Sundays sees the locals launch their small boats for their weekly challenge around the bay, and ultimately the first round of drinks at the post-race celebration.
The peaceful waters of the Port Vincent Bay also make it an ideal spot for swimming and snorkelling for all ages. As the tide exits, the swimming pontoon becomes reachable for younger children, with many of them enjoying the opportunity to jump into the shallow waters. But when the tide returns, the older kids and adults get their chance to swim around the pontoon, or perhaps beyond to some of the boating buoys where dolphins are often seen enjoying the slightly warmer waters of the bay.
Alternatively, just a few kilometres south of the town are some small sheltered inlets which are rarely seen by anyone apart from a walker on the Walk The Yorke. The two inlets around Lime Kiln Gully and Beach Hut are both secluded, and both feature small sandy beaches perfect for an exclusive summer escape.
And for those looking for some different water sports, then Port Vincent is ideal for canoeing, kayaking, wind or kite surfing, or alternatively, stand up paddleboarding. You can either bring your own equipment with you, or perhaps head to the Port Vincent Outdoors store on the Main Street to hire some.
If walking is your preferred activity, then you are in for a treat. The long distance Walk The Yorke passes through linking the coastal and cliffside walking trails to the north and south of the town. The northern walk takes walkers along the cliff top for 2km to the lookout on the way towards the Golf Club, before heading down to the beach edge and following a trail back towards the Marina.
The first day of every New Year marks Gala Day at Port Vincent, a day filled with markets, children's rides, community events, food stalls, live music and culminating in a fireworks display over the bay and launched from the breakwater. The Gala Day has been a regular feature at Port Vincent for over 30 years and attracts locals and visitors from all over the Yorke Peninsula who join in the events in a hope to secure bragging rights for yet another year.
Port Vincent is 193km from Adelaide along the dual highway to Port Wakefield, and then a wide bitumen road for the remainder. Accommodation is generally available all year round with bookings in advance essential at peak times of school holidays, Easter and Christmas. For further details, refer to the Port Vincent or Yorke Peninsula websites.
I like Pt.Vincent and Stansbury not far away.Have not been to either for a very long time.Pity one can not catch a ferry from Glenelg to either of them.With tourism growing in the state and Y.P. becoming more and more popular this may occur eventually.A note of warning about razor fish that inhabit the beaches there.They can give you a very nasty gash and I never felt safe when paddling/swimming there.Excellent article by the way.
My partner has a small house at Pt Vincent and we find it very relaxing each time we are there. Our dog loves the beach and we enjoy the fishing/crabbing. Very busy place during holiday season, bUT still an enjoyable place to stay.