The south coast of Yorke Peninsula in South Australia is a rugged, windswept part of the state. At every step of the way the avid photographer can find many subjects on which to focus. One subject that always intrigues me is the aptly named Chinamans Hat Island, just a short distance offshore near Cape Spencer.The island is a part of the much bigger Innes National Park.
During our recent short holiday on Yorke Peninsula we visited the Innes National Park. It had been many years since our last visit to this scenic and rugged part of the South Australian coast. In the middle of the national park is the historic town of Inneston. The village was once the home to over 150 people and was a bustling, industrious town.
The town was established in 1913 to house the miners working in the nearby gypsum mines and production factory. Many of the local salt lakes were rich in the mineral which was transported mainly to Adelaide via Stenhouse Bay. In the state capital city it was used primarily in the building trade.
After the mine closed the town rapidly deteriorated as people moved away. In more recent times some of the original buildings have been restored and are used as accommodation in the national park.
You can read more about the history of this town on the Flinders Ranges Research site here.
Stenhouse Bay on the southern end of Yorke Peninsula in South Australia was once a thriving port. It was established in 1913 when gypsum was mined in nearby Inneston. The rock, once treated, was used in the building industry as plaster of paris and cement. Many older homes in Adelaide have plaster ceilings made from gypsum mined in this area. The mining works closed in 1972 and many of the houses in Stenhouse Bay and Inneston were demolished. Some still remain and are used by the national park rangers, either for staff accommodation or for hire for tourists. I’ll show some photos of them in a few days.
The southern coast of Yorke Peninsula in South Australia is a rugged coastline and has been the cause of many ship wrecks over the years. The rocky coastline, combined with the wild winds and raging seas surging up from the Southern Ocean and all the way from Antarctica, is a potent mixture.
At various places along the coast there are lookouts over the sites of various ship wrecks, like the one where I took these photos at Stenhouse Bay. In fact, there is a well established Shipwreck Trail visitors can follow along this coast. One of the signs is shown below. Some of the wrecks are open to divers as well.
The Investigator Straight is the body of water between the southern coast of Yorke Peninsula and Kangaroo Island to the south. It is named after the ship Investigator, captained by Matthew Flinders, an explorer in Australia’s early history. A staggering 26 ships have been wrecked in this small body of water between 1849 to 1982 with the loss of 70 lives.
On the second day of our recent holiday on Yorke Peninsula, South Australia, we drove to the Innes National Park Visitor Centre. All visitors and campers in this national park are required to buy an entry ticket before going into the park, either from the centre staff, or from the self-serve kiosk outside.
We briefly had a look around in the centre before heading off into the park for the rest of the day.
You can find out more information about the park and the area here. This site includes links to species lists of flora and birds, as well as details of camping sites, entry fees, suggested activities and more.