Tag Archives: Yorke Peninsula

West Cape, Yorke Peninsula

Yorke Peninsula lies across the Gulf St Vincent from Adelaide and in a similar way to Italy is shaped much like a leg and foot, but much smaller at around 200 km in length.  My prior post took a look at the setting sun at Moonta Bay which lies at the very top of the peninsula, at the ‘hip’ as it were.

Travelling down the peninsula by road you eventually arrive right down the far ‘toe’ end. From Moonta Bay, it’s a 2½ hour drive, and 4 hours or so if travelling directly from Adelaide. Rugged Cape Spencer and West Cape define the toe and for this post I’m featuring sunsets again, this time at West Cape.

The two capes are within the Innes National Park and around 20 minutes drive from the last township on the peninsula, Marion Bay (which has previously featured on Photo Morsels in A wet and rainy day in Marion Bay).

The images in this post were taken in July last year (2014) which is mid winter down here in Australia. Despite that, the weather while I was there was fine and mild.

In sailing ship days, ships approaching from England and Europe would make landfall in the general vicinity of the capes and enter Investigator Strait in order to proceed to Adelaide. This would have been the first land those ships had seen since rounding the Cape of Good Hope at the base of Africa. Combine the navigational challenges associated with a journey of some 10,000 kilometers without any land observations, the presence of islands and reefs, strong tides and notoriously rough and windy weather on the wrong day, and the area soon became a shipwreck coast. To improve maritime safety, lighthouses were established as early as 1879.

West Cape beach, Yorke Peninsula

West Cape beach in the late afternoon, with shadow formed by the West Cape headland extending into the dunes. The patch of clear water perpendicular to the beach is a powerful rip carrying water deposited on the beach by the swell back into deeper water. Definitely not a swimming beach, and only experienced surfers look to surf here.

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End of the day at Moonta Bay

I’m sitting at home tonight with the first fire of the 2015 winter imparting the pleasant and satisfying warmth that only a wood fire can generate.

It only seemed like a few weeks ago South Australia was enjoying the transition from summer to autumn which weather-wise is undoubtedly the most pleasant time of the year along the southern side of Australia. For this post I’m revisiting one of those balmy late summer evenings.

Just before Easter I traveled up to Moonta Bay, a popular holiday location on the upper Yorke Peninsula some 160 kilometers (100 miles) from Adelaide for an overnight stay. During the day, cloud cover made the light quite unattractive for photography, but as the sun dropped low into the sky, things got a bit more interesting.

Moonta Bay, South Australia

Puddling about.

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A wet and rainy day in Marion Bay

Back in July, in the depths of the South Australian winter, I traveled down to the foot of Yorke Peninsula for a fishing trip with my eldest son and one of his school mates.

First point of call was the small township of Marion Bay. Yorke Peninsula is shaped a lot like Italy and forms a distinct foot shape. Marion Bay is located on the base of the peninsula’s  ‘big toe’ and looks out onto Kangaroo Island and the Southern Ocean beyond.

The area had received a lot of rain over the preceding few days and heavy rain-bearing cumulus clouds were still passing through when we arrived. Unusually though for Marion Bay, it was calm and windless. At ground level anyway – there was must have been some wind a few thousand feet up that was pushing the rain clouds through. We arrived mid-afternoon and were soon down on the beach, and later the town jetty, to wet the lines.

I left this first session of fishing to the boys and instead took the camera. The light was soft and rather special. I hope you enjoy the following images. The first batch of shots were taken using some ‘old’ Pentax glass, a M series 135mm F3.5 telephoto lens that dates from around 1980. The more I use this lens, the more I like the way it renders.

Marion Bay, Yorke Peninsula

One of the small headlands protecting Marion Bay from the Southern Ocean swell. Calm in the bay, but the horizon on the left is rather lumpy. The low line on the horizon is Kangaroo Island.  On the other side of the headland lies one of the many shipwrecks in the area.  Two ships named Marion were shipwrecked along this section of coast. The second was the SS Marion which was wrecked in 1862 just west of Marion Bay.  By the way, the ‘spots’ in the sky are not a load of dust on my sensor, rather a flock of pigeons that resides in the limestone cliffs.

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Red sky at dawn, sailors be warned

I’m not often a dawn riser, but made the effort last weekend.  The prize was this wonderful sunrise looking from Point Turton across Hardwicke Bay on the southern Yorke Peninsula, South Australia.

Dawn, Southern Yorke Peninsula

Dawn, Southern Yorke Peninsula (Pentax K-x, Tamron 17-50mm F2.8)

And sure enough, the next night a blustery change rolled in, and this was the scene the following day:

Stormy morning at Point Turton

Stormy morning at Point Turton (Pentax K-x, Tamron 17-50mm F2.8)

Hopefully the start of our winter rains after a long, dry summer.