Yorke Peninsula vs Eyre Peninsula; both amazing, but which wins?

I often see questions posted about whether the Yorke Peninsula is better than the Eyre, and up until now have not been qualified to answer. That’s all changed though, after we spent more than 6 weeks exploring the Eyre Peninsula, and around 3 weeks on the Yorke Peninsula.

If you only had enough time to do either the Yorke Peninsula or the Eyre, which one would be worth doing? Like any region, but have their pro’s and con’s, but here’s some generic comments to kick things off.

Shell Beach reviews
The Yorke Peninsula is stunning. Photo taken at Shell Beach in the Innes National Park.
Memory Cove in Port Lincoln
The Eyre Peninsula has a huge number of sensational places too, like this at Memory Cove

The Yorke Peninsula is much busier

We noticed that the towns, and communities on the Eyre were often quite small, and many were sleepy little holiday towns. Of course, you have exceptions like Port Lincoln and Coffin Bay, but it seems like nearly every town that you drive through on the Yorke Peninsula is big, and some of them are massive, and very well developed.

Christmas Parade at Kadina in 2022
The Yorke Peninsula is a much busier place, with bigger towns. This was at the Kadina Christmas parade

Both are subject to the same, good, average and shocking weather

Your stay on either of these peninsulas is hugely dependent on the weather. Yes, you can hop from side to side on both of them, but if its windy, raining or cold, its going to be average wherever you go.

We had some truly random weather whilst exploring both peninsulas, with 60mm of rain being dropped in 24 hours in November, at Port Lincoln, and wind and storms that blew us away on so many occasions. You should expect some bad weather, as it changes a lot!

Muk mat at Perlubie Beach
We got drenched, and pretty dirty at Perlubie Beach
Stenhouse Bay Jetty
The wind on the Yorke Peninsula was shocking a lot of the time

Unfortunately being right on the coast the wind is often not as you’d like it, and it can make your stays rather unpleasant at times. There’s nothing you can do about it, except travel when its warmest, and least windy on average and cross your fingers and toes.

Adrossan Lookout
We copped huge winds and a 39 degree day at Ardrossan

There’s less free and low cost camps on the Yorke Peninsula

We were really impressed with the number of low cost, and free camp sites on the Eyre Peninsula. I had no real expectations when we hit the Yorke, but it didn’t take long to realise there were a lot less free, or low cost camps.

There are 19 council run bush camps that you can make use of, which are $20 a night, or $100 a week, or $300 for the month instead. If you stay a long time its really good value, but there are very few free camps and if you are just coming for a week or two (and not staying in council sites the entire time) it doesn’t compare to the Eyre. 

Yorke Council Bush Camps
There’s very little free camping on the Yorke Peninsula

If you want to see what Yorke Peninsula Camping options are out there, we have a post on that, as well as an Eyre Peninsula Camping one too.

Rocks at Carrow Wells
We did a heap of free and low cost camping on the Eyre Peninsula

The Eyre Peninsula is much bigger

When you look on a map, its not hard to see that the Eyre Peninsula should take a lot longer to explore well. We spent 6 weeks there, and covered things fairly well around the coastal areas.

We took a lot longer going down the East side than it took to go back up the West side, but that was more likely to do with the weather than anything else.

Point Brown Camp site
The Eyre Peninsula is much, much larger

We were only on the Yorke Peninsula for about 3 weeks, and we covered a large majority of places. We skipped a heap of places on the Eastern side due to it only being caravan parks, bad weather and not having beaches that looked inviting.

Our favourite part of the Yorke Peninsula was the bottom boot, around the Innes National Park and above, as this was the most scenic, and most enjoyable to explore.

Innes National Park coastline
The Innes National Park is breath taking, although a little sterile

4WD track differences

The Eyre Peninsula had a lot of 4WD access locations, and a number of tracks and beaches that you could drive on. Whilst there were a few on the Yorke Peninsula, it was hugely reduced compared to the Eyre, and things are far more formal on the Yorke.

This is good for those without a 4WD, and not so good for those who love to get off the beaten track.

Coffin Bay 4WD tracks
There’s a lot more 4WD tracks on the Eyre Peninsula
Amazing beach at Wanna
Some of them are truly world class, like Wanna to Sleaford

Both have great beaches

There are some truly world class beaches on both the Eyre and Yorke Peninsula. The Eyre has more, but that’s just because its so much bigger, and if you want a nice place to chill by the ocean somewhere you won’t go too wrong on either spot.

Browns Beach views
If you want amazing beaches, both peninsula’s will tick the box

Both are great, but we preferred the Eyre Peninsula

I reckon we got a bit unlucky with the weather on the Yorke Peninsula, but regardless we still prefer the Eyre. It’s got more choice for camping, heaps of places you can explore during the day and has some of the most picturesque locations we’ve ever been to.

We fell in love with parts of the Innes National Park on the Yorke Peninsula and a couple of other places, but there were many spots on the Eyre that blew our mind.

If we had to choose we’d go back to the Eyre first, but we would certainly return to the Yorke Peninsula too.

What do you prefer? What have we missed here?

A short walk to the beach
For us, the Eyre Peninsula takes the cake, but they are both amazing

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