Yorke Peninsula, Part 12 - the middle bit

Thursday, 30th Jan 2014 by John Pedler
Categories: Yorke Peninsula

The Yorke Peninsula coast is the main drawcard for visitors to the region, but among the farmlands of the hinterland there's plenty to see and do. 

Arthurton is a tiny settlement with a pub and a general store. There’s a playground and picnic shelter beside the oval on North Terrace.

If you’ve left Adelaide late and you’re heading for the bottom of Yorke Peninsula, you might choose to take advantage of Maitland’s free overnight rest area. Well shaded and right on the main street, this is a handy place for a stopover.

Town facilities include a supermarket, a pharmacy, two hotels, a bakery, a newsagent, and a golf course that all but encircles the town.

Maitland Museum, in the old schoolhouse on Gardiner Terrace, has a collection of farming implements, historic displays and artefacts.Open 2pm-4pm, Sundays, public holidays and school holidays.

There’s a pleasant picnic area in Pioneer Park, on the south side of town.

14km south of Maitland is Barley Stacks Wines, Yorke Peninsula’s only commercial vineyard and winery. The cellar door is open daily from 10am to 5pm. Closed Good Friday and Christmas Day.

Urania Uniting Church
Given that it’s the only building in town, Urania’s Uniting Church is an impressive landmark.


Expert cavers head to Curramulka to explore Corra-Lynn limestone cave which is known to extend underground for at least fourteen kilometres. Fossils of animal species previously unknown to scientists have been discovered here. Cavers have also found fossils of a thylacine, or Tasmanian Tiger. The cave is on private property and access permission is required.   

Located on the road connecting Port Victoria and Port Vincent, Curramulka has a hotel and a store/café.

Red Devil
A purpose-built display hangar in Minlaton is home to one of the world’s rarest aeroplanes. Of the 125 produced, this is believed to be the only genuine M.1C Bristol Military Monoplane left in the world (To see a replica in action Click here).

Designed in 1916, the fire engine-red plane belonged to WW1 pilot, Henry ‘Harry’ Butler, who was born in Yorketown in 1889 and grew up on farm at Koolywurtie, near Minlaton.

On August 6th, 1919, he flew the ‘Red Devil’ from Adelaide to Minlaton, the first flight over water in the southern hemisphere. At a time when even cars were scarce, this was a much heralded event and the programme requested that ‘horses not be tied to adjacent fences’ of the landing field.

Harry Butler made a living putting on aerial displays and taking joy flights, but in 1922 he was seriously injured when his plane crashed. He went on to establish an aviation and motor repair business, but in 1924 he succumbed to the injuries received in the earlier accident.

More information, photos and personal effects can be found in the National Trust Museum, 16a Main Street, Minlaton: open Tuesday to Friday, 9.30am – 1pm, Saturday, 9.30am – 12noon.

Minlaton has all the facilities you’d expect in a small country town including a supermarket, pharmacy, a hotel/motel, a golf course and a shady caravan park. Across the road from the Red Devil display you’ll find a wildlife park populated with emus and kangaroos.

Drop into Yorke Peninsula Visitor Information Centre for coffee and cake, arts and crafts, local produce and, of course, information.

Originally named Yorke, hence the Yorke Hotel, the town’s name was changed to prevent confusion with the Adelaide suburb of York, which has since been absorbed by Beverley. 

If you’re keen to see what’s up locally, check out the notice board on the Honner Building, opposite the Melville Hotel.

If you’re shopping for a microwave oven, a crab rake, a flat white, a pie  and a frock for the ball, then you’ll need to drop into Yorketown Bakehouse,  which clearly lives up to its claim to be, ‘more than just a bakery’.

Among other facilities the town also has a pharmacy, a butcher, two hotels, a caravan park, a golf course, and a cinema in the town hall.

Located in the old courthouse on Edithburgh Road, the Yorketown Historical Society has a comprehensive collection of historic photos of the area. Open Friday, 10am – 12noon.

Head down to Weaners Flat Reserve on Stansbury Road for a picnic.  Pop into the adjacent Telecentre and Salt Lakes Gallery for tourist information and to check out local arts, crafts and produce.

14 km north of Yorketown, Bublacowie Military Museum has one of the most comprehensive collections of military memorabilia and artefacts in the state. See separate blog here.

Warooka Hall

The first deaths attributable to an earthquake in Australia occurred here when two people died from heart attacks during a 6.0 magnitude quake in 1902.

Although tiny – Warooka’s population is around 200 – the town has a hotel, a supermarket, a hardware, a pharmacy, a hairdresser, a golf course and a museum (open Friday, 11am - 3pm). Four kilometres to the west is Inland Sea Restaurant and Seafood Sales.

Useful Links
Yorke Peninsula Visitor Information Centre
Yorke Peninsula Visitor Guide

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