Walk the Yorke, Marion Bay to Gleesons Landing

Walking Trail Facts
Distance
60.5 km one way
Suitable for
Hiking
Trail Class
Grade 5, Trek
Terrain
Flat
Park (national park, conservation park, forest, reserve)
Innes National Park
Region
Yorke Peninsula
Download maps & GPS files
  1. 2 GPS files
  2. 1 website link
Jump to Downloads section
Travel options
  1. Car
Travel time from Adelaide
2+ hours
Walk the Yorke, Marion Bay to Gleesons Landing

About the Walking Trail

Enjoy the spectacular coastline around the rugged foot of Yorke Peninsula in this 3-day section of the 500km Walk the Yorke trail. The Walk the Yorke trail was opened in December 2015, and is a walking and cycling trail. Generally the trail connects pre-existing walking trails (around 5-10% of the Walk the Yorke) with beach walking and road walking. There are long beach walking sections, although the sand is often firm and the beaches shared with people fishing, surfing and camping.

About this Section

The official website describes this section as:

Walk 10 – Marion Bay to Gleesons Landing: 53.1 kms, approximately 13 hours and 15 minutes – This walk can be split into two sections. Walk Marion Bay to Gym Beach, a distance of 30.4 kms, approximately 7 hours and 30 minutes walk. Second section is from Gym Beach to Gleesons Landing, a distance of 22.7km, approximately 5 hours and 40 minutes walk.

The official website has some more notes, and a rough map.

We have walked this, and suggest the following considerations:

  1. The distance is stated as 53.1km, whereas we measure it closer to 60km. We measure Marion Bay to Gym Beach as 38.7km (not 30.4km), and suggest undertaking this over two days. The third day could be Gym Beach to Gleesons Landing at 21.8km.
  2. Between Stenhouse Bay and Inneston the Walk the Yorke trail is along the existing Thomson-Pfitzner Plaster Trail. This is a relatively straight trail, as it follows an old mining railway, and heads inland away from the spectacular coast. The official website describes that when in Innes National Park walkers “can visit the Ethel Beach, West Cape lighthouse and Dolphin Beach” – although none of these are on the Walk the Yorke trail, and by following the Thomson-Pfitzner Plaster Trail and the new Inneston to Pondalowie Bay trail walkers cannot reasonably access these park highlight sites by foot.
  3. The Walk the Yorke trail between Inneston and Pondalowie Bay follows a newly built trail (2015), and it may take some time for the new trail to settle in. Be sure to carefully follow the yellow markers and helpful pink ribbons.
  4. There is an extensive road-walking segment through Innes National Park, which is unfortunate. It is referred to on the map as a Shared Zone, but is not really conducive to walking. This section begins from Pondalowie Surf Break carpark and is on the dirt road until the start of the Gym Beach Hiking Trail – a distance of 7.8km. It is good that vehicle traffic on this narrow winding dirt road is limited to 40km/h, but walkers can expect to be wary of traffic and to get dusty from passing vehicles, especially during busy periods. There is no footpath, and sometimes the dense roadside vegetation and steep road sides can prevent walkers from quickly getting off the roadway.
  5. The official map also describes Gym Beach to Formby Bay as being walking trail, but this is not the case, the Walk the Yorke here is mostly on the beach, and sometimes across sand dunes to avoid large rocks, tides and headlands. Trail markers are scant, but it is arguably easy to follow the coastline. It woud be possible to walk entirely along the sand dune, but may be slower than simply walking along the beach (the sand is usually reasonably firm, and the beach route can be more direct).

Camp Options

Campsites along the way include:

All campsites within Innes National Park require accommodation to be prebooked online. There is some limited Telstra mobile phone service in some high spots inside the national park (including Stenhouse Bay campground, Pondalowie Bay campgrounds and Casuarina campground). Walkers and cyclists are exempt from paying entry to the park. Water is usually available at campsites, but campsites like Casuarina campground only have a single water tank, and as such may leave walkers vulnerable to tank failure.

At Formby Bay there is a Walk the Yorke shelter (with water tank and picnic table), which is presumably acceptable for hikers and cyclists to camp at. There are no fees to camp here. The site is not open to car-based campers.

At Gleesons Landing there are ample car-based campsites available, which include a couple of toilets and rubbish bins, but limited shade. A camping permit is required. Permits can be purchased from the Yorke Peninsula Visitor Centre in Minlaton, Corny Point General Store, Warooka IGA, Edithburgh Deli and Newsagency, or any of the Yorke Peninsula Council offices.

Distances Between Campsites

From To Distance
Marion Bay Stenhouse Bay campground 7.3km
Stenhouse Bay campground Inneston Heritage Accommodation 5.5km
Inneston Heritage Accommodation Pondalowie Bay campgrounds 9.2km
Pondalowie Bay campgrounds Casuarina campground (350m off of trail) 2.8km (+350m)
Casuarina campground (350m off of trail) Browns Beach campground (350m off of trail) 8.6km (+350m)
Browns Beach campground (350m off of trail) Gym Beach campground (250m off of trail) 5.4km (+250m)
Gym Beach campground (250m off of trail) Formby Bay Shelter 9.4km
Formby Bay Shelter Gleesons Landing campsites 12.4km

Trail Types

Walk the Yorke Trail Types - Marion Bay to Gleesons Landing. Shared Use often means road. Walking Trail may mean beach walking, not walking trail.The official maps are a little generous with their trail type marking designations. Generally walking trails only exist through towns and headland camping areas, with a couple of walking trails through Innes National Park (the existing Thomson-Pfitzner Plaster Trail, and a new 7.8km constructed walking trail between Inneston and Pondalowie Bay Campsite).

Walking Trail Beach 1 Road 2
km 18.9km 19.0km 22.5km
% 31.3% 31.4% 37.3%
  1. Beach is defined as mostly sandy beach walking (approx 75% of this figure), but also includes walking on unformed paths over headlands and through sand dunes (approx 25% of this figure). It also includes short sections of scrambling over large rocks.
  2. Road is defined as mostly country dirt roads, or dirt access roads through camping areas. 2.8km of this is actually alongside bitumen road through Marion Bay. 2.9km of this is actually fire track where only service vehicles drive. The longest dirt road section is through Innes National Park, from Pondalowie Surf Break carpark to the start of the Gym Beach Hiking Trail – 7.8km – which is a narrow winding 40km/h road with vehicle traffic.

Photos of the Walk the Yorke

The following photos begin in Marion Bay and continue in sequence through Innes National Park to Gym Beach, and on to Gleesons Landing.

Marion Bay, follow road footpath on the Walk the Yorke

Begin in Marion Bay near the jetty, the Walk the Yorke trail follows the road footpath for 2.9km through the town.

Stenhouse Bay

The Walk the Yorke trail passes Stenhouse Bay.

Thomson-Pfitzner Plaster Trail Hike

The Walk the Yorke between Stenhouse Bay and Inneston walks along the Thomson-Pfitzner Plaster Trail.

Thomson-Pfitzner Plaster Trail Hike between Stenhouse Bay and Inneston

Thomson-Pfitzner Plaster Trail Hike between Stenhouse Bay and Inneston.

Innston Historic Walk - stables

Reaching Inneston.

Walk the Yorke, between Pondalowie Bay and Inneston, Innes National Park

Between Inneston and Pondalowie Bay the Walk the Yorke trail follows a newly built 7.8km trail (2015) past salt lakes. Follow the yellow markers and pink ribbons.

Walk the Yorke, between Pondalowie Bay and Inneston, follow trai

Between Inneston and Pondalowie Bay the Walk the Yorke trail follows a newly built trail (2015). Follow the yellow markers and pink ribbons.

Walking the Walk the Yorke near Pondalowie Bay Campsite

Walking the Walk the Yorke near Pondalowie Bay Campsite.

Views of West Cape from Pondalowie Bay, Walk the Yorke trail, Innes National Park

From Pondalowie Bay Campsite the Walk the Yorke follows a short road section before you get views of West Cape, from the headland near Pondalowie Bay.

Trail signage, Pondalowie Bay, Walk the Yorke trail, Innes National Park

Trail signage on Pondalowie Bay.

Pondalowie Bay, Walk the Yorke trail, Innes National Park

Walking the Walk the Yorke around Pondalowie Bay, past a wrecked boat.

Pondalowie Bay

Pelicans on Pondalowie Bay.

Shared Zone - road walking through some of Innes National Park

A Shared Zone – road walking through some of Innes National Park. This is the longest dirt road section, from Pondalowie Surf Break carpark to the start of the Gym Beach Hiking Trail – a distance of 7.8km – which is along a narrow winding 40km/h road shared with vehicle traffic.

Gym Beach Hike, now part of Walk the Yorke trail, Innes National Park

Gym Beach Hike, now part of Walk the Yorke trail, Innes National Park.

Northern end of Gym Beach Hiking Trail

Northern end of Gym Beach Hiking Trail at Gym Beach.

Gym Beach, Walk the Yorke

Follow the length of Gym Beach to continune north on the Walk the Yorke towards Formby Bay and Gleesons Landing.

Beach north of Gym Beach, Walk the Yorke trail

Beach walking north of Gym Beach on the Walk the Yorke trail. There “trail” between Gym Beach, Formby Bay and Gleesons Landing is mostly beach walking, and dodging some tides and headlands.

Beach north of Gym Beach, Walk the Yorke trail

Beach north of Gym Beach, Walk the Yorke trail.

Walk on the beach of sand dunes, Walk the Yorke, north of Gym Be

Walk on the beach or over the sand dunes on the Walk the Yorke trail north of Gym Beach.

Navigate tides around headlands, between Gym Beach and Gleesons Landing, Walk the Yorke trail

Navigate tides around a couple of headlands between Gym Beach and Gleesons Landing.

Walking along sand dunes between Gym Beach and Formby Bay

Walking along sand dunes between Gym Beach and Formby Bay.

A short section of formed walking trail at Formby Bay on the Walk the Yorke trail

A short section of formed walking trail at Formby Bay on the Walk the Yorke.

Walk the Yorke shelter at Formby Bay

Walk the Yorke shelter at Formby Bay.

Formby Bay, Walk the Yorke

Formby Bay, Walk the Yorke.

Walk the Yorke trail at Gleesons Landing

Walk the Yorke trail at Gleesons Landing.

Other Walk the Yorke Trail Sections

View other sections we have listed:

Downloads

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