A Weekend in Marion Bay, South Australia

As much as I love living in the Top End, it does have its downsides – the biggest one being that I don’t get to see my best friends all that often. Sure, I have friends up in Darwin, but it just isn’t the same as being surrounded by the people that you’ve known for years and years. So whenever I get the opportunity, I jump at the chance to fly down to Adelaide and see my favourite humans.

In early November I found myself with a few days free and was able to coordinate those days with a little road trip that my friends had been planning.

marion-bay-south-australia

Located about 300km and a 3 hour drive from Adelaide, Marion Bay lies at the foot of South Australia’s stunning Yorke Peninsula. The beaches of Marion Bay are pretty enough, but the real appeal of this small town is that it is the gateway to nearby Innes National Park, which is home to some seriously gorgeous examples of South Australia’s coastline.

We had visited Marion Bay several other times before this little weekend getaway – one of my good friends Liv has access to a family caravan that lives permanently in the Marion Bay Caravan Park – but it had been a good few years since my last visit, I was really bloody keen to slosh a few cold bevs, catch up with my mates and do a little bit of splashing in some blissfully crocodile free waters.

For anyone planning a visit to Marion Bay (minus the luxury of a permanently parked family caravan) the Marion Bay Caravan Park offers both cabins and camping sites. The most affordable option is an unpowered caravan site – which will set you back $25/night and you will need to bring all your own camping gear. Click here to learn more.

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From Marion Bay, Innes National Park is just a short 15 minute drive. However, the park is huge and there are many different beaches within it – you could spend days (hell, even weeks) exploring all of them! Entry to the park costs $10 per vehicle and it is worth noting that pets are prohibited from entering.

With so many beaches to choose from, the hardest part is deciding which ones to visit! Eventually we were able to agree on one, and it was off to our first stop – the ever so aptly named, Dolphin Bay.

This quiet beach boasts rocky outcrops, pristine white sand and clear blue waters. Oh, and also dolphins! We spotted a large pod of dolphins just a few hundred metres off shore – pretty wonderful stuff.

dolphin-marion-bay-south-australia

dolphin-marion-bay-south-australia

I spent the morning soaking up the sun, frolicking in the slightly chilly water, drinking (it was after 12 o’clock somewhere) and spending a lot of time covering myself from head to toe to try and avoid sunburn.

I failed.

But at least my sunburn was relatively minor, my poor friend Laura (on the far right in the next picture) got absolutely destroyed by the sun. We have similar skin tones (read: pale as eff) and instead of spending the day laying under a towel, she put her faith in sunscreen.

It let her down – and the following snapchats she sent of her skin blistering and peeling were nothing short of revolting. If you are gonna visit Aus – be prepared to return home a lot darker than when you left!

dolphin-marion-bay-south-australia

dolphin-marion-bay-south-australia

Check out this picture perfect sand – not a blemish in sight!

dolphin-marion-bay-south-australia

On the far right side of Dolphin Bay lies a stretch of rocks that lead out into the ocean. Just a bit further out than these rocks is where we spotted the pod of dolphins! The rocks themselves are gorgeous, and they really do make this pretty but otherwise unremarkable bay, just a little bit spectacular.

dolphin-marion-bay-south-australia

dolphin-marion-bay-south-australia

dolphin-marion-bay-south-australia

dolphin-marion-bay-south-australia

After we had seen half the day pass us by, it was time to move on to our next beach of the day – West Cape.

west-cape-beach-marion-bay-south-australia

This beach is nowhere near as pretty as Dolphin Bay and the seas are so rough that going for any real swimming would be just plain dumb (although a little waist deep frolicking is relatively safe) – but what West Cape does have going for it, is solitude.

One of the lesser frequented beaches in Innes National Park, this beach is the perfect place to roll out your towel and not see another soul for hours.

The seas may be rough, but the water is clear, the sand golden and the high dunes themselves provide endless opportunities for a bit of fun.

west-cape-beach-marion-bay-south-australia

Once I was a light shade of pink (and Laura was close to resembling a tomato), it was time for us to head back to our caravan, cook dinner, get drunk, play idiotic (but fun) drinking games and enjoy our last night before heading back into the city.

west-cape-beach-marion-bay-south-australia

T H E   L O W D O W N
Getting to Adelaide: International flights arrive into Adelaide from numerous major airport hubs including Doha and Dubai
Getting to Marion Bay: For directions from Adelaide to Marion Bay, click here
Innes National Park: To learn more about this wonderful national park, click here
Car Rental: Check out Koala Car Rentals for great prices and to support a local SA business
Marion Bay Caravan Park: To book accommodation in Marion Bay, click here
Camera: Olympus OM-D E-M1 with M.Zuiko 12-40mm f2.8 lens

Don’t forget to add me on Snapchat and Instagram – @wwellend – for more foolishness and travel adventures!

Finally, if you enjoyed reading this post, please share it via Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest! ❤

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20-something year old Australian backpacker writing her way around the world.

24 thoughts on “A Weekend in Marion Bay, South Australia

  1. Peninsulas rate nearly as tall as islands, in terms of amazing surprises, in my experience. I hope you did not end up aching, in “Nightshade Splendour” ( my own term for an excessive shade of tomato-red.

  2. So beautiful! In love with Australia’s coastline ❤ It must feel so great to be from a country where you have all these beautiful beaches right at your backyard. I should maybe consider moving there, here from snowy part of Europe ha ha. 🙂

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