Skip to Content

The ultimate guide to South Australia’s hottest Euro-style region: Clare Valley

Forget the 24 hour plane flight, because your next world-class getaway is in South Australia’s own backyard! Call us biased but hear us out …

When it comes to those much-needed holidays, the desire to escape somewhere far away often means that they are far and few between. But with the open-skies, rolling hills and a landscape worthy of a thousand Lonely Planet features located in our very own backyard, a mini break has never looked more tempting. For the wine and food connoisseur, the Clare Valley offers a mecca of world-renowned wineries and restaurants matching anything you would dream up during your European holiday. The even better news, there is plenty for the kids to do as well.


Looking for the perfect excuse?

Why not start with the Clare Valley Easter Races - it’s a long weekend after all! Held on the Saturday of the Easter weekend each year, the community event plates up all the very best the renowned region has to offer and is sure to entice all your senses, no matter your taste. Think music, entertainment, local food, famous wine and the thrill of live racing. Book ahead and secure your own private marquee or enjoy a picnic with the family and enjoy a day on the rails. Be sure to put your best foot forward with an opportunity to secure your spot in the Fashion at The Races qualifying event. With prizes going to the best dressed in menswear and womenswear as well as for the best millinery, it is an opportunity for the whole family to do a spot of shopping before the getaway.


Enjoy world-class wine…

Located a couple of hours outside of Adelaide, Clare Valley is traditionally known as a wine region. Home to more than 40 wineries and vineyards, with some dating as far back as the 1850’s, Clare Valley offers a historic journey and lesson for the true wine connoisseur (or one in the making).  While there, why not visit the home of the first qualified winemaker to work in the region, Jim Barry, and enjoy a cellar door home to some of Australia’s most famous wines.

You can also taste a drop of Santorini, Greece, while at Jim Barry. Jim Barry are the only winery in Australia that grow the exclusive Grecian ‘Assyrtiko’ variety. Winemaker Peter Barry began the process of importing cuttings into Australia through quarantine. In August 2012 he planted Australia’s first Assyrtiko.

A visit to the region is not complete without a visit to the world’s most awarded winery, Taylors Wines. Not a small feat when one considers the 80 prestigious international competitions that had taken place in 30 countries, which were considered when receiving this ranking.  Take in the breathtaking landscape and relax with a cheese platter and wine, or enjoy a game of boules or cricket on the pristine lawn area. The perfect location where you can enjoy some down time sans the guilt! Why not finish the experience off with an opportunity to blend your own wine.


Be sure to indulge in delicious local produce…

When it comes to the food, like all good holiday stories, Clare Valley offers opportunities to indulge in those long lunches while allowing your back pockets to recover with a visit to equally delicious bakeries and bistros. For that special occasion, why not lunch at the award-winning Skillogalee Winery Restaurant where you can sit on the verandah and enjoy your mouthwatering meal under the shade of an olive tree. I mean, if Gourmet Traveller approves, how could you say no? Or for a slightly more rustic pub feel, why not head to a local favourite, the 1850s Rising Sun Hotel. Offering a perfect combination of historic architecture and local produce, it’s sure to please the entire family.

No matter where you choose to eat, you will get to experience the true beating heart of the region, agriculture, with Cellar Doors and businesses proudly stocking a vast range of local produce such as free-range chickens, stress-free lamb, wholegrain pasta, home-made jams and chutney’s and enough mouthwatering, feel-good food to leave a lasting impression.


Stay in a historic cottage…

Pristine wineries and cellar doors aside, the region is adorned with striking homes and cottages which date back to early European settlement. For a truly authentic experience, why not hire a cottage for the entire family to enjoy. The Riesling Trail and Clare Valley Cottages offer historic lodges nestled in natural bushland in the heart of the Valley. With breakfast prepared for you, a coffee always on hand and two-person spa provided in each cottage, it’s the perfect setting for parents to re-charge or for that romantic get-away.


Don’t miss the iconic Riesling Trail…

Discover the full charm of the Clare Valley with your choice of a 25-kilometre, 33- kilometre or a 36-kilometre bike trail. In a stroke of genius, the once misused train line has been turned into a ‘not-to-be-missed’ track that cuts through the heart of the bustling wine region allowing you to stop at an array of wineries along the way. And if the opportunity to enjoy a glass of wine while you work it off is not enough to entice, then the scenic tour should do the job. With plenty of nature and historic buildings to enjoy along the way, the trail is the perfect way to take in the Valley’s historic roots. For a post-card finish, be sure to stop-off at Sevenhill Cellars – the oldest winery in the region, dating back to the 1850’s. Originally settled by the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) to produce sacramental wine, the tradition still continues today. With a selection of premium table wines also available, the winery has helped put Clare Valley on a global stage.


Enjoy a different bike ride or stroll with the kids…

While there, why not hire bikes with the entire family and enjoy Clare Valley’s celebrated trails. The Rattler Trail, a 19km stretch that runs from Auburn to the town of Riverton has been resurfaced to accommodate bike riders, offering the perfect opportunity to get active while enjoying views of rolling farmlands and pristine vineyards.

If bike riding is not for you, Clare Valley offers plenty of walking trails to satisfy all needs. The Spring Gully Conservation Park is located on 400 hectares of grassy woodlands and adorned by plenty of native plants for the kids to take in and explore, with plenty of pit stops and tables along the way to enjoy a packed lunch. For a slightly more outback experience, head to the Redbanks Conservation Park where rugged earth gorges give visitors an opportunity to walk the path of diprotodons, who lived there over 65,000 years ago. How is that for a history lesson for the kids!

If the trail inspires, why not continue the history class by taking them to the Heritage Passport Museum, a self-guided trail where they can take in sites such as the Unicorn Underground Cellars, the Burra Goal and the Monster Mine. As the largest copper mine in the country, it offers a truly breathtaking pit stop for the entire family.


Or simply have a break while they get lost…

Figuratively speaking that is, of course! Enjoy a glass of wine while the kids enjoy the Mintaro Maze. This beautiful, living hedge maze consists of more than 800 conifers and is adorned with enough fountains, twists and turns to bring a little Alice in Wonderland charm to your outing. With plenty of giant sized games and features on offer, why not pack a picnic and enjoy the serene settings while the kids play.


Take the plunge…

While the Clare Valley has traditionally been recognised as a wine region, perfectly suited for lazy days spent resting after a nice drop of wine, nowadays it offers plenty of activities for the entire family to enjoy. Whether a family trip, a romantic getaway or even a weekend away with the girls, who could say no to world-class wine, food, picturesque walking trails and the globally recognised Riesling Trail.

Post categories

Fashion - Homepage Fashion - Blog Travel