Roadtrip around Clare Valley South Australia

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A Roadtrip around Clare Valley South Australia is a delightful experience, especially if you’re a wine enthusiast or someone who appreciates picturesque landscapes. Clare Valley is renowned for its vineyards, wineries, and charming countryside. In the Clare Valley, you have arrived at the land of stunning wines and delicious food – welcome!

Skillogalee House-Clare-Valley-Accommodation-Travellarks

Travellarks highly recommends you spend several days in the region, stay amongst the vines to really soak in country hospitality as you’ve never experienced previously. Locals here are different. There’s a quiet warmth and pride that shines out of every cellar door, cafe, restaurant, original historic buildings and stay. Accommodation for large groups, romantic getaways, B&B’s and vineyard stays that are jaw dropping, discover your Travellarks’ Clare and Gilbert Valley Accommodation. Here’s a suggested itinerary for your road trip around Clare Valley South Australia:

Roadtrip around Clare Valley South Australia

Clare Valley is the perfect detour for visitors enroute to the Eyre Peninsula or the Flinders Ranges in South Australia but it’s also fab to make your destination simply ‘Clare’. Only 1.5 hours from Adelaide by car (yours or just hire one – it’s a cruisy drive) so you can take less worn roads and be rewarded with boutique wineries, distilleries and breweries, local produce such as some of Australia’s best grain, beef, lamb, free-range eggs, seasonal fruit and other produce.  The most direct route is to follow Port Wakefield Road onto the Northern Expressway and turn left onto Horrocks Highway just after the bypass to Gawler. There’s also a coach service operates between Adelaide, the Clare Valley and other regional towns. The Clare Valley is central to other roadtrips beyond if you’re keen to take in the Yorke Peninsula and the Riverland an extra 1.5 hours and a mere hour from the Barossa Valley. By now, you will have arrived…

Day 1: Arrival in Clare Valley

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Day 2: Exploring the Vineyards

  • Morning: Visit more wineries, such as Sevenhill Cellars, Knappstein Wines, and Pikes Wines. Don’t miss the opportunity to taste the local riesling, a specialty of Clare Valley.
  • Afternoon: Enjoy a relaxing picnic at one of the wineries. If you’re still lurking around Seven Hills Cellars, throw a blanket on the lawn and instant picnic!. Many vineyards offer picturesque picnic spots amidst the vines. hen there’s Blue Gum Lookout at Spring Gully Conservation Park that’s a stunning sanctuary of native bush covering approximately 400 hectares. If you take a drive to Hill River Clare Estate, a family owned vineyard located in the Polish Hill River Valley, 10kms South-East of Clare, you can create a mouth watering platter from their providore fridge, sit by their tranquil pond or unwind on our deck, sipping on a glass of their exclusive wine available only at our Cellar Door.
  • Other picnic spots to try are Inchiquin Lake, Melrose Park or enjoy a platter at on the deck overlooking the dam is Eldredge Wines, just down the road from Spring Gully Conservation Park.
  • Evening: Take a leisurely stroll in one of the vineyards, enjoying the tranquillity of the countryside. And don’t forget to book dinner! The award winning Watervale Hotel is not just any drinking hole,  with accolades such as ‘Best Restaurant in a Pub or Club in Australia’, ‘Best Wine List in an Australian Pub’, with SA Chef of the Year in the kitchen. Staying at any one of 4 Battunga Cottages nearby offers its guests a sumptuous B&B experience and is a only short walk to the pub. Perfect!

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Day 3: Nature and History

  • Morning: Visit the Clare Valley Wine, Food, and Tourism Centre again. Consider taking a hot air balloon ride for a breath taking view of the valley.
  • Afternoon: Explore the historic Martindale Hall, an impressive Georgian-style mansion. The famous ‘Picnic at Hanging Rock’ 1975 film featured this Georgian-style 1879 mansion which today lures visitors from the area’s vineyards with its intriguing history, ever present whispers of the past and stories from behind sandstone walls. If you enjoy outdoor activities, you can go bushwalking in the nearby Spring Gully Conservation Park.
  • A couple of scenic drives to recommend are to drive the Spring Gully Loop and another is to drive the Mintaro Loop. Out this way developing an appetite and a thirst, you can’t go past the legendary Magpie and Stump Hotel to save the day – lunch or dinner!
  • Evening: Attend a local event or festival if there’s one happening during your visit. Alternatively, have a quiet dinner and relax.

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Day 4: Departure

  • Morning: Before leaving, visit a local farmers’ market if there’s one open. It’s a great place to buy fresh produce, local crafts, and souvenirs. If you haven’t stretched your legs enough, join the Watervale to Mount Horrocks Short Walk (3 hours 11.5km return) to walk off your hearty breakfast calories, a with steady, easy hike through the hills – rumoured to be Kelly gang country – to a spectacular 360-degree view at the lookout. If it’s just the view that you’re compelled to see, head to the shorter Spur Loop Trail (900m) along the fence line that’s private property, so follow the way markers to reach the rock face sooner.
  • Of course if you’re a cyclist, even a novice, the Clare Valley is nirvana with a 33-kilometres of flat, well-maintained, fully graded gravel track between Clare and Auburn, and a cruisy, picture perfect ride for just about anyone. Need a bike? Not a problem. Try one of these: Riesling Trail Bike Hire, Clare Valley Cycle Hire or Scoot the Valley.
  • Afternoon: Depart from Clare Valley, but if time permits, you can visit nearby attractions like Burra, a historic mining town between the vineyards and the outback. Bit peckish? Slip into Jumbucks Restaurant and before you turn your nose at it being located on motel site, check out the reviews, they don’t lie! You can also admire the Rail Memorabilia and Australiana whilst you wine & dine in an intimate setting with tasty, freshly prepared food & local wines.

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Tips for Your Roadtrip:

  • Wine Tasting: Make sure to appoint a designated driver if you plan on indulging in wine tasting sessions.
  • Seasonal Considerations: Consider the weather; summers (December to February) can be hot, while winters (June to August) can be chilly. Plan your trip accordingly.
  • Accommodation: Book your accommodation in advance, especially during the peak tourist seasons.
  • Local Etiquette: Be respectful at the wineries and follow their etiquette during tastings.

Enjoy your Roadtrip around Clare Valley South Australia!

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