From rolling valleys and sweeping vineyard vistas to rugged coastline and pristine beaches, the region is breathtaking. Get out there, get active and explore.
The McLaren Vale and Fleurieu Coast is home to some spectacular scenery, none better than the Onkaparinga River National Park. With its meandering river and steep cliffed gorge, it is a great place to walk and find your inner happiness. One of the best vantage points in the Gorge is the new Punchbowl Lookout, with breathtaking views over the striking burnt orange cliffs, accessed via the short Punchbowl Lookout Trail.
Whether you are an avid walker or Instagram extraordinaire, the coastline doesn’t disappoint either. Two of the most iconic locations photographed include the lookout at South Port and Port Willunga clifftops. It’s like picking a favourite child - you can’t.
South Port offers uninterrupted views of the river and river mouth, long stretches of pristine beach and the picturesque township of Port Noarlunga. Whereas Port Willunga is known for its stunning cliffs, remnants of the historic Port Willunga Jetty and white sandy coastline. When you visit you can try and choose which one is your favourite.
Here’s a few favourites to get up close and personal with nature:
Discover one of the many recreational trails in the region, from the Heysen Trail that follows the coastline, to the Kidman Trail which travels through the region’s picturesque valleys.
The Coast to Vines trail stretches from Hallett Cove to Willunga, with the trail traversing through picturesque vineyards and towns. The most common stretch is from McLaren Vale to Willunga (the Shiraz Trail), a half-hour journey that’s great to walk or cycle. The trail provides access to nearby restaurants, eateries and wineries -a novel way to taste the region. Towns are very bike-friendly, with racks available to rest your bike. There’s also bike hire in McLaren Vale like Oxygen Cycles, McLaren Vale and Fleurieu Visitor Information Centre and Serafino’s.
Ride on horseback along the Tom Roberts Horse Trail or the Kidman Trail offer a large network of trails meandering through the leafy hills and valleys of the region.
Kayak or canoe
Paddle the Onkaparinga River from Port Noarlunga through the picturesque gorge. Kayak hire available.
SUP Down South offer lessons and board hire from Port Willunga, one of the region’s most popular beaches. Enjoy the serenity and scenery as you take in a very different perspective of the coastline.
Hit a round of golf at the picturesque Willunga Golf Course. The beautiful tree-lined course offers a restaurant, bar and club.
Soar over vineyards and coastal clifftops, for a birds-eye-view of the magnificent natural landscape. Adelaide Biplanes operates scenic flights in the region. There’s no experience quite like flying in an open cockpit biplane - great for that special memory. You can choose from a variety of aeroplanes and experiences, including the iconic Tiger Moth joy flight for history-lovers, or the aerobatic flight for those a littlemore adventurous.
To experience the region like a local, talk to the specialists at the McLaren Vale and Fleurieu Visitor Information Centre and visit www.mclarenvaleguide.com