A quick guide to some of the region’s top experiences. Whether you’re visiting the region for a short time or you’re here to a linger a while longer, we’ve put together a list of some favourite must-do activities from locals and visitors alike. If you’re not sure where to start, or you want to tick off a few bucket-list favourites, here’s a few to get you started…
1. Eat, drink and explore
Savour the flavours and enjoy the regions great food and wine. Experience the d’Arenberg Cube, Mitolo and Boca di Lupo Restaurant, Beresford Tasting Pavilion, Wirra Wirra and Coriole, just to name a few.
2. Squeak the sand between your toes
Let your thoughts wander as you stroll along one of the spectacular beaches on page 68. The pristine coastline offers paddle boarding, canoeing, kayaking or simply letting the sand squeak between your toes. There are also great on-leash and off-leash beaches for your fur babies too.
3. Sip a local beer trail ale
Discover the emerging brewing scene, with a collection of local breweries popping up over the last few years. Check out our beer trail on page 22 and try some of the top pales, IPAs and lagers of the region.
4. Ride the Coast to Vines Rail Trail
A trip along the famous coast to vines trail is a must-do in the region. Whether it’s a exploring the Shiraz Trail from McLaren Vale to Willunga detouring to sample the great food and wine on offer, or a half-day ride taking in the breathtaking coastline, this route has some of the most spectacular scenery in the region.
5. Unearth the regions market produce
Wander one of the best farmers market in the state - Willunga Farmers Market. With over 80 stallholders in the market square each Saturday, it is best enjoyed with a coffee in one hand and croissant (or toastie) in the other. Don’t forget your eco-friendly shopping bag.
6. Sample a slice of wood-oven pizza
One of the region’s best kept secrets is its abundance of traditional Italian-style wood oven pizza. Try Pizzateca in McLaren Vale, Russell’s Pizza in Willunga or Beach Road Wines or Woodstock Estate for a winery experience.
7. Explore Onkaparinga River National Park
Camp for the night, picnic for lunch or hike for the day - no matter how you choose to visit, this expansive national park is a hidden treasure in the region. Home to the picturesque Onkaparinga Gorge, rock climbing, nature trails and plenty of native flora and fauna, it’s beautiful any time of year.
8. Birds-eye-view with Adelaide Biplanes
Take to the skies for the most breathtaking view of the region. The Waco Classic is the ‘Marilyn Munroe’ of biplanes – all class and elegance – and can carry two passengers in the front cockpit. If flying solo is more your style, throw in a little adventure with and a barrel roll or two, by climbing aboard the acrobatic Great Lakes biplane.
9. Discover the historic villages
Visit the picturesque townships of Willunga, Clarendon and Reynella as part of the region’s heritage trail on page 61. Enjoy the historic buildings nestled alongside a collection of cafes, restaurants, pubs and gift stores.
10. Follow the local arts trail
Where food, wine and art form the perfect blend. If you’re in search of art, the region is home to a variety of galleries and exhibitions, as well as street sculpture and artwork. Start your journey at the Port Noarlunga arts precinct and chat to the team about where to head next.
For all of your accommodation needs and 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