On a recent stay in the McLaren Vale wine region of South Australia I decided to find some previously untried places to visit. There are more than 70 wineries in this region and others seem to pop up every so often so you can guarantee that the next time you visit you will find another favourite. We stayed at the McLaren Vale Lakeside Holiday Park with a group of friends and this friendly, green park didn’t disappoint. Just be prepared for the evening and morning chorus of noisy corellas that come to roost in the trees. Nothing like natures alarm clock to start the day!
This region is an easy day trip from Adelaide but with so much on offer from more than 70 wineries, a craft brewery, fine dining, nearby farmers market, cycle trail and unique, zany architecture, really interesting shopping and artisans’ stores you will want to stay a few days at least to make the most of it.
A massive grey shed with the Swell logo, a surfer with board under arm, is what greets you when you arrive at this small brewery and taphouse in South Australia’s McLaren Vale. The region is known mostly for its red wines, gourmet food, interesting historical towns, but it’s also only 10 to 15 minutes from the beautiful Fleurieu coast and surf beaches.
We have met some lovely people through caravanning holidays, some we know are just in passing, but they have made a short stay very enjoyable, others closer to home that we’ve clicked with and known we would no doubt meet again in our travels. Last weekend we did just that, by joining in on an arranged get together with like-minded caravan travellers that we got to know from an annual holiday we used to take. What better way is there to catch up with people, enjoy a few drinks and lots of good food, swap stories of where everyone has been travelling this year and enjoy great company and lots of laughs in the great outdoors.
Less than 40 kms from Adelaide is the relaxed town of McLaren Vale. This popular wine region has around 74 cellar doors and is known for its Shiraz, Grenache and Cabernets. We stayed at the quiet and comfortable McLaren Vale Lakeside Caravan Park for the weekend and surprisingly for the time of year and with little rain to speak of so far, the sites had very lush, green grass. Our long double site backed on to an oval and the park is dotted with large gums trees, home to pigeons that roosted near us at night and kookaburras to wake us up next morning.
The park is looked after immaculately and has a pool and spa, volleyball net and tennis courts, playground, camp kitchen and spotless amenities. In fact the dump point area got a 2 thumbs up from the other half as being the best he’d ever seen, complete with hand washing basin and soap on tap. The park is situated an easy stroll to the main street of McLaren Vale or on the way you can take a detour and take a walk on the Shiraz Trail. This trail of around 16 kms return, goes from McLaren Vale to Willunga and follows a section of the former Willunga Railway line. It is mostly flat, great for bike riding or walking, and takes you past a few cellar doors on the way. In fact you don’t have to go far, less than 1 km, to get to Oxenberry Farm Wines where they have not only a cellar door but coffee, cakes, platters and light meals.