By Ellen Morgan
Published: Wednesday, August 25, 2021
The sun’s a little warmer, the leaves are a littler greener and a spring mini-break beckons – ’tis the season, after all. Hit the road for the weekend and taste a little more of South Australia with our three wine getaway guides.
There’s a new energy that comes with spring. You can feel it in the air and see it in the garden. If you’re like us, you might also get inspired to hit the road and explore somewhere new.
To celebrate 2021 being the Year of South Australian Wine, we’ve listed three of our top spots to take your four wheels (and 10,000 taste buds) for a weekend adventure combined with a stellar local drop.
Since road trip companions might include furry friends, little ones, grandparents and – most importantly – a designated driver, we’ve included a range of activities for everyone.
The Riverland is the country’s largest wine-producing region, boasting about 21,000 hectares of vineyards, and a third of the crush produced nationally. Hats off to you Riverland, and your 1000 hard working growers.
Nowadays, it’s popular with all sorts of visitors, from foodies and wine aficionados to thrill-seekers, making the most of the fun to be had on the water and surrounds.
Float along the river and take it easy with the family, let the kids run amok with water activities or stick to land and sip a local vino or beer.
It can be hard to find accommodation to suit your whole travelling tribe, but Wilkadene Cottage fits the bill. The historic cottage is full of character, surrounded by nothing but nature.
Conveniently, it’s just a hop, skip and a jump from Woolshed Brewery – one of the Riverland’s must-visit destinations.
It’s also only 15 minutes from Renmark, and a short stroll to the riverbank for water-lovers. You can have a hit of tennis on the property’s court and bring your furry friends with you, as these guys are pet friendly.
Kayaks and fishing gear are available to hire, should you wish to take to the water or sink a line. Book online.
Pike River Luxury Villas
Looking for a little opulence on your weekend away? With one and two-bedroom options, Pike River Luxury Villas are great options for a romantic escape with your loved one, or a weekend away with friends. Two of their villas can even be connected by a shared deck, so you and seven mates or family members can enjoy a riverside retreat.
With speccy views everywhere you look, and luxe facilities the likes of in-deck spas, you might not want to leave the comfort of your accommodation.
See all your options and book a stay online.
Rivergum Cruises Sunset Cruise
If you haven’t booked a houseboat to call home for the weekend, you can still make the most of the sunset from the calm waters of the Murray thanks to Rivergum Cruises.
This two-hour voyage is a holiday snappers delight, so have the digital camera at the ready as you glide along while the sun says good night.
There’s even a bar on board so you can indulge in a nightcap.
Book your spot online.
Self-confessed lovers of “good boys and girls on a leash”, the folks at 919 welcome all kinds of visitors, including furry family members. Stop by their quaint cellar door or outside tasting space for a sip of their local wines and fortifieds.
They welcome picnics, and they often host food pop-up events. Make sure to check what’s on offer before you visit so you don’t miss a special event.
Just under an hour’s drive from its sister southern wine region, McLaren Vale, Langhorne Creek is one of the country’s oldest wine regions, stretching between the Adelaide Hills and Lake Alexandrina.
While the area produces a range of red and white wines, Langhorne Creek is best known for its cabernet sauvignon.
Wander the small township, travel to nearby Strathalbyn to rummage through their popular antique shops, then make your way to a winery (or three).
The Creek Cottage
Need a place to rest your head while you’re in the region? There are a number of beautifully quaint and comfy bed and breakfasts dotted about the picturesque wine region.
The Creek Cottage is a family owned option that has two bedrooms, a kitchen and an outdoor patio. It’s also conveniently located in the town centre, so you can nip down to the general store or the pub.
Adelaide Top Food and Wine Tours
This family-owned and operated local business offers a full-day tour called Langhorne Creek Crossing. It’s perfect if you can’t spare the whole weekend or you’d like someone else to whisk you away rather than self-drive. Start your day with a pickup from the city or Glenelg, and be toured through historic Hahndorf and the Adelaide Hills, on your way to Langhorne Creek.
Sip local drops at four regional winery wonders: Bleasdale, Bremerton, Lake Breeze and Kimbolton Wines (see below for more information). Make sure to ask the team for their recommendations for a local drop. Then, soak up the vistas as the sun begins to sink behind the gum-lined hillscapes as you journey home to the city.
Staying in the region, or already down there and want to join in the tour for the day? Innez, Danny and the team also let people join the tours from within the region.
Find out about RAA discounts online.
Lake Breeze Wines
While there are plenty of cellar doors serving platters throughout Langhorne Creek, Lake Breeze has a full, varied menu to feed even the hangriest of road-trippers.
But if you can’t go past a pretty platter, there are options here, too. All you need to do is find a suitable gum tree and while away the afternoon under its shady boughs.
Originally purchased in 1911 by Langhorne Creek founder Frank Potts’ son (of the same name), Kimbolton’s first five hectares have now grown to almost 60 hectares of vineyards.
If you need a snack during your weekend travels, this is the spot to book.
Kimbolton’s cheese and wine flights are a great way to sample the local produce, by glass and platter. Book a seated experience for two featuring a varied regional platter and six tastings, or enjoy the simple pleasure of a good hunk of cheese and crackers alongside a tasting of four wines.
The little ones are well-catered for here, with the Kids Flight of three Bickford’s cordials, child-friendly snacks and a colouring kit.
The best bit? You can get discounts on experiences just for being an RAA member.
Adelaide city and surrounds
If you’re a city slicker, a spring getaway doesn’t have to mean a trip to the regions.
Sometimes, taking the time to traverse the streets of your own hood and sample regional drops in a buzzing bar, or rest your head just a short stroll from your dinner seat, can be just what the holiday doctor ordered.
Plus, the littlest getaway guests will love a city escape as much as the big kids, with plenty of places to keep them busy.
Majestic M Suites
Tucked away in historic North Adelaide, Majestic M Suites is a luxurious home away from home. Bypass the hustle and bustle of the CBD, and soak up the leafy, sandstone-lined streets across the River Torrens/Karrawirra Pari.
With South Australian artwork dotted throughout the building, this recently opened accommodation offering features a range of one and two-bedroom suites.
Many boast views of the tree-lined streets and nearby city, and you can even treat yourself with a spa suite. Ooh la la! Want to take the whole family? Pick a twobedroom option, and spend your Sunday strolling through the Adelaide Zoo.
Find out more about this staycation gem with RAA.
National Wine Centre of Australia
Rather than heading out of town, book in an experience at the National Wine Centre, where the regional delights come to you.
It’s a one-stop-spot to learn all about SA’s delicious drops, and sample your pick of the (grape) bunch. Let your taste buds run wild, sipping a selection of local wines alongside canapés made with local ingredients. You can even have a go at blending wine thanks to the virtual simulator.
Find out more about RAA experience discounts.
There’s something about a day at the zoo that reminds us all of holidays and sunshine.
Spend a few hours meandering past wild and wonderful creatures – fluffy, scaley and otherwise. Free tours run every half-hour, and make sure to check out a keeper talk and an animal feed along your journey, too.
Visit the website to make the most or RAA ticket discounts.