The Clare Valley is a region of plains, pasture and valleys – 200km long, and 100km wide – shot through with country roads, quiet lanes and little-travelled tracks. Whether you want to discover the region’s secrets for yourself or have them revealed by someone with a little ‘local knowledge’, you’re in perfect touring country.
Clare Valley is less than two hours drive from Adelaide; it’s next door to Yorke Peninsula and the Barossa, and less than half a day to Flinders Ranges and the Murray River. In other words, it’s a great destination from any of these regions or the perfect stop-off en route.
Once here, there are plenty of themed itineraries to keep the wheels turning:
Food and wine: the idyllic wine lands occupy five valleys along a corridor of some 40km – a region so accessible and leisurely that you can tour it not only by car, but also by foot or by bike. The 25km Riesling trail is sublimely photogenic but also wonderfully flat!
Nature: Clare Valley’s landscapes range from pristine bush to classical farmland, from vast pastoral country to picturesque vineyards. It’s also home to three conservation parks, (Redbanks, Mokota and Spring Gully), the world’s first plantation (Bundaleer Forest near Jamestown) and a number of reserves with their own walking trails.
Heritage: the Heritage Heartland Trail is a 300km loop of local history.
Antiques: with so much pioneering history, you won’t be surprised to learn Clare Valley is home to an unusual number of antique shops. Burra alone has nine antique stores – but you can often find trash and treasure stores in the tiniest farming community. It’s just a case of ‘drive and browse’...
Scenic: Dare’s Hill Circuit is a four-hour drive through serene saltbush country and relics of a once-flourishing pastoral industry; Skilly Hills offers the panoramic and somewhat unusual vistas of vineyards among woodlands; meandering through the region’s smaller townships between Two Wells, Mallala and Balaklava can offer some unique insights into life on South Australia’s plains.
However you wish to travel, someone will be able to accommodate you.
Coach operators provide a daily service to the Clare Valley from Adelaide and other regional localities.
Hire cars are available in Clare Valley and of course in Adelaide. Detailed brochures on self-drive tours are available from the Clare Valley Information Centres.
Local operators can showcase the best of Clare Valley with tours ranging from half-day to a week, based around a fixed or personalized itinerary.
Special interest tours are available, focusing on wine and food, heritage, nature, art, and aboriginal history and culture; operators employ a variety of vehicles including 4WD’s, minibuses and luxury cars.