Beautiful scenery, exotic wildlife and… delicious wines; there’s no denying it, Australia should be on everyone’s travel bucket list. As the 6th largest country in the world, there’s a lot of land to cover (did you know Australia is made up of over 60 wine regions?), so to help you make the most of your trip, we’ve put together a list of our top 10 wine and food related experiences. Ranging in price from as little as $70 AUS (approx £40) to the slightly steeper $510 AUS (£287), Australia’s catalogue of wine and food trips suits every budget.
THINGS TO DO
Photo credit: Rosemary Dukelow
Winemaking and Chocolate Tasting in Barossa Valley – Just 60km from Adelaide, Barossa Valley is one of Australia’s major wine-producing and tourist-attracting wine regions. Our fun tour will allow you to try your hand at making your own wine blend in a winemaker’s laboratory in Barossa as well as enjoying a day of wine tasting, chocolate tasting and lunch. You’ll even travel in style as you are transported from spot to spot in a luxurious limousine! From $510 AUS.
Barossa Valley and Adelaide Hills Wine Tour – If you want to fit two world-renowned wine regions into one full day tour, experience Barosa Valley and Adelaide Hills during this amazing wine tour. Enjoy the cool climate wines from Adelaide Hills to the hardy reds of the Barossa Valley, taste the full-bodied wine from some of the oldest vines in the world and enjoy a delicious gourmet lunch. Stunning views are included at no extra cost. From $390 AUS.
Photo: Rosemary Dukelow
Margaret River Wine Tasting Tour – Moving on to the Margaret River region, which is predominantly made up of boutique-sized wineries, you can discover wine in a completely non-pretentious way. Discover the hidden gems of the area as you visit 4 off-the-beaten-path wineries, 2 gourmet food producers and finish with a brewery stop. Plus, you’ll even have the chance to join in with an exciting wine blending experience or barrel tasting. From $95 AUS.
Swan Valley 1 Day Winery Tour – Swan Valley in Western Australia is noted for its fertile soil which is uncommon in the surrounding areas. Visit 5 of the best wineries of the region for tastings, enjoy a delicious vineyard lunch platter and try a glass of beer at a local brewery. Food, wine and beer… all bases are covered. From $70 AUS.
Yarra Valley Gourmet Tour – While the Yarra Valley is a world-renowned wine growing region, wine is only half the story of this gourmet wonderland… From juice and wine tasting to chocolate and cheese tasting (not all at the same time!), this full day wine tour is enough to show you the gourmet delights of Yarra Valley. From $120 AUS.
PLACES TO STAY
Balgownie Estate Vineyard Resort & Spa, Yarra Valley – In Yarra Valley you can stay at an incredible, award-winning vineyard. Relax in pure comfort at this stunning hotel which includes an indoor swimming pool, a day spa, a cellar door (wine store) and first-class restaurant, Rae’s, which serves a seasonal menu of French-influenced, modern Australian cuisine, with Balgownie Estate wines to complement the meal. From £105.
Cape Lodge, Margaret River – Found in the heart of Margaret River Wine Country is one of Australia’s finest vineyard lodges. Surrounded by gorgeous forest, lake and parkland scenery and only minutes away from the beautiful beaches of the sparkling Indian Ocean, Cape Lodge features a multi award-winning restaurant, 22 rooms and suites, an all-weather tennis court and a beautiful free-form swimming pool. From £281.
The Louise, Barossa Valley – If you’re in Barossa Valley and looking for ultra-luxury, The Louise is the place to stay. Not only is it kitted out with the very best of facilities, but it’s only a short distance to the nearest wineries. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that they have an amazing restaurant, The Appellation, which boasts delicious, modern Australian dishes made from fresh, local produce and incredible service to match. What more do you need? From £300.
PLACES TO EAT
Forget what you know about the stereotypes of shrimps on the barbie and beers on the beach, Australia lays claim to some pretty impressive eateries.
Photo: Chris Fithall
Maggie Beer’s Farm Shop – First up is Maggie Beer’s Farm Shop whose menu is “picnic fare”. Sit at the rustic wooden tables and enjoy a thoroughly rural experience. Enjoy Maggie’s homemade pates or daily specials; this is the perfect stop-off on the way to a winery.
Eleonore’s Restaurant, Yarra Valley – Making up part of a wine estate, Eleonore’s Restaurant is the place to go for a special occasion. It’s fine-dining with an emphasis on regional produce matched with local wine, and its catalogue of awards showcase how special it is.
Although not strictly wine related, hear me out… a trip to Uluru, or more commonly known, Ayers Rock, is a trip that cannot be missed if you’re visiting the land down under. On first thoughts, you might be thinking, “What’s the big deal? It’s just an unusually large rock, right?” Wrong! It’s not just any old large rock… it’s an imposing landmark on the Australian horizon, it’s an Aboriginal site of sacred worship, and it’s a pretty breathtaking sight too. A camp-out in the desert with a bottle or two of your favourite Australian wine… it doesn’t get better than that. Please remember: Whilst you are able to climb the rock, it’s a very hard climb and because of its sacred identity, it’s preferred you don’t climb it.
Photo: Felix Noelle
Don’t fancy a camp-out – Try the beautiful Desert Garden Hotel instead where stunning views of Uluru can be seen. All guests staying here will have free transport to and from the rock. From £198.