With more than 30 cellar doors in a 40km radius, you’ll need more than a day to taste your way around the Clare Valley.
Located just a few hours’ drive from Adelaide, this charming wine region is easy to explore. If you enjoy getting out in the countryside, the Riesling Rail Trail is a great way to soak up the scenery and sample some of the region’s top drops at the same time. When hunger strikes, you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to vineyard restaurants, atmospheric pubs and cute cafés. The local produce is superb and there are plenty of chefs who know exactly what to do with it. With loads of markets to browse every month, a thriving local arts scene, and a proud winemaking history dating back to the mid-1800s, there is plenty to keep you entertained in South Australia’s picturesque Clare Valley.
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Burra Heritage Passport Tour
The town of Burra was once a rich mining town and many of its original buildings and historic landmarks remain. If you want to immerse yourself in the town’s history, the Burra Heritage Passport includes access to eleven sites, including the Monster Mine area, Redruth Gaol, the Unicorn Brewery Cellars and the Dugouts. The Powder Magazine, which was used to store gunpowder, is also included in the pass and is Australia's oldest remaining mine building.
Dine out in the Clare Valley
The Clare Valley offers an impressive choice of restaurants with a focus on the region’s delicious local produce and menus that change with the seasons. Pull up a chair at some of the best Clare Valley restaurants where great food and superb wines are the order of the day. From hatted restaurants to casual rooftop dining, upmarket ‘pub grub’, and winery restaurants which come with a side order of superb scenery, the dining in the Clare Valley is second to none.
Red Banks Conservation Park
The Clare Valley isn’t just about wine. You’ll also find one of Australia’s richest megafauna sites here. Keep an eye out for short-beaked echidnas, southern hairy-nosed wombats, birds, reptiles and western grey and red kangaroos as you stroll along the 'Landscapes of Change' interpretive trail. Along the way, you’ll walk the path of the diprotodons and pass deep gorges and permanent waterholes which give you an idea of what the landscape was like 65,000 years ago.
Cycle the Riesling Trail
Take a ride along the Riesling Rail Trail which used to be the railway line connecting Adelaide and Spalding until it was damaged by bush fires in the 1980s. Starting at the restored Auburn railway station building, wind your way north through small towns and villages – including Penwortham, the first site of European settlement in the region, and the historic Jesuit settlement of Sevenhill and St Aloysius Church. From here, it’s a flat 10-kilometre ride to the lovely old town of Clare.
Visit the historic Sevenhill Cellars
Founded by a priest in 1849, Sevenhill became the birthplace of the Jesuits religious community in Australia, with one Jesuit brother still working with the winery today. There’s a winery museum and underground cellar to explore, plus you can go inside the St Aloysius’ Church or take a guided tour of some of the region’s oldest vineyards. Pick up a tour map from Sevenhill's cellar door and take a look around. After you’ve explored the site, drop in for a tasting at the cellar door.
Check out the local art scene
The Clare Valley has a thriving arts community and plenty of galleries to explore. Start at the Burra Regional Art gallery, situated in the historic Telegraph and Post Office building, which hosts major touring exhibitions and features work from local artists. The Clare Valley Art Gallery has a focus on Indigenous art and has a visiting artists program so people can watch the pieces being created. Medika Gallery has a resident artist who specialises in wildlife painting.
Clare Valley tour reviews
Clare Valley FAQs
Trips from 1 January 2023 onwards
From 1 January 2023, Intrepid will no longer require travellers to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 (excluding all Polar trips and select adventure cruises). However, we continue to strongly recommend that all Intrepid travellers and leaders get vaccinated to protect themselves and others.
Specific proof of testing or vaccination may still be required by your destination or airline. Please ensure you check travel and entry requirements carefully.
Learn more about Intrepid's COVID-19 proof of vaccination policy
The closest major airport to the Clare Valley is Adelaide. From here, it's a 1.5 hour drive to the region. The Clare Valley Aerodrome is located just 14 kilometres north of the township but this is not used for commercial flights. A coach service is available from Adelaide to the Clare Valley.
The easiest way to get around the Clare Valley is by car or with a private tour group or by bicycle if you are feeling energetic. If you don't have your own bicycle, you can hire one in Clare or Auburn. Some bed and breakfasts also offer bike hire. Apart from the coaches in and out of the Clare Valley region, there is no public transport. It's difficult to travel around to the wineries, beaches and other attractions if you don’t have some form of transport.
Any time is a good time to visit the Clare Valley. Summer can be warm but cool sea breezes keep the temperature at a comfortable level for walking and other outdoor pursuits. Autumn brings with it crisp mornings and nights. Winter is perfect for snuggling up in front of a fire with a glass of red wine. The weather in spring is generally good although it can get chilly, especially after the sun goes down.
What you pack will depend on the time of year you are visiting, but you can't go wrong with clothes you can layer plus a jumper or jacket and wet weather gear. One or two smart casual outfits should be more than enough for dining out unless you're planning on visiting a lot of high-end restaurants or wineries.
There is good WiFi coverage in the Clare Valley's major towns. If you are visiting some of the more remote areas such as those around Burra, you may experience periods of time with no internet access.
There is good mobile coverage in the Clare Valley's major towns. If you are visiting some of the more remote areas such as those around Burra, you may experience periods of time with no mobile signal.
Intrepid is committed to making travel widely accessible, regardless of ability or disability. That’s why we do our best to help as many people see the world as possible, regardless of any physical or mental limitations they might have. We’re always happy to talk to travellers with disabilities and see if we can help guide them towards the most suitable itinerary for their needs and where possible, make reasonable adjustments to our itineraries.
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