Four of the best Wine & Wander Trails in McLaren Vale.
The McLaren Vale Wine Region offers breathtaking natural beauty from rolling hills and vineyards to lush national parks with ocean vistas. And you can be sure a wander or bushwalk through our beautiful wine region means that you’re never far away from the reward of a glass of McLaren Vale's finest wine.
Check out four of the best Wine & Wander Trails in McLaren Vale for you to explore on your next visit, walking holiday or weekend getaway:
1. Onkaparinga Gorge
The Onkaparinga Gorge, located within the Onkaparinga National Park, is a natural wonder located in South Australia, just 40 minutes away from Adelaide. The National Park protects some of the finest remaining pockets of remnant vegetation in the Southern Adelaide region and is home to a variety of flora and fauna, including the endangered Southern Brown Bandicoot.
The Onkaparinga Gorge has several walking trails that range from easy walks through to difficult hikes that are suited to experienced bushwalkers but all offer breathtaking views of the gorge or the surrounding McLaren Vale Wine Region.
The most popular trail is the Punchbowl Lookout Trail, a 6-kilometre loop trail that takes approximately 3 hours to complete and offers stunning views of the gorge and the Onkaparinga River.
While the shorter 2km Punchbowl Lookout Walk offers visitors of all abilities the opportunity to take in the spectacular views into the Onkaparinga Gorge. This shorter Punchbowl Lookout Walk is a consistent one metre wide, made of compacted gravel and has gentle gradients, so as such is suitable for people of all abilities, including those with mobility access issues, wheelchairs and prams. There is also some seating mid-way along the trail.
Another popular trail is the River Hike, which takes you down into Onkaparinga Gorge and to the banks of the Onkaparinga River. This 4.2-kilometre trail takes approximately 2.5 hours to complete, starting off along gentle slopes but becoming steeper as you descend into the gorge.
This hike is a great way to view the most intact native vegetation in the park and don’t forget to keep your eye out for the native wildlife that call it home.
Once you’ve completed your chosen hike or gentle walk, take a short 7 minute drive up the hill to enjoy Main & Cherry’s architecturally designed cellar door with sweeping views over the vines and out to the Gulf St Vincent.
Showcasing a wide range of freshly framed Mediterranean wine varieties, as well as the McLaren Vale heroes of Grenache, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon, you can enjoy wines by the glass or take part in a casual but educated wine flight. Finish your day with one of Main & Cherry's shared platters or some of their tapas style food offerings on the large undercover deck or the spacious lawns.
A walking wine trail of Willunga, to share in the journey from grass to glass!
The Willunga Wander is a relaxed walking and tasting tour through the quaint township of Willunga that is located in the South East corner of the McLaren Vale Wine Region. Born out of a common passion for the environment, three caring brands came together to create an environmentally friendly way to experience and learn about organic and carbon neutral wine and experience the country charm of the area.
The Wander starts with the first guided wine tasting at the cellar door of Hither & Yon, located in the historic High Street of Willunga.
From there the trail follows leisurely walk down Willunga High Street, then up the awe-inspiring long tree lined entrance to the next stop on the trail, Battle of Bosworth.
Set in a rustic stone cottage, nestled between the old gum trees of the Willunga foothills, Battle of Bosworth's cellar door offers a relaxed setting to enjoy the next guided wine tasting and learn about their Organic and Biodynamic Wines.
Finally the wander route heads back to the High Street to the Shifty Lizard Brewery where a paddle of Shifty Lizard’s best beers await.
The Willunga Wander is best enjoyed over 5 hours which allows for a leisurely pace and approximately one hour at each venue, plus time to stop somewhere along the wander to grab some food, or a snack for the trail.
The Willunga Wander experience includes:
- A map to assist you on your trail
- Three tasting flights (two wineries and one brewery)
- A take home Willunga Wander wine glass
3. Coast to Vines Trail / Shiraz Trail
The Coast to Vines Trail is a picturesque and scenic trail that runs from the Adelaide coastline at Marino to the heart of wine country in McLaren Vale. A popular destination for hikers, bikers, and nature enthusiasts who want to explore the natural beauty of South Australia.
The McLaren Vale section, known as the Shiraz Trail, offers stunning vineyards views as it meanders past many of the region’s cellar doors. The level sealed trail makes for an easy walk or cycle between stops and is a great way to get outdoors and breathe in the fresh air, exercise, and soak in the stunning scenery that McLaren Vale Wine Region has to offer.
Adjacent to the walking trail are many cellar doors including Oxenberry Farm, Serafino and Primo Estate so there is plenty of opportunity to stop for a mid-walk wine tasting or for a relaxing post-walk wine flight.
4. Gemtree Wine & Wander Trail
Discover the flora, fauna and wildlife of Gemtree along the Gemtree Eco Trail. Learn about biodynamic grape growing and winemaking at the Biodynamic Hut, enjoy a guided tasting of Gemtree’s wines, and indulge in a private dining experience prepared by the award-winning chefs at the nearby Salopian Inn.
The Wine and Wander tour begins at Gemtree’s Tasting Room where you are greeted with a glass of sparkling wine, unparalleled views across McLaren Vale to the sea and your own personal tour guide.
Enjoy a guided tasting flight and tour of Gemtree’s Biodynamic Hut where you’ll learn about biodynamic grape growing and sustainable winemaking, and see firsthand how this philosophy is applied in the vineyards.
Then, get ready to jump aboard ‘Polly’, Gemtree’s vineyard ATV vehicle for a chauffeured drive through the vineyards to your next stop - the Gemtree Eco Trail. The Gemtree Eco Trail has been lovingly restored from a degraded creek line into a biodiverse conservation area with six interlinking dams and 50,000 native plants over 10 hectares - a haven for native birds, plants and animals.
Unwind with a leisurely stroll through the Eco Trail before arriving at your secluded lunch spot under the majestic gums where you’ll be treated to a private three-course lunch with a bottle of Gemtree wine.
An unforgettable food and wine experience in unforgettable surroundings.
- Guided tour of Gemtree’s Biodynamic Hut and vineyard
- Tutored wine tasting of five wines from Gemtree’s Foundation, Small Batch and Biodynamic Icon collections
- Chauffeured ride on an ATV through the vineyards to the Gemtree Eco Trail
- Self-guided walk on the 1km Gemtree Eco Trail
- Private three course dining experience at the Gemtree Eco Trail prepared by the award winning chefs at The Salopian Inn.
- One bottle of Gemtree wine (from Gemtree's Foundation Collection) per two people to share over lunch.
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