South Australia is home to many of the most popular wine regions across Australia. Just a short drive out of Adelaide, and you will find McLaren Vale, Eden Valley, Barossa, Langhorne Creek and Clare Valley to name just a few! Whilst travelling across the state, we have driven through a number of these regions, and it’s such an experience! Vines for as far as the eye can see, beautiful green rolling hills, and the smell of wine fermentation and cheese production lingering.
After a week visiting family, we decided on a two-night stopover in Nuriootpa which is in the heart of the Barossa, and just an hour out of Adelaide. Upon arriving at our new stopover, the Barossa Tourist Park, we were handed a list of all of the local wineries, and what they had to offer. Some were more kid-friendly than others, some offered tasting platters, or full a-la-carte menus. Hailing from Dan Murphys, I was pretty keen to explore the region, do a few tastings, and get to know a few of the vineyards and wines that I sold on a daily basis. With a designated driver and no kids, you could seriously spend a week experiencing all that the Barossa and surrounds has to offer! We visited a couple of wineries, but quickly found that the kids had zero interest (probably not a bad thing!!) and the lure of a swimming pool back at the Caravan Park was all too much for them.
One of the wineries we were keen to take a look at, and did manage to see, was Jacobs Creek (seeing as one of our favourite drops is the Jacobs Creek Reserve Shiraz!). It has a very well established vineyard in the Barossa, as well as a few others on the Limestone Coast and Langhorne Creek. The Visitors Centre is well equipped to handle the bus loads of tourists that pour in, both domestically and internationally, with a restaurant, large grassy areas, and even a replica tennis court (as it is the major sponsor of the Australian Open).
One other location that we were able to visit was the Barossa Reservoir and the Whispering Wall. This was a great little stop for the kids, and located in Williamstown, about twenty minutes outside of Nuriootpa. The Whispering Wall has an interesting design feature in that you can stand at one side of the wall, and very clearly hear anyone standing at the other side, a whole 144m away. The kids had a ball chatting to each other from each end, making all sorts of silly sounds. Chrissy even got his phone out, and played some music on his end, and we could hear it clear as day at the other!! It was built in 1899, and provides water to 1.5 million South Australians.
After a couple of days in the Barossa, it was time to head off… with plans to return childless and with a bag full of cashola!
Next stop was on the Yorke Peninsula and a brilliant little place called Black Point. To date, this has definitely been the highlight of our trip. The Campground is only small with 13 campsites, which is ideal for families, and has a very inclusive environment. There were a few regulars that stay frequently, and are very friendly, and being school holidays, we found lots of families also, which was great for the kids. The campground itself overlooks the beach, and has the most awesome sunrises, sunsets and moonrises. For more of our thoughts on the campground, check out our Riley Review here.
One of the major beauties of South Australia is that it is actually legal to drive on the beaches here. Many of the beaches are gazetted roads, so speed limits and road rules apply, similar to standard roads. We have had an absolute ball getting out on the sand, and testing out the 4WD capabilities of the car. The kids (big and small) also found driving the sand dunes a heap of fun – everyone delighting in scaring the bejeezus out of me! There is a long stretch of beach access between Port Rickaby and Port Victoria that was great for an afternoon outing. The kids climbed and explored the sand dunes for hours, while Chrissy and I chilled with a beer and a picnic lunch 🙂
In all, we have spent six nights at Black Point Campground. It has been super relaxing with our days spent by the water, exploring the Yorke Peninsula, fishing and generally chilling. The boys have finally been successful in their fishing escapades too, which was great!! After pulling two all-nighters, and surviving the howling and freezing cold wind, they managed to secure a few great Whiting – which we ate for brekkie! Jacko has now been coverted to a fisherman, much like his idol Brooksy! He is super keen, and constantly asking to head out – he has the ‘fishing bug’ for sure!
Our last day at Black Point was ANZAC Day. We were very privileged to be able to attend the Dawn Service at Ardrossan, about 20km away. They had a very moving service, attended by close to 500 people, followed by a very friendly and welcoming brekkie at the local RSL. Although Jacko was probably the only one that really understood, it was great for the kids to experience a local ANZAC Service, at the clifftop overlooking the water.
Okies, that’s all from me now – check in again soon.
– KR 🙂