Enjoy watersports, visit historical buildings, explore a shipwreck and go on wine-tasting tours in one of South Australia's oldest wine regions.
For nearly 200 years, the landscape and soils of McLaren Vale have been producing wines, among them shiraz, tempranillo and cabernet. With more than 100 vineyards, there is no shortage of places to stop and sample local varieties. But the region also has a lot more going on beyond its wine production. Hike through the picturesque countryside, visit historic towns and relax on a beach.
Find superb wines across the region by going on organized or self-guided wine tours. One way to reach some of the wineries is to walk or cycle the 5-mile (8-kilometer) Shiraz Trail. The route follows an old railway line through the scenic surroundings, passing wineries and olive groves.
Combine your wine tastings with exploration of other McLaren Vale attractions. Experience even more of the beautiful scenery by walking or cycling along the many dedicated paths. Go bushwalking in the Onkaparinga River National Park and kayak on the Onkaparinga River, the second longest in the state.
Sample cheeses, chutneys and other local produce at the Willunga Farmers Market, held every Saturday morning in Willunga's town square. Among the town’s other sites of interest are the 19th-century old courthouse and police station and the old post office and telegraph station. Visit additional old buildings in the historic towns of Clarendon and Old Reynella.
Spend some time in the town of McLaren Vale, browsing boutiques and art galleries and dining in its restaurants.
Relax on one of the beaches along the region's extensive coastline. Dive the wreck of the Star of Greece at Aldinga Beach, surf and swim at Moana Beach and snorkel and scuba dive the reef at Port Noarlunga.
The easiest way to get around to McLaren Vale's wineries, beaches and historic towns is in a rental car. Get to the region in about 45 minutes by car from Adelaide, a journey of about 25 miles (40 kilometers). There are also bus services between the city and some of the region’s towns.