Your Ultimate Guide to the Barossa Valley
13th May 2020
The Barossa Valley in a nutshell
Drive one hour north of Adelaide and you will find yourself in the Barossa Valley; a world renowned wine-making region bursting with food, drink and countless hidden gems. Only 70 kilometres from the city, the patchwork of little European villages, endless wineries and panoramic green landscapes that make up the Barossa Valley will have you busy for days (or not, if that’s what you’re looking for).
German and English influences are laced throughout the towns of the 25km long Barossa Valley, and old colonial buildings add a wonderfully rich character to the region. A sense of community is also very apparent in the Barossa Valley, and farmers markets, shops selling local produce, bakeries, restaurants and intimate family wineries take you back to simpler times.
Of course the star of the show in the Barossa Valley is the wine. Producing over 20% of the country’s wine, there’s no wonder visitors can’t get enough of the gorgeous green valley. Endless wineries, big, small, modern and classic are littered across the region. You could spend two weeks here and still visit all of the wineries on offer. Visiting some cellar doors and sipping on some crisp whites and warm reds, is an absolute must-do in the Barossa Valley, with many wineries offering $5 tastings and a great deal providing free tasing sessions.
Whether you’re seeking a romantic weekend away, an active trip with the kids or even a luxury escape to splash out on the best of food and wine in South Australia, you’ll find it all here. Yet whilst a trip to the wine region caters for all, there are a lot of options when it comes to things to do in the Barossa Valley. Which wineries in the Barossa should you visit? Which restaurants will blow your socks? What are the best things to do in the Barossa Valley, besides tasting incredible wines? Which Barossa Valley accommodation should you choose? This Ultimate Guide to the Barossa Valley will help you with just these questions. Get planning your perfect weekend escape, tailored to your own requirements (and tastebuds).
Things to do in the Barossa Valley
Visit some Barossa Valley wineries
The Barossa Valley truly is one of the best place in Australia – and even the world – to plan a wine tasting day. Roaming around and indulging in the extensive selection of outstanding wines is a must. With more than 80 cellar doors and 150 wineries, it’s difficult to know where to start. From boutiques to bestsellers, each winery deserves a visit and offers its own unique experience. For the ultimate Barossa Valley wine trip, drop into a variety of wineries; opt for a visit to small, quaint cellar door as well as some international big names.
If you’re into wines, it likely you’ve heard of Penfolds. Built in 1911, the Penfolds Barossa Valley Cellar Door sits in the heart of the wine region and shows off the true philosophy and spirit behind some of Australia’s finest wines. Similarly, a visit to Jacob’s Creek offers a first-rate cellar door experience, as well as stunning views of sweeping countryside hills, coated with bright green vines. Opt for a trip to Wolf Blass and soak up a unique tasting experience in an ultra-modern, state of the art facility.
Drop by the iconic Yalumba, built in 1849, to wander around the charming historic, landscaped grounds and witness their wide range of wines, or choose Seppeltsfield to immerse yourself in one of Australia’s most historic wineries, comprised of multiple heritage buildings. Henschke Cellar Door is said to be one of the most interesting and captivating experiences in the Barossa. Charming and intimate, the winery provides guests with a real sense of the Henschke family’s fantastic skill in creating internationally known wines.
Intimate, boutique wineries
Whilst not the smallest wine producer by any means, Peter Lehmann cellar door – in the heart of Barossa Valley – sits in a stunning garden setting, with sweeping lawns and cosy, homely vibes. Set in a historic, stone building, the winery offers a range of different tasting experiences. Also on the smaller, more intimate side, Charles Melton wines provides guests with a truly unique cellar door experience as well as some internationally recognised premium red table wines. If you have time to experience something a little different, pay a visit to Rockford. The winery – committed to keeping the best of traditional Australian wine trade alive – is bound to teach you a little about wine making, and the very rustic little tasting room is a sight to see in itself.
Cool down with some beer and cider, or try some spirits
For those who’s order isn’t wine, you’re also catered for in the Barossa Valley. With 12 continuously rotating craft beers and ciders on tap, and 60 different bottles, Steins Taphouse has got you covered. Your thirst will be quenched and drenched here. Big verandahs on hot summer days make for the ideal afternoon beer spot. Meanwhile, in winter Steins Taphouse is heated up to keep you warm and rosey. Craft brewery fans might also enjoy a trip to Rehn Beer in Tanunda, to taste one of their impressive range of international style beers. Serious beer fans and those partial to a German beer will love Greenock Brewery, where you can find traditionally fermented beers, made using the German Beer Purity Law of 1516.
Finally, if you prefer a classy cocktail or a refreshing gin and tonic, The Distillery won’t disappoint. Inside the tasting room get involved in a guided tasting and sip on craft spirits. Alternatively, head to the bar for a contemporary cocktail or pick out your favourite spirit from the well-stocked bar. Tasty bar bites and ember wood-fired oven pizzas, also on offer, will be much needed after a couple of rounds.
Visit some markets and local food shops
Not everything you consume in the Barossa has to be done sitting down. After a night spent at your Barossa Valley accommodation, wake up early on a Saturday to visit the local farmers’ market. Stroll around with a coffee in hand and chat to local farmers and food producers. Fruit, vegetables, meat, eggs, dairy, breads, cheese, alcohol, confectionary and much more can be found on these lively Saturday mornings. Head over to the market’s breakfast bar and opt for a hot meal.
Barossa Valley Cheese Co is heaven for cheese lovers. Luxurious artisan cheese, made in the Barossa is the perfect souvenir to drive away with after a weekend escape. Otherwise, live in the moment and visit the cheese cellar to indulge in a sumptuous cheese platter.
A visit to the Barossa Valley isn’t complete without a visit to Maggie Beer’s Farm Shop. It’s quintessentially South Australian. Wander around Maggie Beer’s Farm Shop and taste all the products on show; from chocolate spreads, to chutneys, jams, sauces, oils, biscuits and much much more. The lovely, and nowadays iconic, lakeside location with outdoor seating is the perfect place to spend an afternoon sampling the local produce.
Drop into some art galleries
The Barossa, comprised of romantic green valleys and undulating hills has naturally been the muse for a number of artists. Sculptors, photographers and painters showcase their work in the Barossa in a handful of galleries. Visit Corroboree Dream Art in Tanunda to catch a glimpse of indigenous and contemporary art, or drop by JamFactory to take a look at some contemporary works in wood, metal and glass. The Barossa Regional Gallery in Tanunda is also a great place to go if you enjoy all things creative. The gallery has regularly changing exhibitions and displays work from local artists, whilst it occasionally hosts travelling exhibitions from other states.
Drive the Barossa Heritage Trail
Drive the Barossa Heritage Trail and explore the scenic wine-region by car along a 38 kilometre trail. The tour is self-guided and takes you through all the main Barossa Valley towns. You can stop off and explore in more depth at any point. Visit Tanunda and discover the local, underlying German heritage or learn about Kapunda’s copper mining history. In Lyndoch, visit a lavender farm and taste lavender infused gourmet treats. Afterwards, stroll around the gorgeous gardens bursting with birds and butterflies. An elegant French chateau close by offers high-tea and 22 hectares of rose gardens to walk amongst.
Follow the Angaston Heritage Walk
The settlement most English in heritage, is Angaston. Explore the history of the village by walking the self-guided heritage walk. You’ll find charming, quaint architecture and plenty of rich history.
Explore a conservation park
Beautiful bushland and local wildlife surround the Barossa Valley’s vine-covered hills and so a beautiful hike is only a short drive away. Departing from your Barossa Valley accommodation, drive out to the countryside and spend the day outdoors. Three national parks surround the valley. Kaiserstuhl Conservation Park, closest to Tanunda, has a short 2 kilometre track that weaves its way around a thick forest. A longer 9-kilometre hike takes you past unique rock formations and to scenic lookouts. At Sandy Creek Conservation Park, take your pick from a number of trails and stroll amongst native pines and pink gums. In spring, visit the park to see copious amounts of wildflowers. Finally, Hale Conservation Park, close to Williamstown, offers a few challenging trails including river crossings and trails through steep rocky ridges.
Take a bike trip in the Barossa
Immerse yourself in the stunning Barossa countryside and choose to travel by bike. A couple of places, including the Barossa Weintal Hotel, offer bike hire. The Barossa Trail – a super bike-friendly trail – takes cyclists on long journey, meandering around the region and linking the main towns and tourists sites. Zip down countryside paths and roll past vineyards at your own pace, stopping at cellar doors, shops, cafes and restaurants on the way. You’ll never be far from the next town or winery. Trails stretch for 40 kilometres, but you don’t need to be an athlete. Feel free to take your pick from a number of shorter trails comprising only a part of the total route.
Take the kids to Barossa Bowland
Located in Tanunda, Barossa Bowland is a wonderful family owned business offering the biggest and best Dinosaur themed Mini Golf in Australia. Wind your way around beautiful gardens and find dinosaurs around every corner. Inside, there’s a 12-lane ten-pin bowling centre, ideal for days when the weather doesn’t lend itself to outdoor activities.
Barossa Valley experiences
These days, tourism is all about gaining unique or thrilling experiences, and the Barossa has without a doubt caught on. Make your trip all about food and book into a cooking lesson at Casa Carboni. Learn from the best at this Italian cooking school and gain an unforgettable experience, taking recipes with you to try out again at home. At Jacob’s Creek, learn from the chefs. Pick fresh produce from the luscious gardens and use them throughout your cooking lesson. All this, set within panoramic views of one of the most serene and picturesque settings the Barossa has to offer.
Food doesn’t have to define your Barossa experience either. Whether you’ve always wanted to try out a Segway, or you’re just not the walking type, visit Segway Sensation SA. Make your Barossa trip a little different and explore a vineyard by literally rolling through it.
If all that doesn’t seem like quite enough, in the Barossa you can take to the skies in a hot air balloon. You won’t forget your time in the Barossa when you’ve seen its extensive emerald, patchwork landscapes from above. Take it to a whole new level and fly over wineries on a short helicopter ride at Barossa Helicopter Tours. Guaranteed, the fresh birds-eye-view will make the Barossa’s countryside scenes seem insanely idyllic and even more captivating.
Restaurants in the Barossa Valley
When it comes to restaurants in the Barossa, it’s safe to say you’re spoiled for choice. During a day tour of the Barossa Valley wineries, go for a rustic cheeseboard comprised of local South Australian cheeses at your favourite cellar door, and nibble whilst you drink. Alternatively, there is an endless list of places to tuck in to something more substantial.
Light lunchAt Saltram Wines, Salter’s Kitchen serves up a rustic and hearty selection of regional, modern cuisine, with their seasonal menu comprised of the best local produce. Set within the bluestone walls of the winery, the restaurant overlooks a flourishing rose garden. If your day revolves around coffee, stop at the cosy and casual Red Door Espresso and choose from a sumptuous seasonal menu. Stop by at any time of day and choose from, cakes, vegan treats, platters, lunch, beer and wine, and of course coffee. Alternatively, opt for something a little unique at El Estanco. This friendly lunch spot serves up local produce with a South American twist. Pop by for an indulgent breakfast or for a taste of their ever-changing lunch menu.
If your next trip to the Barossa is about luxuriance, celebration or simply treating yourself, you’ll find plenty of chic and elegant fine-dining options. FermentAsian – found in Tanunda – has its roots firmly entrenched in Vietnamese heritage and celebrates Southeast Asian cuisine. At FermentAsian, traditional dishes inspired by Australian produce come together to create an exquisite, authentic and fragrant menu. To really immerse yourself in the Barossa Valley food scene, book into Fino and experience modern, award-winning, regional food. The restaurant, set in Seppeltsfield Winery, has been established in a space which once housed dirty barrels and winemaking equipment. Rustic chic design, rich history and a view over the Seppeltsfield fountain make for breathtaking surroundings and an idyllic setting for a Barossa Valley lunch.
Dare to be surprised and reserve a table at The Hentley Farm Restaurant. With a strong focus on utilising the produce from our own microclimate, native plants and high quality produce complete the menu here. The surprise menu of Chef’s choice on the day, ensures guests are served with a highly ingenious and extensive lunch, paired with fantastic local wines.
Finally, for a modern restaurant with steakhouse vibes, try Angus and Co. On the menu you’ll find seafood and burgers, and of course plenty of succulent steaks. It’s the ideal location for an indulgent treat and perfect for casual lunches as well as family meals.
Book your trip to the Barossa Valley
Tranquil landscapes, warm hospitality and an unbeatable Tanunda location make the Barossa Weintal the ultimate Barossa Valley accommodation. Stroll out of your room into the town in search of a great coffee spot in the morning. Walk in the opposite direction to find yourself amongst the countryside and Barossa Valley vines. The Barossa Weintal is home to a modern steak restaurant, has an outdoor swimming pool and a good variety of rooms to choose from. Push the boat out and choose the Superior Spa Suite, which comes with a spa bath and terrace views over the gum trees and stunning gardens.
One hour by car from Adelaide, Barossa Valley is the South Australia Weekend Escape that you’ve been looking for.
Grab yourself a cosy room at this excellent hotel in the Barossa this winter, and spend a weekend exploring the wine region.
Click here to book a room at the Barossa Weintal.