For everything about the CLARE VALLEY you are in the right place. From getting there, to places to visit, to the best accommodation this article summarises all your needs for the CLARE VALLEY.
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The Clare Valley is a popular tourist and wine-growing region in South Australia. About 100 kilometres north of Adelaide, the Clare Valley is the traditional home of the Ngadjuri indigenous people and was first settled by Europeans in the early 1840s. Centred around the town of Clare, the area is today home to almost 10,000 people and nearly 50 separate wineries, giving tourists many things to do in the Clare Valley.
The Clare Valley climate is cooler than other wine-growing regions in South Australia, though still with mild winters and warm dry summers. However, the elevation brings cool summer nights, allowing for the harvest of cool-climate white grapes, particularly Riesling, which the valley has become famous for.
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Getting To The Clare Valley
Travelling from Adelaide to Clare Valley is quite easy, as it’s just a short drive from the city. Allow about two hours from central Adelaide, slightly longer if you’re coming from Adelaide airport. There are infrequent bus services from Adelaide to Clare, but unless you’re sticking solely to Clare Valley wine tours, having your own car (need car hire, click here) is highly recommended.
If you’re curious about visiting this beautiful and secluded area, let’s dive in and check out things to do in Clare Valley.
Things To Do In Clare Valley
Before you arrive, it’s worth checking a map of Clare Valley (see above), to appreciate just how compact the area is. The Clare Valley wine region stretches roughly from Auburn in the south, to Stanley’s Flat in the north – a distance of only 30 kilometres. But there’s a surprising number of attractions packed into the area. The most obvious attraction is the famous Clare Valley wineries, most of which have open cellar doors. There’s also the Clare Valley Riesling trail, a 35 kilometre walking and cycling track along reclaimed railway lines. And nature lovers shouldn’t miss the Spring Gully Conservation Park, with gorgeous landscapes and inspiring sunsets.
Clare Valley Wineries
There’s so many amazing Clare Valley vineyards that picking highlights is genuinely difficult. But some of the best known wineries include Taylors Wines, Annie’s Lane, Jim Barry Wines, Kilikanoon, and Sevenhill Cellars. Sevenhill is the oldest winery in the Clare Valley, with vines dating back to 1851! Overall, these are some of the best Clare Valley wineries, known for their Riesling, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, and more.
Rather than drive yourself around, it’s recommended to look into wine tours Clare Valley. Local knowledge can easily turn a great experience into an unforgettable one, and not having to drive is another big plus!
And as for the best Clare Valley Riesling? It’s always a matter of taste, though Grossett, Pikes, Howard Park, and Rieslingfreak are all very highly regarded. But there’s so many wineries in Clare Valley, it’s genuinely difficult to nominate a real favourite. Happy tasting!
Clare Valley Riesling Trail
Instead of a car or wine tour, there’s something to be said for experiencing the countryside at a more sedate pace. And for that, the Clare Valley Riesling Trail is absolutely perfect. Covering 35 kilometres between Auburn and Clare, the Trail runs through most of the major towns in the area and past several cellar doors as well. This Clare Valley bike trail is a great way to experience the valley, get amongst the bush, and stop at a Clare Valley winery or two along the way.
There are several bike hire companies in both Clare and Auburn, and many offer one-way hire as well. Be sure to stop by the Clare Valley information centre first and pick up a Clare Valley winery map and that of the Riesling Trail.
Spring Gully Conservation Park
After a long, hard day of wine tasting, there’s nothing better than relaxing with a picnic while the sun sets over the hills. And the perfect place for that is at Spring Gully Conservation Park in Sevenhill. Head up to Blue Gum lookout and enjoy the view, and stroll one of the gentle walks through the park if you’re feeling up to it. There’s often kangaroos and echidnas around in the late afternoon, so keep your eyes peeled! And if you’ve arrived just after a period of rain, be sure to check out the Cascades, with its 18 metre high waterfall.
Clare Valley Road Trips
For road trips in the Clare Valley, the best option is a one or two night trip to the Clare Valley from Adelaide, with the length of your stay depending entirely on how much wine you want to taste!
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1 or 2 Nights In The Clare Valley from Adelaide
Leave from Adelaide in the morning and tackle the two hour drive up to the Valley in one hit. Visit a winery and have some lunch in the Auburn area, before working your way north through the valley in the afternoon. Watch the sunset from Spring Gully Conservation Park, and stay the night around Clare. For a single night road trip, spend the morning and early afternoon wine tasting before heading back to Adelaide late in the day, or you could always go and check out the small and quaint town of Burra. However, if you’ve got a second night – spend the day cycling along the Riesling Trail, stopping at your leisure. Stay in the Clare area, before heading home the following day, again via Burra.
Accommodation in Clare Valley
There’s plenty of options for Clare Valley accommodation, from hotels and motels, to B&Bs, luxury spots, caravan parks, and even campgrounds.
Motels & Hotels Clare Valley
One of the best options for staying in the Clare Valley is the Clare Valley Heritage Retreat, located in Clare itself. Also consider the Clare Country Club, just a couple of kilometres outside of town. Clare Valley Motel is a popular option, while south in Auburn both One Tree Bed and Breakfast and Lyreen’s Apartment B&B are very highly rated. Or for a classic Clare Valley cottage stay, Riesling Trail & Clare Valley Cottages is an excellent choice.
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Airbnb Clare Valley
Airbnb has some great options for staying in the Clare Valley. For an entire cottage stay, check out Tumbleweed Cottage Watervale, while bigger groups and families should consider Jaeschkes Country House amongst the vineyards at Polish Hill River. If you don’t need as much space, this private room at Ettrick Creek in Armagh is a fantastic option.
Clare Valley Caravan Parks
There’s three main options for caravan parks in the Clare Valley. Just outside Clare, you’ll find Discovery Parks – Clare, with a mix of cabins, powered and unpowered sites. Leasingham Village Cabins, south of Watervale, is another option for cabins and powered sites, while in Auburn itself is the Auburn Community Caravan Park. This last park only has limited capacity, so book early if you’re travelling in a busy season.
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Clare Valley Camping
Camping Clare Valley can be a great and affordable way to enjoy the beautiful scenery and environment. The three caravan parks listed above include sites for those with tents. Slightly further afield to the east of Clare, is Farrell Flat. It’s home to two unpowered campgrounds: one at the Farrell Flat Hotel, and the other next to the local oval. Camping at the Hotel is free for pub patrons.
Restaurants Clare Valley
There’s a large number of great restaurants in Clare Valley. Probably the best known is Skillogalee, located at Skillogalee winery in Sevenhill. The nearby Sevenhill Hotel is another great option, while Umbria Rustic Italian in Clare serves authentic and tasty Italian fare. Further south, go local at Terroir Auburn where almost all ingredients are sourced from within 100 kilometres. Or if you’re going cycling on the Riesling Trail, grab some takeaway pies at Cogwebs Bakery in Auburn, and have a picnic lunch!
All in all, the Clare Valley is one of South Australia’s great destinations. With so many amazing wineries, great places to stay, and excellent food options, Clare Valley is a fantastic place to visit, and one that should be at the top of any foodie’s bucket list.