Located just an hour north of central Adelaide, the magnificent Barossa Valley is one of the genuine highlights of South Australia. Featuring some of Australia’s best wineries, incredible restaurants, spectacular scenery, and excellent adventures, this region is an absolute must-visit with countless things to do in the Barossa Valley.
The Barossa Valley was first settled by Europeans in the 1830s, on the traditional lands of the Ngadjuri, Peramangk and Kaurna indigenous peoples, and has long been known as a top tier food and wine destination. Featuring the three main towns of Nuriootpa, Angaston and Tanunda, along with gently rolling hills and endless vineyards, there’s an astonishing array of things to do in the Barossa Valley. And best of all, it’s just an hour to the Barossa Valley from Adelaide! So let’s have a look at what to do in the Barossa Valley.
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Wineries in the Barossa Valley
Barossa Valley wines are known across Australia as some of the country’s best, particularly for rich red varieties like shiraz and cabernet sauvignon. With so many fantastic wineries around, choosing the best wineries in the Barossa Valley is a topic that inspires serious debate among wine lovers and experts, but almost every cellar door in the Barossa has excellent wines available for tasting.
One of the best known is Seppeltsfield, home to possibly the best Barossa Valley shiraz, featuring a brand new cellar door complex that’s also home to several excellent restaurants. You could also make your visit a little more special with a Seppeltsfield winery tour, where you can taste wine from your birth year!
Book the Seppeltsfield Winery Tour HERE:
Penfolds is arguably Australia’s most prestigious wine brand, and visiting their cellar door is one of the best things to do in the Barossa Valley. Penfolds also offers a Make Your Own Blend wine-making experience, where you can become a winemaker for the day, and take your creation home!
Book Make Your Own Blend Experience HERE:
Other highlights include Pindarie, with a tasting room inside an old stables building; Rockford, featuring beautiful old sandstone buildings; Grant Burge Wines and its impressive vistas; and Murray Street Vineyards with its welcoming verandah. Other well known wineries include Henschke, St Hugo, Wolf Blass, Jacob’s Creek, Langmeil Winery, Charles Melton Wines, Z Wines and many many more. Be sure to stop by the Barossa Valley tourist information centre in Tanunda and grab yourself a map of Barossa wineries.
Winery Tours in the Barossa Valley
Another option for covering the Barossa Valley wine region is to take a guided tour, either locally or as a day trip from Adelaide. That way you’ll have an expert guide, and no worries about running afoul of Australia’s strict drink-driving laws.
Book your Winery Tour HERE:
Some examples include:
- Barossa Valley Highlights Small Bus Tour
- Food & Wine of the Barossa Tour from Adelaide
- Jacob’s Creek Perfect Picnic
- Adelaide Boutique Barossa Small Group Wine Tour With Lunch.
If you’d prefer something without lunch, there’s:
Other Drinking Options in the Barossa Valley
The Barossa Valley is about much more than wine. In recent years the Valley has attracted plenty of craft beer brewers and gin distillers, and they’ve become genuine Barossa Valley attractions in their own right.
Craft Brewers in the Barossa Valley
One of the best microbreweries is Rehn Bier, with a standout Australian Pale Ale brewed entirely from South Australian malt. Greenock Brewers is another highlight, offering tasting paddles and tours of their brewery, located in an old Wheat Store at Greenock.
Gin Distillers in the Barossa Valley
Gin lovers are also well covered in the Barossa Valley, with Seppeltsfield Road Distillers leading the pack. Barossa Distilling Company in Tanunda features a distillery, cocktail bar, pizza oven, and tasting room in beautiful industrial-chic surroundings. And for one of the most fun things to do in the Barossa Valley, Durand Distillery offers a Craft Gin-Making Experience With Lunch through their Barossa Gin School, located on the grounds of Maggie Beer’s farm.
Book Craft Gin-Making Experience HERE:
Food Highlights in the Barossa Valley
As the saying goes, where you find good wine, good food is never far away, and that’s definitely true in the Barossa Valley. There’s an enormous number of restaurants in the Barossa Valley, from casual dining to 5-star degustation options, with a vast range of cuisines and styles.
Some of the best Barossa Valley restaurants include Harvest Kitchen, with its Mediterranean inspired flavours and share plates, located on the grounds of Calabria Family Wines. Appellation at The Louise is one of the best fine dining Barossa Valley experiences, with a frequently-changing set menu based on local seasonal produce, paired of course with excellent matching local wines.
Another great Barossa Valley dining experience is 1918 Bar & Grill, featuring hearty meals and set menus in front of roaring fires in a century-old sandstone cottage. fermentAsian in Tanunda serves up a mouth-watering fusion of Vietnamese and Australian cuisine, using local produce and herbs directly from the garden, while The Atrium at Hentley Farm offers a Discovery Menu of local degustation in their cosy and welcoming renovated 19th century farmhouse, and is considered one of the best restaurants in the Barossa Valley.
Casual Dining in the Barossa Valley
For more casual places to eat in the Barossa Valley, there’s also plenty of great choices. 40s Cafe at Angaston is renowned for their excellent pizzas, while The Clubhouse in Tanunda serves up a range of classic pub grub like steaks, burgers and schnitzels.
In Nuriootpa, be sure to stop by at Fleur Social, a unique combination of florist and specialty coffee shop. And of course, Darlings Cafe in Tanunda is a perennial favourite for great coffee, tasty baked goods, or something more substantial.
Farmers Markets in the Barossa Valley
With so many incredible producers located in the Barossa Valley area, it’s no surprise that there’s a thriving farmers market scene. The largest and most impressive of these is the Barossa Farmers Market, every Saturday morning in Angaston. It’s packed full of local produce like fruit & veg, baked goodies, dairy products, smallgoods, meats, sweets, and gourmet pantry staples too.
Not too far away, you’ll find the Mt Pleasant Farmers Market at the Mt Pleasant Showgrounds, which also takes place every Saturday morning. It’s a buzzing hub, packed full of local producers, farmers, and local providores.
Maggie Beer's Farm
No visit to the Barossa Valley is complete without a stop at Maggie Beer’s Farm. Located just outside of Nuriootpa, beloved TV chef Maggie Beer still operates her farm, complete with restaurant, farmgate produce shop, and much more. Be sure to taste some of her jams, chutneys, pastes, sauces, and of course her signature verjuice! Visiting is always a treat, and it’s long been one of the top things to do in Nuriootpa. For the full package, this Maggie Beer’s Farm Shop Experience includes a cooking demonstration, wine and gin tasting, along with a grazing board and bottle of wine for lunch.
Book Maggie Beer's Farm Shop Experience HERE:
Chocolate & Cheese
Those with a sweet tooth should head directly for the Barossa Chocolate Company, which has long been the home of sweet delectables in the Valley. Marvel at their chocolate factory, enjoy a hot chocolate at the cafe, peruse their range of tasty chocolate truffles, or just grab a block (or two!) for later.
Another of the best things to do in the Barossa Valley is visit the Barossa Cheese Company, home to the region’s best cheese. There’s plenty to choose from, including hard and soft cheeses in a variety of styles, alongside picnic-style package deals and tasting platters.
Vasse Virgin Olive Oil photo courtesy of Paula from Australia You Way.
Australian olive oil is highly regarded these days, and the warm Barossa climate makes it an ideal environment for producing olives and olive oil. Vasse Virgin Olive Oil is one of the best local producers, with a large factory and tasting room located on Seppeltsfield Estate. In addition to olive oil, they also offer a range of perfumes, lip balms, and skincare products – definitely one of the more interesting places to visit in Barossa Valley!
The Barossa Valley was originally settled by German migrants, and this heritage still shows through today. A great example of this is Steiny’s Traditional Mettwurst, where sticks of mettwurst are still produced using traditional methods. A dried meat product similar to salami, but made from beef instead of pork, Steiny’s is a great example of the old traditions being kept alive.
Barossa Valley Drives
With so much beautiful countryside to see, along with quaint old buildings and fascinating heritage, the Barossa Valley is a great option for doing a scenic drive.
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The Barossa Heritage Trail
The Barossa Heritage Trail, also known as the Barossa Scenic Heritage Drive, is one of the best Barossa Valley sightseeing routes, as it meanders through the various towns in the Barossa Valley, showcasing important buildings, heritage icons, and superb vistas. Though, be sure to pick up a map of the Barossa Valley before you start, as some of the signage can be easy to miss.
Mengler's Hill Lookout
Another great drive is up to Menglers Hill Lookout, on the eastern side of the valley. From here, the best Barossa Valley lookout, you’ll command a wide view of the entire Barossa, as the towns and vineyards stretch out before you. Bring a picnic in the late afternoon and watch the sun slowly sink over the horizon! At the same spot, you’ll also find the Barossa Valley Sculpture Park, with a series of outdoor sculptures placed around the area. It’s a fascinating collection from artists across the world.
Barossa Valley Walks
Need to burn off calories from all the great Barossa Valley food and drink? Naturally, there’s some excellent walks and outdoor activities available. One of the best things to do in Angaston is the Angaston Heritage Walk, a two hour self-guided walk around the town’s historic highlights. You’ll find old stone churches, cosy cottages, imposing town halls and courthouses, convents, schools, and much more on this easy, flat walk.
Barossa Valley Conservation Parks
The Barossa Valley is home to several excellent conservation parks, full of protected plants and animals, and dotted with charming walking trails. Kaiserstuhl Conservation Park, on the eastern flanks of the valley has two excellent hiking trails through beautiful landscapes, while Sandy Creek Conservation Park near Lyndoch is home to fascinating sand dunes and native trees.
For more challenging hikes, head for Hale Conservation Park and its rugged, rocky outcrops, or to Warren Conservation Park around Mt Pleasant, with its challenging and steep trails through undisturbed wilderness.
Elsewhere, Parra Wirra Conservation Park is a relaxed family spot that’s perfect for a picnic or gathering – be sure to look out for emus and kangaroos! And of course, there’s the Mount Crawford Forest Reserve near Williamstown, with intriguing walks among pine plantations.
Barossa Valley Adventure & Sport
If you’re looking for fun things to do in the Barossa Valley, you’re in luck – there’s plenty of adrenaline-packed activities available too.
Hot Air Ballooning
Hot Air Ballooning is a perennial favourite in the Barossa, and a sunrise or sunset balloon flight accompanied by wine and local delights is one of the most romantic things to do in the Barossa. This Barossa Valley Hot Air Balloon Flight is a perfect choice!
Book Hot Air Ballooning HERE:
Helicopter Scenic Flights
Helicopter scenic flights are another perfect way to see the entire Barossa, with towns and vineyards far below you. There’s plenty of options, including a Barossa Valley Wine Tour with Lunch and Helicopter Flight, a 10 minute Scenic Helicopter Flight, 15 minute Flight, or even a 20 minute Scenic Flight.
Book Your Scenic Flight HERE:
If you’d prefer to stay at ground level, this 3.5 hour Barossa Valley Trike Tour is one of the best activities in Barossa Valley. Riding in the back of a Harley-Davidson style trike, you’ll stop by various wineries and of course do some tasting at Maggie Beer’s Farm Shop, and the Barossa Valley Cheese Co.
Book Your Trike Tour HERE:
Barossa Bike Trail
Fans of pedal power aren’t neglected either, with the Barossa Bike Trail regularly featuring as one of the top things to do in Barossa Valley. Running for 13 kilometres between Tanunda and Angaston, it’s a dedicated walk/bike path separate from the roads, and runs through beautiful scenery and of course the Barossa’s famous vineyards. Interpretive signs have been placed along the route, and bike hire is also available at The Cycle Hub, next door to the Barossa Visitor’s Centre in Tanunda.
Other Barossa Valley Highlights
Think you’ve exhausted all of what the Barossa has to offer? Think again! The Barossa is also home to several fascinating museums, and other unusual highlights too.
Right in the heart of Tanunda is the Barossa Museum, located in the old Tanunda Post Office building, a magnificent stone structure that’s over 150 years old. The museum focuses on the life of early German settlers in the area during the 1840s, and has an interesting collection of artefacts.
Greenock Aviation Museum
At Greenock, you’ll find the Greenock Aviation Museum, with a mixture of preserved and replica aircraft, along with an enormous collection of over 1400 1/72 scale model aircraft. Highlights include the cockpits from Australian World War II-era aircraft like the Boomerang and the Wirraway.
The Seppeltsfield estate is home to Jamfactory, a unique gallery space focused on contemporary Australian crafts and designs. It features a variety of materials and makers, from ceramics to jewellery, glassmaking and leatherworking, millinery and knife making.
Doddridge Blacksmith Shop & Angaston Museum
In central Angaston you’ll find the Doddridge Blacksmith Shop and Angaston Museum, an original and preserved blacksmith’s shop from the 19th century. Packed full of the tools and products from the era, it’s a fascinating spot to see the process and results of one of history’s most important professions.
The Taste of the Region Interpretive Centre
And of course, inside the Kapunda Visitor Information Centre you’ll find “The Taste of the Region” Interpretive Centre. Packed full of interactive displays, it showcases the Barossa’s fascinating story through formation, indigenous culture, European settlement, and modern development as well. Enchanting for both kids and adults, The Taste of the Region is one of the best free things to do in the Barossa.
Other Barossa Attractions
A visit to the Barossa wouldn’t be complete without seeing the Whispering Wall at Williamstown. Built as the dam wall for the Barossa Reservoir, the Wall has since become famous for its startling acoustic effects: words spoken at one end can be clearly heard at the other, over 100 metres away! The effect is quite eerie, and offers a surprising amount of entertainment, particularly for kids. There’s also a great picnic area nearby, and some interesting signs about the dam’s construction.
Herbig Family Tree
Another unusual sight is the Herbig Family Tree, located at Springton. This large 500-year-old gum tree has a hollow trunk at the base, which in the 1850s was home to a German migrant named Friedrich Herbig, his wife Caroline, and two of their 16 children! As their family grew, Friedrich built a hut and eventually a cottage nearby, which still stand today. It’s an interesting Barossa Valley attraction, and a great reminder of the hardships early settlers endured.
Lyndoch Lavender Farm
At Lyndoch, you’ll find the Lyndoch Lavender Farm, the largest lavender farm in South Australia. In addition to acres of beautiful blooming lavender plants, the farm is also home to a shop and cafe, selling a huge range of lavender products. There’s everything from lavender skin and body care, hair care, soaps, air fresheners, oils, lollies, vinegar, jams, and much much more.
Barossa Valley Accommodation Packages
With so many great things to do in the Barossa Valley, staying for several days and taking your time makes a good deal of sense. There’s a huge range of excellent places to stay in the Barossa Valley, with many offering package deals for food and wine. For a weekend, consider this Barossa Valley Weekend Getaway with Breakfast, or a Barossa Weekend Getaway with 3 Course Dinner to try one of the excellent Barossa restaurants.
Well there you have it. A HUGE list of things to do in the Barossa Valley. If you can’t find something that interests you there I am not sure where you can. In saying that if we have missed somewhere that you love please reach out and let us know. We would love to include it. You can contact us at [email protected].