CLARE

January 31, 2016

Those who know our family, know that we are beyond enamoured with South Australia, and over the years we have spent a lot of time exploring the areas around the Barossa Valley & McLaren Vale (see my post on McLaren vale here)…One spot we’ve wanted to get to but somehow always ran out of time is Clare…

An easy 90 minute drive from central Adelaide, Clare is in South Australias mid north region, and lends it’s name to the surrounding area; The Clare Valley. Clare itself is a really pretty town, with quaint old houses, a beautiful oval in the town centre, fringed on all sides by that unmistakable Aussie landscape of gumtrees and grape vines that I find so pleasing…

We met up with friends from Sydney in Adelaide, and lured them to Clare for the day with an invitation to join us on the Riesling Trail…a 35 kilometre bike track that was a railway in a former incarnation! The trail is a great way to take in the beautiful landscape, pop in to cellar doors, grab a meal, and get some exercise too (no lycra required!) How much you ride is up to you…We rode 9 km’s from Clare Valley Cycle hire to Sevenhill Cellars, and with a few rest stops along the way it took us about 45 minutes…

Sevenhills was the first winery in Clare Valley, set up by jesuits in 1851! The cellar door and surrounds are beautiful…the grounds alone are worth stopping by to have a look at, and whilst adults have a taste of the wines on offer, there is a huge lawn with balls, cricket bats and a totem tennis set to keep younger visitors entertained.

From here it was a 5 minute ride (downhill!) to the Sevenhill Hotel where we had a cracking chicken schnitzel with chips and salad, and a glass of local white, naturally! The schnitzel was no joke, the size of my head… The ride back was downhill, and we were back in under half an hour. I have never seen anyone fall asleep on a bike before, but somehow Kinga managed to nod off on her tag-along (I highly recommend the tag-along option for younger/novice riders, a bit more work for the adult riding the main bike, but ensures no one gets left behind!)

Later that afternoon, we headed to Mintaro, 10 minutes from Clare, to check out the Mintaro Maze and Martindale Hall. It is worth checking opening times in small country towns, as we arrived at the Maze just before 4pm, bang on closing time. Luckily the young lady running the show kindly let us in, and asked that we stay as long as we liked…sadly, we missed out on visiting Martindale Hall (The mansion features in the film Picnic at Hanging Rock)…something to do on our next visit to the Clare Valley!

We stayed at
Discovery Holiday Parks Clare
LOT 136 Main North Rd, Clare SA 5453

We ate at
The Sevenhill Hotel

We rented bikes from
Clare Valley Cycle Hire
32 Victoria Road
CLARE SA 5453
0418 – 802 – 077

We went to
Mintaro Maze
Jacka Road, Mintaro Clare Valley South Australia

Clare

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