McLaren Vale is a delightful region of South Australia, located around thirty-five kilometers (27.1 miles) south of the state capital, Adelaide.
It is the birthplace of the South Australian wine industry and plays host to some of the oldest grape vines in the world, with the first McLaren vine being planted way back in 1838.
One of the biggest tourism draws of McLaren Vale, South Australia, is its wineries.There are approximately 65 wineries and around 270 independent grape growers in this region. The wines produced in McLaren Vale are world famous, and many tourists visit every year to get a taste of where these delicious wines are made.
Shiraz is the most important variety of wine in McLaren, with this type making up almost 50 percent of the area’s wine production. Other specialities in the other half of production include chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon, grenache, merlot, sauvignon blanc, and riesling.
Because McLaren puts such a high importance on their wine and produce, it would make sense that the most popular activity for visitors is to embark on one of McLaren’s numerous wine tours. If you are strapped for time, you could pick just one winery to visit. Tourist favourites include the following: d’Arenberg Wines, Primo Estate, Old Oval Estate, Wirra Wirra Winery, Samuel’s Gorge, Oliver’s Taranga Vineyards Cellar Door, and Winery and Angove McLaren Vale Cellar Door, among others.
While in town, you could also visit historic Chapel Hill. It is named after an ironstone chapel that was built on the property in 1865. Another impressive attraction is the Shiraz Trail, which stretches from McLaren Vale to Wilunga.
Other activities ripe for you to engage in while in McLaren include: go for a picnic and tasting their delicious, locally grown produce, eat in a scenic vineyard restaurant, visit the farmer’s market, or walk one of the many trails which showcases the natural beauty of the area. One unmissable trail is the Echidna Trail, which passes through heritage-listed huts, and what is left of houses built in the 1880s.
McLaren Vale does have hostels available, as well as affordable accommodation options. However, if for some reason McLaren Vale’s hostels are booked out, you could also choose to book a hostel in nearby Adelaide. It is a more populated city than McLaren Vale and only 40-minute drive away, so staying in a hostel there could be a good option.
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