Even in winter, from the seaside to the hills, South Australia puts on a pretty good show. With the cooler months just around the corner, here’s our guide on how to have a winter getaway you won’t forget:
Bordering the sea, and the city, McLaren Vale is designed for quick weekend getaways. Just a 45 minute drive from the airport and you’re cruising past rolling hills dotted with vineyards. Make a beeline for Geddes Wine, off Blewitt Springs Rd, where the cosy yet modern cellar door is a great spot to try a few excellent, reasonably priced reds. Stock up on a few bottles of wine and settle in by the fireplace of your standalone cottage right next door at the Karawatha Cottages. The three standalone one and two bedroom cottages have their own wood burning fireplaces, and are a great base for a few days exploring the region. Hop in the car and drive 15 mins to the coast, where the Star of Greece perches out over Port Willunga. Brace yourself and head down to the sand to check out the old boat storage caves carved into the cliffs, before retreating to the restaurant’s light and bright dining room for cutting edge cuisine. Save time to stop in at the d’Arenberg Cube, standing tall among the vineyards and the spot for a wine tasting like you’ve never seen before.
We have three words. Winter Reds Weekend. This three day festival at the end of July is a chance to “Shrug off your jacket. Shake your scarf free” and settle in for what Adelaide Hills does best. Wineries and cellar doors across the region open their doors, and quickly close them to keep the heat in, putting on long lunches, fireside tastings, candlelit dinners and cosy concerts. Keep an eye out for this year’s Winter Reds Weekend program launch because tickets sell out fast. The Adelaide Hills are a short drive from the CBD and another great spot for a few days away from the concrete jungle, with plenty of quaint cottages and B&Bs. Stop in at cellar doors like the Lane Vineyard before checking into Mount Lofty House. Sitting on 22 acres of gardens on the edge of the Hills, with rooms, suites and heritage cottages looking out over the surrounding bushland, its Stables Day Spa is a great place to bliss out for a few hours.
Is there anything better than a fresh sea wind on your face, when the rest of your body is nice and warm? Trust us, it’s a sensation that will clear your head, and calm your heart, especially when you spend your time watching creatures of the deep. Rug up and head out to the Eyre Peninsula to spot whales frolicking off the coast with their calves from May through to October. The Southern Right Whales seek the warmer waters off the coast to see their calves through their younger months. Watching them breach and play up close is something pretty special. Head of Bight and Fowlers Bay are two of the most popular spotting spots to start exploring.
One of the best reasons to travel out of the summer seasons are the crowds. Or lack thereof. During winter, the pace of life on Kangaroo Island slows down. There’s less travellers, lower accommodation prices, and the island explodes in greenery. It is a little wetter, but when you’re out looking for fur seals and sea lions, what’s a little rain? Better yet, this time of year is when the joeys and baby koalas are easily spotted sticking their heads outside their mothers’ pouches. There are plenty of multi day tours out to the island, including two and five day options, but also lots of day trips for adventures like quad bike tours, ocean safaris, kayaking and even food and wine tastings.
The Festival City doesn’t slow down when winter descends, instead it raises its voice. The Adelaide Cabaret Festival kicks off in June, running for two weeks of shows and concerts that will set your pulse racing. Vocal acrobatics, mini operettas and eclectic jazz quartets are just the beginning. Keep an eye out for local and international acts, there’s even a kid friendly gala. When you’re not at the theatre, check out Adelaide’s burgeoning small bar scene. Right in the heart of the city, Pink Moon Saloon brings new meaning to the word “cosy”. You’ll be rubbing shoulders with locals in this tiny cabin-style wooden bar, mainly because it is so small, but also because its one of the most popular places for a tipple around town. Over at Hains & Co, the bar staff are in waistcoats and the walls are decorated in naval paraphernalia. The extensive G&T menu is a great chance to try South Australia’s many local spirits, like 78 Degrees Small Batch Gin from the Adelaide Hills and Ounce Gin, made right in Adelaide. End your night at the beautiful Mayfair Hotel, inside one of Adelaide’s grandest historic buildings. The Hennessy bar is a great spot for a nightcap, tucked under the rafters of the roof surrounded by cow skin rugs and chandeliers.
Whether you want to curl up by the fire or rug up and head out to see wild wonders, South Australia is waiting for you this winter! To find out more, click here.