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Vines and Valleys Travel Guide to the Clare Valley

Vines and Valleys: Travel Guide to the Clare Valley

Tucked away in the scenic embrace of South Australia lies the Clare Valley, a wine lover’s haven sitting approximately 100 kilometers north of Adelaide.

The region has a historic homestead, old and modern wineries, a lake with bubblegum-like colors, and so much more.

The offerings don’t stop there, as Clare Valley packs even more treasures waiting to be discovered. That said, this article is ready to be your travel companion—spilling deets on where to sleep, feast, and dine!

Things to Know

Distance From the Adelaide CBD: 142.4 kilometers via M2 and Horrocks Hwy/Main N Rd/B82

Travel Time From the Adelaide CBD: 1 hour and 45 minutes

How to Get There

How to Get There - Vines and Valleys Travel Guide to the Clare Valley
  • By Car: To get to Clare Valley from Adelaide by car, exit Adelaide by driving northwest to the Northern Connector and follow it until you reach Horrocks Hwy.

Don’t do detours, and simply continue driving along Horrocks Hwy until you reach Clare Valley, passing towns like Tarlee, Rhynie, and Sevenhill.

  • By Bus/Taxi: To travel from Adelaide to Clare Valley without any stopovers or transfers, take a direct bus departing from the Adelaide Central Bus Station.

From Adelaide, the bus will traverse through Saddleworth, situated about 62.9 kilometers away. Upon reaching Saddleworth, you can opt to take a taxi for a 45-minute ride to Clare Valley.

  • By Train: Start your journey from Adelaide to Clare Valley by taking a train departing from Adelaide Station and heading to Gawler Central Station. The ride lasts around 59 minutes and operates every 30 minutes.

Upon arriving at Gawler Central Station, switch to a bus until you reach Saddleworth. Finally, secure a taxi from Saddleworth to Clare Valley, ensuring a direct route via public transportation.

Best Time to Visit

Best Time to Visit - Vines and Valleys Travel Guide to the Clare Valley

Spring (September–November) and autumn (March–May) are Clare Valley’s prime times—the best times to visit the wine region! 

During these seasons, you can avoid the crowds, soak up the perfect sunny spells averaging 18°C to 25°C (64°F to 77°F), then cuddle by the fire with local wine as the mercury dips.

Where to Stay

Clare Country Club

Address: White Hut Rd, Clare SA, 5453

Contact Details: +61 8 8842 1060

Pricing: $$


Within Clare Valley’s rolling hills sits the fabulous Clare Country Club, boasting top-notch amenities like a killer golf course, a relaxing pool, and a spa that’s pure bliss.

The Studio Room at this place is the real deal, flaunting views of Lake Inchiquin from the shared terrace. Additionally, it has a slick walk-in rain shower, a king-sized bed, and all the coffee and tea fixings you could dream of.

Bungaree Station

Address: 431 Bungaree Rd, Clare SA, 5453

Contact Details: (08) 8842 2677

Pricing: $$


Bungaree Station isn’t your typical accommodation; it’s a rustic working Merino sheep farm that’s been around since 1841, offering guests a slice of history in heritage-listed sandstone lodging.

The go-to room here is their Swaggies Hut, an old-world king-bedroom suite with a slick kitchenette, walk-in rain shower, and verandah overlooking the homestead’s woolshed.

If traveling with a group of around 4 to 7 people, the Groom’s Quarters are the way to go. These rooms have 1 queen bed, 2 single beds, and 2 additional beds that can be requested during the booking process.

Where to Eat

Seed Clare Valley

Address: 268 Main N Rd, Clare SA, 5453

Contact Details: 0401 018 758

Pricing: $$$


Seed Clare Valley is the spot for those seeking chill, romantic vibes while diving into top-notch regional dining.

The top bites include squid ink pasta with blue swimmer crab and a tantalizing plate of smoky and tender pork meat drenched in satsuma plum sauce. They also offer breakfast bangers, like a mix of granola, eggs Florentine, and sweetcorn fritters.

If you want a slice of indulgence, wet your whistle with a glass of Pinot Noir from Mornington Peninsula. Those who prefer more robust brews should fill their glass with the resto’s tap beers.

Indii of Clare

Address: 201 Main N Rd, Clare, SA 5453

Contact Details: (08) 8842 3954

Pricing: $$


Indii of Clare brings old-school Indian flavors with a dash of contemporary flair.

The restaurant’s best dish is Punjabi chicken cooked in a rich, creamy tomato-based sauce infused with various spices like garam masala, cumin, coriander, and fenugreek.

Another must-try is the lamb curry, bursting with a symphony of whole spices, such as fresh ginger and garlic. For vegans, they have daal makhani, a creamy, slow-cooked combo of black lentils and red kidney beans jazzed up with fresh herbs.

Ragu & Co

Address: 308b Main N Rd, Clare, SA 5453

Contact Details: (08) 8812 1718

Pricing: $$


At Ragu & Co., it’s all about keeping it real with time-honored Italian nosh made better with the freshest South Australian ingredients.

Guests shouldn’t pass on their Maccheroni AL Ragù Napoletano, a hefty portion of slow-cooked beef and pork ragù simmered to perfection in a rich tomato sauce.

Those who prefer something meatier should pick Taglio Del Giorno, a daily steak selection served with its juices and roasted sweet potato. And if you love sweets, their Cannolo Siciliano with sweet ricotta and chocolate chips is your best bet.

What to Do

Bike along the enchanting Riesling Trail

– From australiancycletours

Bike along the enchanting Riesling Trail

Cycling the Riesling Trail unlocks a visual feast highlighting heavenly vineyards, unpolluted farms, and pockets of pristine bushland. You need to prep up, though, as the entire trail covers a whopping 35 kilometers of undulating landscapes.

You should bring your GPS and familiarize yourself with the trail’s map. Also, look for markers, revealing distances, directions, services, and key stories and historical events about the area you’re currently in.

Speaking of areas, the Riesling Trail is segmented. It starts with Auburn to Watervale (9 kilometers), Watervale to Sevenhill (9 kilometers), Sevenhill to Clare (7 kilometers), and the cherry on top—Clare to Barinia Road, White Hut (10 kilometers).

There’s no shame in not completing this long and challenging ride, but don’t forget to prioritize the Clare Valley segments to maximize your visit.

Experience wine tastings at Clare Valley’s cellar doors

From shutthegateswines

Experience wine tastings at Clare Valley's cellar doors
  • Shut the Gates Wine: 8453 Main N Rd, Clare, SA 5453
  • Sussex Squire Wines: 293-295 Spring Gully Rd, Clare, SA 5453
  • Sevenhills Cellars: 111C College Rd, Sevenhill, SA 5453

You’re in Clare Valley; sipping on world-class vion blended and brewed by wine pros should be on top of your to-do list.

You can start with Shuts the Gates Wine, a small cellar door that pours its heart into single-site grape varieties, whipping up classic dry Clare Riesling and Shiraz. Their sweet Blossom 24 GRS Riesling is a must-taste blend.

Next up is Sussex Squire Wines, a family-owned and award-winning winery. One of their best bottles is the Sussex Squire Samuel Block Cabernet Sauvignon 2022 with overt black fruit flavors.

Those seeking a taste of excellence and history should beeline to Sevenhill Cellars, the first winery ever built in Clare Valley and one of Australia’s oldest.

Their 2018 Brother John May Reserve Shiraz is a total K.O., popping with the flavors and aroma of vanilla, dark cherry, ripe plums, prunes, and a hint of an earthy mineral core.

Trek through ancient landscapes in Red Banks Conservation Park

Address: Baldina, SA 5417


The wild expanse of Red Banks Conservation Park, where time rewinds, lets tourist walks the path the gigantic diprotodons once roamed.

Paleontologists have given this place a nod, labeling it the “richest megafauna site” in all of Oz. Beyond the views, you’ll trek through rugged gorges and waterholes here, discovering what life was 65,000 years ago when megafauna ruled the roost. 

And when the sun starts to dip, find solace among the leftover mallee trees at the park’s chill campground, where the only soundtrack is Mother Nature’s playlist. And hey, it’s not just about the trek; this campground is also a hotbed for birdwatchers!

Wine, dine, and party during Clare Valley Gourmet Week

Address: Clare Valley Wine, Food & Tourism Center, 8 Spring Gully Road, Clare, SA 5453

Contact Details: (08) 8842 2131


Clare Valley Gourmet Week is an all-out bevvie, bite, and bonding bonanza that hits the scene smack in the middle of May. This event brings together Clare Valley’s A-listers: wineries, breweries, restos, local artists, groovy musicians, and more.

Tourists and locals can take part in wine masterclasses, epic cooking lessons, native food crash courses, and food-preservation workshops, all while being surrounded by Insta-worthy rolling hills and vineyards as far as the eye can see.

Check the bubblegum colors of Lake Bumbumga

Adelaide to Lake Bumbumga Map


Nestled in Lochiel and commonly known as the ‘Pink Lake,’ Lake Bumbumga attracts tourists worldwide with its ever-changing color palette, shifting from pink to white to blue, depending on the water’s salinity levels.

Visitors swinging by during summer have a high chance of seeing the lake all dried up. Don’t fret, though, as the lake will still showcase an equally captivating moonscape-like terrain formed by the dried salt during scorching months.

Oh, and remember that Dunaliella salina and halophilic bacteria cause the lake’s ever-changing colors. Swimming (if the salt doesn’t irritate you) is A-OK, but ensure not to drink the water, or you won’t be in the pink of health.

Stroll through scenic vistas in Spring Gully Conservation Park

From clarevalleysa

Stroll through scenic vistas in Spring Gully Conservation Park

Address: Sawmill Rd, Sevenhill, SA 5453


Spring Gully Conservation Park is an open grassland fit for a stroll through picturesque scenes that once provided an abundant food source for the Ngadjuri people.

This spot is a hilly terrain leading to the creek bed of Spring Gully, flaunting the beauty of wildflowers and orchid displays that paint the park in radiant colors come springtime.

There are easy and moderate hikes here for visiting bushwalkers. First is the  Ridgetop Walk, a 40-minute jaunt (one way) covering 1.2 kilometers, suitable even for wheelchairs. 

Seasoned hikers should hit the Wymans Hike, which offers a one-hour return loop spanning 2.6 kilometers with some steep sections that’ll have you breaking a sweat.

Discover the well-preserved mining town of Burra

Clare Valley to Burra Map


Within a brisk 29-minute drive from Clare Valley lies the town of Burra, a gold mine (pun intended) of mining history straight out of the 1840s.

For the full immersion, snag yourself a Burra Heritage Passport—a golden ticket that teleports you straight into Burra’s yesteryears.

Once you have that passport in hand, brace yourself for a tour leading to 11 abandoned mine sites and attractions. These include Morphett’s Engine House, Redruth Gaol, Unicorn Brewery Cellars, and Miners Dugouts.

Escape the Mintaro Maze

Address: 27 Jacka Rd, Mintaro, SA 5415

Contact Details: 0417 838 897

Pricing: $


The Mintaro Maze is an intricate and mind-boggling labyrinth made of Castlewelland Gold Conifers.

If you solve this botanical puzzle’s confusing twists and turns, you’ll find several decked-out giant-sized games loaded with local Mintaro slate, ensuring a heap of fun and laughter (if you don’t get lost).

Their gift shop awaits those who fancy a break from the maze madness. It’s stocked with a medley of gifts—from puzzles and quirky gifts to greeting cards, jewelry, home knick-knacks, and even soothing aromatherapy goodies.

Stroll through the Clare Valley Silo Art Trail to see silo paintings

  • Storytime Silos: 8 South Terrace, Eudunda, SA 5374
  • Farrel Flat Silos: Napier St, Farrell Flat, SA 5416
  • Owen Silos: 5 Railway Terrace, Owen, SA 5460


Clare Valley has 3 astonishing artworks splashed across towering silos that’ll leave you gazing in awe.

In Eudunda, the “Storytime Silos” encapsulates the childhood of Australian author Colin Thiele’s birthplace. Stretching up to 30 meters tall, these silos paint the stories of two young souls—a white girl and an Aboriginal boy learning each other’s cultures.

Traveling onwards to Farrell Flat, discover the “Farell Flat Silos,” paying homage to bygone eras when railways and circuses ruled the town.

Then, you can journey through Owen to witness the “Wheat bags to Sand bags” narrative in painted form. These six silos stand tall, honoring the local farmers’ transition from producing wheat to serving on the front lines during the First World War.

What to Expect From Clare Valley Climate

What to Expect From Clare Valley Climate
  • Spring in Clare Valley (September to November) heralds pleasant weather with temperatures ranging from around 12°C to 24°C (53°F to 75°F), showcasing blossoming flowers and vibrant landscapes.
  • Summer (December to February) brings warmer temperatures averaging between 25°C and 35°C (77°F to 95°F), providing ideal conditions for exploring vineyards and enjoying outdoor activities.
  • Autumn (March to May) displays mild weather, with temperatures hovering between 13°C to 25°C (55°F  to 77°F), offering a comfortable ambiance for wine tastings amid the picturesque foliage.
  • Winter (June to August) embraces cooler temperatures, averaging around 57°F (14°C) for highs and dropping to approximately 41°F (5°C) for lows, often accompanied by occasional frosts and chilly winds.
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