McLaren Vale is in South Australia. It is south of the Adelaide CBD, and is a short drive from Victor Harbor, Port Elliot and Goolwa. McLaren Vale is one of South Australia's world renowned wine regions, and boasts excellent wineries, gourmet restaurants and many boutique stores.
Mclaren Vale is an easy 45 minute drive by car from the centre of Adelaide. From the Adelaide CBD, take Goodwood Road south to South road, then head west. Use the Southern Expressway (or the Main South Road), and follow the signs first towards Victor Harbor and then to McLaren Vale. Car hires are available in Adelaide for all budgets ranging from the world wide brands, down to rent-a wreck cheapies. Renting and returning a hire car is a no-brainer.
A far more scenic route, avoiding miles of car yards, traffic lights and suburban build up is to take the Mt Barker Highway (the main road out of Adelaide to Melbourne) and leave the highway to enter Hahndorf. From there drive to Meadows and then follow the sign posts to McLaren Vale. On arriving in McLaren Vale, initially turn right, back toward Adelaide, and drive about 300 metres down the main street to the outskirts of the town as the tourist centre with winery location maps is on the Adelaide side of the town.
There are various tour companies in Adelaide which will offer bus tours of McLaren Vale. Almost all wineries offer tastings at no charge in the expectation of a sale.
Take your bicycle along the Coast to Vines Rail Trail (see Do section) to get to McLaren Vale and Willunga.
Whilst it is possible to take a bus or use a bicycle around McLaren Vale, the many interesting and unique areas are spread far apart. Therefore, it may be an idea to consider hiring a car for the time you are going to spend there.
Pick up a brochure at any of the many art galleries in the region for the "Art Trail" which will take you through the region.
- Blessed Cheese, 150 Main Rd, ☏ . Go on one of their Cheese and Wine trails. The Cheese and Wine trail provides you with a cooler-bag of cheeses and instructions on which wines to taste whilst trying the cheese. A wonderful experience for those who are wanting to become more familiar with the wineries in the region.
- 1 Glenthorne National Park–Ityamaiitpinna Yarta. A reasonably new national park with several mountain bike trails.
- Coast to Vines Rail Trail. Cycle along the 37km long rail trail. It starts in Marino Rocks and ends in Willunga. The last 8km section between McLaren Vale and Willunga is the Shiraz Trail and passes many cellar doors.
- 1 Willunga Farmers Market (At Willunga High School about 1km North of the town square). Every Sa 08:00-12:00 in any weather. Fresh food just outside of McLaren Vale.
- Stop in at the clothing boutiques and antique stores nearby the Willunga Farmers Market.
Many wineries operate restaurants where you can have lunch overlooking the vineyards.
- Oscar's, 201 Main Road. Mains $12-$30.
- 1 d'Arenberg. Winery known for mainly its red wines and dessert wines. Has a restaurant overlooking the vineyard that serves excellent food, and with wine pairings to go with the food.
- 1 McLaren Vale Motel & Apartments, cnr Main Rd & Caffrey Street, ☏ . Check-in: 2PM, check-out: 10AM.