Feast your eyes on bubble gum shores, then sip your way through the heart of Australian Riesling on a three-day road trip to the Clare Valley. Less than two hours’ drive from Adelaide, Lake Bumbunga’s magenta veins draw an eclectic crowd, from casual photographers to high-end fashion brands. Take-in the famed pink hues, then treat your taste buds to unbeatable Riesling and rosé with our three-day Clare Valley itinerary.

DAY ONE

STOP AT LAKE BUMBUNGA ON THE WAY TO THE CLARE VALLEY

One hour and 40 minutes’ drive from Adelaide, Lake Bumbunga’s magenta shores beckon. Located in Lochiel, the lake is known to change colour from pink, to white, to blue, depending on the salinity of the water throughout the year. Stop the car, snap some shots, then hit the road for the Clare Valley

ARRIVE AT TRESTRAIL COTTAGE

After 40 minutes, you’ll arrive at Sevenhill where your cosy cottage nestled in nature awaits. The perfect blend of untouched nature, creature comforts and a splash of wine, Trestrail Cottage is a cosy settler’s style cottage tucked on 100 acres of private bushland just a stone’s throw from the world-famous vines of the Clare Valley. Check in and spend your days bush walking, wine tasting and dining before retreating to the open wood fire with a glass of Riesling.  

DRINK IN HISTORY AND WINE

Down the road from your abode a generous glass of wine and a good helping of history awaits. The Clare Valley is home to some of the oldest wineries and cellar doors in the state; the oldest being Sevenhill Cellars which was established in 1851 by Jesuits priests. They planted the first grape vines in order to make sacramental wine. Sevenhill’s wine and history makes it a favourite with tourists. Visit the cellar door and tour the underground cellars and crypt.

WINE AND DINE AT TERROIR AUBURN

Mix avant-garde cuisine with rustic charm at Terroir Auburn, just a 20-minute drive from the town of Clare. The team at Terroir Auburn pride themselves on sourcing as much local produce as humanly possible, with a strong focus on seasonality and a weekly changing menu. For a take home option, head to Seed Street Diner and Takeaway for gourmet burgers, seafood, ramen and dumplings.

DAY TWO

CYCLE THE CLARE VALLEY RIESLING TRAIL

One of the best ways to experience the Clare Valley is by bike, along the Clare Valley Riesling Trail. Hire some wheels in the town of Clare, then cycle 35 kilometres across stunning wine country. Stop for a sip at Tim Adams WinesClos Clare and Crabtree Wines and grab lunch (and more wine) at Pikes Winery. Finish-off the day with tapas and Riesling in Mr Mick’s sunny courtyard.

DIG INTO DINNER AT UMBRIA RUSTIC

With a menu drawing on the traditions of Umbria and Tuscany, Umbria Rustic offers an authentic taste of Italy in the heart of Clare. Head chef Edoardo Strappa’s menu showcases local produce wherever possible and the pasta is made fresh daily. The wine list features an impressive blend of Clare Valley wines sourced from the surrounding vineyards as well as Italian classics.

DAY THREE

GRAB BREAKFAST IN WATERVALE, THEN EXPLORE MARTINDALE HALL

Grab breakfast from the Watervale General Store then hit the road early driving 30 minutes to the Burra. Explore this historic mining town with the Burra Heritage Passport and be sure to stop at Martindale Hall on the way: one of the prettiest country mansions in Australia, presenting as a miniature version of Britain’s Chatsworth House.

ENJOY A LONG LUNCH AT SKILLOGALLEE 

End your Clare Valley escape with a lingering long lunch at Skillogalee. The cellar door and restaurant are set in an historic settler’s cottage, surrounded by beautiful gardens. Take your pick from an à la carte menu focussing on prime local produce, and pair it with some of the best Riesling in all of Australia.

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