Car Safari discovers the wine and farm regions of Barossa Valley

To The POINT
with JOHN VERHERLST

ROTARY CLUB of Hunters Hill is gearing up for our 7th annual Car Safari to be held this year from Sunday October 22 to Saturday October 28.

You can experience seven days of discovering South Australia’s Barossa Valley, Adelaide Hills, McLaren Vale and Victor Harbour areas.

This year we have changed the structure of the tour somewhat as over the past six years we have covered most areas of NSW and Victoria.

While the daily rally style will continue, we will not be moving accommodation each night, but will use two places only as bases for daily touring.

Highlights of the 2017 Safari include Maggie Beer’s Farm Shop, the Barossa Valley Cheese Farm, a Lavender Farm and the obligatory visit to Penfolds, Seppeltsfield, Henscke – all in the Barossa Valley.

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WHILE IN the Adelaide Hills we will visit the quaint township of Hahndorf and drive via Mount Barker to Langhorne Creek.

In McLaren Vale we will visit farmers markets, craft beer shops and see wineries including Wirra Wirra Estate and D’çrenberg.

It is spring when we travel – the best season of all to experience this region.

You can either drive to the Barossa Valley, or fly to Adelaide and rent a car for the safari duration.

Alternately you may want to take your car on the Indian Pacific out of Sydney to Adelaide!

As usual, all participants will be given driving and touring instructions and rally questions for the next day at dinner each night.

On confirmation of your booking with this year’s Safari, you’ll be sent visitors’ guides to the Barossa Valley, Adelaide Hills, McLaren Vale and the Victor Harbour region (Fleurieu Peninsula).

Naturally as in past Safaris, daily questions will be featured and prizes awarded. Poplar Trees grow in abundance in South Australia too – so be warned.

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WE ARRIVE at the Barossa Valley on Sunday October 22 for a three night stay.

At dinner you’ll be given instructions for the two days of touring in the Barossa Valley, leaving plenty of time for individual sight-seeing. Dinner is at the Cellar Kitchen restaurant at the Novotel (6.30pm for 7pm).

On Monday and Tuesday we visit a selection of speciality stores and some wineries.

Not in any order are: Maggie Beer’s, Cheese Farm, wineries, Mengler Hill (for views of Barossa Valley), Barossa Valley Brewing and the Lavender Farm.

The townships to be explored include Tanunda, Angaston, Nuriootpa, Lyndoch and Williamstown.

Dinner on Monday October 23 is at the Lord Lyndoch Hotel at Lyndoch.

Suggested accommodation: NOVOTEL Barossa Valley Resort – Rowland Flat. They had a great three night deal for $480 per room, inclusive of breakfast. Best to go online and book through Accor.com

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ON Wednesday October 25 we trek from Barossa Valley to Victor Harbour (via the Adelaide Hills) for a three night stay.

A full day, driving first to the Adelaide Hills and the lovely village of Hahndorf – a good place for morning tea. We have some speciality shops and a winery or two for your enjoyment.

From Hahndorf, we drive via Mount Barker to Langhorne Creek, and then to the old town of Strathalbyn before arriving into Victor Harbour – and our accommodation for the next three nights.

From Victor Harbour, on Thursday we drive to McLaren Vale and explore the historic townships of Old Noarlunga, Willunga, Clarendon and Old Reynella – unique, eclectic and rich with stories of the past.

Art, culture and heritage along with some wineries will keep us busy.

On Friday we explore the Fleurieu Peninsula including Goolwa and the Coorong – the mouth of the Murray River.

It is a spectacular natural ancient landscapeÉan unspoilt and untouched coastal wilderness that is breathtaking and abundant.

At Victor Harbour you can take an exhilarating 45-minute boat ride from the Granite Island Causeway to Seal Island and Wright Island to see seals, sea lions, and bottle-nose dolphins, and hear the history of whaling in Encounter Bay, take a trip on a horse drawn tram along the historical bridge to the island, or just explore the many boutiques and shops and other interesting sites at Victor.

Venues for dinner on each of these four nights will be advised later.

Suggested accommodation: McCracken Country Club, Victor Harbour. The best deal was via hotels.com and it was $392 for the three nights. You ask why we are staying at Victor Harbour instead of McLaren Vale – better accommodation at realistic prices and it gives us the chance to explore other nearby areas.

On Saturday October 28 we depart Victor Harbour and return to Sydney.

Any questions contact Charles Amos on 0414 918 976; email [email protected] or John Verhelst 0437 212-121; email [email protected]

JOHN VERHELST is a long serving Rotarian with Rotary Club of Hunters Hill

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