Whether you want to curl up by the fireplace with your special someone and a bottle of red you blended yourself, or you’re more of a run-through-the-vineyards-holding-hands kind of couple, South Australia’s wine regions are the perfect playground for a wine country honeymoon. Here are five activities you won’t want to miss!
Image: Paul Beck & Hazel Parker
If your idea of a honeymoon is to go big or go home, how does a ‘heli-swag’ honeymooning sound? Helivista and Mulberry Lodge Luxury Country Retreat have paired up to make sure honeymooners have a trip for the ages. McLaren Vale is your playground, with two nights at the lodge in a Garden Retreat room, two tutored wine tastings and breakfast hampers before being whisked away from the Mulberry Lodge helipad for a sunset flight to your private campsite in the Willunga Hills for your heli-honeymoon. You’ll be in a swag, but with a private chef to whip up a feast, local wine and the beautiful starry night, this is camping you won’t forget. And in the morning, hop back into your helicopter to fly back to the lodge. Now we’re talking!
Images: Paul Beck & Hazel Parker
Images of Mulberry Lodge Luxury Country Retreat by Hazel Parker
Tour de Riesling
Love living vicariously through the Tour de France? Spend your weekends cycling around your city? Adelaide has long been associated with cycling, thanks to the annual Tour Down Under race each January, but there’s another course that draws cyclists to this beautiful state. You don’t need to be a hard-core cyclist to appreciate a few hours pedalling along the Clare Valley’s Riesling Trail. The 35km trail is dotted with cellar doors, art galleries, bakeries, and plenty of spots to break up your cycle. An old railway line, it’s an adventure in and of itself. Grab bikes at either end, the towns of Clare and Auburn, don’t forget to bring a backpack for wine buys along the way!
Image: Ian Routledge
Wine Blending With The Masters!
If there’s one brand that’s synonymous with the Barossa, it’s Penfolds. If you’re a fan of big, bold reds, you’ve got this cellar door on your bucket list already. Take things to the next level with a 90 minute ‘Make your own blend’ experience, where you’ll go to the winemaker’s laboratory to whip up your own special drop. You’ll get to play with Grenache, Shiraz and Mataro, and the fruits of your labour go home in a bottle with you. All you need then is the fireplace to drink in front of. The brand actually has two cellar doors – the Barossa Valley cellar door, where you can also sign up for Taste of Grange (go on, set the bar high) and also at Magill Estate, just 8km from the Adelaide CBD. Here you can wine and dine to your heart’s content, visit Grange Cottage for a history lesson, take wine flights – there’s plenty to keep you entertained.
Early birds catch the birds-eye view!
Watch the sunrise over the vines from the basket of a hot air balloon and you won’t regret the early morning start. Especially when your jaunt among the clouds ends with a Champagne breakfast. The Barossa Valley Ballooning crew have plenty of experience so you’re in good hands as you soar into the air, returning to the ground before being whisked away to the Novotel Barossa Valley Resort for bubbles and a buffet breakfast. Now that’s a special way to start the day!
Image: Barossa Valley Ballooning
Go Down the Rabbit Hole at the d’Arenberg Cube
Image: d’Arenberg Cube
McLaren Vale’s answer to Alice in Wonderland is waiting for you at the d’Arenberg Cube. A little like walking into Mad Hatter’s tea party, entering the cube is a sensory journey that is worth savouring. It’s definitely worth allotting time to go into the bathrooms! The building itself is a nod to the puzzle-like process of winemaking, and its lower floors are laboratory meets art gallery in a weird and wonderful way. You’ll end your journey on the top floor, where tastings take place – the $15 entry fee includes a short tasting. On a good day, you can see all the way to the Gulf St Vincent, so soak up the view and sip on your wine for an excellent afternoon out. If you want to go deeper, book in for one of the more extensive tastings or a meal at d’Arrys Verandah Restaurant. The kitchen also whips up more laid-back dishes at Eat@Pollys onsite.
Image: d’Arenberg Cube
Whether you want to try your hand at blending, get out into the great outdoors or see the vines from up high, there’s plenty of ways to make your South Australian wine honeymoon one to remember…
About Lisa Perkovic: Lisa has spent the past decade travelling the world writing for Australia’s leading newspapers, magazines, and blogs about all things travel. Her own honeymoon was her pièce de résistance – an epic journey to the Maldives and South Africa. Now she loves nothing more than sharing destinations and tips to help other newlyweds work out how to have the honeymoon of their dreams.