Far from the madding crowd: a Summer escape to the Clare Valley

Traditionally Aussies head to the beach or river when Summer arrives, but more and more visitors are discovering the cool charm of visiting the Clare Valley during the warmer months. Now school is back in session, there’s also a great opportunity for those who aren’t limited by the school run or the daily grind of 9-5 work, and can escape midweek, or for a long weekend, to get a taste of country life at its best.

Once you start exploring the region, you will discover what we love about the Clare Valley at this time of year, including:

  • Early mornings on the Riesling Trail. Join the locals cycling or walking along the tranquil Riesling Trail through townships, vineyards and farms. If the weather is forecast to be warm, you may want to just do a shorter stretch, perhaps from Clare to Sevenhill, in time for coffee and morning tea at the bakery in Sevenhill or general store in Watervale. 
  • Relaxed tasting sessions at boutique wineries, where the person who greets you at the counter is more often than not the winemaker and/or the grapegrower, who can provide you with (uninterrupted) insights as they talk you through a wine selection tailored to your tastebuds.
  • Long lunches at wineries, where the wine, food and beautiful surrounds perfectly complement eachother. Our favourite spots for lazy Summer lunches include Pikes WinerySkillogallee, Reillys and Pauletts.
  • Appreciating the local art scene, as not only can you have an unobstructed view at many of the region’s art galleries, but if you admire the style of a local artist, you can sometimes arrange to meet them and view some of their other works.
  • Get a dose of retail therapy, including visiting the beautifully styled farmhouse studio showcasing Mickelloo and other Australian designers, or popping into Lalt, Open House, Peekaboo Kidz or some of the other great shops in the region.
  • Catching a glimpse of the past, as you really feel like you’re stepping back in time when you visit properties like Martindale Hall and Bungaree Station during the quieter midweek period. Refreshments, including fresh coffee, a range of local wines and beers, and produce platters are also available to enjoy in the sun at the recently  renovated Station Store at Bungaree – along with free WiFi if you need to stay “connected”. 
  • Relaxed dinners at a restaurant or pub, where the chef may pop out of the kitchen to give you a rundown on today’s menu. The creative menus at Terroir and  Seed  showcase local produce at its best. 
  • Wide range of events that make the most of the beautiful weather, ranging from Shakespeare in the Vines at Sevenhill Cellars, and Fringe events coordinated by HATS, through to a Jim Barry Race Day and the Clare Rodeo.

Another bonus for visitors at this time of year is the availability of a wide range of accommodation – whether you want to sip cold Clare Valley Rieslings on the verandah of a self contained 1860s cottage, or stay in a serviced suite at one of the local motels or Country Club, it is likely you will find the accommodation that suits your needs in the Clare Valley.

To celebrate this glorious time of the year, Bungaree Station is currently offering a “Late Summer Special” on available accommodation for stays between 18 February – 4 March, with savings of 20% off normal prices. You can check availability and make a booking online or by contacting Bungaree Station.