The year has flown past and just like that, the Spring school holidays have arrived! Located less than 2 hours from Adelaide, with a range of attractions enjoyed by adults and children alike, the Clare Valley is the perfect place for a short escape or longer family holidays. With so much to see and do, here are our team’s tips to help you plan your holiday in the Clare Valley these school holidays:
- Animal feeding at Bungaree (residential guests only): We know it’s school holidays when there’s a line of kid’s bikes parked by the Store first thing in the morning and parents lining up for their caffeine hit before animal feeding. Animal feeding usually takes about an hour and as the mornings can still be fresh, do make sure the kids have a warm jumper. Please note that this is only available for our guests staying at Bungaree and not available for day visitors.
- Self Guided Tour with Shearing at Bungaree: This year our annual shearing will coincide with the first week of the school holidays (pending any changes due to weather!). Our residential guests and day visitors doing a self guided tour of Bungaree can see our shearing team in action from Tuesday 2 – Friday 5 October. The self guided tour also takes in the Station Store, Church, Homestead Garden and Stableyard, with a series of audiposts (including audio stories specially selected for children), signs and displays around the property. Any students registered with the Children’s University can also earn credit for their program through completion of an activity booklet. The self guided tour is available between 10am and 4pm daily, at $15 per person and $7.50 per child for day visitors and is complimentary for our residential guests. Refreshments, including fresh coffee and pots of tea, Clare Valley wines and beers, local produce and cheese platters, can also be purchased from the Station Store.
- Wineries and breweries: Spend some time sampling the local wines and beers at the Clare Valley’s cellar doors. Children will enjoy the Bush Garden at Paulett Wines, the lawn and outdoor games at Sevenhill Cellars and the great pizzas at Stonebridge Wines. If you stop at a few playgrounds along the way, such as the fantastic “playscape” near the Sevenhill Oval, and the kids won’t even notice that they are on an informal wine tasting tour! There’s also some great Clare with Fresh Air events on in October, pairing Clare Valley wines with Eyre Peninsula seafood.
- Get lost in Mintaro Maze: the Maze is open daily during school holidays and also has a range of oversize board games to enjoy with your coffee.
- Cycle the Riesling Trail: Bring or hire bikes to cycle all or part of the 32km Riesling Trail. It is a great way to burn off some of the children’s excess energy, and really make you feel like you’ve earnt that lazy lunch at a winery or bakery along the way. For those with younger children who still want to cover longer distances, tandem bikes, bike seats and carriages can also be hired locally.
- Head along to a country event or show: The Royal Flying Doctors “Spring Art & Garden Fair” is being held at Melrose Park in Clare on Sunday 30 September. As well as a range of art, plants, food and wine, there will be the Flying Doctor flight simulator, jumping castle, face painting and model train rides for the kids (big and small!) to enjoy. The Clare Show also falls during the school holidays, on Saturday 13 October, and is a fantastic agricultural and horticultural show, with all the animals, sideshows and stalls that you find at a classic country show.
- Walking trails at Bungaree (residential guests only): The countryside is looking stunning at the moment, a tapestry of yellow paddocks of canola amongst the green crops, pastures and native vegetation. A scenic walking trail through some of our paddocks provides beautiful vistas with some great picnic spots along the way. Pop into the Station Store for a map and any additional local produce or snacks to add to your picnic.
- Hike through Spring Gully Conservation Park: Choose between 1.2 – 2.6km loop walks through this pretty conservation park and keep your eyes open for flowering native orchids and wildlife.
- Barbeques: This Spring weather is perfect for enjoying a BBQ in the sun. All of our cottages, and most accommodation in the region, are equipped with a BBQ. Pop into our Station Store to pick up some Bungaree lamb, or visit one of our great butchers in Clare to sample other local meats.
- Bonfires (residential guests only): With fireban season kicking in at the end of October, it is your last chance to toast marshmellows while enjoy your favourite local wines under the stars this Spring. By prior arrangement, small bonfires can be set up in drums by your accommodation (cost for wood/setup) – so pack the marshmellows and send your kids off searching for the perfect toasting sticks.
We hope this list has given you a few ideas for a fun family holiday in the Clare Valley this Spring.
For more information of what to see and do in the Clare Valley, visit clarevalley.com.au or pop into the Clare Valley Wine, Food and Tourism Centre.