While Adelaide is getting ready to host the India-Pakistan World Cup Cricket match on 15 February, rest of South Australia is sending out invitations to all discerned visitors to savour the state’s other attractions. There are plenty to choose from, but most appealing are Kangaroo Island, Flinders Range, Barossa Valley and Fleurieu Peninsula, the last two being only a short drive away from Adelaide making day trips tempting.
With stunning natural scenery of rolling hills and vineyards, hugged from the west by sandy beaches and jagged coastline punctuated by cliffs and jetties, Fleurieu Peninsula, placed south of Adelaide, bestows a diverse tapestry of experiences to relish and remember. There is something for everyone here, right from rejoicing its natural setting and seaside culture to visiting historic towns, markets and antique stores and enjoying the best of provincial food and wine at one of the region’s authentic restaurants and cafés.
Home to spectacular scenery, the small settlement of Victor Harbour is the star attraction of the cape. This is where South Australians storm for a relaxing holiday, particularly for an intimate affair with sun, sea, sand and saucy seafood washed down with fine wines from McLaren Vale wineries, which are all part of the Fleur Peninsula’s treasure trove.
The sleepy town’s showstopper is the historic horse drawn tram that takes passengers from the mainland via the 600m wooden causeway to Granite Island, where a large colony of penguins and the breathtaking vista of the surrounding amaze visitors. Not far from Victor Harbour is the point where Australia’s legendary waterway, the Murray River meets the sea.
Around an hour’s drive north of Adelaide is Barossa a rural region where the scenic rolling hills of the Barossa Ranges overlook a colourful patch work of vineyards, and picture perfect ensemble of tiny hamlets – Tanunda, Nuriootpa, Greenock, Angaston, Marananga and Lyndock – that are sprinkled with old churches, stone buildings and cottages inspiring visitors to explore its 170 years of European history, dominantly German in style and character.
If South Australia is deemed as the crown covering the head of the nation’s wine production, then Barossa can surely be the jewel in the crown. With over 150 wineries and 80 cellar doors where visitors can learn about wine and its making, taste some and buy as well, Barossa aptly stands as one of the world’s greatest wine region.
Presence of many well-known and famous brands like Penfolds, Jacobs Creek, Wolf Blass, Hardys and Yalumba make wines tours are highlight of any trip to Barossa. Calling into their cellar doors is an experience by itself even if you are a teetotaller, as knowing the facts and history of some of them are fascinating.
During your visit to the Penfolds cellar door you can become a master winemaker for the day with an experience especially designed for astute wine-lovers. Guests are invited to the Winemaker’s Laboratory, to try blending their own wine from Grenache, Shiraz and Mourvedre, like Penfolds’ own and highly acclaimed Bin 138. At the end of the session you get the satisfaction of taking your wine home to enjoy the fruits of your labour.
Some metaphors of Barossa are unforgettable like the avenue of the date and fan palms at Seppeltsfield, the Orlando Arch over the main thoroughfare at Tanunda, the blooming lavender shrubberies lining the streets, the galaxy of Lutheran churches whose spires mark the spiritual essence of the gentle community and creased blankets of grapevines sloping down the hills.
Wandering beyond Adelaide promises to be as rewarding as the cricketing action in the city.
Getting There – Air India (www.airindia.in), a member of Star Alliance, connects India with Australia direct with their new Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircrafts. There are daily flights from Delhi to Sydney/ Melbourne from where several domestic airlines fly to Adelaide. Departure from Delhi is in the early afternoon arriving Australia the following morning with almost the entire day available for touring.
Adelaide Stay – No shortage of accommodations to suit budget, Hilton Adelaide (www.adelaide.hilton.com) at Victoria Square being a popular venue.
Day Tours from Adelaide –Life is a Cabernet Tours (www.lifeisacaberenet.com.au) and Wine Diva Tours (www.winedivatours.com.au) for private tours of Barossa and Fleurieu regions respectively.
More Info – Check http://www.southaustralia.com