Itineraries

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The team at Watervale Hotel are passionate about fresh local food and Clare Valley produce.

What else to do – by foot, cycle or car

The Clare Valley has an amazing diversity of experiences to enjoy. Here are just a few suggestions.

When in Watervale

Watervale is in the middle of the Clare Valley wine region, and tourism region. It is 15km south of Clare, 10km north of Auburn and 10km west of Mintaro. It takes less than 90 minutes to drive from Adelaide on the Northern Expressway. It is perfect for a Clare Valley holiday, or as a stopover on the way to the Flinders Ranges. 

If you are staying in Watervale, or even if you are not, a visit to the Watervale General Store is a must. Chef Louise Haines cooks up a killer breakfast, and serves all day coffee and lunch.

The Crabtree Winery right opposite the Watervale Hotel is open every day, but Clos Clare, opposite Penobscot Farm is only open on weekends. In nearby Leasingham visit Claymore, and O’Leary Walker  which has beautiful views, lunch and coffee. Great spot for kids to run around. Tim McNeil has an amazing view from his Cellar Door as well. 

The historic Quelltaler Winery museum and Clare Valley wine region interpretive centre will also soon be home to the Watervale Cellars, the Penobscot Farm Provedore store and licensed café. It would make a wonderful place for a wedding or corporate function, catered for by the Watervale Hotel.

quelltaler estate

quelltaler estate

Now owned by Seppeltsfield but operated by the Watervale Hotel, The historic Quelltaler Winery museum and Clare Valley wine region interpretive centre will also soon be home to the Watervale Cellars, the Penobscot Farm Provedore store and licensed café. It would make a wonderful place for a wedding or corporate function, catered for by the Watervale Hotel.

the riesling trail

the riesling trail

The Riesling Trail is ideal for walking or cycling. It is 8km north from Clare to Barinia, or 24km from Clare to Auburn. Sevenhill and Watervale both make great places to start a walk. Watervale Hotel to the Riesling Trail via Crabtree, south to O'Leary Walker and back via Claymore is recommended as a half day 10km walk.

the lavander trail

the lavander trail

The Lavender Trail is 325km from Murray Bridge to Clare with the 15km of Riesling Trail from Watervale to Clare the final section. The 12km walk from Mintaro to Watervale is more rural and challenging as it takes in Mount Horrocks.

Best Cycling in Clare Valley

There are three kinds of cycling adventures in the Clare Valley and surrounds.

The roads are ideal for road cyclists, which is why the Clare Classic operators chose our region to hold their event. 

There are tracks for mountain bikers in the Spring Gully Conservation park and other off track sites. For real mountain bike obsessed stop in the Clare Valley on the way to Mount Remarkable one hour to the north – a world famous downhill track.

For the less fit or less thrill-seeking among us, or simply those more interested in food, wine, history or relaxation you can hire a bike to see much of the Valley.

The Clare Valley is famous for the Riesling Trail, a bike path built on the site of the old railway line. It isn’t flat, but its not that challenging either. There are some other great rides on the roads either side of the Riesling Trail, but then it gets a bit more hilly. The Horrock’s Loop through Skilly Valley is a must!

If you are fit enough and want a work-out you have an wide range of wineries and attractions to visit. You still can if you have or hire an e-bike.

We suggest leisurely half or one day rides (more dependent upon your speed than length), with the start point determining the suggested routes.

bike rides from auburn

bike rides from auburn

Auburn to Watervale is an easy 20km half day round trip that can take in O'Leary Walker, Claymore, Crabtree,and lunch at the Watervale Hotel. For a 45km full day ride set out for Sevenhill Monastery, take in the Skillogalee Valley and Watervale. For road cyclists try Manoora, Mintaro, Sevenhill and back via Watervale.

bike rides from watervale

bike rides from watervale

From Watervale you can do an easy 20km round trip to Auburn to visit KT, Mt Horrock's and Velvet and Willow. Drop in at O'Leary Walker and detour to Claymore. For a day ride go north to Sevenhill Monastery, on to Shut the Gate, Stonebridge, up Gillentown Rd through the Skillogalee Valley and re-join the Riesling trail at Penwortham back to Watervale.

bike rides from clare

bike rides from clare

On the trail start early at Sevenhill Monastery then on to Watervale for early lunch. On return turn left at Pawelski Road and head into the Skillogalee Valley for Kilikanoon, Mitchells, Skillogalee and Jeanneret. Return via Gillentown Road, Stonebridge and Shut the Gate ... or do it in reverse! For road cyclists, Clare to Farrel Flat, Mintaro, then Sevenhill via Paulett's and return is a great 50km ride.

Best Driving Tours in and around Clare Valley

burra

burra

Copper was discovered in Burra 1845 and until 1877 produced 90% of SA's Copper and saved the economy. There is so much to do in Burra we suggest you start early. The passport heritage tour is a must. Several antique stores, bistro's and bakeries will entertain you in town. Beyond Burra the outback begins. Its only about 30 minutes to Burra by car.

clare north

clare north

A day trip north of Clare will be focused on Bungaree Station, see below. On the way back its Barry country. Go to Jim Barry wines and also see Mad Bastard. A longer drive can take you to Melrose (1 hour) via a stop at Medlow Chocolates in Laura.

mintaro

mintaro

A day trip to this fabulous part of the Clare Valley must include Martindale Hall and the Mintaro Maze. It is a heritage town built largely with local slate. The Magpie and Stump Hotel and Reilly’s Winery restaurant both offer lunch. Can be linked to a trip to Polish Hill River to make it a full day.

the skilly valley

THE SKILLY VALLEY

The Skillogalee Valley is a must as a bike ride, or a leisurely cellar door drive. Wineries Penna Lane, Kilikanoon, Mitchell's, Skillogalee and Jeanerret all offer great tastings. Skillogalee is a multiple award winning restaurant, and Clare Valley Brewing shares the Jeanneret Cellar Door.

bungaree station

BUNGAREE STATION

Established by George Hawker and his brothers in 1841, Bungaree became the headquarters of a station with 100 thousand merino sheep.Now, Bungaree Station is not a museum, but rather a living record of rural Australia that offers amazing tours, and accommodation.

polish hill river

polish hill river

Polish Hill River was also established in the 1850s around the church of St. Stanislaus Kostka by Polish Catholic immigrants. Pikes winery, brewery and Slate Restaurant is the primary destination in this region, but also visit Wilson's Vineyard, Hill River, and go via Paulett's Bush D’Vine Bistro that has a beautiful view of the Valley.

Best Day Trips & Overnights from the Clare Valley

wallaroo

wallaroo

Just over an hour west of the Clare Valley, Wallaroo, Kadina and Moonta form the Copper Triangle or Copper Coast. The beaches are beautiful and child friendly. In summer the blue swimmer crabs are another attraction. We can provide crab nets to Guesthouse guests ... as long as you share!

morgan

morgan

Around 75 minutes from Clare by Burra or Auburn via Eudunda, Morgan is the closest town on the Murray River. An ideal spot to hire a houseboat or rent a river shack. Extending your houseboat holiday with a few days in the Clare Valley is recommended.

flinders ranges

flinders ranges

The Flinders Ranges are a must visit destination, and the other must is to stop and stay in the Clare Valley en-route. We recommend going via Clare to stock up and returning via Burra. Its around 3-4 hours from the Clare Valley. With all day dining, the Watervale Hotel makes a brilliant early lunch venue on the way north or late lunch on the way back to Adelaide.

Barossa Valley

Barossa Valley

A day trip to the Barossa Valley is recommended for those staying in the Clare Valley - or visa versa. Its only 45 minutes from Watervale to Greenock. Seppeltsfield, neighboring Hently Farm, Maggie Beer, and neighboring cellars make a great day trip. We often recommend visitors come to Clare Valley via the Barossa Valley.

yorke peninsula

yorke peninsula

Two hours or so south west of Auburn, the Yorke Peninsula has some of the most amazing beaches and fishing spots in SA. The region represents a great day trip from the Clare Valley. It is strongly recommended that people heading over to Yorke's take the long-cut via the Clare Valley to load up with liquid provisions.

mount remarkable

mount remarkable

An hour north of Clare, the Mount Remarkable Conservation Park is a popular destination for bush walking with trails for all ages and abilities. Melrose is a world renowned centre for downhill cycling. Some famous trails are 'Greener Pastures', 'Hellrose', 'Edge Loop' and 'Throwing Copper'.

Best art galleries

Auburn and Blyth

Auburn and Blyth Art Galleries

Art at Auburn at 36 Main North Road is a collective art gallery for local artists. Ian Robert's Medika art gallery in Blyth doubles as a plant nursery. Ian paints birds and plants in a botanical illustration style.

Clare Art Galleries

The Arts Collective

The Clare Art House at 4 Mill Street is a Council initiative available for exhibits, presentations, art and craft workshops and lessons. Star Light Jewelry and Art D'Vine Galley is in the Main Street, whilst two gems are on the Main Road south of Clare. Blackman Gallery has amazing framed photographs, whilst the Clare Art Gallery further south specializes in Aboriginal art.

Burra Art Gallery

Burra Art Gallery

Burra Regional Art Gallery is located on Market Street Burra in the restored 1860 Post and Telegraph Office. The gallery, opened by Kim Bonython in 1996 is a leading participant in the arts of the Mid North of SA. The building comprises two exhibition spaces and a well-stocked shop.

Best activities with kids

the Clare trains

lakeside train rides

Children can enjoy rides on model trains at Inchiquin Lake Park, next door to the Clare Country Club. Twilight train rides starting at 6pm take place on the second and forth Saturday of each month through out November - March. Afternoon rides starting at 1:30pm take place on the second and fourth Sunday of each month from April - November. On Long Weekends Sunday you can ride from 10.30am to 4.30pm.

the mintaro maze

the mintaro maze

10 minutes drive from Watervale, you can lose yourself in a unique experience of a living hedge Mintaro Maze, consisting of over 800 conifers, featuring fountains, twists and turns to trick even the most committed explorer, have loads of fun with our range of giant sized games featuring local Mintaro slate.

mini golf

Simpsons Rice Creek

10 minutes drive from Watervale, Simpson Rices Creek is situated in Auburn, surrounded by an extensive native garden, vineyards and olive grove. They have a full 18 hole Mini Golf course great for families, and also many produce olives, olive oil, jams, conserves and tapenades.

Sevenhill Playground

Richardson Park

Just 5 minutes drive or 30 minutes ride from Watervale and located near the Riesling Trail in Sevenhill, the Richardson Park playspace is an interactive play area kids will love, featuring slides, climbing frame and flying fox.

burra passport tour

burra passport tour

Burra’s unique Heritage Passport allows family access to nine locked sites, including the Monster Mine area, Redruth Gaol, the underground Unicorn Brewery cellars, the Dugouts, and free entry to Burra’s Museums. A comprehensive guide book details 49 historic sites over an 11 km driving trail.

bungaree self guided tour

bungaree self guided tour

Explore South Australia’s pioneering past at your own pace with a self-guided tour of iconic Bungaree Station. Established in 1841 by the Hawker family, Bungaree became the headquarters of one of Australia’s most successful sheep flocks.

Taste Nature

Our menu is seasonal, driven by produce from our own organic, bio dynamic Penobscot Farm.