what to do?
The Clare Valley has an abundance of exciting and unique adventures to discover all year round, and we are excited to share our recommendations with you.
Why not try cycling The Riesling trail (stopping off at a few wineries of course!), have a hit of mini golf in Auburn or fight your way through the Mintaro Maze?
No matter how short or long your visit is, you will want to return.
Of course the Watervale Hotel is on top of our list! We are open 11am to late 7 days a week, and cant wait to say hello!
We do great shared plates from our menu, and are one of the only venues in The Valley offering all day dining 11am through to 9pm, 7 days.
We love to support the amazing produce coming out of The Clare Valley, and for that reason our wine list is purely local and filled with the best on offer.
We also have large ranges of Pikes and Clare Valley Brewing Company beer in stock, as well as on tap in our front bar.
The Watervale ‘Hell Hole’ Gaol was built in 1868. The Publican was able to lock away the drunk and disorderly whilst waiting for the constabulary to arrive.
The Hell Hole will be renovated into a private dining and function area with self contained terrace, waiters station and unisex ambulant toilet.
The Hell Hole retains all of its natural charm, but is certainly a much nicer place to spend a few hours.
Only 50 metres down the road in the heart of Watervale is the Watervale General Store and Post Office. Apart from being where we collect our mail they do wonderful breakfast, coffee, and snack style lunch. Our staff love to grab a bacon and egg sandwich and coffee as they make their way to the Hotel.
Martindale Hall is a Georgian styled sandstone mansion which has significant heritage value in South Australia. Built in 1879 for Edmund Bowman Jr. it has some 32 rooms and boasts a large cellar of some 7 rooms. Open from 11am to 4pm, it is a must see when in the area.
This living hedge maze, consisting of over 800 conifers, features fountains, twists and turns to trick even the most committed explorer. And when you do find your way out, there’s plenty more to enjoy, with a range of giant sized games featuring local Mintaro slate. Mintaro Maze offers a unique experience to be enjoyed by people of all ages!
Sevenhill was established in 1851 when the Jesuits who settled in the area planted vines to produce sacramental wine. Sevenhill’s celebrated old stone winery and cellar door, stately St Aloysius’ Church, the College building, spacious gardens and the surrounding vineyards provide visitors with a memorable experience
Established in 1841, Bungaree became the headquarters of an extensive sheep station. It was like a small village, with its sandstone Homestead, Woolshed, Shearers Quarters, Stable Yard, Station Store, Managers House, staff cottages and even the District Council Chambers and a Church. Bungaree Station is not a museum, but rather a living record of rural Australia, offering tours of the property.
Simpson Rices Creek is fun for the whole family! Offering mini golf, a licenced cafe with their own beer, as well as selling their own produce, there is something to please everyone. Open for breakfast and lunch.
The Riesling Trail
The Riesling Trail is such an iconic part of The Clare Valley, and definitely a ‘must do’.
Currently 32 kilometres long, the Trail runs from the historic town of Auburn in the south to Barinia in the north. Utilising the region’s old rail corridor, the Trail passes through the villages of Leasingham, Watervale, Penwortham, Sevenhill and Clare. Numerous loop trails enable users of the Riesling Trail to visit places and attractions of interest throughout the region. The trail has a quality formed surface providing safe and comfortable usage. It is suitable for walkers and cyclists of all ages and experience levels.
Watervale is midway between Clare and Auburn on the Riesling Trail, so a great place to start going north or south; or a great place to stop and re-fresh along your way.
To get to the Watervale Hotel from the Riesling trail at the siding near what will become Greg Cooley’s new Cellar Door, and come down North Terrace past Crabtree Cellar Door.
Day Trips of The Clare Valley
Day Trip One
A strong recommendation is a day in Skilly Valley and Sevenhill. You can build this around either breakfast (from 7.30am) or lunch (until 5pm) at the award winning Skillogalee Restaurant, and wine tasting at Kilikanoon. In fact you can book bikes at Kilikanoon and ride an 11km loop that takes in the Sevenhill Monastery, the town of Sevenhill where you can eat at the Pub or the Little Red Grape bakery if you have already savoured breakfast at Skilly, and also take in Clare Valley Brewing and wine at Jeaneret, and wine tasting at Mitchells.
Day Trip Two
Visit Mintaro, ideally via Paulett’s Cellar Door and Bistro that has the best view in the Clare Valley, and Pikes Brewery and Winery in the Polish Hill River. Apart from the Magpie and Stump in Mintaro you will find Reilly’s Cellar Door and Restaurant, the Mintaro Maze, and can tour the famous Martindale Hall.
Watervale Hotel is open:
11am – late 7 days.
Our kitchen offers all day dining:
11am – 9pm 7 days