South Australia

Wind down in the wineries of South Australia for a dreamy mini-break

You'll get to know your Pinot Noir from your Shiraz when you escape to these wineries in South Australia.

From a cute cottage to a Japanese villa, historic coach house or a golfer’s paradise, there are oodles of options for uncorked stays in the vineyard valleys of the south. Book self-catered accommodation with friends for long weekend walks in the Adelaide Hills—not to mention trying the wares at the region’s many cellar doors.

Or if there’s an anniversary in the diary, surprise your loved one with a luxury villa for a secluded stay still in walking distance of esteemed vineyards. Whichever you choose, you’ll be in for lazy mornings in luxury linens and long nights over an award-winning vintage.

A McLaren Vale accommodation between the beach and the vines

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Fans of Shiraz and Grenache should head to McLaren Vale: the region is famous for its delicious reds, and McLaren Vale Motel and Apartments is the ideal home base for dipping into the area’s many vineyards.

Book a tasting at the D’Arenberg Estate, a six-minute drive from the motel, where sessions are held in an innovative building offering 360-degree views over the vines. For a more rustic setting, take an eight-minute drive to Fox Creek Wines, where you can sample fine wines amid olive groves and flower gardens. Should you need an extra excuse to linger over a glass of Mourvedre, the in-house gallery displays work by local artists. Or if you have youngsters in tow, Fox Creek puts on free children’s treasure hunts.

When you’re wined-out (if that’s even possible), head back to your Executive Deluxe Room for a bit of romance. Lean back into the bubbles of your spa bath or luxuriate under his-and-hers showers after a day of vineyard hopping. If you’d like to self-cater a feast of farm-to-table local produce, book a studio room with a full kitchen. Serve up your culinary masterpiece in the communal courtyard, alongside one of your carefully selected bottles from the day’s tastings.

After a good night’s sleep in sumptuous bedding, you can hit refresh with a splash in the on-site heated saltwater pool. If you need another five minutes of relaxation, grab a book and stretch out on a poolside lounger or shaded bed. Take a walk on the sands of Maslin beach, a six-minute drive away, then stop for brunch at Rosey’s for salmon bagels, waffles or zucchini fritters. And if you’re here on a Saturday, head to Willunga Farmers Market for fresh farm fare and artisan products.

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Mclaren Vale

8.9 Excellent (788 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9.2 / 10
WiFi in rooms
Car park
Pets allowed
Gym
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An on-site winery at a South Australia weekend destination

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Channel your inner sommelier at Longview Vineyard, an Adelaide Hills accommodation choice thick with countryside charm. From its perch in the sweeping hills, it’s a tranquil retreat for a romantic break or a general catch-up with friends.

The modern architecture and huge windows make the most of the rural, vineyard views, though you can also savour them from your private balcony or terrace. Take a seat as the sun sinks into the hills and uncork a bottle of Longview Vintage Chardonnay. The next day, you’ll find mornings are made easy thanks to generous breakfast provisions left in your kitchenette. Cook up, tuck in, then cruise over to Crystal Lake (less than five minutes away by car) to check out the work of local sculptors.

Gain a new appreciation for wine at a private tasting session or master class led by an expert sommelier at the hotel’s own cellar door, and enhance the experience with some light bites from Longview Cucina. From your comfortable seat in the rustic, stone-walled tasting room, snack on small plates of marinated olives, miniature tostadas and empanadas, or share a scrumptious cheese board.

Those here for a special anniversary will want to reserve the Spa Suite—fill the tub with perfumed suds and enjoy a leisurely soak while you stargaze through your suite’s windows. If your break is more of a group occasion, gather the gang in The Homestead, a spacious apartment bedecked with deep sofas and soft rugs for a homely feeling. Man the barbecue and cook up some juicy steaks to wash down with a bottle or two of the vineyard’s own wine.

Longview Vineyard

Top rated
9.0 Excellent (204 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9.3 / 10
WiFi in rooms
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A Barossa Valley accommodation getaway great for groups

Reconnect with friends amid the verdant Adelaide Hills at Barossa Shiraz Estate, a deluxe Barossa Valley accommodation option. These luxury cottages provide a private and peaceful stay for couples and small groups alike. Your digs will have both a kitchen and a barbecue, so bring along the ingredients for a fancy feast or a slap-up barbie—as well as some local wine—and you’ll be set to start your celebrations as soon as you check in.

Romance seekers should stay in The Barn, a former coach house that has retained many of the building’s original features. Sit out on the balcony just off your bedroom and watch the morning sun spill into the valley. Or if you’re travelling with a group, you’ll find three bedrooms and two baths in The Willows, plus two separate outdoor areas for long dinners and even longer conversations. Crack into your complimentary port wine before your wood-burning fireplace, or get super bougie with a box of chocolates in your deep soaking bath.

As for going out and about, your kind hosts are experts in the local area and can help you plan an itinerary around the Barossa’s award-winning wineries, restaurants and attractions—many of which are less than a kilometre from the cottages. Try Barossa Chateau and Kies Family Wines, both of which have on-site cafés where you can get a bite to eat after your tasting.

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Barossa Shiraz Estate

Top rated
9.1 Excellent (177 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9.3 / 10
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Pets allowed
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An Asian-influenced stay near fine wineries in South Australia

For a secret weekend hidden in the Adelaide Hills, head to Sticky Rice Villas. Feel the vibes of Bali, Thailand or Japan in your luxury villa—also known as a calming oasis made of wood, stone and greenery.

Floor-to-ceiling windows bring the outside in, creating a seamless transition between warmly lit indoor living spaces (hello, underfloor heating and comfy sofas!) and private walled gardens with outdoor fire pits. As the day fades, throw together a romantic meal in your fully equipped kitchen, then recline in your deep soaking tub to digest with a glass of local wine. These villas drip with decadence but are designed with sustainability in mind—that means you’re in for a feel-good stay powered by solar energy and recycled water systems.

The surrounding hills are home to around 50 vineyards, producing the cool-climate wines for which the region is renowned. Tapanappa Wines is a three-minute drive away and offers tastings of its entire range. Step into a tasting room bathed in natural light from windows showcasing the property’s vines and the green hills beyond. Or, head to Deviation Road Winery (eight minutes by car) for a regional tasting platter and a guided wine flight.

Should you be inspired by the richness of the region, you can take a master class in cooking at the hotel’s own cooking school. Book a private or group class and let an expert chef guide you in preparing a restaurant-quality meal. Savour the results of your hard work with a bottle of specially selected wine from a local vineyard. Alternatively, forgo the labour and settle in for a deluxe degustation dinner, where you’ll be served a mouthwatering multi-course meal.

Sticky Rice Villas

9.3 Excellent (131 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9.2 / 10
WiFi in rooms
Car park
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WiFi in lobby
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A golf break near over 50 Wineries in South Australia

Combine your wine-tasting retreat with a round of golf at Clare Country Club, where you can spend sunny afternoons working on your handicap on the 18-hole, par 72 course with views over Clare Valley. No worries if you didn’t bring your clubs—you can hire the kit you need on-site. Then for some post-putt relaxation, slip into the club’s spa tub and sauna, leaving time to catch the last of the afternoon sun from the outdoor pool.

An Executive Room is a comfortable home-away-from-home where you can sit outdoors on your patio or balcony and watch as twilight falls. For some added indulgence, upgrade to a Superior Spa Room and plunge into your own spa tub overlooking the golf course or lake—ideal for an anniversary escape when paired with a bottle of bubbly.

At on-site Conners Bar, a relaxed atmosphere and cosy log fire make for a great spot for catching up with friends over a glass of Pinot or an Irish whiskey—a few of which might just lead to a lively game of pool! On the bar menu, you’ll find classic dishes like gnocchi, as well as seafood specials like Tasmanian scallops to satisfy your appetite.

The Clare Valley region is home to around 50 wineries, so you won’t be short of a spot to stop when you head out to explore. Crabtree Watervale Wines, planted with vines for more than 130 years, is 16-minutes away by car. Or for something even closer, have a look at the cheeky Mad Bastard Winery, a label with a reputation for quality and unique wines.

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Clare Country Club

Top rated
8.7 Excellent (1466 reviews)
Excellent Location 9 / 10
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A secluded spot hidden among Barossa Valley wineries

You’ll get to know the Barossa countryside when you book an escape at Country Pleasures. Close to the historic market town of Angaston, these cosy cottages are just far enough out of the way to feel secluded, yet within about an hour’s reach of Adelaide’s Central Business District.

Call ahead to have a cheese platter and local wines waiting for your arrival. What better way to start your retreat than with a couple of glasses of Shiraz in your two-person spa overlooking your private garden atrium? Afterwards, snuggle up by the wood-burning fire with a sweet treat, or just some whispered sweet nothings.

In the morning, have your partner bring you breakfast in bed (think homemade bread, fresh fruit and Beerenberg jam alongside freshly brewed coffee or a pot of tea) from your stocked kitchen. You can spend the whole day between the sheets here, getting up only to receive a barbecue kit from your host for the night’s dinner. Up the luxury factor even more with an indulgent massage ordered straight to your cottage.

If you do go out, stroll 10 minutes to the local village and take the heritage walk through Angaston—you can grab a guide map from the Barossa Valley Cheese Company if you pop in for a gourmet hamper. Spot historic buildings like the Union Chapel and Rose Villa, then take a 12-minute drive to Maggie Beer’s Farm Shop and sample as many of the house-made products as your waistline will allow.

Wine-tasting opportunities are never far away in the Barossa—enter the winemakers’ lab at Penfolds cellar door, a 10-minute drive from your cottage, and blend your own wine to take home. Or head to Yalumba, a four-minute drive away, to tour the only on-site winery cooperage in the Southern Hemisphere.

Country Pleasures

9.4 Excellent (199 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9.5 / 10
WiFi in rooms
Car park
Pets allowed
Air conditioning
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Feature image courtesy of Simon Dannhauer / Fotolia