Things to do this Autumn in McLaren Vale
Autumn is one of the most beautiful times to be in McLaren Vale. Vintage is wrapping up, the leaves are turning and there are stunning red, amber colours each way you look. Days are still warm and sunny though, but without the sting of summer, so it’s a perfect time to get out and about and explore.
Food-wise, you’ve come to the right spot. McLaren Vale folk really care about their produce, and the climate and conditions mean we don’t have to travel far for the best ingredients. There are a few new openings that are worth a visit. Next to the much-loved Goodness Coffee in Old Aldinga is Willunga Gelato which is serving up Italian style ice-cream made with seasonal produce on weekends. Think strawberry flavour from Mount Compass and nectarine from Berri.
Up the road in Willunga (confusing, I know!) is one place that is gathering a lot of attention – Muni restaurant – a small restaurant with influencers from Taiwan and South Australia. Another place we love is the newly reopened Port Willy kiosk located next to the Star of Greece restaurant at Port Willunga. It’s great for fresh, locally caught seafood and you can even have a glass of wine from the extensive restaurant list. It’s a good option if you’re having a walk on the beach, dip in the sea or surf at Port Willunga and want a quality bite to eat but don’t have the time or not in the mood for the full sit-down restaurant vibe.
The South Australian Government’s Great State Experiences Voucher ballot is open for registrations from 7-9 March so if you’re lucky enough to score one, there are a number of experiences in McLaren Vale that are eligible. One of these is the garden tours at Tipsy Hill, our home in Blewitt Springs – you can use the voucher on bookings between 11 March and 31 May (subject to availability). If you want to while away a few hours, you can also book for the guided garden tour, with food and a wine tasting. We’re so lucky to have such a special garden that we all pour our heart into, so we love to share it with others. If you have an accommodation voucher, you might be able to use it at one of the spots that are taking part in the program in McLaren Vale and the Fleurieu Peninsula.
If you celebrating a special occasion or just want an experience that’s a bit out of the ordinary, you could invest in a scenic flight over McLaren Vale with Helivista. What a perfect way to take in the beautiful Autumn hues of the vineyards, against the backdrop of the white sandy beaches and colourful cliffs.
Now the temperatures are easing a bit, you may feel more enthused about getting active around the Vale. Cycling is a lot more fun when it’s not 40 degrees so you could hire a bike from the McLaren Vale and Fleurieu Coast Visitor Centre and take a trip down the Shiraz Trail. One way is 38km but it’s less of a chore when you’re popping into wineries along the way! Just remember cycling over the limit isn’t cool so do use the spittoon! For the really active, you might want to check out the Great Southern Bolt on 1 May – a running festival in one of the world’s most beautiful locations. And of course, you’ll then feel thoroughly deserving of that Cellar Door tour or slap up meal afterwards. We’re launching a new food offering at our Pertaringa Cellar Door soon – watch this space!