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5 Free Things to do in McLaren Vale

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by Bettina Buechel (subscribe)
I am a writing Novelist from Austria - - I am living in South Australia since December 2010 and enjoy it a lot. Besides this I look after a small vineyard -
Published July 3rd 2012
The McLaren Vale is one of South Australia's well-known and beautiful wine regions. Located in the northern part of the Fleurieu Peninsula, it is just a short drive from Adelaide. This makes it perfect for a fast get-away out of the city. The region offers so many different attractions, that everyone will find something to enjoy the time in this picturesque landscape. The following five leisure activities are just some of the versatile possibilities and they are for free.

1. Individual Wine Tasting Tour

If you are a wine-lover, it's a must to visit a few of the award winning wineries of the region. The McLaren Vale is famous for their Shiraz and you will find many well-known names in the wine business. Find the complete brochure of cellar doors in the Visitor Centre and follow your own taste. However, the small boutique vineyards are also worth a visit. Since not all of them have their own cellar door, you have the chance to taste and buy wines from smaller winemakers during the entire July at the McLaren Vale Visitor Centre. A Wine-Tasting-Tour is a good opportunity to fill up your own wine-cellar. By the way, one of your tour members should be qualified as designated driver.

Wine Tasting Tour

2. Local Producers Food

You are a foodie? Then the McLaren Vale wine region is the right place for you, besides the fabulous wines.
First of all, don't miss the "Willunga Farmers Market" , which takes place every Saturday from 8am to 12.30pm. This really spectacular market is known as one of the best in South Australia. Stroll around the huge amount of stalls and talk to the local farmers. I am sure, they are willing to sell you some of their great products.

If your heart yearns for sweets, than you should definitely pay a visit to the Confectionery and FruChoc in Medlow. At the Showcase you can learn, how the different specialties been made. They are open 7 days a week.

Also worth a visit are the Producers of McLaren Vale with their various workshops (not for free) and the Blessed cheese factory with a great selection of local and imported farmhouse cheeses.

3. Cycle along the Shiraz trail

If you want to do something more sporty, then grab your bike and cycle along the fantastic Shiraz trail from Willunga to Mclaren Vale (or vice versa). Read more information about the trail.

4. The Coastline and their stunning Beaches

Only a few minutes' drive from the McLaren Vale city center you will reach the Coastline with plenty of different breath-taking beaches. Some are allowed to be travelled by car (Sellicks Beach, Aldinga Beach, Sandy Beach) and are therefore very good spots for fishing and surfing. Others are accessible only on foot (Port Willunga, Maslin Beach, Port Noralunga). These are perfect for a leisurely stroll or a swim in the pleasant warm waters. Certain is, that all of them are very family friendly.

5. Lavender Farm

The Lavender Farm in McLaren Vale is family owned and specialises in skin care for men and women. Their quality standards are very high and suites all kind of skin types. Just give it a try and sample there products. Perhaps you find something special for your skin. The Lavender farm opens their doors from Friday to Sunday (10am to 5pm).

It could be, that one day is too little to explore the McLaren Vale wine region. But there are plenty of accommodations in order to prolong your stay.
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Why? A lot of activities to do
When: All seasons
Where: McLaren Vale
Cost: free
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