Is a freelance writer and school teacher living in Adelaide. On weekends I like to get out and explore with my family. I love travelling and have lived in various cities.
Published July 10th 2012
If you happen to visit the Clare Valley for a tour of the wineries you should really stop in at Martindale Hall, a nineteenth century Georgian mansion. In the warmer weather, it is worth exploring the gardens and having a family picnic in the grounds. No matter what the season, a tour of the house is a must and will show you a glimpse of our European heritage.
Martindale Station is an 11 000 acre property, Martindale Hall, the manor house, was built in 1879-1880 and is an amazing display of how the wealthy lived in Colonial South Australia. The 2 storey house is open as a living museum Monday to Friday from 11am-4pm and Saturday and Sunday from noon-4pm. There is an entry cost of $10/adult and $2.50/child.
As the artefacts are on open display and not in glass cabinets, I would be cautious with taking young children. My seven year old was absolutely awe inspired and very cautious but it took a few adults to monitor the four year old. The rooms can be wandered at your leisure and while there is historic information available to read you really get a feel for our colonial history by just observing the contents of the rooms.
One of the best things about Martindale Hall is that it is more than simply a museum. It offers unique heritage accommodation for up to 18 guests. There aren't many opportunities like this in the country. You actually get formally served your evening meal by a butler and maid. After the meal you can use the historic 1878 billiard table
and browse the library, something you certainly can't do when simply visiting the museum. You also stay in one of the heritage bedrooms, the blue room is my favourite. In the morning a country style breakfast is provided.
Another exciting event at Martindale Hall is 'Incident at Martindale'. Guests experience the formal dinner and accommodation package with the added fun of solving a mystery. The characters used are based on historic figures from South Australia during the era. An evening of fun is assured as you assist Inspector Plodd to solve the 'crime'.
Have ever dreamed of experiencing a Victorian era high tea, or imagined yourself in a scene of 'Picnic at Hanging Rock' then this may be as close as you will get. High Tea is available, by appointment only, between 2-4pm.
If you have ever imagined having a period wedding this is the place Martindale Hall is available for weddings and other functions. Imagine the potential backdrops to your wedding photos within this mansion.