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Published November 3rd 2015
Dip your toe into the Southern Barossa
Location and Background
You don't have to drive very far from Adelaide in order to experience a rural weekend getaway in the Southern Barossa Valley - around about an hour's trip in the car.
Being on the southern edge of the famed Barossa, you are within arms reach of some great wineries, both large and small as well as some great South Australian cuisine.
The German influence in the region is still evident today, having settled in the area very early in South Australia's history, as the result of migration from Prussia mainly due to religious persecution in their homelands.
If you are looking somewhere tranquil and picturesque to stay, Cockatoo Valley offers just that and more. There are several options for accommodation in the area, with mainly Bed and Breakfasts as well as self-catering options.
The valley lives up to its name with plenty of birdlife, including cockatoos, galahs, magpies, blue wrens, parakeets and willy wagtails chirping, warbling, crowing and singing their way through the area.
If walking is your thing, then there is a trail which is known as Goldfields Walk, which meanders past the old gold mines in the area. Along the way views are offered of the South Para River and the walk itself is graded as easy.
It will take you around 3.5 hours to complete the loop and the walk starts at the gate on Goldfields Road.
Lyndoch is located between Gawler and Tanunda, about 58 kms from Adelaide and is one of the oldest towns in South Australia, having been discovered and settled in 1839.
One of the attractions near the town is the Lyndoch Lavender Farm, which is a great place to stock up on some early Christmas presents and sample lavender in many different forms.
For example, who knew that you can buy lavender scent balms, skin care creams, massage oils, linen sprays, furniture cream, arthritis and rheumatism rub as well as lavender honey, lavender jams, marmalade, mustards, lollies, tea and the list goes on.
If you wish to continue the theme whilst indulging in morning or afternoon tea, or even lunch, you can try lavender scones, lavender icecream or lavender biscuits.
With over 5 acres of lavender, the site is great to simply walk around and "smell" the bushy plants.
The shop is open every day until the end of December from 10 am until 4.30 pm and then from January until August next year, only on weekends and public holidays apart from Good Friday and Anzac Day.
Whether you are staying in the area or not, a worth-while visit can be made to Para Wirra Recreation Park, if you wish to be up and close and personal with nature as well as enjoy the man-made facilities.
It is not an unfamiliar sight to see western grey kangaroos, especially at dawn or dusk and emus can be seen wandering through the picnic grounds.
Wandering around the 1,409 hectare park, there are numerous walking trails, and over 100 species of birds. Evidence still remains of the old goldmines in the area, with mineshafts, tunnels as well as old equipment and ruins.
Great place to pack a picnic lunch and immerse yourself in a natural environment.
The park is open every day from 8 am until sunset, except Christmas Day. Entrance fees to the park are $10 per vehicle.
After a visit to the Southern Barossa Valley, whether it is for a few hours or for overnight or a weekend, by the time you leave, you will be feeling de-stressed and will want to return for more discoveries.
Sitting out overlooking the Cockatoo Valley with some local produce and a glass of wine or beer with glorious sunsets and sunrises is the ultimate!