SOUTH AUSTRALIA is bursting with culture, flavours, events and entertainment. If you’re looking to embark on a self drive holiday, then be sure to check out our journey through world-famous wine regions, heritage towns and nature trails, all just a short distance from the capital city ADELAIDE.

Chad and Lisa D’Souza, owners of Sightseeing Pass South Australia recently spent six days exploring Adelaide Hills, Barossa Valley and the McLaren Vale regions. Read more about their experience here and discover how you can plan a trip the easier way with the many tours and multi attraction DISCOUNTED PASSES we offer!

DAY 1:

We arrived in ADELAIDE and after a quick 25 minutes drive we were in the heart of the CBD immediately wanting to explore the city!

We jumped on a Popeye River Cruise which took us along the River Torrens showcasing the beautiful winter colours of the city.

Another great way to see the thriving urban culture of Adelaide is to join an Eco-Caddy Tour it is fun and adventurous and the latest craze to tour between iconic landmarks, the famous markets and gardens.

EcoCaddy Adeliade

After only a short half day learning loads about the city and in awe of its magnificent heritage buildings we then had some to time to plan our evening. We set out to explore the dining scenes that Adelaide is now become so famous for in particular their rooftop bars like the 2KW roof top bar (2 King William street).

We took the elevator to the 6th floor arriving on the southern outside roof top area, welcomed by soulful tunes from a DJ and a delicious cocktail.

It was a clear winters night but the venue was rugged up with sheepskins seat covers, heaters and cosy lounges that overlooked the city lights allowing us to indulge on Goats Cheese Croquettes washed down with a  Jam Factory Cocktail.

After starting our evening off with some great Adelaide culture we were in the mood to try one of the many new craft gin bars HAINES & CO to sample one in one of Adelaide’s newest trending creations. 

These gin distilleries seem to be everywhere and packed with talented bartenders surprising you with their own creations.

It was soon time to eat again and we’d been told to not miss the flavours of the most talked about OSTERIA OGGI. This place is fab with a menu full of sophisticated Italian food.

It was clear on our arrival that people had been grazing for hours enjoying the culture and vibe. Their service was hands down exceptional with staff clearly in love with working here. The extensive range of Italian wines matched the chef’s impressive creations.  We rate this place FIVE stars!

Pullman Adelaide

Now with bodies overloaded with some of Adelaide’s finest food, it was time to take a pleasant evening walk through the well lit streets, back to our accommodation at the PULLMAN HOTEL.

The Pullman Hotel Adelaide is sensational in every way with a lovely lounge and bar to relax, quiet large comfy rooms and great spa sauna facility on the second floor, which is a great way to relax before bed.

DAY 2:

We were up early grabbing our coffees and HERTZ CAR HIRE, ready to head for the BAROSSA VALLEY  but first we had to tick off a bucket list experience.

Just a 12 minute drive out of the city we arrived at PENFOLDS MAGILL ESTATE a magnificent iconic property perched right amongst its surrounding suburb.   

We were booked on the Estate Heritage Experience guided tour.  The staff at Magill’s take pride in showing visitors the historic property and include a rare visit to the underground drives where their very famous Grange collection was crafted.

After our Penfold experience we then jumped back in the car headed for the BAROSSA VALLEY just over an hour away. What a pretty drive winding through the beautiful hills and acres of vineyards before arriving at the famous JACOBS CREEK WINERY.

On arrival we joined our pre-booked Food & Wine Masterclass followed by a four-course lunch discovering different ways to taste and match the right food with the right wine.

The four-course lunch in the lovely open restaurant was beyond impressive with generous and exquisite food complimented exceptional wine and service. We loved our experience and enjoyed mingling with other visitors, turning our afternoon into a lot of fun conversations and laughs.

After our Jacob’s Creek experience we took a 15 minute stroll over to the neighbouring and quaint ST HUGO WINERY.  Despite a bit of cold wind and afternoon drizzle, we soon warmed up in front of the welcoming fire and trendy chesterfield sofas.

With a full rainbow in view we chose to sit and enjoy the late afternoon serenity with a Past, Present & Future wine flight, tasting a few of St Hugo’s finest collections. St Hugo houses a sensational three course paddock to plate menu in their restaurant which we recommend pre-booking!  

St Hugo Wines Barossa

After checking into our chosen accommodation at the NOVOTEL BAROSSA VALLEY RESORT we spent the first night relaxing by the fireplace at the hotels restaurant and lobby area.  A delightful cheese platter was enough for us before sleeping off the day’s consumptions!

DAY 3:

An early start this morning but this time with a leisurely stroll on the resorts beautiful walking trail. The location and views from the property are simply breathtaking.  It was a lovely start to prepare us for another day around the Barossa.  We head off towards Tanunda for breakfast at NOSH, an eclectic café old house with a great vibe and exceptional friendly service…matched by the food!

We decided that Seppeltsfield had to be our first stop.  A venue that has so much to offer, we thought a good way to start our experience was by a SEGWAY TOUR.  Gliding through the property and between the historic vines is a fun adventurous way to learn about the estate.  After taking in the outdoor scenery we were ready to learn more about Seppeltsfield on a VILLAGE DISCOVERY TOUR where you learn more about the property’s award winning mix of wine, food, craft and design.  This winery is a must on a Barossa visit!

The afternoon agenda fulfilled our sweet tooth by joining a Chocolate and Wine Matching Experience at ELDERTON WINES followed by a much anticipated visit to Henschke famous for their vintage Hill of Grace Shiraz.  Before we knew it, we were on our way to dinner at the very famous Hentley Farm where we indulged on the chef’s ‘Surprise Menu’.  The creativity and flavours cannot be put into words.  Another must on your list but make sure you reserved your booking well ahead.  

The Barossa Valley really has so much to offer so we encourage anyone that is planning a visit to allow at least three days to take it all in plus leaving you some time to relax.

DAY 4:

Today was about exploring the magical ADELAIDE HILLS REGION. Just over an hours drive you’ll cruise through the pretty countryside surrounded by farm animals, birdlife and dotted with wineries.

Our first stop for the day, was at SHAW & SMITH WINERY for a quick ‘Wine Flight’ experience tasting their famous range of wines accompanied by a cheese platter.

The outlook from Shaw & Smith is a perfect example of what the Adelaide Hills region is truly about, colourful hills of rolling vines and acres of beauty.

Just a five-minute drive down the road we arrived at the famous pretty German town HAHNDORF. Hahndorf was settled by Lutheran migrants largely from in and around a small village in Poland.

What a treat this town is…filled with Eastern Europe in the middle of Adelaide Hills. We spent a good two hours just strolling through the town, taking in the atmosphere of quaint old buildings converted to small restaurants and gift shops.

Old blacksmiths now traditional German restaurants and organic cafes.  There is a great choice shopping for those looking to take home local souvenirs or eco-friendly products.  

Winter is wonderful in Hahndorf housing open fire places inside and outside with people everywhere, completely enjoying a stroll taking it all in.

Hahndorf is so inviting, we couldn’t resist wanting to stay longer.   After checking into our accommodation at the HAHNDORF RESORT we were no sooner back grabbing a table at the popular ACROBRAU BRAUHAUS indulging in a sausage platter accompanied by sauerkraut, home made bread and of course a stein of German Beer.

DAY 5:

After overindulging (again) we needed to get our legs moving so we took a short drive to MT LOFTY BOTANIC GARDENS to reconnect with nature.

If you’ve been following us on our INSTAGRAM, then you’d know that this is one of our favourites places and because of its beauty it is one of the most photographed locations in South Australia. We opted for a more vigorous trek but if you’re looking for more relaxed stroll then join a free guided walk that depart every Thursday at 10.30am.

Mt Lofty Adelaide Hills

Once we returned from our walk we grabbed a caffeine fix at the Café Fibonacci – the Gardens cafe  and maybe some more food (gulp!).

Our afternoon was about relaxation and reflecting on the past four days in the Barossa Valley and Adelaide Hills region.  The indulging wasn’t over as we were headed for MCLAREN VALE next…but were they ready for us!

DAY 6:

The d’Arenberg Cube, McLaren Vale

Just a 45-minute drive south of Adelaide is the sustainable wine growing region of McLaren Vale, home to world-class wineries and culinary dining experiences. 

We knew exactly where we were heading as we’d had this place on our bucket list for years.  The D’ARENBERG CUBE has been a fascination we’d be dying to explore.

The creation came to fourth generation Chester Osborn who is now at the helm of the winery and continues to produce award wining distinctive wines for his family estate still using with traditional methods.

The art of being different was important to Chester so he created the cube, which is dedicated to the complexities and puzzles of wine making. Each floor of the cube represents a different experience, designed to excite and entice the senses. They include a wine sensory room, a virtual fermenter, a 360c video room and many other tactile experiences (including the men’s toilet)!

There is also a permanent Salvador Dali exhibition featuring 23 authentic bronze sculptures and graphic artworks. We recommend allowing at least an hour to explore the cube before you even begin to experience the many wine and food tasting experiences that d’Arenberg offers. See all our TOURS.


Just a short five minute drive from d’Arenberg is a rustic pink and green shed that represents a funky lunch stop called PIZZATECA.  The place is so laid back, plays old tunes and offers an incredible array of Mumma’s Italian food and beverages.

It overlooks its own boutique vineyard and is fully licensed. We recommend the sausage, chilli and fennel pizza, which was an immaculate sensation of flavours.  Be sure to book ahead at this place as the moment it opens that tables are full. 

After lunch it was time for a cleanser so we explored one of the emblems of McLaren Vale, the biodynamic and organic winery WIRRA WIRRA. This historic cellar door is best known for its Church Block Shiraz a popular every other day dinner wine but we wanted to learn more about their flagship wines so we joined the 75 minute SHIRAZ REVOLUTION TOUR that took us behind the scenes to learn about barrel raging and of course plenty of wine tasting.

Wirra Wirra is overflowing in the warmer months with locals and tourists because it offers the open grounds for people to relax, enjoy a picnic of their own or you can purchase a delicious platter from Harry’s Deli located onsite.

Not far down the road is the Red Pole, another little quaint café but more so popular for its collection of authentic aboriginal artwork. A very relaxing place filled with many stories so be sure to drop in and see the team at this joyful little place.

Our day had come to an end in McLaren Vale but we certainly enjoyed a small taste of what was on offer and cannot wait to return spending at least a few more days next time. We needed to jump on a plane but we’re already planning our next trip back to South Australia and will make sure you read all about it.

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