It may be only an hour’s drive north of Adelaide, but arriving in possibly Australia’s most famous wine district will feel like stepping off a plane deep in the heart of Europe.
“The joy of this region is not so much the world class wines, but in learning the history and hardship that went into creating them.”
– Catriona Rowntree
Quite apart from encompassing more than 60 cellar doors, the Barossa valley wine region offers a wide variety of European-style foods, historic architecture, inspiring arts and antique galleries, along with grand chateaux and ornate gardens. The region is home to over 500 grape-growing families, many of them sixth generation.
Naturally enough, the Barossa is rich in history and multinational culture – making it well worth spending several days exploring. The early winemakers were Johann Cramp (who arrived from Bavaria in 1837 and settled at Jacob’s Creek), Samuel Smith (who arrived from Dorset established Yalumba), and Joseph Ernst Seppelt (who arrived from Silesia in 1850).
Did you know?
The first vines were planted in the Barossa, named after a region in Spain, in 1847 – the same year the first German-language newspaper was published in the area.
How to get there
Qantas and Virgin Blue offer regular flights to Adelaide from most major cities in Australia.
The Barossa Valley is a one-hour drive north-east from Adelaide.
Best time to go
South Australian Tourism Commission site on the Barossa Valley
Comprehensive website by the Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation, with information on the Barossa Valley
** This is our original 100 Things to Do Before You Die. First published in 1996. There is an updated 100 Things To Do In Australia Before you die, published in 2011.