Australian wine is famous worldwide, and rightly so. But how do you choose the best wine region or vineyard to visit? We're here to help you navigate the staggering array of choices, from family-friendly wineries to romantic getaway spots.

Australian wine map

Visiting an Australian wine region is a must for any wine-lover while travelling Down Under. Australian wine has a glowing reputation across the world. No matter which part of the country you plan to visit, there’s bound to be a superb wine region not (too) far away.

Let’s take a look at everything you need to know when planning a visit to Australia’s best regions, starting with the basics.

Drinking Wine Australia

WHERE ARE AUSTRALIA’S WINE REGIONS?

Excluding the deep centre and northern tropical zones, fantastic wine is produced all across Australia, from the island of Tasmania in the southeast to the Indian Ocean coast in Western Australia. All of the following wine regions are within easy driving distance from major cities:

South Australia

Barossa Valley – A world-leader for shiraz and home to hundreds of different wineries.

The Adelaide Hills – An emerging wine region just 20 minutes from Adelaide CBD.

Clare Valley – Renowned for producing some of the best riesling in the world.

Fleurieu Peninsula – Beautiful stretches of coastal countryside blend with world-famous wine-making areas like McLaren Vale and Langhorn Creek.

Limestone Coast – Unique for its rich terra rossa soil, Coonawarra leads a host of sub-regions producing excellent wines with distinctive terroir flavours.

Kangaroo Island – Combining wild nature, wildlife, excellent wines and top-shelf spirits, Kangaroo Island is something of a hidden secret among South Australian wine regions.

Get inspired: Our Very Best of South Australia self-drive itinerary features the beautiful Barossa Valley.
 

Victoria

Yarra Valley – Victoria’s oldest and grandest wine region and right on Melbourne’s doorstep, renowned for its award-winning chardonnay and pinot noir, not to mention lush landscapes and artisan cheesemakers.

Pinot Coast – A breathtaking coastal stretch southeast of Melbourne, where the state’s freshest seafood combines with perfect coastal conditions for excellent cool-climate pinot noir.

Shiraz Central – Victoria’s largest wine region by area, this huge area in central Victoria goes all-in on Australia’s favourite and most famous grape, churning out top-shelf Shiraz to rival its South Australian neighbours.

Victorian High Country – Victoria’s Italian influence is on full display along the King Valley Prosecco Road, while the muscat produced around Rutherglen counts among Australia’s finest sweet and fortified wines. 

Add some vino to your Victorian road trip: Our 6 day Victorian Wander self-drive itinerary Mornington Peninsula and the Yarra Valley en route.
 

New South Wales

Hunter Valley – The oldest wine region in Australia and only two hours from Sydney, the Hunter Valley holds over 150 vineyards, sweeping landscapes, and seriously good fine-dining restaurants. 

Orange – With some of the highest vines in Australia, this understated region produces some outstanding higher-altitude varietals with distinctive terroir.

Mudgee – Another historic wine region with vines dating back to 1858, this area is dominated by big, bold red wines.

Murray Darling – Soft, fruity chardonnays are the undoubted king of this vast region stretching over 350km across the plains of the Murray and Darling rivers.

Sip Hunter Valley Semillion on our 7 Day Sydney & Surrounds self-drive itinerary
 

Tasmania

Tamar Valley – Vineyards producing Australia’s best sparkling wine line the rich, fertile shores of the Tamar river between Launceston and the northern Tasmanian coast.

Coal River Valley – Only 20 minutes from Hobart, the sun-soaked northeastern slopes of the Coal River Valley produce superb white, sparkling and pinot noir wines, centred around the picturesque old town of Richmond.

Derwent Valley – Climbing towards Tasmania’s Central Highlands, the Derwent River Valley’s diverse soil conditions and elevations are garnering a growing reputation in world wine circles.

Sleep in style at a luxury 1820s Tamar Valley manor: our 8 Days of Tasmanian Luxury driving holiday is a cut above the rest!
 

Western Australia

Margaret River – Although vines were first planted here in the 1960s, Margaret River has wasted no time in establishing itself as one of Australia’s premier wine regions, especially for cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay.

Great Southern – The wild Southern Ocean meets forested cliffs and striking mountain ranges here, where five distinct subregions produce outstanding riesling and cool-climate shiraz.

Perth Hills – Only 30 minutes from Perth CBD, the rolling hills of the Darling Ranges are home to many small-scale boutique wineries

Southern Forests – Ancient karri trees line clifftops behind 150km of coastline in this breathtaking region, which is known for avocados and truffles as well as first-rate chardonnay and sauvignon blanc.

Sample itinerary for a fabulous getaway in the Margaret River Wine Region


Queensland

Granite Belt – Situated above 1000m altitude with unique decomposed granite soils, the Granite Belt has over 50 vineyards and cellar doors offering a smorgasbord of styles.

Scenic Rim – Nestled within the eroded rim of an ancient volcano, this fertile area produces a diverse range of vintages coupled with unforgettable scenic views.

South Burnett – Hot days and cold, crisp nights combine on the fringes of the Great Dividing Range and have made South Burnett the fastest-growing wine region in Queensland, with many small-scale and experimental vineyards popping up in recent years.

 

Northern Territory

Crazy as it seems, the Northern Territory actually did have a working winery up until a few years ago with Chateau Hornsby, and more recently with Red Centre Wines (who specialised in mango wines). Nowadays, however, NT doesn’t hold much for visiting wine-lovers, and it’s best to focus on regions you can visit in the other states.

wine states

Australia's very best wine regions to visit

So, if we’re talking about the best of the best, here are the Australian wine regions that stand above the rest:

In no particular order, they are:

  • The Barossa Valley, South Australia

  • Margaret River, Western Australia

  • The Yarra Valley, Victoria

  • The Tamar Valley, Tasmania

  • The Hunter Valley, New South Wales

  • The Granite Belt, Queensland

 

Let’s take a closer look at Australia’s best wine regions with a full overview of how to get there, what to do, and what to expect, wine-wise and otherwise.

 

Getting to Australia's best wine regions

By plane, train, and automobile (or even a boat)...

 

Flying to Australia’s finest wine country

Hundreds of direct daily flights connect Australia’s major cities with others around the country and the world, so it’s easy to find flights to the following ports of entry for Australia’s best wine regions:

 

  • Melbourne: for the Yarra Valley, Mornington Peninsula, and Shiraz Central

  • Sydney: for the Hunter Valley, Murray Darling, and Shoalhaven Coast

  • Perth: for Margaret River, Blackwood Valley, and the Perth Hills

  • Adelaide: for the Barossa Valley, Fleurieu Peninsula, and the Limestone Coast

  • Launceston or Hobart: for the Tamar Valley, Coal River, and the Freycinet Peninsula

  • Brisbane or Gold Coast: for the Granite Belt, Scenic Rim, and South Burnett
     

Driving to Australia’s best wine regions: destinations, distances and routes

Driving to the Hunter Valley from Sydney 

Around 2 hours from central Sydney to Pokolbin, Cessnock, or other Hunter Valley towns. Head over the Sydney Harbour Bridge and up the Pacific Highway, the Pacific Motorway, then either the Hunter Expressway or Freemans Drive.

 

Driving to the Yarra Valley from Melbourne

60 minutes from Melbourne via the Eastlink Tollway and Maroondah Highway to Healesville (65km), 1 hour 20 minutes to Warburton (78km).

 

Driving to the Granite Belt from Brisbane or the Gold Coast

Warwick is 2 hours south-west of Brisbane down the M5 and M7 onto National Highway 15, or 2 hours 30 minutes from Gold Coast up State Route 90 onto National Highway 15. Stanthorpe is roughly 45 minutes further on.


Driving to Margaret River from Perth

Around 3 hours from Perth down the Kwinana Freeway south out of the city, which turns into the Forrest Highway, then onto the Bussell Highway to Busselton, Cowaramup, and Margaret River township.


Driving to the Barossa Valley from Adelaide

1 hour and 20 minutes from Adelaide to Tanunda by Port Wakefield Road and then the Northern Expressway, or the scenic route via North East Road and Chain of Ponds towards Williamstown, then onto Tanunda (add 15 minutes)
 

Driving to the Tamar Valley from Launceston, Hobart, or Melbourne

Head for George Town, Rowella, Deviot, and Beaconsfield, roughly 30-45 minutes from Launceston along either the Tamar Highway (on the western side of the river) or the Eastern Tamar Highway (down the eastern side). It’s about a 3-hour drive from Hobart up National Highway 1, or 15 hours from Melbourne (including overnight on the Spirit of Tasmania ferry).

 

Taking public transport to Australia’s best wine regions

  • Yarra Valley — PTV (Public Transport Victoria) train from Flinders Street Station to Lilydale, then either a McKenzies bus to Healesville or Yarra Glen, or a Ventura bus to Warburton.
     

  • Tamar Valley — Public bus 770 from Launceston to George Town, near the top of the Tamar Valley, takes about one hour. Hobart to Launceston is 2 hours 30 minutes by bus, or adventurous travellers can take the overnight Spirit of Tasmania ferry from Melbourne, then the connecting Tassielink bus to Launceston (1 hour 15 minutes) first thing in the morning.
     

  • Margaret River — South West Coach Lines operate daily buses from the City Bus Port in central Perth to Margaret River, Dunsborough, Busselton, and other small towns around the region.

 

  • Barossa Valley — Take the Adelaide Metro train out to Gawler Central, where a connecting bus service operated by LinkSA runs to Tanunda, Angaston, and other Barossa Valley towns.

 

  • Hunter Valley — Cityrail service from Sydney Central to Maitland and Morisset, then a connecting bus to Cessnock; or the Countryrail service direct from Sydney Central to Singleton.

 

  • Granite Belt — Crisps Coaches run a daily bus service from Brisbane to Stanthorpe, also stopping in Toowoomba and Warwick.

 

Getting around Australia’s top wine regions

Unless you nominate a sober driver,  at least one of your companions per day will not be able to take part in the wine tastings if you are driving around. Luckily, there are plenty of alternative ways to get around:

By bikeOrganised bike tours, or simply hiring a bike, provide an eco-friendly option when visiting Australia’s best wine regions. Given the high concentration of multiple wineries in some places, it is easy enough to visit several wineries within a day, or an afternoon, without having to bike too far. Of course, there are longer, more full-on bike tour options if you’d like to pack in as much as possible, ranging from a few hours to several days. 

Do bear in mind that, although not as strictly enforced as when driving a car, bicycles are still vehicles, and some states treat drunk cycling in a similar way to drunk driving.

If you’d rather not worry about this, or don’t want to drive or cycle anyway, then try one of the following options:

Private tours  – All of these wine regions provide the option of hiring a private car and driver to get around. Although significantly more expensive than driving yourself, this gives you the same freedom to choose which wineries and places to visit, but without worrying about your wine intake. Simply enjoy the wine and scenery, and let somebody else drive!

Minivan tours – Another, more budget-friendly option, is a shared minivan tour. These usually include tastings at several wineries throughout the day, plus a lunch stop or picnic option. Some focus on behind-the-scenes tours and packing as much viticultural information into one day as possible, while others take a relaxed approach to enjoying the beautiful countryside, with a few glasses of wine along the way.

On that note, let’s take a look at selecting the best wine region and tour to suit your tastes.

Wine region by bike

FINDING THE BEST AUSTRALIAN WINE REGION AND EXPERIENCE FOR YOU

Wineries, varieties, activities and tours come in all shapes and sizes across Australia’s best wine regions. Finding what’s best for you depends on what you’re looking for:

The best of the best: luxury wine tours

If you want to know and see everything about how the wine is made, taste the very best vintages and versions of it, and enjoy some exquisite food to match, then have a look through some of these wine tours and experiences:

Barossa Valley Wine Experiences

Book a personal, bespoke degustation suited to your tastes at Ballycroft Vineyard and Cellar, taste five handmade chocolates paired with five carefully selected vintages from Vineyard Road at the Barossa Valley Chocolate Company, take a breathtaking helicopter ride between vineyards, sit in on a Wine-Making Masterclass and four-course lunch at Jacob’s Creek, or pick and sample grapes for a hands-on vineyard experience at Hayes Family Wines. For more suggestions explore the Barossa Valley Visitor Centre's comprehensive guide.
 

Yarra Valley Wine Tastings

Arrange personalised, private cellar-door tastings or a behind-the-scenes barrel-room tasting at esteemed Dominique Portet vineyard, matched with local Yarra produce on a single private chauffeured tour from Melbourne. Or take The Art of Winemaking Tour at Tahbilk, where you even get to blend your own wine after learning the skill and art of it.

 

Tamar Valley Behind-the-scenes Tours

Talk one-on-one with chief wine-makers at 6 private winery and cellar door tastings on a full-day private wine tour, get some serious insight into production techniques with a private tasting at the Tamar Valley Wine Centre, or combine wine tasting with nature watching on a 3-hour Tamar river cruise.
 

Alternative wine tours in the Granite Belt  

For something a bit different, take a luxury 4WD tour from Stanthorpe through some gorgeous national park scenery on a Twilight Winery Tour. You'll enjoy private cellar-door tastings and a wine-making workshop with visits to several boutique wineries and an exquisite 3-course meal.
 

Hunter Valley: Wine and dine in style

Get picked up by your personal driver in Sydney and be driven through the gorgeous countryside of the Great Dividing Range en route to several 5-star wineries and opulent estates. You will have your own private tasting area and enjoy paired fine-dining dishes over a delicious, white-table-cloth 2-course lunch before travelling to family-owned Tulloch Winery to enjoy a special paired tasting in collaboration with a local artisan chocolate maker.
 

Bespoke Margaret River Wine Tours

Margaret River Vintage Wine Tours let you create your own tastings, working directly with numerous small boutique vineyards who do not offer tours or tastings otherwise. For something truly special, take the Cave Wine Dine tour: you'll explore subterranean limestone caves in between exclusive wine tastings with an elegant lunch at Leeuwin Estate, paired of course with local wines from the vineyards you have visited.

These are only a few tiny examples, there are HUNDREDS more wine tours and tasting experiences to choose from. 

If you’d rather go about it a different way, then follow your nose...

Margaret River

Choose your Australian wine region by taste

 

Robust reds

Shiraz – Barossa Valley

Home to the world’s oldest continually productive shiraz vines – and Australia’s most famous single wine label (Penfolds Grange) – it’s impossible to go past the Barossa Valley for the spicy, fruity depth and full-bodied richness of a classic Australian shiraz.

That said, shiraz is Australia’s most widely planted grape. You can also find excellent shiraz in practically every single wine region, be it the Adelaide Hills or the Hunter Valley.
 

Merlot – Coonawarra and the Hunter Valley

There are some excellent Merlot examples in Australia, especially out of the Coonawarra region in South Australia, where the climate allows for a later picking season than in Europe and, consequently, more fruity and full-bodied flavours.

The Hunter Valley also produces some good single-estate merlot, while in Margaret River it is mostly used for blends.
 

Cabernet Sauvignon – Margaret River 

There’s no doubt who’s in charge in Margaret River – Cabernet Sauvignon boosted this region to global prominence, and it still leads the way. Margaret River’s mild climate is similar to that of Bordeaux in France, where cabernet sauvignon comes from. As such it has a richer and more well-rounded character than those in South Australia and elsewhere.

That said, it can be a matter of taste, and the characteristic mint and dark chocolate characteristics of Coonawarra’s cabernet sauvignon could attract a curious cab sav fiend. If you prefer something less heavy, the Yarra Valley produces cabernet sauvignon with a distinct blackcurrant aroma and silky texture.

 

Light and fruity reds

Pinot Noir – Victoria and the Tamar Valley

Given its fussiness about where it grows, creating a good pinot noir (according to James Halliday) requires patient, skilled handling from grape to bottle. Helped by the temperate maritime climate, the wine-makers of Victoria and Tasmania, seem to have mastered (or persevered with) this craft more than others.

The Pinot Coast, Yarra Valley, and the Tamar Valley are the best places to go for delicate yet complex, bright yet earthy pinot noir.
 

Nero d’Avola and other Italian reds – Riverland and the Granite Belt

With its bright body and floral notes, Nero d’Avola is increasingly popular in Australia. Coming from Sicily, its ability to withstand dry, hot conditions makes it well-suited to being grown in Australia – especially with the onset of climate change and warming temperatures, as more and more wineries are looking for ways to reduce reliance on irrigation.

One of the areas pioneering this shift is Riverland, an inland region of South Australia, where excellent Nero d’Avola, sangiovese (the main component of Chianti wines), and other Italian reds are produced.

Queensland’s Granite Belt – especially along its ‘Alternative Wine Trail’ – is another region producing outstanding Italian reds.

Fragrant, fruity, crisp and bright whites

Sauvignon Blanc – Margaret River and the Adelaide Hills

Sauvignon blanc thrives in Australia – nowhere more so than in Margaret River (where it is often blended with semillon to give crisp and dry characters) and the elevated regions of the Adelaide Hills (where cooler seasons can produce wines with distinct tropical fruit flavours).

Semillon – Hunter Valley

The Hunter Valley is where semillon grapes were first grown in Australia, and it still leads the way with vintages defined by dry, pure, clean characters that mature excellently with age.
 

Pinot Gris – Tasmania

The cooler climate of the Derwent Valley, Tasmania, produces pinot gris with a rich, honey-like sweetness in contrast to the crisp, dry acidity of citrusy pinot grigio.
 

Smooth, rich whites

Chardonnay – Yarra Valley and Margaret River 

Fans of chardonnay – whether buttery and rich, or fruity and refreshing – will not be disappointed by a visit to either of Australia’s two most famous chardonnay regions. With so many distinctive styles, techniques, and characters, there’s no way to unite the myriad chardonnays on offer.

For something different, the cooler-climate chardonnay from Orange, NSW, has stronger citrus, apple, and melon tones for a more fruity wine.

Sweet, bright whites and rosé

Riesling – Clare Valley and Eden Valley

The Barossa Valley’s neighbours are the place to go for Australia’s finest riesling. The Clare Valley's rich soils and specific terrain produces a drier riesling with exotic citrus fruits. Eden Valley’s riesling typically ages into warmer honey and marmalade characters. 
 

Rosé – Barossa Valley, Margaret River and Yarra Valley

Rosé’s reputation in Australia wasn’t great in the past, and it was snubbed for being too sickly-sweet and sticky. Nowadays, drinkers and diners across Australia are taking rosé much more seriously, and winemakers are following suit.

Rosé from Barossa is typically light red in colour with summer berry flavours, while that from Margaret River (made from cabernet sauvignon) is usually lighter and sweeter. Yarra Valley rosé, both still and sparkling, is made from pinot noir with more savoury, rich textures.
 

Sparkling wines – Tasmania and Victoria

Tasmania is the unquestioned flag-bearer for sparkling wines in Australia, with its cool-climate vines owning a near monopoly on the best sparkling wines in the country.

However, the Yarra Valley, which has a similar climate to northeastern France, the home of Champagne, is home to several excellent sparkling wine-makers. Victoria’s King Valley (known for its ‘Prosecco Road’) is the place to go for a prosecco pilgrimage.

The high-elevation Adelaide Hills and Orange, NSW also produce good sparkling wine.

 

HOLD UP. Sure, wine tastings and tours are a great thing to do while I’m in Australia, but what if I want to take some wine back to enjoy at home?

Buying wine in Australia, and getting it home

On-site – Most wineries give you the chance to purchase a wider selection than you would find in stores or duty-free. Small-scale, boutique wineries may offer the chance to buy things that aren’t even on the market.

One potential downside of trying to buy wine at boutique vineyards is that, because their production is so small, they may have their future stock tied up in distribution contracts. This means there may be none (or only very little) available for sale at the winery or cellar door...

Online – However, in this case, you can quite often still find the wine online (as you can for larger labels too, of course), either through the winery’s own website or through one of the many trusted Australian online wine merchants, such as Wine House or The Australian Wine Centre.

This also gives you the option of getting the wine sent straight home, wherever in the world that may be!

 

Sending Australian wine overseas

It is perfectly legal to have wine shipped overseas from Australia, but it can be a bit of a headache, not to mention expensive.

Ths online platforms mentioned above provide the easiest and safest way to send wine home. They can also be very expensive: prices are usually dependent on wildly-varying tax and customs duties at each end, plus the merchant's service fee for taking care of this. 

If you buy wine directly from the vineyard and want to send it home yourself, it can be much cheaper. But it will also be more of a headache due to the extra paperwork, legal restrictions, customs and taxes, which vary drastically from one country to another.

For example, it can cost up to four times as much to send the same bottle of wine from Australia to France as it does to send from Australia to the UK!

However, don’t fear. It is doable...

 

Pack it in your suitcase

If you only want one or two bottles to take as a souvenir, then it should be fine to pack them into your personal check-in baggage for the flight home. Just be sure to know the limits on quantity and type of alcohol when arriving into your home country – as a point of reference, in Australia you’re allowed to bring in 2.25 litres of alcohol without paying customs. Handily, that’s equivalent to exactly three standard bottles of wine.

 

Get the vineyard to send it

Some wineries will offer the service of sending the wine home for you, if you buy it on-site at the winery. However, there is no hard and fast rule about which wineries offer this and which do not, nor how much they charge. So it may be worth checking out the websites of vineyards you’re thinking of visiting, browsing their online range through the merchant sites, or simply asking at the winery itself. 

 

If you’re still wondering what all the fuss is about, here’s a bit more information on why Australian wine is worth a visit.

 

WHAT MAKES AUSTRALIAN WINE SO GOOD?

Soil and climate

It didn’t take long for European settlers in Australia to recognise the potential of the country’s warm climate and diverse soil types.

The southern and southeastern states, which were the first to be colonised on a significant scale, also proved excellently suited to wine-growing in the 19th century. These states offered a climate similar to the Mediterranean countries, and distinctive terroir characters derived from the variation in soil types across this vast area. 

 

A history of Australian wine-making

The history of wine-making closely follows the history of colonisation in Australia. Grapevine cuttings from the Cape of Good Hope were brought to Australia by Admiral-cum-Governor Arthur Phillip on the First Fleet in 1788. 

By the 1820s Australian-made wines were produced both for domestic consumption and global export. In the 1870s and 1880s Australian wines (particularly syrah and shiraz varieties), won major recognition and awards in French competitions, boosting its reputation and, subsequently, production. 

Australia’s wine industry expanded dramatically in the second half of the twentieth century, partly on the back of the success of Penfolds Grange winery. Their legendary 1955 vintage has won over 50 gold medals at international competitions and whose 1971 vintage won first prize at the Wine Olympics in Paris. 

Since the 1990s, Australian wine production has exploded to become the world’s fifth-largest exporter of wine today. Despite the increase in quantity, the quality of Australian wines continues to impress competition judges and discerning palates around the world.

 

Okay, we get it with the wine. But what ELSE is there to do when visiting Australia’s wine regions?

historical Wine Making

OTHER activities to enjoy in Australia’s wine regions

Explore Margaret River’s coastline and caves

In addition to world-class vineyards, this corner of Western Australia is home to some other-worldly landscapes and natural formations.

The popular ‘Cape to Cape’ coastal stretch from Cape Naturaliste down to Cape Leeuwin has countless sandy coves, rocky cliff faces, powerful surf breaks, granite rock formations and staggering panoramic viewpoints dotted along the way.

Don’t miss out on visiting Lake Cave, accessed by descending 350 stairs down into the cave entrance just 20 minutes from Margaret River township. 

Hire a car and do it yourself, or join a bus or private tour along the Cape to Cape.

 

See the wildlife of rural Victoria

While in the Yarra Valley, don't miss the Healesville Wildlife Sanctuary  – it's the best place to see a koala up close. Also between the Yarra Valley and the Mornington Peninsula is the stunning Dandenong Ranges National Park, home to world-class forest walks and native wild lyrebirds. 

 

Ride in a hot air balloon over the Hunter Valley

Wine is not the only thing the Hunter Valley is famous for. It’s also arguably Australia’s home of hot air ballooning, with dozens of operators offering a unique bird’s-eye view over the region’s vineyards and beautiful countryside.

The most popular hot air balloon rides are early-morning sunrise options, many of which include breakfast – and be sure to check out the famous annual Hunter Valley Balloon Fiesta if you happen to be visiting in Spring, when over balloons from around Australia fill the skies with colourful blobs.

 

See spectacular geological landscapes in the Granite Belt

There’s no prize for guessing how this region got its name! Travellers shouldn’t miss out on visiting Giraween National Park, a stunning natural area with gigantic landscapes, dramatic granite rock formations (a photo in front of the Granite Arch is obligatory), and fabulous hikes.

Donnellys Castle is, despite the name, another fantastic area of natural granite rock formations. Here you can explore a natural playground of caves, crevices, and eye-catching outcrops providing magnificent views over the entire region.

 

Delve into the Tamar Valley’s rich maritime history

Before it was a world-famous sparkling wine region, the Tamar Valley played an important role in the development of both Tasmania and Australia in the colonial period. Get a feel for a bygone era by strolling the quirky, quaint old streets of George Town, or for more targeted historical indulgence visit the Bass & Flinders Centre to see a full-scale replica of the ‘Norfolk’ ship in which Bass & Flinders circumnavigated Tasmania in 1798.

Also, head to George Town Watch House's museum and a full model of the town as it was in 1850. Elsewhere, the Low Head Maritime Museum is a weird and wonderful testament to the region’s maritime history, covering everything from convicts and settlers to deep-sea diving, surfing, and shipwrecks.

 

Look behind the scenes in the Barossa Valley

Given the sheer quantity and quality of vineyards in the Barossa Valley, it can be hard to look past the wine-making. But if you do, you may be pleasantly surprised.

For starters, take a walk or drive up Mengler's Hill Lookout for superb valley views (especially in the morning mist). Still on the fringes of the wine-tour route, the Keg Factory in Tanunda lets you watch the small army of coopers making the barrels that supply the region’s wine industry. You can even buy one to take home, if you fancy trying your hand at some home fermentation.

Alternatively, drive 7km south of the town of Lyndoch and visit the ‘Whispering Wall’. This 1899 reservoir dam has become better known for its incredible acoustics than its water retention properties: if you stand at one end of the concave concrete wall and whisper, someone can hear it at the other end of the wall, over 150m away!

 

And what about the kids?

Don’t worry, whichever Australian wine region you choose to visit, you’ll find plenty of family-friendly vineyards, restaurants, and places to keep the young ones entertained.

 

Family-friendly activities in the Yarra Valley

The aforementioned Healesville Wildlife Sanctuary is a surefire hit for kids, plus there are lots of child-friendly vineyards. Tarrawarra Estate winery has an interactive museum on-site for kids, and even runs an art and activity programme during school holidays.
 

Family-friendly activities in the Hunter Valley

Kids will love visit the Hunter Valley zoo, exploring the 25-acre Hunter Valley Gardens, and hiking to see panoramic views over the Molly Morgan Mountains. Or visit Scarborough Wine Co. in Pokolbin, to play with hula hoops, giant Jenga, and to enjoy their own children’s activity packs while parents do wine tastings.
 

Family-friendly activities in the Barossa Valley

Head to Liebichwein, a family-owned winery where kids get to join in the tastings with red soft drinks served in plastic wine glasses. Or do a Juice Tasting at Z WInes, where kids can enjoy an $8 tasting platter with a selection of juices paired with food (think fairy bread, fruit and pretzels) while the parents get a wine and cheese tasting board. 

 

Family-friendly activities in Margaret River

A huge number of Margaret River wineries have gardens, grassy areas, toy boxes in tasting rooms, playgrounds, mazes, and other child-focused amenities. Will’s Domain and Xanadu Wines are two award-winning, family-friendly Margaret River restaurants with outstanding kids menus (not your usual chicken nuggets and chips) and huge outdoor playgrounds.
 

Family-friendly activities in the Tamar Valley 

Holm Oak Vineyards in Rowella let kids run around and play while supervised, and feed apples to their pet pig, ‘Pinot the Pig’, while parents are sampling the wines. Strawberry picking during summer is another great tradition in the Tamar Valley: kids will love joining in on the fun at places like Hillwood Strawberry Farm, or simply sampling local strawberry ice cream or fresh berries from the side of the road.

 

Family-friendly activities in the Granite Belt

 After wine, The Big Thermometer may be Stanthorpe’s most famous attraction, and it’s worth a visit for the kids. So too is the 360-degree telescope from the top of Mount Marlay, and the fabulous Granite Belt Maze in Glen Niven, which even has mini-golf and a hard-core obstacle maze for older kids and adults!

Balancing Rock Wines in Wyberba is extremely kid-friendly, with sports equipment and an outdoor play area plus a complimentary juice or soft drink to keep them going while parents enjoy a wine tasting. Alternatively, head to Sutton’s Juice Factory in Thulimbah, where all members of the family can enjoy sampling the surprisingly different tastes and styles of different local apple juice varieties.

Barossa Valley

What to keep in mind when visiting Australia’s best wine regions

That’s a lot of information to take in, we know. 

To reiterate what we’ve covered, here are a few guiding thoughts for planning a visit to Australian wine regions:

  • Choose a region depending on what wine you like, or where in Australia you already plan to be (luckily, they’re all close to big cities!)

  • Have a look through the range of tours and tastings on offer – there is a HUGE range, from shared tours to private tastings and behind-the-scenes masterclasses

  • Be sure to make the most of other activities while you’re in the area if you’re not that into wine – there’s a LOT to do other than wine tasting!

  • Bring the kids, take the wine – there are several options for sending wine home, and all of Australia’s top wine regions are incredibly family-friendly

 

Arrange your trip to Australian Wine Country Today!

Try First Light Travel’s trip planning service. It’s totally free, and they can answer any questions you might have about tours, package deals, or any other queries about visiting Australia’s wine regions.

 

More Articles to Help You Create Your Dream Trip To Australia

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Travelling Safely in Australia

David Mckenzie
Submitted by
David Mckenzie
: 8 Feb 2020 (Last updated: 19 Feb 2020)

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