The Road Ahead : February March 2015
ROADAHEAD.COM.AU 46 THE ROAD AHEAD FEB/MAR 2015 eat streets A SHORT DRIVE HOLIDAY SOUTH OF ADELAIDE PROVES A FOODIE'S DELIGHT. TRAVEL | DEPARTURE NATIONAL The Barossa, the Adelaide Hills, the Clare Valley, the Flinders Ranges ... it doesn't take much time at all to drive from Adelaide airport to some of South Australia's star attractions. The same goes for McLaren Vale, the Fleurieu Peninsula and Kangaroo Island, the points on our two-day getaway driving itinerary. In a borrowed Audi RS Q3, a perfect road trip companion, it takes only 45 minutes to hit McLaren Vale, 35 kilometres south of the city but a world away. It's reminiscent of the Mediterranean, not just because of its perfect wine-growing climate, but also its undulating and winding back roads, historic sandstone buildings, dramatic vistas, and the prevalence of boutique and family-owned wineries among its 90-plus producers. You could be in Tuscany but for the glorious gum trees lining the roads and the distinctly Australian country towns. Many star wineries are dotted throughout the district. From them, we choose to pop into Penny's Hill (pennyshill.com.au), home of Black Chook wines (and a couple of real black chooks, too), lured by the photogenic sandstone buildings on the property. And we're soon thanking our lucky stars we did: they have a cellar-door- only special on Black Chook rosé -- $10 a bottle. A long lunch among the vines at Ekhidna Kitchen (ekhidnawines.com. au) is followed by an afternoon visit to the wide sandy stretch of Fleurieu Peninsula's Port Willunga, then a test of the Audi's precision through some hilly back country, witnessing grand views of the Onkaparinga Gorge as we go. Our evening is at The Retreat at STORY JULIETTA JAMESON I PHOTOS SHANE REID IMAGES: (TOP LEFT TO RIGHT) SUNSET OVER THE VINEYARDS AT THE RETREAT, CHAPEL HILL WINERY; A TARTARE ENTRÉE AT CHAPEL HILL; RUSTIC CHIC AT PENNYS LANE IN MCLAREN VALE. (BOTTOM LEFT TO RIGHT): DESSERT AT CHAPEL HILL WINERY; SUNSET DRINKS AT CHAPEL HILL; KANGAROO ISLAND'S AMAZING COASTLINE. ONCE-SLEEPY ADELAIDE IS headlining international hot lists, with the likes of Lonely Planet talking it up as a must-visit. At the airport, the multitude of accents and languages emanating from bright young things picking up backpacks from the luggage carousel is proof positive that global travellers are heeding the call. As charming as Adelaide is, this visit we won't be joining the newly-arrived in the city itself. We're using it as a springboard -- because one of those many charms of Adelaide is the easy access it affords to some incredible countryside.
April 1st 2015