The Barossa in South Australia has earned a reputation as one of the best wine-producing regions in the country. There is something magical in Barossa soil that has helped generations of farming families produce culinary delights and create a thriving food culture. Petite stone dwellings and sloping rooftops are a common sight in the Barossa – thanks to the influence of early European settlers. Classic charm and a rich agricultural heritage make the Barossa a top spot for a romantic or relaxing escape outside the big cities.
The Barossa Valley offers the perfect opportunity to visit some of Australia's most famous wineries including Jacob's Creek and Penfolds. One of the most unique ways to tour the wineries is via hot air balloon – toast to the panoramic views as the sun rises over the vineyards. Other things to do in Barossa include the self-guided Butcher, Baker, Winemaker trail. The flavour-filled route covers 24 vineyards and allows you to take in the region at your own pace. Pick up a map from a local information stop. While it is hard to stray far from the Barossa wineries, head to the Whispering Wall – the retaining wall of the Barossa Reservoir – and share a secret from a distance. The acoustics of the wall mean you can talk to someone over 140 metres away with only a whisper.
The Barossa is paradise for wine-lovers with more than 80 cellar doors scattered around the region – the only problem is deciding where to embark on your taste-testing adventure first. If wine isn't your fancy, swing by one of the brewing companies for a traditionally fermented craft beer. Barossa restaurants take great pride in their little slice of heaven, using local produce wherever they can and in plentiful amounts! A strong German heritage means beautifully preserved and smoked delicacies and gourmet breads are almost always on the menu – handmade using a combination of time-honoured methods and contemporary techniques.
Where to Stay
The Barossa's picturesque landscape of rolling hills and scenic farmland makes it a perfect bed-and-breakfast destination. Barossa accommodation ranges from quaint cottages and comfortable homesteads to luxurious retreats – most including a gourmet breakfast of, you guessed it, locally produced cuisine. After you have had your fill of decadent food and wine, continue your stay in bliss with a visit to a spa for a relaxing massage or beauty treatment. With Adelaide just over an hours drive away, you can have the best of both worlds – unwind in the Barossa by day and enjoy the city nightlife in the evening.
Bring a little Barossa to your kitchen from the farm shop of Australian cooking legend Maggie Beer. Choose from a selection of Maggie's own fresh pastas, tapenades, breads and cheeses – top it off with a cooking demonstration and learn how to put it all together like a professional. If you are staying somewhere self-catered, channel your inner chef and get cooking! You don't have to do much to make fresh produce taste amazing. Finish off your Barossa shopping with handmade chocolates and decadent dried fruits, or local arts and crafts for unique gifts.
Barossa like a Local
The annual Barossa Vintage Festival is a major event on the local scene. Barossa wineries are mostly family-run businesses and celebrate together with a week of music, literature, art and, of course, great food and wine. Barossa residents are proud to share their pocket of Australia and their stories. Pop down to the local farmers' markets and chat to the producers about the best regional fare – bring your cash and your enviro-bags. The Barossa way of life is about enjoying the natural countryside. Take in the beautiful surrounds with a picnic, a feast for the senses at a lavender farm or a chauffeured road trip on a trike (three-wheel motorcycle).