Exploring the McLaren Vale wine region
and the Fleurieu Peninsula

 

It's easy to do so on your own - distances are short, most attractions are easy accessible and with Karawatha Cottages as your accommodation in McLaren Vale you can even walk to some. But sometimes it just needs to be the extraordinary, be it to surprise your special someone, to treat yourself to a little adventure or just to indulge your senses (and taste buds) without having to worry about driving.    

With this in mind, we have curated a small number of experiences across a broad section of activities - from earth bound, to taking to the skies - to complement the self-guided Things To Do described in our Explore McLaren Vale section.  

Some of these experiences are exclusive to guests staying at Karawatha Cottages and you will be able to purchase them when booking your cottage or by contacting us by e-mail. For other activities we will link you off to the actual operator; remember to mention Karawatha Cottages when booking with them.

As always, feel free to reach out and let us know if there is anything else you are looking for and can't find here. We are always happy to help and share our passion for McLaren Vale and the Fleurieu Peninsula !

Food & Wine Walk

We do love "our" Karawatha Cottages Flat Mates Walking Trail, are amazed how many of our guests embark on it and are always thrilled hearing how much they have enjoyed it! 

It's so easy - just start walking straight from your accommodation, to enjoy same amazing wines, scenery and a bite to eat on the way. The only challenge is that some of the unique structured tasting & food experiences need to be booked, as does a table at the award winning Currant Shed. To make sure, that you don't miss  out, we have now created an option for you to pre-book the experience with us.

Your day starts with a 250 m stroll to the Beresford Tasting Pavilion for their paired wine and food tasting experience (6 wines from their premium Estate and Limited Release red wines, paired with a small tasting plate; approx.1 hr); then it is time for a relaxed walk (2.5 km, approx. 30 min) on back-roads, alongside vineyards to the Shottesbrooke Wines cellar door. Here it will be all educational with their Ancient Soil Tasting: four different Shiraz samples, straight from the barrel or tank, from four different regional soil formations (shown in jars with soil samples) highlight the impact of geology on wine characteristics (approx. 45 min). 

Time for lunch now, with a 10 min walk to the Currant Shed, to indulge in a 3 course lunch (add $ 80 pp for 6 course Chef's selection with paired wines).

After lunch, you have the choice of walking the short 1.2 km back to your cottage - or give us a call and we will pick you up.

 

Inclusions:

  • Beresford Paired Wine & Food Tasting (approx. 1 hrs)

  • Shottesbrooke Wines Ancient Soil Tasting (approx. 45 min)

  • Currant Shed 3 Course lunch (excl. wines) 

  • Transfer back to Karawatha Cottages (unless you prefer to walk back)

Costs: $ 175 per person

Book with your cottage as 'extra' or use our e-mail request form

The Fine Print:

  • Offered daily except Wednesday; subject to availability

  • Charges will only be processed, after we have been able to confirm all components of the package

  • Needs to be booked minimum of 48 hrs in advance  

  • Cancel policy: as per your room booking

  • Bad weather: we will work with you to alter and refund accordingly

Food & Wine (Heli) Flight

Like the idea and sound of the Food & Wine Walk - but don't quite fancy the thought of walking, or want to celebrate that special occasion? Then let's take the idea of a Wine Flight to an altogether different level.

For our Food & Wine Flight package, we partnered with our friends at Helivista to show you the full beauty of the McLaren Vale wine region. Going beyond vineyards and the produce that our amazing neighbours have to offer, Helivista will take you to the skies fly across the Vale to our stunning Fleurieu Coast and back again. 

Your day starts with a 250 m stroll to the Beresford Tasting Pavilion for their paired wine and food tasting experience (6 wines from their premium Estate and Limited Release red wines, paired with a small tasting plate; approx.1 hr). The friendly Beresford team will now transfer you in their buggy to the helicopter landing spot; after a short safety briefing, it's time for lift off and Helivista will take across the McLaren Vale vineyards to the coast, showing off all the best the region has to offer. Returning to our corner of the Vale, Helivista will drop you off right at the Shottesbrooke Wines cellar door. Here it will be all educational with their Ancient Soil Tasting: four different Shiraz samples, straight from the barrel or tank, from four different regional soil formations (shown in jars with soil samples) highlight the impact of geology on wine characteristics (approx. 45 min). 

Time for lunch now, with a short walk past gum trees and vineyards to the award winning Currant Shed. Enjoy their 3 course lunch or indulge in their 6 course  Chef's selection with paired wines. 

After lunch, you have the choice of walking the short 1.2 km back to your cottage - or give us a call and we will pick you up.

 

Inclusions:

  • Beresford Paired Wine & Food Tasting (approx. 1 hrs)

  • Helivista scenic flight over McLaren Vale and the Fleurieu Coast (30 min)

  • Shottesbrooke Wines Ancient Soil Tasting (approx. 45 min)

  • Currant Shed lunch incl. wine (3 or 6 course option)

  • Transfer back to Karawatha Cottages (unless you prefer to walk back)

Costs: $ 565 pp (3 course lunch with a Shottesbrooke wine flight) 
           $ 615 pp (6 course with paired wines)

Book with your cottage as 'extra' or use our e-mail request form

The Fine Print:

  • Offered daily except Wednesday, subject to availability

  • Charges will only be processed, after we have been able to confirm all components of the package

  • Needs to be booked minimum of 48 hrs in advance  

  • Flight weight restrictions applicable (180 kg combined passenger limit)

  • Cancel policy: as per your room booking

  • Bad weather: we will work with you to change dates or refund if change is not possible

Bec Hardy Private Dining.jpg

Tipsy Hill - Private Dining

A truly unique and luxurious McLaren Vale dining experience offered by our lovely neighbour Bec Hardy, the great-great-great granddaughter of Thomas Hardy (known as the ‘Father of South Australian wine’).

 

Bec and her husband (and co Managing Director for Bec Hardy Wines) Richard have generously decided to share their private Tuscan-inspired Tipsy Hill residence (right next to Karawatha Cottages) with guests for an intimate lunch or dinner experience. It is always limited to one  group only - so truly a private dining experience.

Tipsy Hill, named after a rose, is their private residence, surrounded by a Mediterranean inspired garden and situated on top of their Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard - the source of the acclaimed Tipsy Hill Cab Sav (99 points - James Halliday). The views, wines, food and of course the company all ensure a true once in a lifetime experience.

Once booked and confirmed, Bec or Richard will reach out to  you to curate a personalised, local and seasonal menu, taking into account your preferences, likes and dislikes and, of course, any dietary requirements.

Inclusions:

  • Pre-lunch/dinner drinks 

  • Tour of the Tipsy Hill Garden and Vineyard

  • 3 or 4 course meal as booked

  • Wines from the Bec Hardy and Pertaringa range of award winning wines 

Costs: $ 295 pp for 3 course meal or $ 395 pp for 4 course degustation 

 

For details and to book see Bec Hardy Wines and simply mention that you stay at Karawatha Cottages in the comment field.

Picnic in the Vale

We are truly spoiled for choice when it comes to food in McLaren Vale with so many fine dining destinations to choose from in our restaurant section or from the above wine and dine experiences.

 

But sometimes, it is the simple things in life that we are looking for and a sumptuous picnic out in nature might be just it. Two options for you to choose from:

Karawatha Cottages Picnic Basket
Take our own picnic basket and blanket for the day and choose your perfect spot for your private picnic, be it on top of the Onkaparinga Gorge, somewhere along one of our amazing beaches or in the Willunga Rose Gardens - we happily share with you our favourite spots.

 

Your basket comes fully stocked with a selection of cheeses, Skarda ham or salami, local olives and dip, a Little Acre Pate  plus crackers and a baguette. And from our friends at Maxwell Wines, a bottle of chilled bubbly - which also includes free tasting at their cellar door and 10% off any purchases. 

 

Costs:  $ 90 (feeds two)

Book with your cottage as 'extra' or use our e-mail request form

 

The Fine Print:

  • Ingredients as per above (or similar if not available);

  • basket/blanket hire for the day

  • Needs to be booked minimum 48 hrs in advance 

  • Non refundable within 48 hrs

Wine and Wander

Our friends at Gemtree Wines have taken the idea of a picnic onto a different level and combined it not only with a private, tutored wine tasting experience but also a guided educational tour of their Biodynamic Hut, where you learn all about biodynamic  grape growing.  Then it is time to discover the flora, fauna and wildlife along the Gemtree Ecotrail - with a private dining experience prepared by the award-winning chefs of the Salopian Inn being your destination at the end of the trail.

Costs: $ 155 per person 

Book by using our e-mail request form

 

The Fine Print:

  • Approx. 3 hour duration

  • Incl. glass of bubbly on arrival, private tasting, guided tour of biodynamic hut, Salopian Inn picnic lunch

  • Closed in shoes must be worn; shoes will be sanitised prior to the commencement for bio-security reason

  • Tour needs to be booked minimum 48 hrs in advance 

  • Non refundable within 48 hrs (unless cancelled by Gemtree due to weather conditions)

Hither & Yon Bike Hire

The Hither & Yon cellar door in Willunga is always worthwhile a visit and should be on your list - and that is not only because of their excellent wines. Their Nero D'Avola for example won the best McLaren Vale wine and Bushing Monarch at the 2019 McLaren Vale wine show. Next to the so-called  'alternative' or climate appropriate varieties like Tempranillo and Petit Blanc, their Shiraz and Grenache have also long been on our list of favourites. 

But, this experience goes beyond the wines and is also about their cellar door, location and McLaren Vale vineyards. Based in the heart of the beautiful and historic township of Willunga, the cellar door is housed right on the main strip in an old 1860's butchers shop. Not that you would notice - looks more like you have entered an old book shop. Apart from tasting wines, they offer cheese platters or gourmet seasonal burgers and pizzas - and they are right next to the de Rose Kitchen (previously 3 Monkey's cafe) if you are in need for a caffeine fix.

Perfect to combine with a visit to the Willunga farmers market - but rather than "just" calling into the cellar door, we recommend to  take up one of their two self-guided bike riding tours.

 

The 'standard option gives you 3 hours on their bikes, to follow the Shiraz Trail and then returning to the cellar door for a premium wine tasting.

We particularly love their premium Escape, Sip & Relax tour as it gives you access to their bikes for 4 hours, includes a picnic basket from de Rose Kitchen and, after a suggested itinerary along the Shiraz Trail, you will be meeting their wine maker in their vineyards for a guided walk and a premium wine tasting amongst the vines. At the end of the tasting, you can either ride the bikes back, or the team of Hither & Yon will drive you back and look after the bikes.  Truly a very special wine  tasting experience.

Costs: $ 50 per person (standard tour - available daily), $ 98 per person (premium tour - Friday to Sunday)

Book by using our e-mail request form​ (please indicate standard or premium)

 

The Fine Print:

  • Experience starts at  Hither & Yon, Willunga, 11 am, daily for standard, Fri-Sun for premium tour

  • By booking, you confirm to be  comfortable riding bikes in both urban and country areas

  • This product is on request. We will confirm availability within the shortest possible time.

  • Charges will only be processed, after we have been able to confirm booking

  • Needs to be booked minimum of 48 hrs in advance  

  • Cancel policy: as per your room booking

  • Bad weather: Hither & Yon reserves the right to cancel due weather conditions; we will work with you to change dates or refund if change is not possible