Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Day Trip To Barossa Valley - Exploring South Australia

After a long time, I am back with a travel post on the blog. Hubby and I were so busy with settling in and getting adjusted that we forgot how important it is to break the monotony of everyday life and treat yourself to a small getaway. So last weekend we ticked off Barossa Valley from the bucket list of places we want to visit in South Australia. There is a lot more to do in the gorgeous valley and we will go back again for sure!

Barossa Valley is located 60 KM northeast of Adelaide. It is known as a major wine-producing region. I was a bit unsure of what I would do there when we planned the trip since we do not drink but, hubby read about the famous places and identified some interesting spots that we would cover in this day trip without having to taste wine :D

We were a total of seven people - Hubby and I, my friend and her family. We knew that most of the time would be spent in the car as the ride to Barossa is 1.5 hours from Adelaide and all the places we had shortlisted were at quite a distance from each other. To be able to spend more time together and not have issues with who will follow who, we rented Hyundai iMax, an 8-seater minivan, from Alpha Car Hire. It cost $110 including comprehensive insurance. Hubby & his friend picked it up from Alpha's office near the airport at 9am. We packed it with snacks and drinks and started our trip.

The weather forecast said it will be hot and sunny. I was really dreading it but luckily it remained cloudy all day and we were blessed with perfect weather for this trip. With songs from Coke Studio as background score, we started our journey around 10 am and reached our first destination which was Mengler's Hills one and a half hour later. The route to Barossa is very scenic with hills, fields and farms along the road. We marvelled at the colours and variety of shades.  Photographs probably cannot do justice to the gazillion shades of yellows, greens and browns that were spread around us.

A random scene on the road

My first live Llamas experience 

Randomly found on one of the farms on the way

Mengler's Hill is home to man-made Sculpture Park which was created in 1988. This park is one of the most beautiful lookout points in South Australia. There are many sculptures created by national and international artists. Admission is free. It is the perfect spot for landscape photography. The old trees, rocks and landscaping of the park make the best backgrounds for photographs.

The Sculpture I liked the most - called 'Dreaming' which represents a time when eagles roamed the Barossa Hills
This was called 'Poort' facing north, this is the portal to Belguim
Greek Goddess of Spring called 'Persephone' invites visitors to sit down, pause and relax. 

After Mengler's hill, our next stop was Maggie Beer Farm. But as soon as we saw, 'The Eatery' sign and the waiter confirmed the availability of Halal food, we suddenly started feeling really hungry. Happily, we were seated in a small area which looked like a sunroom providing us with a full view of the gorgeous farm! We stuffed ourselves with one of the best lunches I have had in a long time. The restaurant was beautiful with extremely polite staff, crockery that I wished was given away with the food and food that was finger licking good. With renewed energy, we explored the farm. There was a pond around which you could take a stroll to just enjoy nature. The two excited boys with us were afraid of spiders, but, looking high and low for snakes, which a sign said could possibly be around that area!  Of course, we found none.

View of 'The Eatery' from the other side of the pond 

We decided to head to Jacob's Creek which is considered as one of the most beautiful wineries in Barossa. And indeed it was. I was in awe at the beautiful green that was spread as far as my eyes could see. You know how they say that natural beauty refreshes mind and soul, I think I experienced that refreshing feeling while walking through these greens!

Entrance to Jacob's Creek
Me right in the middle of the lush green vineyard

Whispering Wall 
Our last recreational spot was the Whispering Wall. It is a retaining wall of a water reservoir in Barossa Valley. There is a strange acoustic effect due to which you can hear a whisper from one end of the wall to the other which is 140m away. It is parabole effect (please don't ask me to explain it) that creates this unusual phenomenon and which is also the basis of where this place got its name. It is hard to decide whether kids or adults enjoyed it more!

Entrance to Whispering Wall
Our last food stop was at a coffee shop called Nosh Cafe where we finally had the snacks and sandwiches we had brought with us. It was almost 5pm by the time we left Barossa. We reached Adelaide around 7:30pm. The car was hired for 24 hours but we returned it at 9pm.

Barossa was beautiful no doubt but more importantly, we enjoyed the trip because we had an amazing and like-minded company. We talked and talked all the way to and back. Non-stop. The only time we stopped was at scenic and not-so-scenic-spots to pose for photographs! Certainly made memories that will last a lifetime <3

We haven't planned our next trip together with these guys but, I am already looking forward to it!

Help me choose our next destination, please!

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