AUSTRALIAN wines have taken their place amongst the best in the world. Combined with a stunning landscape, wineries offer a great Australian drive-tour experience.
The first thing to do is nominate a driver – maybe take it in turns if an overnight stay is planned. The next thing is to select your DriveNow rental vehicle. A roomy sedan or four-wheel drive might be handy, or why not pick up a campervan and have your accommodation sorted as well?
Those in Western Australia have the acclaimed Margaret River to explore. Pick up your Perth car rental and head about 280km south to Margaret River, home to 20 percent of Australia’s premium wines. Take advantage of the area’s beaches and forests by staying at the Riverview Tourist Park and making it your base. Xanadu winery is a popular and picturesque place to start, with an award-winning restaurant and sweeping views.
In NSW the Hunter Valley is considered the grand old daddy of wine regions – and it’s only two hours from Sydney. Lindemans, McGuigan, and Wyndham Estate are just some of the famous labels to be explored.
Take in South Australia’s Barossa Valley Tourist Park, 70kms north of the state’s capital and maybe hire one of the bicycles on offer. The park is close to wineries such Wolf Blass, Penfolds, Tarac Australia, and Chateau Dorrien.
Victoria is the perfect place for winery day trips with the Yarra Valley, Mornington Peninsula and Geelong winery regions all within an hour’s drive of the city. St Huberts, Sticks, Dromana Estate, T’Gallant, Bellarine Estate and Jack Rabbit Vineyard are amongst the state’s diverse offerings.
Across the water, Tasmania’s Tamar Valley is home to some of Australia’s premium cool-climate wines and over in New Zealand, wineries are one of the country’s most popular tourist attractions. Northland, Nelson, Hawkes Bay and Marlborough are some of the popular wine districts just ripe for exploration.
MAUREEN DOYLE & SCOTT PODMORE