PREPARE FOR AN EPIC AUSTRALIAN ROAD TRIP THROUGH THE HEART OF THE OUTBACK ON THE EXPLORER'S WAY.
The breathtaking scenery of the outback is beautifully entwined with the history of South Australia along the Explorer's Way. The 3000 kilometre journey from Adelaide to Darwin takes you through the Clare Valley, one of South Australia’s famous wine regions, before making its way to the spectacular Flinders Ranges and into the outback. The vast untouched wilderness, far-reaching skies and the wide open road stretching out in front of you make this epic outback journey unlike any other in the world. We've collated all the best things to see and do along the Explorers Way, between Adelaide and the Clare Valley.
ADELAIDE TO CLARE VALLEY
One hour and 40 minutes drive from Adelaide, Lake Bumbunga is the perfect first stop on your Clare Valley experience. Located in Lochiel, the lake has beckoned Instagram savvy holidaymakers and fashion designers alike to its shores – thanks to its famous kaleidoscope of colours. The lake is known to change colour from pink, to white, to blue, depending on the salinity of the water throughout the year. Stop the car, snap some shots, then hit the road for the Clare Valley.
Wine tour in the Clare Valley
Less than two hours from Adelaide, the Explorer’s Way road trip truly begins where the vineyards roll into the edges of the outback. Here, a legendary glass of riesling awaits to toast the start of your adventure. You'll find more than 50 cellar doors dotted throughout the Clare Valley, with most sitting between the towns of Auburn and Clare. The Clare Valley’s signature wine, riesling, is among the world’s best and the region is home to some of the oldest wineries and cellar doors in the state. Holding the title for the oldest winery in the region, Sevenhill Cellars was established in 1851 by Jesuits priests. Stop here to drink in the history, and a glass or two, before embarking on your own wine tour through some of Clare’s best wineries including Pikes Wines, Shut the Gate Wines, Skillogalee, Kilikanoon Wines and Clare Valley Brewing Co. Stay a night or two nestled amongst nature at Trestrail Cottage to make the most of your time and the wine.
Cycle the Clare Valley Riesling Trail
Spanning the 35 kilometres between Clare and Auburn, and about two hours drive from Adelaide, cyclists consider the Riesling Trail to be one of the best bike trails near Adelaide. No bicycle? No problem. Bike hire is available at a variety of locations along the trail. And while balancing wine bottles on a bicycle isn’t recommended, cellar door purchases can be shipped to your accommodation in the Clare Valley or to your home. You’ll need a minimum of two and a half hours to cycle the Riesling Trail, but factor in extra time to truly enjoy this stretch of countryside and cellar door hospitality along the way. You can see bike hire options here. Ready to pump those legs? Read our in-depth, stop by stop guide for visitors hoping to cycle the Riesling Trail.
The historic town of Mintaro's crowning glory is the Martindale Hall. A short 20-minute drive from Clare, the hall is one of the prettiest country mansions in Australia, presenting as a miniature version of Britain’s Chatsworth House.
Explore this historic mining town, nestled between the lush vines of the Clare Valley and the red dirt of the outback. Once a thriving copper mining hub, this unique town now draws visitors for its rich heritage. Grab a Burra Heritage Passport and explore the town’s mining history; visit underground dugouts, long-abandoned mine sites and the old police lock-up, before checking out the Burra Regional Art Gallery. If you’ve got time, stick around for the night; just outside of town at Red Banks Conservation Park, you’ll find some of the clearest and darkest skies in the state, creating the perfect conditions for stargazing.