18 Oct 2021

SOUTHERN OCEAN DRIVE: SEE THE FLEURIEU, LIMESTONE COAST AND KANGAROO ISLAND

From the land of natural wonders on the Limestone Coast, to the untouched wilderness of Kangaroo Island and the sea and vines of the Fleurieu Peninsula, there’s something to discover around every bend. Download the Southern Ocean Drive map, and hit the road to uncover some of Australia’s best wineries, most breathtaking beaches and jaw-dropping geological marvels. Here’s our guide to the best things to see and do between Kangaroo Island and Adelaide, via the McLaren Vale wine region along the Southern Ocean Drive. 

KANGAROO ISLAND TO ADELAIDE (VIA MCLAREN VALE)

Aldinga

Sellicks Beach, Aldinga
Sellicks Beach, Aldinga

Boutique accommodation, swanky seaside restaurants and world-class wine jostles for attention alongside iconic Fleurieu Peninsula beaches. Less crowded than Bondi, more pristine than Palm Beach and trumping Byron Bay for authenticity, Aldinga rates up there with the best seaside suburbs in Australia. Flanked by Sellicks and Port Willunga beaches, around here a decent patch of sand and surf is never far away. Find your own slice of beachside bliss, pull up the car and roll out the shade for a day by the beach. 

The D'Arenberg Cube

The D'Arenberg Cube
The D'Arenberg Cube

This magnificent structure is the jewel of the McLaren Vale. Imagine if Willy Wonka was a wine, not chocolate, lover and we reckon the result would be something very similar to the d’Arenberg Cube. Seemingly floating above the vineyards, this otherworldly cellar door offers one of the most iconic and unique wine tasting destinations in Australia. Set among the rolling hills of McLaren Vale on the largest biodynamic winery in Australia, the Cube features a tasting room with 360-degree views over five levels, several bars, a casual dining restaurant, a museum and art gallery. Spend an afternoon sampling a selection of d’Arenberg’s best drops or blend and bottle your very own wine during a blending bench masterclass or learn more about their Dead Arm Distinction. A fine dining experience also awaits on site at d’Arry’s Verandah Restaurant.

Maxwell Wines

Maxwell Wines, McLaren Vale
Maxwell Wines, McLaren Vale

Maxwell Wines is an idyllic location for an unforgettable food and wine experience. The stunning limestone building is complemented by large picture windows, and breathtaking views overlooking the rolling hills of McLaren Vale. The winery boasts the most successful mead production in the Southern Hemisphere, with a range of sparkling and spiced beverages harking back to as early as 7,000 BC. Showcasing the best of the region and his own kitchen gardens, Head Chef Fabian Lehmann offers a versatile menu including à la carte options in Maxwell Restaurant. But it's the presentation of their seasonal tasting menu that will leave you in awe, with colourful dishes and imaginative plating marrying for the perfect Instagram moment. Taste wines or mead before you dine to ensure the perfect selection, or simply let it all happen, with wines expertly matched from the estate vineyards.

Coriole Winery 

Coriole Winery
Coriole Winery

Coriole winery and restaurant sits on the Seaview ridge of the picturesque McLaren Vale region. Steeped in the region's wine making history, Coriole has been known for producing estate-grown Shiraz and Cabernet, and has pioneered a range of Mediterranean varieties including Sangiovese, Fiano and Picpoul. The charming courtyard restaurant is nestled between the original 1850's homestead and the ironstone barn, now home to the cellar door. The restaurant and cellar door are open daily and guests of Coriole are encouraged to soak up the breathtaking views the region offers and beautifully maintained gardens and grounds..

Wirra Wirra

Wirra Wirra
Wirra Wirra

As its Aboriginal name infers, Wirra Wirra is nestled “among the gums” in McLaren Vale, South Australia - a picturesque ironstone winery with over 100 years of history. From the call of the towering Angelus bell atop the winery, to the massive timber fence known as “Woodhenge”, Wirra Wirra offers a unique and memorable winery experience. Best known for its famous red Church Block blend, winemaker Paul Smith and his team deliver rich, textured McLaren Vale reds and stunning cool climate whites from the Adelaide Hills. Wirra Wirra is also home to Harry's Deli, a providore-style café mixing exceptional wine with a selection of delicious light meals.

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