Spring is here, Labour Day is on the horizon, and summer is so close we can almost smell it. What does that mean? Packing the car, stocking up on some lollies and hitting the road for a long weekend road trip! This one isn't for the faint-hearted; head off from Adelaide to the outback of South Australia, New South Wales and Victoria before heading back to Adelaide for a well-earned rest.
About two hours from Adelaide is one of Australia's oldest wine regions and best known for Rieslings, the enchanting Clare Valley. Jump out of the car and get your legs working on a leisurely walk along the Riesling Trail, a 33km path in total offering scenic vineyard views and leading up to the cellar doors of many of the Valley's wineries. Head further north to Port Augusta - the crossroads of Australia and where roads from Adelaide, the Flinders Range, Alice Springs and Perth intersect. Based in the town's north and born from a Parks and Gardens Superintendent's desire to conserve and promote desert flora, the Australian Arid Lands Botanic Gardens opened in 1996. Slip on those joggers again to meander through the garden's 12km of walking tracks. Port Augusta is the last stop today, so settle in for a night in this seaport town.
The drive through to Broken Hill is the longest. There will be plenty of time to play I Spy and 20 Questions on the 400km drive and a few stops along the way to stretch your legs. Get a little freaky at Magnetic Hill and watch your car roll uphill. Peer in to the past in Peterborough with its 'old world' shop fronts and Steamtrain precinct showcasing the town's proud rail heritage. Give in to the rumble of the road and pass by the kilometres with scenic plains and giant Red Gums to catch the eye. Broken Hill made it on to the map as a little mining village in the 1880s, became the birthplace of BHP and has survived in outback isolation for over 140 years. The majestic landscapes around Broken Hill can be explored in the 2400ha Living Desert Reserve and 12 sandstone sculptures silhouetted against the skyline. The art scene of the Broken Hill region compensates for the town's size, where over 30 art galleries display the work of home-grown talent and artists fascinating with this eclectic outback community. Enjoy the country hospitality in another overnight stop.
There are only a few pastoral properties between Broken Hill and Wentworth, and plenty open road to relax in to the gentle slopes of the land. Cruise south on the Silver City Highway and watch out for some of Australia's native and imported wildlife, including emu, camels and goats. 30 minutes before Mildura is one of the oldest Australian designed gaols, Wentworth Gaol, which operated from 1881 until 1928. This relic of the early settlers is open for public tours during the week. Cross the border in to northwest Victoria and in to Mildura. The regular Sunday markets showcase regional produce and are the perfect place to restock on those car snacks. The Mildura Country Music Festival runs over the Labour Day long weekend so for all the country music lovers, be sure to get tickets or tune in the local radio stations.
The drive back from Mildura to Adelaide is about 400km. Cross back in to South Australia and stop in the township of Berri. Visitors can climb to the top of the Berri Lookout Tower and are rewarded with panoramic views over the Berri township and the mighty Murray River. Discover the mural depicting the Aboriginal heritage of the area, based on the Ngurunderi dreaming story of the origins of the Murray River and tucked away beneath the Berri Bridge.Stop off in the Barossa Valley in the community of Nuriootpa, derived from the local Aboriginal word for 'meeting place'. Only an hour from Adelaide, the Barossa Valley is known for superb Shiraz wines. Journey on to Whispering Wall Park and have a quiet conversation with your fellow road trippers from 140 metres away.The final stretch back to Adelaide will see this tri-state outback road trip complete.
Although perfect for a Labour Day weekend getaway, never fear if the planning has been left too late - the next long weekend is around the corner. If you're ready to book, give us a call on 1300 656 601 or simply book online today!