Clare Valley Wine & Wilderness Trail
Sat 4 to Sun 5 May 2024
- Walk name/location
- Clare Valley Wine & Wilderness Trail
- Walk grade
- Extended Walk 2
What is the Clare Valley Wine & Wilderness Trail?
- A 100km walking trail around the Clare Valley.
- The trail will consist of 6 stages, each stage is approximately 1 days walk. We have spread the hikes over 3 weekends.
- The trail begins and ends at the Clare Valley Wine, Food & Tourism Centre. All other trail heads are at Wineries
- The trail is a moderate grade hiking trail, challenges include;
- Crossing Fences (with the use of a stile).
- Crossing Flowing Creeks (during the wet winter months).
- Steep climbs.
- Rocky uneven surfaces & fallen trees.
- Snakes during the hot months.
- The trail showcases the region’s natural beauty & premium food and wine products, passing cellar doors, restaurants and cafes.
- The trail is a public trail available to locals and visitors, users of the trail will be free to complete the entire route or smaller sections at their leisure.
- The trail travels on a network of backroads, road reserves & private property.
- There is no camping on the trail.
- There is lots of great accommodation throughout the Clare Valley where you can base yourselves.
- A bus will be organised to get you to the start of the hike each day.
Saturday 4th May – Stage 1
Distance 23km Duration Allow 5-6 Hours Difficulty Difficult – exposed, windy and rocky ridges, multiple ridge climbs Elevation Gain 673m Start Clare Valley Wine, Food & Tourism Centre, 8 Spring Gully Rd Clare SA 5453 End Jim Barry Wines: 33 Craig Hill Rd, Clare SA 5453 Map Download Here
Stage 1 takes you through the northernmost section of the Trail and includes spectacular panoramic views from Dunns Range.
Starting at the award-winning Clare Valley Wine Food and Tourism Centre (located among the gum trees beside the Clare Caravan Park).
Heading east from the Tourism Centre, carefully cross Main North Road and make your way through the gate into the Clare Show Grounds. Look for the brown Riesling Trail sign which also has a Wine and Wilderness trail marker on it. Follow the markers south along the creek initially and then across to the Riesling Trail.
Turn left onto the iconic Riesling Trail and head north for 800m, before turning into Tim Adams Winery cellar door. Remember that the Riesling Trail is a shared use trail and that there will likely be cyclists and dogs to avoid. This is your last formal toilet stop until Jim Barry Wines at the end of the stage.
From Tim Adams Wines, cross Warenda Road and you will see the first stile of this stage. Roughly follow the creek line before heading up an incline through a pretty section of young eucalypts. Keep your eye out for trail markers positioned amongst the trees. After 1.5km or so, you will be intercepted by Spring Farm Road. Cross straight over to access Dunns Range Road..
Continue onto Dunns Range Road for approximately 1km before reaching the ridge line.
Dunns Range ridge line is arguably the highlight of Stage 1 with a couple of elevation high points of 556m and 546m, providing sweeping panoramic views of the Clare Valley. This is a very rocky and exposed 5.5km section, so make sure you have your windproof jacket with you!
Be sure to stick to the ridgeline and don’t get fooled by the many sheep tracks. After 1.8km along the Range, descend west to cross Farrell Flat Road. Take care when crossing this road as it is busy with traffic. You will then climb back up to Dunns Range and be rewarded with a weather-proof hut where you can not only avail of shelter but also enjoy the superb views over the Clare township (and on a clear day, Snowtown and the northern point of Spencer Gulf) to the west through the full length glass windows on the western and eastern walls. Delight in the sweeping views to the east of the townships of Farrell Flat and Burra.
Once suitably rested, continue north along Dunn’s Range, following the trail markers until you reach a stile, bringing you down off the Range and onto some easy-going unpaved road.
Head north on Blockers Road for 300 meters or so before turning west onto Lewcock Road, then north onto Moccundunda North Road which will bring you to the main White Hutt Road. Cross over, onto the Riesling Trail/Mawson Trail and onto Hubbe Road. Pay attention to the signs here to make sure you keep on the right path.
Stay on Hubbe Road for 600 meters before turning left and briefly heading west onto Koorama Road before quickly turning right through a gate into the historic Methodist Cemetery (situated at Clare Valley Cabins accommodation). Follow a vegetated loop of approximately 1.8km which is full of bird life and will ultimately bring you back out on Koorama Road.
Turn right and continue west along Koorama Road before heading north on Gaelic Cemetery Road. This passes the second historic cemetery on stage 1. After passing the Gaelic Cemetery, turn left onto Roach Road for a short time before heading south onto Noble Road. Keep on Noble Road and follow the 90 degree bend at the top of the hill, which brings you into Stanley Stud Road. Follow Stanley Stud Road down to cross the Hutt River and then cross over Horrocks Highway onto MacDonald Road.
Immediately after the next creek crossing, look for the stile on your left. This stile marks the end of the road walking section – we are back on private land!
Enter into the paddock heading south along the creek line – a contributory to the Hutt River. Following directly south along a fence line with adjoining vineyards you will arrive at another stile. Cross McRae Wood Road to the well-decorated stile on the southern side, which leads you into a windy and well vegetated section. This is well sign-posted and will lead you through to a final stile and hill before descending down into Jim Barry Wines cellar door.
Congrats, that is Stage 1!
Sunday 5th May 2024 – Stage 2
Distance 17.4km Duration Allow 4-5 Hours Difficulty Moderate – some hills but mostly undulating & sheltered trail Elevation Gain ??m Start Jim Barry Wines: 33 Craig Hill Rd, Clare SA 5453 End Jeanneret Wines, 22 Jeanneret Rd, Sevenhill SA 5453 Map Download Here
Stage 2 kicks off in Clare before heading along the Armagh Creek, then into the higher country of Spring Gully. This section of the Trail showcases sweeping hilltop views, secluded native bushland and wildflower country, plus 4 wineries.
Starting from the iconic Jim Barry Wines, head away from the lure of their cellar door, back out through the stone carpark entrance point. Take a look at the map on the large sign as you begin. Head up the path to the cairn on top of Lavender Hill (as it’s known by the Barry family). It’s steep, but only 100m to the top. Stop for breath and take in the view back towards Clare.
Keep following the single track through gumtree scattered bushland to reach a downhill 2-wheel track that pops you out into a vineyard, and then onto Benbournie Road. Cross over immediately and follow markers along the road. Galahs and rosellas frequent these roadside trees.
Continue over a crossroad where you’ll be able to spot the sign 150m ahead, turning you left and over a stile. On your right is “The Armagh” vineyard (check ‘Experiences’ on the Jim Barry website for more information).
Two rapid stile crossings and you’re on the edge of Armagh Creek. Steep banks and teetering gums may have you tree-hugging as you wind along the creek. Passing thick scrub on your left, look out for resident kangaroos in the open paddock to your right. Continue on, until a hop over a low fence will set you onto St Georges Terrace.
Directly across the road, you’re in another Barry family vineyard. Stay close to the creek and enjoy the vineyard views. The trail follows along the gently winding creek until an unfenced boundary means a sharp left turn onto another vineyard track. Dropping down into the creek briefly, and then over a wider tributary, you’ll find yourself under massive gumtrees (possibly surrounded by large fungi).
You are now on the eastern side of the Armagh Creek, which remains lined by vineyards.. Admire the ancient creek-fed gums, but do keep alert here for a turn between fence posts to your right.
A single chair on your left marks the Crawley property. (The Crawley family once made bricks in the now abandoned kiln you’ll see shortly). Follow a short stretch of dirt track then climb up some wooden steps to your right along the fenceline, before continuing into an open paddock. By keeping close to the creek, you’ll notice wild quince trees and maybe even wild deer.
Jump over the stile onto St Georges Terrace, and you’ll pass a home on your left that was once a hotel. When turning left along Blyth road, glance right and you’ll spot the abandoned brick kiln. Stay left along this 200m section of road, crossing over before the bend and onto shady Emu Flat Road. You’ll continue along this quiet backroad for more than 2 ½ kms. Cross directly over the intersection onto the sheoak-lined Maggie’s Farm Road, and be mindful to stay on the right hand side to avoid driveways.
Follow trail markers up a gentle climb, then be sure to pause and enjoy the hilltop vista. Head down the other side where you’ll reach Spring Gully Road. Cross over into Sussex Squire Wines, where you have a choice of heading 600m up the driveway to their cosy cellar door, or continuing on over the stile and along a meandering paddock track.
After two creek crossings, you’ll briefly pop out onto quiet Leighton Road for 100m, then into some thicker bush again on your left before once again lobbing onto Leighton Road for a further 200m, then turning west onto a secluded rocky track. This track takes you uphill for about 300m before turning into a wider track that meanders past 2 campsites. Continue on until you meet Fitzgerald Road, then turn right. Once you reach the intersection, turn left up the quieter end of Spring Gully Road. Continue on for 1.2kms until you reach Eldredge Vineyards, and turn in the driveway. Here is an opportunity to stop for food, wine, coffee and a warming session by the fire as you take in the view over the dam. Follow trail markers south through Eldredge’s until you again reach the road for a short while. A stile on the right hand side of the road takes you over the fence before reaching Blue Gum Lookout Car Park, where on a clear day you’ll see the sea.
Turning back into Spring Gully Conservation Park, you’ll likely be in wildflower heaven during spring. Check the signage en route and see how many rare orchids and stringy bark trees you can spot. The Cascades waterfall provides a very small detour from the trail, and while rarely flowing fast (if at all), it allows a generous view of the valley below and the Blyth Plains further afield.
The Trail through this section of the Conservation Park mostly coexists with the Lavender Trail. A steep descent takes you through more bushland country – and past a dam – into the alluring Jeanneret Winery.
BIOSECURITY MEASURES – Please ensure you thoroughly clean your footwear, clothing, walking poles and other equipment before and after each walk to remove all seeds, dirt and other debris. Removed seeds should be bagged and disposed in a ‘to landfill’ garbage bin.
- Saturday 4 May 2024
- Sunday 5 May 2024
- Walk Leaders
- Export to Calendars
Event created: 8:17 pm Monday 4 December, 2023
Event last edited: 8:29 am Thursday 1 February, 2024
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