Christmas in Clare
(Combined Adelaide and South Coast Departure)
Five Days: 23rd – 27th December 2020
Twin Share: $1795 per person. Sole Use: $2045 per person.
Included in the tour:
- Home pick-ups & set downs (most metro areas – please contact us for details)
- Picnic-style morning teas & all meals as per the itinerary
- All accommodation & admissions to all attractions
- Experienced & informative tour driver/guide.
An easy drive from Adelaide, the Clare Valley is the perfect location for a relaxed Christmas. Known predominantly for its wineries, the region has so much to offer including picturesque villages, a rich history and a diverse environment ranging from vineyards, to pockets of natural bushland. Staying at the superb Clare Country Club, we taste a little of all that the region has to offer. From the copper mines of Burra to the stately homestead of Bungaree Station, and the vineyards of the Clare Valley to the natural beauty of Bundaleer Forest, there is so much to enjoy. Plus of course, a traditional Christmas lunch with friendly company. Join us on this festive getaway in the beautiful Clare Valley.
Day One – WEDNESDAY 23 DECEMBER 2020
(includes light lunch and two course dinner)
After completing home pick-ups (limited areas*), we head through the city and continue north through the suburbs. As we near the agricultural town of Roseworthy, we stop for morning tea and the chance to stretch our legs.
Our journey continues through the villages of Tarlee and Saddleworth before reaching the historic mining town of Burra. Situated amongst rolling hills in South Australia’s mid north, the town was settled in 1845 when copper was discovered here. It was one of the world’s major copper mines up until 1877, supplying 89% of South Australia’s and 5% of the world’s copper for 15 years. Today it is one of Australia’s best preserved towns of the Victorian era. In fact, the whole town is on the State Heritage Register.
After lunch, a local guide will board our coach to provide us with some insight into the town’s mining heritage and the importance of Burra in the history of South Australia.
Following the tour we continue to our destination of Clare. First settled in the 1840’s, Clare was named by Edmund Gleeson, after his home county in Ireland. The area quickly became known for its fertile soils, copper and iron ore and it wasn’t long before other settlements became established. The first vines were planted in the area in 1852 by The Jesuits to create sacramental wine and this winery still exists today at Sevenhill Cellars.
We check into our accommodation for the next four nights at the Clare Country Club (Ph. 8842 1060) with time to pack and settle in before dinner.
Day Two – THURSDAY 24 DECEMBER 2020
(includes cooked breakfast, lunch and two course dinner)
After breakfast we drive a short distance north of Clare to visit Bungaree Station, which provides a glimpse into the lives of the wealthy gentry of the 1800’s. A picturesque rural property, Bungaree became the headquarters of a large sheep station of 100,000 merino sheep in 1841. As a result, it grew to be like a small village, with beautiful sandstone buildings that included the homestead, woolshed, shearers’ quarters, store, manager’s house, council chambers, a church and staff cottages. We take a guided tour of this impressive station which has won two state and national tourism awards for the experience it provides visitors today.
A short drive from Bungaree is the small town of Blyth, with its farming community spanning the plains between the Clare Hills in the east and the Barunga Ranges in the west. Blyth is also home to the remarkable Medika Gallery where artist Ian Roberts paints and displays his artworks and prints. Ian has developed a reputation for amazing paintings of Australian birds. He has even planted a block of land in the hills of Clare with native flowering plants to attract his subjects! Ian’s artworks are extremely realistic, with fine detail and we have time to wander through his gallery to admire the collection and purchase prints, cards, placemats and other goods if we wish.
We make our way back to Clare for lunch before heading to a local winery where we can enjoy a tasting at the cellar door.
This afternoon we return to our accommodation for some free time to relax or browse the local shops.
Day Three – FRIDAY 25 DECEMBER 2020
(includes cooked breakfast, traditional Christmas lunch and light dinner)
Merry Christmas to all! We wake to a special day of fun, friendship and relaxation!
For those who wish, there is an opportunity to attend local Christmas Day church services this morning. Others can spend some free time strolling the parks and beautiful setting of Clare, or perhaps enjoy an easy morning relaxing at the motel.
At lunch time we gather together for a magnificent traditional Christmas fare prepared by our hosts in the restaurant. Our Christmas lunch will have all the decorations and trimmings and will be a wonderful feast to enjoy with friends!
Full and contented we enjoy some scenic touring around the region with our tour driver this afternoon.
Returning to our accommodation, there will be time to relax before dinner. Our meal this evening will be a light dinner and a lovely end to a spectacular Christmas Day!
Day Four – SATURDAY 26 DECEMBER 2020
(includes cooked breakfast, light lunch and two course dinner)
This morning we travel north to the Bundaleer Forest, Australia’s first plantation forest and regarded as the ‘birthplace of forestry in Australia’. With beautiful walking trails, stunning views and a peaceful atmosphere, it is no wonder that this forest is such a popular place to visit. We will enjoy our morning tea here and those who wish, can take a short walk for a closer look at the beautiful oaks, elms, and other European species that make this forest so unique.
Bundaleer is situated just outside of Jamestown, best known as the birthplace of Australian bushman and entrepreneur R M Williams. We take some time to explore the town before continuing to Laura.
Nestled into the eastern slopes of the southern Flinders Ranges, Laura is the home of the famed Golden North Ice-cream, manufactured here since 1923.
This afternoon we head to the historic, peaceful township of Gladstone. We visit the Southern Flinders Discovery Centre, where we can enjoy tastings of selected olive oil products, capers, dried fruits and soft drinks. Trend Drinks who produce the F.C. Grubb product are based here—the last remaining small soft drink manufacturer in South Australia. Ginger Beer, Sarsaparilla, Portello and Cream Soda are among the old favourites. There is also a selection of Gladstone souvenirs and goods crafted by talented locals that we can browse and purchase if we wish.
A leisurely drive takes us back to Clare for dinner and our final night on tour.
Day Five – SUNDAY 27 DECEMBER 2020
(includes cooked breakfast and two course lunch)
We farewell our hosts in Clare and depart south through the vineyards to the historic town of Mintaro.
Declared a heritage area for South Australia in 1984, a must-visit in Mintaro is the magnificent Martindale Hall. This 32 room Georgian styled mansion was built from sandstone in 1880, complete with a polo ground, racecourse, boating lake and cricket pitch! As you walk through this living museum, it is like stepping back in time, to the lives of wealthy pastoralists in centuries past. While here, we will enjoy a morning tea in these stunning surrounds.
Late morning, we sit back and relax, admiring the country scenery on our drive to the picturesque Barossa Valley. We make our way to the charming town of Angaston, named after one of South Australia’s founders, George Fife Angas who sponsored many of the region’s early German settlers.
Our first stop will be at a local hotel for our two course lunch. Then before returning to Adelaide, we take the opportunity to visit Gully Gardens, a delightful farm shop with delicious Angaston-grown dried fruit, homemade confectionery, jams and much more. There will be plenty of time to browse the shop and purchase some goodies to take home!
As we journey through the suburbs to connect with our home transfers, there will be time to reflect on the highlights of our Christmas break in the stunning Clare Valley.