Where the Vines Meet the Sea
McLaren Vale Wine Region includes a number of townships which only a few years ago were small villages. The eastern sector, encompassed by the South Mount Lofty Ranges consists of vineyards, almond and olive groves, fruit orchards and rose gardens. The 35 km spectacular coastline contains sandy beaches, marine conservation parks, and ancient geological formations.
Wineries The area is home to some of the best wineries in the world. Small boutique wineries rub shoulders with some of the larger greats of the industry. Many offer gourmet foods and some have elegant restaurants. It is not unusual to be served at the cellar door by the winemaker, who will gladly share a yarn or two.
Dining Award winning restaurants, cafes and eateries make the most of fresh local products. Weekend markets are popular for their range of the district’s produce. There are art galleries and a number of artisans’ studios to visit.
Leisure activities are many and varied. At the top of the list are the perfect family swimming beaches at Port Noarlunga, Christies Beach, Sellicks, Moana and Aldinga. (vehicles are permitted on the beach at Aldinga). For the adventurous there is the Port Noarlunga jetty and several boat ramps from which to go fishing or diving. For the diver the reefs at Port Noarlunga and Aldinga with its 21 metre “drop off” are of particular interest. Snorklers will find fascinating reef fish, shells, sponges and sea squirts. The sea dragons are internationally significant. At low tide the large exposed reefs can be seen. For a truly overall tan the seclusion of Maslins is the destination (Australia’s first unclad beach).
Other outdoor activities include visits to the Onkaparinga River National Park, Mount Bold Reservoir or Kuitpo Forest. From Mount Bold to the Marble Weir at Clarendon and the Estuary at Port Noarlunga South, the Onkaparinga River is picturesque and a haven for birdlife. There are a number of walking and cycling trails. Spectacular panoramic views of the entire area may be enjoyed from the top of Willunga Hill.
The hub of activity is the Noarlunga Centre, Collonades Shopping Complex, Theatres, Art Centre, Community Services etc. The Centre is adjacent to the terminus of the Adelaide - Noarlunga Rail Service. Other shopping centres are at Reynella, Christies Beach, Aberfoyle Park, Morphett Vale and McLaren Vale.
Accommodation There is a range of accommodation available throughout the area, including caravan tourist parks, motels and bed & breakfast establishments.
Not so long ago these charming villages were surounded by wheat farms, majestic gum trees and vineyards and were a stopover for stagecoaches and bullockies.
Old Noarlunga is set on a picturesque horseshoe bend in the Onkaparinga River. Villages and wineries retain the hospitality of days gone by and visitors are well catered for. Lake Carew Reynell at Reynella and Market Square in Old Noarlunga are ideal picnic and BBQ spots.