Clare Valley is famous as the Clare Valley Wine Region and encompasses the towns of Clare, Penworthham, Sevenhill, Watervale and Auburn (from north to south). Clare is the largest town and the shopping and business hub of the area and is about 110 kms north of Adelaide in the Mid North of South Australia.
The Clare Valley is an idyllic place to spend a few days. It is one of Australia's oldest wine regions, best known for Riesling wines. The valley runs north-south, via the Horrocks Highway and scenic roads. The towns are picturesque and framed by vineyards and farms. The area is well served by cellar doors, dining, accommodation and events. The area has an enviable name for gourmet foods.
Named after County Clare in Ireland, Clare was settled in the 1840s. Many buildings are impressive, reflecting the prosperity of the era with fine merino wool and copper mining nearby at Burra. Today there are wineries, restaurants, cycling and walking trails, art galleries and museums. Clare today is a vibrant rural town and regional centre. As well as tourism, grape-growing, wine production, broadacre farming (wheat, barley, beans and canola), livestock (merino sheep, cattle, pigs, chickens) and light manufacturing drive a booming, resilient local economy.
There are a number of shady parks perfect for picnics and BBQ's and walking trails at Inchiquin Lake, Clare's main water-storage area. Not far from the town centre, Billy Goat Hill provides good views of the region.
Town Walking Trail
The many National Trust-classified buildings can be seen on the historic town walk, including Wolta Wolta Homestead (1846) and the Old Police Station Museum in Neagles Rock Road, which holds memorabilia and early records of the district.
In Sevenhill. Jesuit priests planted the first vines in 1851 after fleeing religious persecution in Silesia (now part of Poland). History
The Riesling Trail
The Riesling Trail is a 35 kms walking and cycling track between Auburn (south) and 9 kms north of Clare to the Barinia area. The trail passes through villages including Leasingham, Watervale, Penwortham and Sevenhill. The Trail can be done in sections: Barinia to Clare: 9km, Clare to Sevenhill: 7km, Sevenhill to Penwortham: 5km, Penwortham to Watervale: 5km, Watervale to Leasingham: 2km, Leasingham to Auburn: 8km.
A number of cellar doors and other attractions are on route. The trail utilises the former railway branch line between Riverton in the south to Spalding in the north. The track was abandoned after damage during the 1983 Ash Wednesday bushfires. Interpretative signage along the track gives an insight into the area. Picnic tables and seats at several places offer an opportunity to stop and rest. Map