Road tripping - MCLAREN VALE & FLEURIEU coast

KELLY GOLDING STARTS THE CAR. first stop Port Noarlunga...

When you’re at home for long periods of time, and feel like getting out, there’s nothing better than grabbing a friend, jumping in the car, tunes on and hitting the road.

If you head towards McLaren Vale and the Fleurieu Coast you’ll never be left disappointed.

Instead of taking the usual Southern Expressway from the city of Adelaide, head along Brighton Road towards Port Noarlunga. A quaint little seaside suburb with picturesque ocean and reef views. The colours are a Derwent’s dream, especially in winter and the start of spring when the grass is emerald green against the red and sandstone rock formations and bright ocean blue. If you are lucky enough to get a clear sunshiny day, well that is the icing on the cake.

Grab a coffee from the recently opened Cheffy Chelbys, and a morning brekkie roll brunch if you haven’t eaten and take it down to the beach. According to their socials the banana bread is the bomb too, so buy a piece for later. Wander out to the super long Port Noarlunga Jetty and beach to soak in the vista, or head up the hill on the walking track along the Esplanade and take in the cliffs, reef and jetty from a different perspective.

Next stop is Maslin Beach. If you access it from Bowering Hill Road, park the car and walk down the steps and enjoy the views from up high. It’s truly breathtaking when the sun hits the cliff face. The terracotta stone formations behind you as you walk down almost have a personality of their own, as if they are there lined up to greet you on arrival. A lot of people can be intimidated or giggly by the nudist title but don’t let that stop you. You are welcome to visit fully clothed at the northern end. The walk back up is steep, and you’ll want to take it slow to savour the skyline and take some snappy pics as well as catch your breath. After all, it’s a good chance to get the heart rate up before an afternoon of indulging.

Can you hear nearby McLaren Vale wine region calling your name? It’s not just the vino these days that has the Vales fizzing. Never Never Distilling Co. and Swell Brewery Co. have also made a name for themselves and worth a visit if in the region on the weekend. If it’s mid-week, Coriole is top of the list for seated tastings in their Monet like gardens.  

Late lunch is pressing. Ring ahead and make a booking at The Salopian Inn on Main Road. This restaurant is warm and inviting, with an impressive cocktail bar on entry, funky interiors, and an art exhibition on show.

Try a selection of their Asian inspired starters to share and a crisp Arneis. The offerings are generous, so three to share is enough, keeping in mind you may want to leave room for dessert or a cheeky afternoon cocktail to see out the afternoon.

After the fresh country air, a dose of vitamin sea, and a happy tummy, you’ll be more relaxed and well equipped to see out the rest of the week. 

Make sure you visit the McLaren Vale & Fleurieu Coast website for all the local tips on this wonderful part of the Fleurieu Peninsula.

There's so much to see and do, next time I am definitely staying a few days!


Guest blogger: Kelly Golding @kelly_golding_
Photography: Kelly Golding @kelly_golding_

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