One of the best things about living in Singapore is the easy access to fabulous travel destinations. Culture, adventure, art, cuisine or heritage, there’s something to suit every taste. If you like wine, Australia’s famous Margaret River region is just a five-hour flight away, but what about visiting the country’s other renowned wine regions? Read on for info and tips on three of the best Australian wine regions – all relatively close to major airports.
#1 The Hunter Valley
While it flies under the radar on the world stage, insiders know the Hunter Valley as the oldest wine region in Australia, and the one with the most cellar doors. Famous for its whites – semillon and chardonnay, in particular – the Hunter Valley also boasts a bevy of farmers’ markets and farm gate stalls, so it’s foodie heaven! Just take any of the numerous daily flights to Sydney, and pick up a car at the airport for the three-hour drive. We recommend at least two nights in the region to really take advantage of what it has to offer.
MUST DO: Visit Tyrells Winery (established in 1858), an Aussie institution – don’t miss their fabulous semillon. Eat at Muse Dining at Hungerford Hill Winery, Pokolbin.
Find out more about the Hunter Valley
#2 The Yarra Valley
From the Melbourne CBD, you’ll find yourself in the heart of the Yarra Valley in about an hour by car. It’s renowned as a region of beautiful, quaint country towns, rolling hills, sophisticated rural charm and wonderful wineries. Stock up on cheeses (there’s even a town called Gruyere!) and pinot noir, the local specialty, while you are here.
MUST DO: Buy pinot noir at Cold Stream Hills, the winery founded by Australian wine doyenne James Halliday. Stock up on farm-fresh dairy at Yarra Valley Dairy. Le Jack, a white mould goat’s milk cheese, is particularly delectable.
Find out more about visiting the Yarra Valley
#3 The Barossa Valley
Another brilliantly positioned wine region, the Barossa Valley is at about an hour’s drive from Adelaide, which is also accessible by daily flights from Singapore. The Barossa is well known for its robust reds and historic, picturesque towns dotted along the various wine trails. It’s home to some of the oldest and rarest vines in the world. Don’t miss a visit to Hahndorf – a town that pays strong homage to the area’s Prussian roots – and have lunch or dinner at a “gastro pub” where menus are based on the finest regional ingredients.
MUST DO: Visit Langmeil Winery and sample their popular shiraz, “The Freedom”. Original vines, planted in 1843, survive to this day – they’re some of the oldest and rarest vines in the world. Also, stock up on chutneys, preserves and, of course, cheese at Udder Delights in Hanhdorf.
Find out more about visiting the Barossa Valley
A tip for packing!
Take an empty suitcase to stock up on home-made, locally sourced pickles, jams, cheeses and spreads at every destination. All of them are sealed, jarred or vacuum packed, so it’s safe to bring them back to Singapore, where you can really amp up your next drinks and nibbles night!
Feeling inspired to plan a trip?
Don’t forget to take out travel insurance, especially if you’re on a driving holiday for any (sober!) dings or accidents that you may have. Do look out for bus tours that visit various wineries so you can leave the car at your accommodation for the day and visit the tasting rooms. We recommend you speak to the folks at Expat Insurance who can explain any of the fine print that comes with a driving holiday. Also, drink and drive responsibly… but eat as much as you like!
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