The Best things to do in McLaren Vale and the Fleurieu Peninsula

A local guide of the best places to eat, drink, stay, relax and explore in McLaren Vale and the Fleurieu Peninsula.
Best things in McLaren Vale2 | 2023

To Drink // Vale Brewing at Red Poles

Don’t get us wrong, we love a good wine tasting in the beautiful McLaren Vale wine region, but do you know what we love just as much? A beer paddle tasting at Red Poles Gallery!

Perfect as part of your group itinerary, Red Poles has a lovely shady beer garden to sample the best of Vale Brewing beers. Lager, original Pale Ale, Amber Lager and a Golden Ale covers all tastes.

And if you wish to linger longer, take a look at the Red Poles lunch menu, or check out the latest exhibition in their gallery.

For a full day of experiences, check out the McMurtrie Mile passport…

To Explore // Adventure Kayaking SA

Spectacular beaches , coastal cliffs, sea caves, seals… a great sea kayaking adventure awaits!

The tour begins at Rapid Bay on the lower Fleurieu Peninsula, where the rugged coastline boasts spectacular towering cliffs and crystal clear water. After meeting on the beach and running through procedures, you’ll soon be paddling to secluded beaches and mysterious sea caves. It’s here where you can meet the “locals”; a growing colony of seals that are always keen to make new friends.

The team at Adventure Kayaking SA provide the 1 or 2 person sea kayaks which are very stable and easy to use, comfortable buoyancy vests and friendly guidance that will make the experience both safe and great fun.

To Eat // Maxwell’s Grocery

Maxwell’s Grocery have many healthy treats to offer – but if you want a healthy brekky, veg or beef burger this is your stop.

With locally sourced grain fed beef from Wakefield Grange farm, organic vege suppliers and free range eggs, these are the best. Extra touches include beetroot relish, haloumi and full sized field mushrooms. Trust us, the burgers are better at Maxwell’s!

Don’t be surprised if you walk out with a pineapple tucked under your arm and a few other groceries too.

To Perk Up // Home Grain Bakery

This bakery is getting their coffee right. Their beautiful purple coffee machine or trendy ‘keep cups’ definitely helps with the coffee takeaway experience, however the blends offered from our local roaster Villere Coffee is where the goodness starts.

Each barista on the machine are trained and practiced at this art so you find yourself bee lining to one of the four Home Grain bakeries for something other than a donut. Be sure to give one a try, their reputation rivals most coffee shop chains.

Aldinga, McLaren Flat, Mt Compass & Morphett Vale

To Stay // The Vineyard McLaren Vale

The Vineyard McLaren Vale is a peaceful and stylish vineyard retreat with four distinctive guest houses, each commanding views over South Australia’s most idyllic wine and food region.

The Vineyard McLaren Vale is designed for an unpretentious wine country escape. Ensconced in a working vineyard, the contemporary and well-appointed guest houses are simple and sophisticated with modern touches like luxurious linens, espresso machines, flat screen televisions, wi-fi and iPod entertainment docking stations. Each guest house boasts double French doors to private outdoor verandahs, inviting guests to enjoy the ever changing views across the vineyards to the hills beyond.

The property also offers a heated outdoor Jacuzzi, set on the high point to capture a view over d’Arenberg’s winery and to the ocean beyond. For a truly unique and unforgettable sojourn in wine country that seamlessly blends casual comfort and sophistication, look no further than a stay at The Vineyard McLaren Vale.

Anthea and Stuart are the perfect hosts and come highly recommended.

To Read // Flavours of South Australia

From farm gates to cellar doors and hidden bars to extraordinary restaurants, prepare to immerse yourself in the best of South Australia’s culinary scene.

Within these pages you can journey from the remarkable restaurants in Adelaide to the world-renowned wineries and producers of the Barossa, McLaren Vale and Clare Valley.

For a complete culinary adventure, travel from the Southern Flinders Ranges all the way down to the Limestone Coast or across to the Eyre Peninsula, sampling an abundance of fresh produce on your way.

Best of all, you’ll be able to replicate your incredible dining experiences with a host of signature recipes to try at home!

To Relax // Nan Hai Pu Tuo Temple + Buddha

This beautiful lady represents the goddess of mercy – she will bring peace, harmony, prosperity and wealth to SA and those who visit.

Cactus Canyon Road, Sellicks Beach

Ask a Local

Matt Secombe
Parker George Photography

Favourite hiding spot?
Boomers Beach – Port Elliot.

Favourite place to eat?
HarBar – Victor Harbor for amazing tapas and burgers!

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