SA Stories - July 2014


Pike & Joyce

Pike and Joyce

Perched at almost 600m above sea level, the newest – and one of the highest – cellar doors in the Adelaide Hills is now open. The Pike & Joyce cellar door offers 180 degree views of the surrounding vineyard and the perfect place to sample a range of cool climate wines. ‘On Top of the Hill’ offers wine tasting, lazy lunches and regional platters at the cellar door, balcony or terrace garden and courtyard. The winery is a joint venture between two families with a passion for viticulture: the Pike family from Pike Wines in the Clare Valley and the Joyce family, fifth generation horticulturists from the Adelaide Hills. The Pike & Joyce cellar door is at Lenswood and open Thursday to Sunday, 11am – 5pm.

Waitpinga Farm Quad Bike Adventures

Waitpinga Farm Waitpinga Farm Quad Bike Adventures

A sixth generation farming family has opened its Fleurieu Peninsula property to quad bikers. Waitpinga Farm Quad Bike Adventures offers guided quad bike farm tours around a historical working farm with experienced tour guides. Check out the amazing views while enjoying the fresh country air and unleash the thrills of riding supplied quad bikes through creek crossings, grassy plains and rolling hills. The Pearce family have lived on the 400 acre property, which is used for wool production and features a heritage-listed shearing shed, since the 1860s. Enjoy a tour with friends, family or as a corporate group.


Sacred Earth Safaris

Sacred Earth Safaris Sacred Earth Safaris

Offering small group 4WD tours through the Fleurieu Peninsula, Kangaroo Island and the Outback, Sacred Earth Safaris allow you to explore the rugged landscapes of South Australia in comfort and style. Scheduled tours operate from October to April in a luxury air-conditioned 4WD with a maximum of six to 13 passengers, depending on vehicle. Tours include the 10 day Legendary Outback Tracks Tour, featuring Oodnadatta, Birdsville and Strzelecki, and the seven day Adelaide to Alice Springs Outback 4WD Tour. Private touring is also available, allowing customised itineraries for families and bird watching, photography or food and wine enthusiasts. 

Tour Adelaide Hills

Tour Adelaide Hills Tour Adelaide Hills, Chocovino at Hahndorf Hill Winery

Following almost two decades of exploring one of the country’s premier wine regions, the operators behind Tour Barossa are taking visitors to food and wine heaven in the Adelaide Hills. The tours will showcase the region’s wine, cheese, chocolates and characters and operate daily from the Barossa and Adelaide. Passengers will visit Mt Lofty lookout, shop for condiments at Beerenberg, sample cheese Udder Delights, enjoy on a chocolate and wine flight at Hahndorf Hill Winery and feast on a platter lunch at Maximilan’s Restaurant. Other highlights include Melba’s Chocolate Factory, a golfing challenge at Sidewood Estate and stops at roadside food stalls. You won’t be going home hungry after touring the Adelaide Hills.


Megan Jones

Megan Jones Megan Jones

Hahndorf horse rider Megan Jones was “a little bit cranky” to return home from the Beijing Olympics with only one medal. She picked up silver in the team event, but finished fourth in the individual competition. “I could have come home with two medals,” Megan says. “I was mad about that until I arrived home at Adelaide Airport and saw how much that medal meant to my family, my supporters, my students and the equestrian community as a whole. I said to myself, ‘Megan you brat, enjoy this now because you might not get the chance to do this again’. It was amazing.”

Megan, who spoke with a stutter, started riding when she was five. Her parents realised she had a natural confidence around horses and encouraged her to pursue the sport. Gradually, her stutter shut down and her love for horses flourished. “I worked so hard, because I was crazy about it,” Megan says. “Rain, hail or shine – I was out there practicing. I didn’t have any boyfriends, just horses, which I think every father loves.”

Her parents bought Kirby Park Stud in the Adelaide Hills to breed and train horses when she was 11. The first foals were born at the property in 1993. Among them was Jester, the horse Megan rode in Beijing. More than 20 years later, the family runs trail rides and a horse riding school from the same property. Jester is now retired and “is 100 per cent molly-coddled”, but has found a new career as the property’s resident model. Many couples who get engaged on trail rides have returned to have their wedding photos taken with the Olympic horse.

Megan and her family also run school holiday workshops, where children can ‘own their own pony for a day’ and sleep over at the stud. The children roast marshmallows on an open fire and learn what it’s like to own a pony. “They don’t just hop on a horse and leave,” Megan says. “They do a lot of hard work, pick up poo, get dirty and cold, but they love it.”

Lucy Moody

Lucy Moody Lucy Moody

Despite her father’s 40 year winemaking career – including stints in senior roles at Penfolds and Wynns – Lucy Moody never intended to follow his footsteps. Having studied business, tourism and social science, she was pursuing a career in psychology when he asked her to do some part-time work for his winery almost 10 years ago. Rob Moody started Somerled Wines in 2001, producing a small range of high-end wines with grapes from the Adelaide Hills and McLaren Vale. Somerled is named after the racehorse his grandfather Stephen Bowd rode to victory at the local Oakbank Picnic Races in 1908. Within one week, however, the role had turned into full-time work and Lucy hasn’t looked back.

“Looking back, it was probably the dull side of the wine industry – packaging, production and paperwork – but I loved it,” Lucy says. “It never occurred to me to get out of the industry and I had completely forgotten about psychology within six months. It was an expensive way to find out I wanted to be in wine, but I don’t regret it. I’m living the dream.”

Lucy has also worked in wine export and bulk sales in Hong Kong, selling brands such as Somerled, Tim Adam Wines and Cape Jaffa Wines to the Hyatt, The Conrad and The Mandarin. One of the highlights of her work was “have little old Somerled Shiraz sold by the glass at the Hyatt in Hong Kong”. The business took a sudden change in direction on the day Lucy arrived home from Hong Kong in January 2010 and Rob asked if she would help manage a cellar door, despite their “tiny, compact production volume”. Within 24 hours they were scouting the main street of Hahndorf for locations and opened six months later.

Rob and his wife Heather are regulars at Somerled Cellar Door, pouring the wines most Friday evenings and Sunday afternoons. They offer a five-wine flight for $5, Spanish platters and Lucy’s mother Heather’s salted and roasted almonds, which have developed a cult following. “The shelves are always empty, which is fine as long as they don’t outshine the wines,” Lucy says. Somerled is also taking part in the annual Winter Reds Festival on July 26-27, where the pinot noir varieties, usually only available to the wine club, will be opened to the public for the first time at the event. Rob will hold a structured tasting from 12-1pm (bookings only), followed by live acoustic Latin music and platters by the wood fire. For more events visit the Adelaide Hills Wine website.


New iconic restaurant to open

Reservations are now being taken for the new Hill of Grace restaurant, opening at Adelaide Oval on August 26. Chef Dennis Leslie will deliver dishes inspired by a number of influences, from his Filipino heritage to native Australian ingredients and French cooking techniques. The menu will have a strong focus on seasonality and the use of locally-grown, farmed or fished produce wherever possible. A range of acclaimed Henschke wines will headline the extensive, all-South Australian wine list. More than 160 wines will feature on the list, while the restaurant will also be home to the world’s only complete set of Henschke's Hill of Grace wines on display. The restaurant will be open to the public for dinner from Tuesdays to Saturdays and lunch on Fridays.

Hill of Grace restaurant


Changes to camping trips

Campers planning a trip to Innes or Mount Remarkable national parks must now head online to book their campsites. From August 1, camping fees must be paid before you leave home and not at the park. Book early if you are planning to visit during peak periods such as long weekends and school holidays. Bookings can be made up to 12 months in advance on the National Parks South Australia website.

Pichi Richi reaches 40 year milestone

Volunteers are celebrating 40 years of heritage train journeys on the oldest remaining section of the old Ghan railway. The first train steamed through Pichi Richi Pass in 1879. But thanks to the Pichi Richi Railway Preservation Society, visitors have been able to follow in its tracks, riding a fully restored heritage steam train through the Flinders Ranges since 1974. Trains depart from Quorn and Port Augusta and operate on the famous narrow-gauge Ghan railway. A dedicated team of volunteers run the restored line as a working museum and maintain a collection of heritage locomotives. Celebrate their four-decade milestone at a family fun fair in Quorn on August 9-10.

Accolade for Clare Valley

The Clare Valley Motel has taken out the South Australian Small Business Award at the Telstra Business Awards, held at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre last month. After working for international hotel chains and retail for more than 20 years, Lee and Jan Stokes bought the motel four years ago and renovated the rooms. The property sits on 27 acres overlooking the valley and features a helicopter landing area, private walking trail and the Top of the Hill restaurant. Lee and Jan will now go on to represent SA in the national awards, which will be held in Melbourne in August.

Win a trip to SA

Bremerton Wines and Better Homes and Gardens are giving you and three friends the chance to win a South Australian holiday valued at $11,000. The six-day trip includes flights, accommodation and activities. Enjoy a scenic helicopter flights over the Langhorne Creek wine district, cook up a storm at Adelaide’s famous Central Markets and get to know the native wildlife on Kangaroo Island. Visit the Bremerton Wines website and fill out the entry form.

New app for Peterborough

Pay a virtual visit to one of Australia’s premier railway towns and then book a real one on your smart phone. A new Peterborough Tourism website has launched, featuring copy from award-winning travel writer Max Anderson. Meet the locals – from the life-sized, Papier-Mâché kind to the butcher cooking his customers’ meat for no extra cost – and discover historical landmarks such as the abandoned 100-year-old printing shop. The website is accompanied by a new smartphone app and mobile guide, which provides itineraries ready to book at the touch of a screen.

Rare chance for wine enthusiasts

All of Langhorne Creek’s seven cellar doors are teaming up for the annual Cellar Treasures Weekend. The event is your once a year chance to try (and buy) the best of the regions' museum and back vintage wines. It is the area’s longest-running event, held annually since 2006. Take the opportunity to experience these otherwise unavailable wines while exploring Langhorne Creek's cellar doors and enjoying food from regionally-inspired menus. Located on the Fleurieu Peninsula, Langhorne Creek is traditionally known for producing outstanding red wines but you will also find crisp white wines and melt-in-your-mouth fortified wines. The Cellar Treasures Weekend will be held from August 9-10. Cellar doors are open for free tastings 10am to 5pm both Saturday and Sunday.

SA wineries take home world titles

The Barossa’s Schild Estate has taken out four medals at the International Wine Competition, held in London last month. The 2012 Barossa Valley Estate Shiraz and 2012 Barossa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon were both awarded gold medals, while the 2010 Ben Schild Reserve Shiraz and 2012 Edgar Schild Reserve Grenache took home bronze in their categories. Schild Estate's vineyards include some of the oldest in Australia including the famous Moorooroo vineyard near Jacobs Creek, which was planted in the 1850s. Vineyard site selection has favoured the cooler, southern end of the Barossa near Lyndoch, which enjoys a slower and longer ripening period - perfect for optimum grape flavour.

Meanwhile, Adelaide Hills winery Bird in Hand has won the title of World’s Best Shiraz for the second time in two years. More than 500 wines from around the world were judged in the competition, which has been run by Winestate magazine since 1978.       

South Australia gets creative

The Southern Hemisphere’s biggest art festival is being held across South Australia next month. The South Australian Living Artists Festival (SALA) features more than 4500 artists showcasing their work across almost 550 exhibitions. Art exhibitions are held at a variety of venues throughout August, from Centennial Park cemetery to Barossa wineries.


Horsing around in the Hills

Horse riding in the Adelaide Hills Horse riding in the Adelaide Hills

Budding horse riders can get hands-on experience from Olympic level coaches in the Adelaide Hills. Run by an Olympic silver medallist and her family, the Megan Jones Riding School and Trail Rides is located at Kirby Park Stud near Hahndorf. Meanwhile, Olympic dressage judge Barrie Stratton and his wife Sarita run world-class horse riding lessons from the Academy of Dressage at Mt George. Other horse riding experiences available in the Hills include Four Oaks Farm, which offers pony rides, pony carriage rides and trail rides at Littlehampton, and Templewood, featuring lessons, train rides and a turn-of-the-century country house used for accommodation and functions.

For more story ideas visit or see previous editions of SA Stories.


Winter Reds

Adelaide International Guitar Festival (July 17-20), Adelaide
The Adelaide International Guitar Festival is a unique salute to the world’s most popular instrument. Held biennially, the event combines pioneering musicians with some of the most influential performers of their generation. Be part of concerts, master classes, hands-on workshops, late-night club sessions and the popular Meet the Maker series.

Winter Reds Cellar Door Weekend (July 26-27), Adelaide Hills
This is the perfect weekend to enjoy hearty food, a warm atmosphere and to wash it all down with a stunning glass of red.

South Australian Living Artists Festival (August 1-24), Statewide
Recognised as the largest visual arts festival in Australia, SALA’s extensive program features more than 3000 artists and 500 venues. Events will be held across South Australia and showcase the diverse talents of local artists.

Barossa Gourmet Weekend (August 15-17), Barossa
Wine producers from across the Barossa will showcase their finest drops, paired with heart-warming food and live entertainment.

OzAsia Festival (September 3-20), Adelaide
This two-week festival of performances, events and exhibitions celebrates the artistic and cultural ties between Australia and Asia.

Royal Adelaide Show (September 5-14), Adelaide
The Royal Adelaide Show is an action-packed event for the whole family to enjoy. It boasts carnival rides, attractions, handicraft, produce, cookery, livestock, animal shows, show bags and more. The show’s celebrations go off with a bang thanks to a nightly fireworks display.

Willunga 175 – Hit the Hill (September 7), Fleurieu Peninsula
Events are being held across the year as part of Willunga’s 175th anniversary celebrations. Hit the Hill will see cyclists of all ages and abilities test themselves against a three-kilometre hill climb on Willunga Hill.

Sunday Mail City – Bay Fun Run (September 21), Adelaide
The City to Bay Fun Run is a popular annual fun run that sees participants running from Adelaide to the beachside suburb of Glenelg. The run has different distance levels to encourage everyone to get involved.

AFL Masters National Carnival (September 27 – October 4), Adelaide
AFL veterans will be lacing up their boots for a masters carnival in Adelaide this September. The three-day carnival will feature 40 teams of AFL players aged over 35 from around the country.

Bay to Birdwood (September 28), Adelaide and Adelaide Hills
On the last Sunday in September, car enthusiasts join together and travel from the beach to the National Motor Museum in Birdwood. In 2014 all vehicles manufactured until December 1955 are eligible to enter. Share the fun and relive memories of yesteryear at this popular family event.

For a more comprehensive list of events held across South Australia, visit the events calendar.

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