From Clare to McLaren Vale

Whilst at Clare, we drove to the historic town of Burra via the impressive historic mansion Martindale Hall. Whilst at Burra we ventured into the conservation area of Red Banks where fossils of 40-50,000 year old animals including the Diprotodon (giant wombat-like creature) and even the Tasmanian Tiger have been discovered. The fossil area is currently closed as it is being excavated by the University for more ancient remains, but the Red Banks themselves are an incredible sight.

The Sevenhill Winery is a must. This historic winery was founded by monks and the property includes a beautiful stone church complete with a crypt, and a well-used retreat. Underneath the cellar door is a fascinating room full of old casks and even greater atmosphere. Other wineries we visited include Kilihill and Mitchell - we tried their wines at a couple of dinners and purchased a few bottles from their cellar doors. By pure coincidence, just 100 metres from our accommodation was a park containing a lake and miniature railway - a wonderful location for a morning walk.

We left Clare full of food and wine and headed to the western side of the Yorke Peninsula via the town of Kadina and its wonderful Farm Museum. Historic buildings, farm machinery and vehicles, and local history stories easily filled an hour of our time. From there we drove to Wallaroo on the coast and lunched at a brand new hotel right on the edges of an expensive canal development. We drove through the third town in the triangle, a fishing port called Moonta and then continued back to the eastern side of the Peninsula and down to Glenelg.

We hadn't originally planned to be in Adelaide, but the lure of the water was too strong. Glenelg is a beautiful beachside town full of interesting shops and restaurants, and high rise apartments. It also hosts a replica of The Buffalo, the ship that in 1836 carried emigrants to the new settlement of South Australia. The ship was captained by Hindmarsh and my g-g-g-grandfather John Adams was amongst the passengers. The Buffalo is a restaurant now, albeit in disrepair, and is currently being renovated. We also caught a tram into Adelaide and walked the Rundle Mall.

That night we were privileged to catch up with friends Irene and Graham who we met on our Hawaiian cruise in 2014. They kindly invited us to dinner at their home and we shared a lovely night of good food and company. My ancestry research wasn't quite complete and I was thrilled to locate the grave of my g-g-g-g-grandparents Patrick and Elizabeth Connor in the Anglican Church yard in Meadows. Their gravestone is one of only a few remaining and it is in fantastic condition considering they were buried there in the late 1800s.

On to Hahndorf with its eclectic shops, bars, cafés and restaurants. Whilst there we visited the museum which houses a fine display of Hans Heysen's illustrations and prints as well as local history. We had breakfast both mornings at the fabulous Haus Restaurant and dined at the iconic Hahndorf Inn where Jim enjoyed a glass of German beer.

Then it was on to McLaren Vale with a side trip back to Meadows to attend their Village Fair - a hugely popular event where we watched sheep dog trials with hundreds of other fair-goers, a Clydesdale's shoe cleaning and wandered through stalls that sold everything from food and wine to henna tattoos!

Inside Martindale Hall

and outside

Red Banks Conservation Park

Cellar at Sevenhill Winery

Crypt at the Sevenhill Winery Church

Miniature railway at Clare Country Club

Farm Museum at Kadina

Patrick and Elizabeth Connor's grave at Meadows

Meadows Country Fair - sheepdog trials

Cleaning the shoes on a Clydesdale


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