Australia - South Australia
From the Barossa Valley to McLaren Vale and the Adelaide Hills, explore the rich springtime offerings of South Australia’s gardens, art, produce and wine.

Hills and Vales of South Australia with Julie Kinney

Gardens, Art, History and Wine


12–20 September 2019 (9 days)



From the Barossa Valley to McLaren Vale and the Adelaide Hills, explore the rich springtime offerings of South Australia’s gardens, art, produce and wine.

Travel north-east from Adelaide to the Barossa Valley stopping at Anlaby Station, the historic homestead of South Australia’s oldest Merino stud, and the estate of celebrated cook and author Maggie Beer. Visit colonial towns where established vineyards and architecture form the iconic image of this wine region, and delight in local produce at renowned farms.

In the Adelaide Hills, home of verdant and creative gardens, enjoy intimate tours of private gardens and discover herb and flower planting practices at the farm of skincare brand Jurlique.

In McLaren Vale, indulge in prestigious restaurants and wineries scattered throughout this Mediterranean-like valley.



• Discover the iconic historic houses, gardens and estates of the Barossa Valley
• Explore select private gardens of the Adelaide Hills, including the imaginative property Tickle Tank, a water tank turned into a home and garden
• Learn more about flower and herb harvesting on a tour of the Jurlique farm
• Admire sweeping landscapes of vineyards, wheat fields and orchards, awash with springtime colour
• Savour South Australia’s unique produce and wines, and enjoy a cooking demonstration at Maggie Beer’s Farm Shop



Thursday 12 September 2019 / Depart Adelaide – Barossa Valley

Meet Julie and fellow travellers at the Mayfair Hotel (45 King William Street, Adelaide) at 09:30am. Renaissance Tours or your travel agent can assist you with your flights and other travel arrangements, including additional nights’ accommodation before and after the tour.

Depart Adelaide for Al-Ru Farm in Sampson Flat for lunch and a tour of its generous gardens, containing sweeping lawns, ponds, arbours, rose gardens and a lake in a rural setting. In the afternoon, travel to Maggie Beer’s Farm Shop, founded by pre-eminent cook and writer Maggie Beer. Enjoy a private cooking demonstration using some of Beer’s signature ingredients including verjuice (unripe grape juice) and vino cotto (cooked grape must). Then, continue to Rowland Flat and check in to the hotel. Dinner is at a local restaurant. (LD)


Fri 13 Sep / Barossa Valley

This morning enjoy a tour of Anlaby Station, one of Australia’s great homesteads and one of the first grand rural properties of South Australia, located in the Barossa Valley region. It contains a four-hectare garden which is home to a variety of National Trust heritage trees and plants. Enjoy a tour of the garden, followed by lunch. After lunch, depart for Yalumba Winery, a prominent family-owned business which was founded in 1849 by Samuel Smith. Here, enjoy a wander around the lush gardens contained within its historical grounds.

We continue to Seppeltsfield for a tour of the estate, including the Jam Factory and Vasse Virgin, discovering some of the estate’s produce along the way. Arrive back at the hotel in the late afternoon for some time at leisure, followed by dinner at Seppeltsfield’s FINO Restaurant. (BLD)


Sat 14 Sep / Barossa Valley

After breakfast, travel to Angaston to visit the Vinters famers market a great place to view and taste the local produce of the Barossa Valley. Afterwards we will have some free time for lunch and to explore Angaston, one of the earliest established towns in the Barossa Valley. After lunch we, continue to the Barossa Sculpture Park located at Mengler’s Hill in the Barossa Ranges to view the abstract sculptures carved in local marble and granite. The site offers stunning views of the Barossa Valley. Return to the hotel for some time at leisure followed by dinner at a local restaurant. (BD)


Sun 15 Sep / Barossa Valley – Hahndorf

Check out of the hotel in the morning and travel to Learbrook for a tour of the garden of horticulturalist Dr Margaret Burrell. Margaret is a close acquaintance of your tour leader, Julie Kinney. Next, visit Marble Hill House, a private estate which was the Vice-Regal summer residence of the Governor of South Australia between 1880 and 1955. Enjoy light lunch at Marble Hill House, before travelling to Hahndorf, first settled in the 19th century by Lutheran immigrants and today maintaining the unique history of being the oldest German settlement in Australia. On arrival in Hahndorf there will be a guided coach tour of the town before checking into the hotel. Dinner is at a local restaurant. (BLD)


Mon 16 Sep / Hahndorf

Begin the day with a tour of the delightful private garden of Sheringa. Featuring a rustic arch formed by the limbs of an old oak tree, the garden is adorned with seasonal plants including hellebores, crocus, cyclamen, clematis, aster, liliums and dahlias. Continue to the small town of Verdun located in the Adelaide Hills for lunch. After lunch, visit Kidman Flower Co, a family-owned native foliage and flower farm in the heart of the Adelaide Hills, for a tour and a hands-on flower-arranging demonstration, followed by afternoon tea. The evening is at leisure. (BL)


Tue 17 Sep / Hahndorf

This morning visit the The Cedars, the historic house and working studio of Australian landscape artist Sir Hans Heysen. The gracious old home is surrounded by a rambling cottage garden. Continue to delightful Tickle Tank, the home and garden of artist and gardener Irene Pearce, to discover the home constructed from concrete water tanks and adorned with mosaics. The quirky 450-square-metre garden features native grasses, herbs, roses and fruit trees. After a light lunch in the garden, return to the hotel for an afternoon and evening at leisure. (BL)


Wed 18 Sep / Hahndorf – McLaren Vale

Check out of the hotel for an exploration of the biodynamic Jurlique Farm, the home of one of Australia’s most prominent skin care brands. A variety of herbs, plants and flowers are grown using biodynamic practices of compost production and soil enrichment to create ingredients for their line of natural skin care products. In the afternoon travel to Coriole Vineyards for a short walk through the estate’s unique, multi-level Australian cottage garden, followed by lunch on the veranda. Check in to the hotel in the afternoon. The evening is at leisure. (BL)


Thu 19 Sep / McLaren Vale

Travel to Sophie’s Patch, a garden in Mt Barker owned by Sophie Thomson, a presenter on ABC TV’s Gardening Australia. Enjoy a private tour of the garden in this 1.2-hectare property, which includes an organic vegetable patch and a large number of fruit and nut trees. En route stop at historic Strathalbyn for a walk through the ‘Soldiers Garden’ situated in the middle of this small Australian town followed by lunch. In the afternoon, visit Boat’s End for a tour of this drought-tolerant garden near the mouth of the Murray River, displaying a variety of Australian native and non-native plants that sustain themselves within the natural weather patterns of the area. Return to the hotel in the late afternoon followed by an evening at leisure. (BL)


Fri 20 Sep / McLaren Vale – Adelaide – Depart Adelaide

Check out of the hotel and travel to Denella Downs for a private tour of the gardens within this eight-hectare property. The garden contains forest pansies, magnolias, camellias, weeping Japanese maples and roses, and scattered around the garden is old farm equipment, which the owner loves to collect. Next, travel to the renowned d’Arenberg winery for a tour of the iconic d’Arenberg cube and a special farewell lunch with Julie and fellow travellers. After lunch, transfer to Adelaide Airport for flights departing from 16:00, or continue to the Adelaide CBD (transfer included in tour price), where tour arrangements conclude.

Renaissance Tours or your travel agent can assist you with your flights and other travel arrangements, including any additional nights’ accommodation, either before or after the tour. (BL)


Note: At time of publication (November 2018), most but not all garden visits were confirmed. Private owners, in particular, are reluctant to commit more than two to three months prior to the visit. Therefore, while we undertake to operate the tour as published, there may be some changes to the itinerary.

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Prices in $AUD

Per person, twin-share: AUD 5,750
Single supplement*: AUD 850
Deposit per person (at time of booking): AUD 750
Final payment due: 12 July 2019
*Single travellers may request to share. Please advise at time of booking.

Tour code: GD1909

Fitness level: Moderate
Please see Terms & Conditions for fitness level definitions.

Suggested airline: Qantas
Please contact Renaissance Tours or your travel agent for current airfares and flight reservations.

Visa: New Zealand passport holders do not require a visa to visit Australia.

Tour price includes

• Accommodation in 4-star hotels with breakfast daily (B)
• Meals as per itinerary (L = Lunch, D = Dinner), including wine with dinner
• Comprehensive sightseeing including local guides and entrance fees as per itinerary
• Expertise and insights of your tour leader, garden specialist Julie Kinney
• Transportation throughout on comfortable air-conditioned coaches
• Group transfer to Adelaide Airport or Adelaide CBD on tour departure
• Gratuities for local guides and drivers
• Hotel porterage (one piece per person)

Tour price does not include

• Airfares (please contact Renaissance Tours or your travel agent for assistance)
• Airport/hotel transfer on arrival
• Airport transfer on departure if not using group transfer
• Airport porterage
• Items of a personal nature including telephone, laundry, taxis, minibar, room service etc.
• Travel insurance (highly recommended; please contact Renaissance Tours or your travel agent for assistance)

Your hotels:

Barossa Valley – Novotel Barossa Valley Resort ****
Hahndorf – The Manna of Hahndorf ****
McLaren Vale – Serafino McLaren Vale ****

Pre and post tour accommodation is available at the Mayfair Hotel Adelaide.
Superior Queen room including breakfast AUD 340 (twin/double share)
Superior Queen room including breakfast AUD 305 (single room)

Pre and Post nights at the Mayfair subject to availability
N.B. Hotels of a similar standard may be substituted.