Google+ The Norris Files: Clare Valley Tour Day 10


Clare Valley Tour Day 10

It was a cold overcast morning so turned the heater on in the van and had a sleep in. Truth was I was pretty tired from yesterdays ride. Around midday I packed up and drove to Sevenhill via the Father Rogalski Loop, a route which is an off track excursion from the Riesling Trail and can be driven by car. The Sevenhill Winery is the oldest winery and vineyard in the Clare Valley and has been owned and operated by the Jesuits since 1851. The winery comes complete with the beautiful old functioning St Aloysius Church (with crypt) that is surrounded by the estates vines. Walking trails meander throughout the property and numerous old ruins cross their path. I’m not big on wineries but this was a magnificent property that my camera just didn’t do justice to.

From Sevenhill the route passes through a region established by Poles now called the Polish Hill River Valley then onto the historic old town of Mintaro which is reminiscent of an English Cotswold village with blue-stone buildings, stone churches, antique stores and cottage gardens. Outside Mintaro I made a brief visit to Martindale Hall, a 19th century mansion with coach house set on 45 pastoral acres and used in the film a Picnic at Hanging Rock.

Leaving Martindale Hall I travelled to Farrell Flat through the beautiful Clare Valley with endless vivid green fields that contrasted the numerous acres of flowering sunflowers. From the tiny village of Farrell Flat I turned back towards Clare, briefly following a few of the quiet unsealed roads that I would have travelled on if I had, as planned been riding the Mawson Trail. Tomorrow I will drive the 350kms or so north to the Flinders Ranges for three nights before I head back to Adelaide and home.

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