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Ride the Riesling

Rail Trail

The Clare Valley in South Australia

is renowned for its wines and the

countryside is dotted with 40 cellar

doors full of small-town charm and

it’s an easy route for cycling. Tour De

Vines’ three-day, two-night self-guided

tour from Auburn to Clare takes in

the family-owned boutique Skillogalee

Winery where tastings are carried out

in its 160-year-old stone cottage.

Another highlight is O’Leary Walker

Wines based at Leasingham, where

traditionally milled whites and reds

can be enjoyed with a full platter

lunch of cheeses, seasonal fruits,

local meats and more. Sevenhills

Winery, the oldest in the Clare Valley,

is also steeped in history. The trail is

easy to navigate with Tour De Vines’

bike pick-up and drop-offs, and

tours include breakfasts, lunches,

directions on where to ride, four-star

accommodation and luggage transfers

over the three days. The self-guided

Riesling Rail Trail itinerary starts from

$449 per person, twin share. See

As these pictures from a recent photo competition show, Queensland’s Granite

Belt can look pretty stunning at this time of year and even as temperatures

plummet to an average below 2°C it’s one of the most popular times to visit.

Local wineries turn up the heat with crackling log fires and hearty gourmet

meals, like Tim and Michelle Coelli’s five course Table for 16 dinner. The 1920s

Queenslander that serves as their cellar door by day transforms into a cosy and

intimate dining room by night with treats such as local Mallow lamb and home-

made quail ravioli on the menu, accompanied by their own Twisted Gum wines.

They are small producers but three of their six wines have been rated highly by

Australia’s leading wine critic, James Halliday. The third and final winter event

at Twisted GumWinery will be on 22 August. Cost $155 per person, including

transport from accommodation in Ballandean and Stanthorpe. For details see

Of course, there’s plenty more to do to justify spending a few days in the area,

including local markets and exhibitions, Christmas in Winter dinners, follow the

heritage trail to learn about the region’s history and visit the many local wine and

food producers. Find out more at



Want to ace those Instagram travel pics on your next

holiday? Take a few tips from photographer Grenville

Turner who joins specialist outback guide Carl

Burden to host Park Trek’s Red Centre Walking and

Photographic Journey, departing 31 August 2015, from

Alice Springs. The seven-day journey includes a night

ascent of Mount Sonder to shoot the surrounding

landscape at sunrise, a walk along a stunning section

of the iconic Larapinta Trail and time to explore the

ancient landscape of Palm Valley. Turner will hold

photographic workshops between walks. Walking trails

are easy to medium. Accommodation in homesteads

and one night camping. Cost, excluding airfares to

Alice Springs, $2695 per person twin share (single

supplement extra). For details see

Seasonal beauty: Main

picture, Paul Tizzoni’s

Autumn Colours

; above


Autumn Splendour

by Kym Howard and

above right,

As the

Seasons Change, Quart

Pot Creek

by Brenda

Maloney, all Granite Belt

Wine Country Collection


| BNE July/August 2015

Glen Helen Gorge

photographed by Grenville Turner