Living in the Barossa region certainly has its plusses. Think incredible food and allllll the wine. Of course, this has a downside and it’s a local joke that many new arrivals put on the ‘Barossa 5kg’ in the first 12 months of living here. One of the other plusses is the beautiful scenery, and what better way to counteract all that food and wine than by heading out on a good Barossa walk? This is the first post in a series aimed at sharing the experience of Walking in Barossa.
I try to walk each weekend and usually head for the ‘high country’ of the Barossa Ranges. The hills that run along the eastern edge of the Barossa Valley give fantastic views of both the Eden and Barossa Valley. It’s often a little cooler up there (perfect in the warmer months), and you see lots of different flora and fauna that aren’t on the valley floor. Most walks are 6-10km in length and usually over easy terrain. This featured walk is on a fairly even, open grass and gravel track.
This is the first of an ongoing series as I’ve still got a lot of work to do on my ‘Barossa 5kg’…
Walking in Barossa: Walk 1 – Steingarten
This is a perfect walk if you’re looking for expansive views of the Barossa and Eden Valley while not exerting yourself too much. The route is part of the Mawson Trail and runs along the ridge of the Barossa Ranges, with the Eden Valley to the east and Barossa Valley to the west. Given the views, this walk is particularly enjoyable around sunrise and sunset, with spectacular views over either valley.
The open trail is signposted and well-marked. There are two lookouts, one on the route, and another nearby the start/end point. Both the Parson’s and Steingarten lookouts are perfect for a picnic and perhaps a well-deserved glass of wine at the end of a walk.
There are several distance options here including:
a one-way walk of 2km from points S1 to S2,
a 4 km loop,
an 8 km loop.
For this particular walk, I’ll be talking about the 4km loop.
The Steingarten Walk map pictured is from this useful walking trails website.
Drive up Trial Hill Road and park your car about 300m on the left past Parson’s Lookout. There is roadside parking at the start of the walk near a wooden gate and stile (marked on the map as Trailhead S1).
Allow an hour to complete the walk, which will give you some time to enjoy the panoramic views.
Cross the stile and start your walk following the trail. Please remember to close gates (or leave them as you find them) after you have passed through them.
After approximately 1km you’ll see a beautiful stone wall and to the right, you’ll see a steep vineyard – the famous Steingarten.
Steingarten Vineyard and Lookout
The Steingarten (stone garden) vineyard was established in 1962 by Colin Gramp from Orlando Wines. It was planted with Riesling with the aim of growing grapes under similar conditions to those found in the steep Mittel Mosel region of Germany. The Steingarten vineyard faces east towards the Eden Valley.
Before planting the grapevines, the vineyard soil was ‘deep ripped’ which bought underlying rocks to the surface. Larger pieces of rock were broken up by hand and these pieces became the stony surface layer you now see.
After viewing the vineyard, head over to the lookout that faces west overlooking the Barossa Valley. Here you can see the length of the valley, from Lyndoch in the south through to Stockwell in the north. On the horizon to the south-west you can sometimes see the faint blue waters of the Spencer Gulf.
Continue your walk by following the trail to the north. After walking 1km you’ll come to the S2 point which is the halfway point for this walk. Looking to the north you’ll be able to see the ‘Regari Waters Cairn’ (but that’s a walk and blog post for another time).
As this is a loop walk, turn around at this point and return via the same trail.
At the completion of your walk, you can walk or drive down to Parson’s Lookout for a different view to the south-west.
Congrats! You’ve just walked 4km and no doubt earned at least one glass of Barossa’s finest!
A note regarding walking in vineyards – please don’t!
South Australia has some of the oldest grapevines in the world. And you have the power to keep the vines safe.
Your shoes, clothing, and tyres can spread pests and diseases. Please don’t walk or drive amongst grapevines. Please respect biosecurity systems and do not wander into vineyards. Stay on roads and tracks.
Enjoy our wines – protect our vines.
You can read more about Phylloxera and how you can help prevent it here.
Here for the walks, talks and other travelly things?
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