Top wine road-trip spots across Australia

With lockdown rules relaxing, Australians are keen to get on the road – and the wine regions here make for attractive destinations.

We’ve spent a lot of time dreaming about driving through the countryside, drinking in the scenery, and indulging in great wine while gazing over the vines, and now, we finally can. If you’re looking for some inspiration to hit the road, these most-searched wine regions of the past 12 months are an excellent place to start. And if you need more incentive, in 2020, supporting wineries and regional businesses is especially critical – you’ll get a much-needed escape, and give back to communities that need your tourism and trade. Everybody wins. 

Drone view of misty vineyards in Margaret River

1. Margaret River, WA

This Western Australian beauty has sweeping beaches, expansive national parks, and five-star wineries to boot, making it a tempting travel destination on multiple levels.

View the region guide.

Jackalope Hotel on the Mornington Peninsula

2. Mornington Peninsula, VIC

Another charming seaside region, the Mornington Peninsula is all class. Meandering backroads lead to boutique vineyards, a variety of enticing dining, and outdoor activities from berry-picking to beach walks, all just an hour from Melbourne.

View the region guide.

Winter fire festival in the Orange wine region

3. Orange, NSW

The wine region of Orange has an eclectic mix of drinks, produce and dining. Come for the culinary attractions, and stay for the beautiful community.

View the region guide.

Terindah winery in Geelong

4. Geelong, VIC

Encompassing the Bellarine Peninsula’s bay-adjacent estates, the windswept vineyards of the Surf Coast, and the volcanic Moorabool Valley inland, Geelong is an incredibly diverse wine region. Best done by car – its proximity to the Great Ocean Road is a bonus.

View the region guide.

A vineyard in the Macedon Ranges

5. Macedon Ranges, VIC

As well as elegant wines, you’ll find rugged mountain ranges, scenic gorges, and characterful towns in this hidden region, plus cafes, restaurants and bars on par with some of Melbourne’s finest.

View the region guide.

Lowe Wines cellar door in Mudgee

6. Mudgee, NSW

Arriving here via the Blue Mountains is a treat in itself, with plenty of stopover opportunities along the way. Once you get cosy in this “nest in the hills”, though, you won’t want to stray too far.

View the region guide.

Peaceful outlook to the horizon over the vines in the Clare Valley

7. Clare Valley, SA

Peaceful and welcoming, the Clare Valley provides a classic country escape. Cycle through the vines, sip an array of wines and hunker down in a cute cottage.

View the region guide.

Vivid red soil between the vine rows in Heathcote

8. Heathcote, VIC

Ancient red soils make for idiosyncratic shiraz expressions from this sprawling region. Following tastings of Heathcote’s brilliant reds, refresh on walks through its parklands and reserves.

View the region guide.

Volkswagen driving through the autumn vines in the Adelaide Hills

9. Adelaide Hills, SA

The Adelaide Hills is one of Australia’s prettiest wine regions, and thanks to its innovative producers, also among the most exciting – and it’s only 20 minutes from Adelaide’s CBD.

View the region guide.

Red dirt road in the Barossa Valley

10. The Barossa, SA

This powerhouse of Australian wine is loved for its lush reds and rich history. And naturally, a place with as much prominence as the Barossa also offers top dining and luxury accommodation.

View the region guide.

Image credits: Wine Australia; Jackalope; Orange 360; Terindah Estate; Lowe Wine; Hanging Rock Winery; Merindoc Vintners.