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16 Top-Rated Attractions & Things to Do in the Barossa Valley

Written by Karen Hastings
Updated Mar 30, 2022

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South Australia's beautiful Barossa Valley is one of Australia's most famous grape-growing regions. Lying about 60 kilometers northeast of Adelaide, it's a popular day trip from the city, with plenty of things to do for everyone, including families.

Barossa Valley
Barossa Valley

Fertile soils and a gentle climate, with hot summers and wet winters, nurture a bounty of high-quality fresh produce, making this a hot spot for foodies. Feast your way around the valley, dining in award-winning restaurants and sampling scrumptious fruits, hand-crafted cheeses, smoked meats, and traditional German breads and pastries. You can also pick up some culinary tips in a Barossa Valley cooking class.

In addition to all the gastronomic treats, you'll find plenty of other things to do here. Carved by the North Para River, this fertile valley was settled by German and British immigrants in the 1840s, and its villages exude a European-style charm. Heritage buildings, antique stores, stone cottages, cafés, and craft shops line the leafy streets, and you can explore the key landmarks on scenic heritage trails.

Looking for things to do in the Barossa Valley with kids? Barossa Valley attractions for the family include hiking in the nearby conservation parks, sampling local treats at the farmers markets, visiting local art galleries, and even a whispering wall.

Exploring the valley is easy. Follow a scenic drive, or cycle the bike trails. Better still, hop aboard a hot air balloon or helicopter for an eagle's-eye view of the verdant landscapes. Driving from Adelaide to the Barossa Valley takes about 50 minutes.

Discover the best places to visit in this picturesque region with our list of the top attractions and things to do in the Barossa Valley.

Note: Some businesses may be temporarily closed due to recent global health and safety issues.

1. Drive the Barossa Heritage Trail

Old Tanunda Railway Station
Old Tanunda Railway Station | Chris Fithall / photo modified

A great way to explore this scenic region is to follow the 38-kilometer Barossa Heritage Trail. This self-guided driving tour takes you through the main towns, where you can delve deeper into the top Barossa Valley tourist attractions.

Along the route, you can explore Tanunda's German heritage, learn about Kapunda's copper mining history, and visit a lavender farm and French chateau at Lyndoch. This popular sightseeing route also passes through Nuriootpa, the Barossa Valley's commercial hub and largest settlement. Stop by a tourist information center for a Barossa Valley self-drive map.

2. Enjoy Farm-Fresh Produce & Artisan Foods

Gourmet Sunday brunch
Gourmet Sunday brunch

Food is a highlight in the Barossa Valley. This fertile region is famous for its farmers markets, artisan foods, and fine-dining restaurants. Some Barossa Valley tours also offer special food experiences, where you can visit local farms and providers, and sample some of their gourmet treats along the way.

First-stop for foodies should be one of the markets. At the Barossa Farmers Market in Angaston, dozens of stallholders sell everything from organic fruits and vegetables, fresh-baked breads, and free-range eggs to ethically raised meats. The Mount Pleasant Farmers Market is another popular Saturday morning stop, with farm-fresh produce, flowers, honey, baked goods, and fresh seafood. Both markets are the perfect place to visit to stock up on edible souvenirs, from olive oils, sauces, and condiments to nuts and hand-made chocolates.

Foodies should also stop by Maggie Beer's Farm Shop. This much-loved Aussie celebrity cook stocks home-made jams, condiments, sauces, and other gourmet treats in her gift shop. A visit here to taste some of these goodies is one of the top things to do in Nuriootpa. You can also book a table at the new on-site restaurant, The Farm Eatery.

The region's artisan foods and fresh produce also star on dégustation menus at the valley's award-winning restaurants. Appellation at The Louise in Marananga is a favorite, with four-course set menus. Enjoying one of these special dining experiences is one of the most romantic things to do in the Barossa Valley.

3. Get a Bird's-Eye View on a Hot Air Balloon Ride

Aerial view of the Barossa Valley
Aerial view of the Barossa Valley

Soaring high over the Barossa Valley in a hot air balloon will leave you with lifelong memories. Watch the sunrise paint the valley in golden hues. Learn all about the Barossa Valley's history and the art of piloting a balloon as you see rolling hills, farms, and fields stretch out below you in every shade of green.

On the Barossa Valley Hot Air Balloon Ride with Breakfast, you'll experience all this and more. The excursion begins with pickup from your Barossa Valley hotel for an exhilarating one-hour ride over the bucolic countryside. After your balloon adventure, enjoy a gourmet breakfast before heading back to your hotel.

This is a rewarding thing to do as a family, and if you're traveling as a couple, it's a romantic way to celebrate an anniversary or, if the timing's right, pop the question to that special someone.

4. Stroll the Angaston Heritage Walk

Historic Angaston
Historic Angaston

Angaston is the highest settlement in the Barossa Valley and the most English in flavor. Explore its fascinating history and architectural gems on the self-guided Angaston Heritage Walk.

Settled mainly by British immigrants and Cornish miners, this quaint tourist town takes its name from George Fife Angas, one of the founding fathers of South Australia, who paid the fares of free settlers and provided them with land.

Highlights of the heritage walk include Union Chapel (1844), one of the oldest churches in South Australia; Doddridge Blacksmith Shop (1876); and a grand town hall (1910), built of gray marble and local bluestone. Interpretive signs and old photographs sprinkled around town highlight key points of interest.

You can pick up a heritage walk brochure and map from the Barossa Valley Cheese Company on Murray Street. After your walk, save time to stop by the cafés and antique stores in the town's lovely shopping precinct.

Looking for more things to do near Angaston? Head up to Mengler Hill lookout for beautiful views of the surrounding countryside. Below the lookout is the Mengler's Hill Lookout Sculpture Park, a series of sculptures by local and international artists.

5. Sign Up for a Cooking Class

Freshly prepared meal using local ingredients
Freshly prepared meal using local ingredients

Foodies love the Barossa Valley. Artisan cheeses and chocolates, traditional German breads and pastries, fresh meats, and, of course, many different grape varieties are all part of the Barossa Valley experience. A great way to appreciate some of these mouthwatering foods is by signing up for a cooking class.

Celebrity chef Maggie Beer and her daughter, Elli Beer, offer a range of cooking lessons from their restaurant in Nuriootpa, The Farm Eatery & Experience Centre. Lessons are usually led by the restaurant's head chef. No matter what you love to cook and eat, you'll find a class on it here. Pickles and preserves, gluten-free cooking, hand-made cheese and artisan bread and butter, pasta basics, and vegan experiences are just some of the many options. Budding young chefs can also participate in a "Junior Cooks" class.

Casa Carboni Italian Cooking School & Enoteca in Angaston also offers a popular cooking school. As its name suggests, classes focus on Italian cooking. Each class lasts about three hours, and covers topics like pasta-making, vegetarian cooking, and cooking with Barossa Valley produce. You can also sign up for a regional Italian class, which spotlights a different region of the country each month. Typically, you create a four-course menu for each class.

The best part of Barossa Valley cooking classes? Feasting on all your creations after the lesson with your new-found friends.

The Farm Eatery & Experience Centre

Casa Carboni Italian Cooking School and Enoteca

6. Hike in the Conservation Parks

Western Grey Kangaroos at Kaiserstuhl Conservation Park
Western grey kangaroos at Kaiserstuhl Conservation Park | Paul Asman and Jill Lenoble / photo modified

In the Barossa Valley, nature is right on your doorstep. Three national parks surround the valley, where you can hike through beautiful bushland and look for local wildlife.

At Kaiserstuhl Conservation Park near Tanunda, you can take the 2.7-kilometer Stringybark Hike. This loop trail weaves through a forest over flat land, with the chance to see western grey kangaroos, birds, and other wildlife. The more challenging 10.5-kilometer Wallowa Hike reveals distinctive rock formations and beautiful views from the scenic lookout.

Hale Conservation Park near Williamstown offers the moderate four-kilometer Hale Walk. If you're lucky, you might even spot an echidna near one of the termite mounds. This hike is particularly rewarding in the spring, when wildflowers fleck the grassland, and water flows in the creek.

At Sandy Creek Conservation Park, you can follow several walking trails through pink gum forests and native pines. This park is particularly popular with birders, but you might also see western grey kangaroos amid the sand dunes and grasslands.

7. Indulge at Barossa Valley Chocolate Company, Tanunda

Melted chocolate
Melted chocolate

Chocoholics, rejoice! At the Barossa Valley Chocolate Company, you can not only taste this cocoa-rich treat, you can also watch expert chocolatiers hand-making these rich, velvety creations in the factory through the large picture window. Peanut brittle, fudge, honeycomb, artisan gelato, and decadent desserts – no matter what your chocolate fantasy is, you'll find it here. Best of all, the Belgian and Australian chocolate is sustainably sourced.

After you've indulged in some of the 250-plus different chocolate treats on offer here, you can enjoy a meal at the water-view café, and pick up some treats at the shop to take home. Traveling with sweet-toothed youngsters? This should be top on your list of places to visit with kids in the Barossa Valley.

Address: 64 Burings Road, Tanunda, South Australia

Official site: https://www.barossavalleychocolates.com.au/

8. Follow the Kapunda Mine Trail

Kapunda country home
Kapunda country home | Michael Coghlan / photo modified

Settled by Cornish copper miners, Kapunda is now the center of a farming area in the Barossa Valley. In 1842, when rich deposits of copper were found, Kapunda became the first large mining town in Australia. But by 1888, the mines were abandoned due to flooding.

Many buildings from those early days are now protected as national monuments. These include the school, courthouse, and a number of miners' cottages. The self-guided and informative Kapunda Mine Trail takes you on a journey through the region's mining past, with interpretative signs along the way. It's one of the best free things to do in the Barossa Valley.

Want to learn more about the history of this Celtic town? Stop by the excellent Kapunda Historical Society Museum in the former twin-towered Baptist church, or visit the Taste of the Region Interpretive Centre in the basement of the Kapunda Visitor Information Centre. You'll also find interesting exhibits here on the Ngadjuri people, who first inhabited this fertile land.

9. Discover Tanunda's German Heritage

Bales of hay near Tanunda in the Barossa Valley
Bales of hay near Tanunda in the Barossa Valley

In the heart of the Barossa Valley, Tanunda grew out of a German village called Langmeil and still retains its delightful German traditions and cuisine. Along with Angaston, this is one of the most popular places to visit in the Barossa Valley for tourists – you'll find a relatively well-developed tourist infrastructure here, with plenty of accommodation, restaurants, and shops.

The first place to visit should be the excellent Barossa Visitor Centre. The friendly staff here will assist you with tips on things to do and places to stay, as well as Barossa Valley maps. Then you can head out on a sightseeing tour of the town.

Founded by deeply religious immigrants, this small town is home to four Lutheran churches, including Langmeil village church at the end of a long avenue of cypresses. A few of the village's original ironstone cottages and barns remain.

For an overview of the town's history, stop by the Barossa Museum, or follow the 2.5-kilometer Town Walk of Tanunda, a self-guided heritage walk. The Barossa Regional Gallery hosts evolving local and touring exhibitions.

10. Visit Lyndoch Lavender Farm

Fields of lavender near Lyndoch
Fields of lavender near Lyndoch | Jeff Marquis / photo modified

Lyndoch is one of the oldest settlements in South Australia, and it's worth a visit to soak up some history and visit some top Barossa Valley attractions. One of the most popular things to do in Lyndoch is visit the Lyndoch Lavender Farm. At this working farm, you can wander along the scenic trails, taste lavender-infused gourmet treats at the café, and purchase body products and gifts.

The best time to visit is during spring, when the lavender is in bloom. Keep a lookout for birds, butterflies, and bearded dragons amid the gardens. If you want to take a tour of the farm, make sure you book in advance.

Address: 407 Tweedies Gully Road, Lyndoch South Australia

Official site: https://lyndochlavenderfarm.com.au/

11. Barossa Château

Another top attraction in Lyndoch, about a 10-minute drive away from Lyndoch Lavender Farm, is the elegant French-style Barossa Château. Once the opulent home of businessman Herman Thumm, the chateau now offers a popular high tea.

After you've finished feasting on cakes and cream-topped scones, save time to explore the art and antiques gallery, and stroll in the 22-acre rose garden. The estate also displays one of Australia's largest private collections of porcelain.

Wondering about Indigenous history? Ngadjuri cultural tours are also available, and provide insight on the people who first inhabited this land. Top off your tour with a tasting plate of native bush food.

You can also enjoy a meal here at Lyndoch Hill Restaurant. Make sure you book in advance.

Address: 1221 Barossa Valley Way, Lyndoch, South Australia

Official site: http://www.barossachateau.com/

12. Enjoy a Tasting at Barossa Valley Cheese Company

Australian cheese board
Australian cheese board

Cheese, glorious cheese! If you love this creamy dairy food, add a visit to the Barossa Valley Cheese Company to your itinerary. You'll find this popular little shop on the main street of Angaston, fronted by distinctive black-and-white striped awnings.

Head in here Thursday through Sunday for cheese tastings, experiences, and to stock up your pantry. Feta, halloumi, brie, and camembert are among the many varieties of cheese you can sample here, and you can also watch cheesemakers at work via a live stream from the Cheesecellar in the adjacent production facilities.

Cheeses in the tastings can also be paired with other specialties from the region, including fresh-brewed teas. No time to sit and sample these dairy delights? Purchase a cheese pack to take with you on the road. You can also buy locally made condiments.

Address: 67b Murray Street. Angaston, South Australia

Official site: https://barossacheese.com.au/

13. Take the Kids to the Whispering Wall

The Whispering Wall
The Whispering Wall

The Whispering Wall is the perfect place to stop and stretch your legs with wriggly kids after a long drive. Actually the retaining wall of the Barossa Reservoir, this curving structure demonstrates surprising acoustic properties. Speak at one end of the wall, and a friend or family member can hear your words at the other end, more than 140 meters away.

This quirky attraction is a hit with the kids and one of the best free things to do in the Barossa Valley. The views across the blue water and surrounding bushland are worth the stop as well.

Address: Yettie Road Williamstown, Barossa, South Australia

14. Admire Local Art in Barossa Valley Galleries

Indigenous Australian art
Indigenous Australian art

The Barossa's picturesque hills and valleys have long been the muse for many painters, sculptors, and photographers who showcase their work in local galleries. First stop should be the Barossa Regional Gallery in Tanunda. Regularly changing exhibitions here spotlight local artwork, as well as South Australian artists and traveling exhibitions from interstate. You can also pick up souvenirs at the shop, and sign up for workshops, educational programs, and performances.

Corroboree Dream Art in Tanunda displays Indigenous and contemporary art, and JamFactory at Seppeltsfield also features contemporary works in wood, metal, ceramics, and glass. You can tour the design studio, sign up for a workshop, and purchase souvenirs from the shop.

Kapunda Community Gallery exhibits the works of more than 50 artists, including collaborative murals.

15. Bike around the Barossa Valley

Palm lined road in the Barossa Valley
Palm lined road in the Barossa Valley

Biking around the Barossa Valley is an enjoyable way to soak up the sights and work off all that wonderful food. Sealed biking trails stretch for 40 kilometers through this bike-friendly region, linking the main towns and tourist sites.

Cyclists can choose from four main trails: The six-kilometer Angaston to Nuriootpa trail, the seven-kilometer Nuriootpa to Kanunda trail, the 14-kilometer Tanunda to Lyndoch track, and the 13-kilometer Lyndock to Gawler trail.

Bike tours and road cycling routes are also available, and you can also explore several mountain biking trails, including the Lavender Farm Loop and more challenging Steingarten Loop.

For information and Barossa Valley maps, visit the tourism information centers, and ask about bike-friendly businesses, which offer special discounts and perks for cyclists. You can also stop by the Barossa Cycle Hub in Tanunda for bike rentals, cycle storage, a bike maintenance station, and accessories.

16. The Herbig Family Tree

Herbig Family Tree
Herbig Family Tree | Abi Skipp / photo modified

Looking for unusual things to do in the Barossa Valley? How about visiting a tree that once housed an entire family?

In the little town of Springton, the ancient Herbig Tree, is a huge hollow red gum and reputedly the former home of pioneer German settler Friedrich Herbig and his family. The 300 -to 500-year-old tree stands by a small stream and measures seven meters in diameter and 24 meters tall. The first two Herbig children were born in the tree before he built a pine hut and stone cottage nearby.

Herbig family reunions are still held here every five years or so.

Address: Main Road, Springton, South Australia

Where to Stay in the Barossa Valley

Barossa Valley accommodation ranges from cozy bed and breakfasts and heritage cottages to historic homesteads and large resorts. If you look at a Barossa Valley map, you'll see that the attractions are spread throughout the region, so choose a place to stay near the things you want to see and do.

Luxury Hotels:

  • Home to one of the best restaurants in the Barossa Valley, The Louise in Marananga is a 4-star boutique bed-and-breakfast. The 15 plush, contemporary suites feature inspirational views of the rolling countryside from their private terraces, and breakfast is included.
  • In Lyndoch, Abbotsford Country House offers an intimate stay in a Georgian-style guesthouse. Highlights are the wonderful hosts, generous breakfast, and large suites.

Mid-Range Hotels:

  • Packed with facilities, Novotel Barossa Valley Resort offers bright, modern rooms with private balconies and handy kitchenettes. In your spare time, you can swim in the heated outdoor pool, play tennis or golf, and splurge at the spa.
  • In Nuriootpa, the Vine Inn Barossa offers great value, with a pool, spa, and on-site restaurant.

Budget Hotels:

  • Opposite the Barossa Famers Market, Angaston Vineyards Hotel makes a great base, with clean rooms, a pool playground, and an on-site café.

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