The Barossa is the perfect destination for families! We may be renowned around the world for our grape growing and winemaking, but there is a whole world of adventure to discover in our beautiful region for the young and young at heart. The proof is in the pudding, so come along as we show you the very best of beautiful Tanunda for families.
Less than an hour’s drive from Adelaide, there’s little time for the obligatory ‘are we there yet?’ from the back seats. There are two schools of thought for accommodation during your Tanunda family adventure. You could choose from the very many beautiful, self catering cottages that dot the length and breadth of the region. With plenty of space to spread out and take over, you’ll have kitchen facilities at your fingertips, entertainment options a’plenty, and loads of flexibility. Whether you’re after walking-distance-to-the-cafes, or secluded vineyard views, there will a host waiting to welcome you.
An alternative option is the fabulously appointed Discovery Parks Barossa Valley. A two-minute drive or ten-minute stroll from the main street of Tanunda, it’s bursting at the seams with family-friendly amenities, including one of the most impressive waterparks in the State. Everything from unpowered camping sites (for the truly adventurous) through to multi-bedroom cabins with ensuite bathrooms, you’ll find a home base that suits your budget and desired comfort levels. You might also like to check out their luxe glamping tents and start planning an adults-only return trip for next time….
Get in, get settled and let the kids head off to explore their surrounds and begin to ease into the Barossa lifestyle. Dinner tonight is as easy as can be – takeaway pizza from award-winning Ember Pizza Barossa, accompanied by a glass of Barossa grenache for the adults as you sit back and relax, as the stars begin to come out and a fun-filled weekend together comes into view (an insider’s tip: if you are staying at Discovery Park Barossa Valley, virtually across the road is the exceptional Tanunda Cellars, with the region’s most extensive and diverse collection of Barossa wine under one roof).
Rock, paper, scissors for who gets up with the kids. If they’re seriously early risers then head down to Darling’s Food with Passion Café – open from 6am seven days a week (yes, seven days), this is the pre-breakfast coffee stop of your dreams.
For breakfast, either elect to stay on at Darlings and watch the never-ending parade of locals lining up for their morning cuppa under the watchful eye of owner Wendy and her crack team of baristas, or cross the road to Red Door Espresso.
One of our favourite brekkie spots for little ones, Red Door Espresso, has a beautiful, lush green courtyard at the rear of the café that is just built for kids, with fully enclosed fencing and a blackboard wall. Their babyccinos are legendary, and lead into a dedicated kid’s menu, matched only by their grown-up options that feature local produce and change with the seasons. Keep an eye out for the fabulous tea cozies – it’s worth ordering a pot of Earl Grey just to see the little’s one’s faces when they arrive.
While we’re talking breakfast, let’s also address the central issue of snacks. You could happily create a Barossa tasting trail just of small bites for small people, so here are some absolute treasures to look out for: Brown’s Barossa Donuts (light as a feather brioche filled with a cornucopia of indulgent additions), salt sticks at Apex Bakery (an unchanged recipe for generations, with chewy sourdough sprinkled in caraway and sea salt), biersticks from Linke’s Central Meat Store (satisfying after-school snacking requirements of Barossa kids for decades), made-in-front-of-you chocolate freckles from the Barossa Valley Chocolate Company, plump dried fruit from Gully Gardens or Italian-inspired homemade delights from Casa Carboni. Let the kids explore their tastebuds and discover a few new favourites.
Full bellies mean you can begin to explore.
The Tanunda main street lends itself to on-foot expeditions. The smaller ones will adore the fantastically curated Daisy and Hen, tweens will love the bright and bubbling Pulp and Thread, while sophisticated teens and adults alike with revel in Alabaster Store, Ironstone Cottage or Wohlers. There is a great deal of meandering through beautiful stores to be done here, as well as lawn games to be played at the front of the Visitor Information Centre, all en route to one of our favourite playgrounds, just a short stroll down Elizabeth Street.
On your way, drop in to the fabulous Apex Bakery and stock up on provisions for a picnic lunch. Their freshly filled rolls, pies and pasties are excellent, and they’ve even won the highly prestigious “Best Pie in Australia” gong for their classic meat pie. The adults can get a coffee to take away and then you’re a mere few minutes from the Elizabeth Street playground.
Located next to the Tanunda Oval there’s plenty of room to run while smaller ones will love the Barossa-themed play equipment, with a grape weighing station and plenty of shaded picnic spots to enjoy your goodies.
Another insider’s tip: for large families, or groups travelling together, consider hiring the Barossa Kegelbahn for a few hours. Sixth generation Kegeler Geoff Nicolai is a Barossa legend, and will happily meet you at the Bahn to open up and show you the ropes. Kegel is unique to the Barossa – similar to ten pin bowling, and housed in a gorgeous Kegelbahn, oozing with history and charm and dating back to 1858. A truly memorable experience!
This afternoon, it’s time to burn off some of those treats! Head back to your accommodation and grab your bikes, hire one from Barossa Bike Hire to be delivered to your accommodation, or drop in to see Jo, Megan, Kerstin and the team at the Visitor Information Centre for bike hire (including e-bikes), all the safety equipment and – importantly – local insight and recommendations for routes and trails that suit your tribe. There are a number of family-friendly Cellar Doors within a few minute’s ride of Tanunda’s main street, including Langmeil Wines, Peter Lehamann Wines, Underground Barossa, Turkey Flat, or Z Wines, with their famous kid’s tasting plank. Or, if getting out and about in nature if more your thing, check out The Barossa Trail. Over 40km of sealed bike path will steer you through stunning landscapes, vineyard views and remnant bushland. It’s a great way to discover another side of the Barossa, get out in the fresh air and make some memories together.
For dinner? A smorgasboard of options for you this evening. Cook up a BBQ storm at the caravan park in their well-equipped camp kitchen, or have someone else do the searing for you at Char Barossa in the main street. Featuring a great bistro menu, fantastic Barossa wine list, dedicated children’s options and a welcoming, buzzy atmosphere thanks to Kyran and Cassie’s team’s excellent service, this is the perfect place to see out the day.
Of course, there’s always the chance you can wrangle a night off, in which case may we recommend oh so sophisticated grown-up dining and drinking at Vino Lokal or Musque. Just in case….
This morning, it’s time to get some altitude.
Fill your backpack with local provisions and grab a bottle of water; we’re going hiking. There is a fantastic range of walking options in the Barossa, so no matter the age (or enthusiasm) of your little ones, there will be a trail for you to explore. At the top of Krondorf Road, about five minutes from Tanunda, the Kaiserstuhl Conversation Park is a favourite for locals, with trails passing through a variety of landscapes and taking in stunning panoramic views across the Barossa Ranges and the valley floor. This is a great option for wildlife spotting, so keep your eyes peeled for kangaroos, echidnas and possums. More rigorous options include the breathtaking Steingarten Lookout Walk, while gentle strolling in relaxing, restorative bushland is a wonderful feature of the (kid-friendly) Jacob’s Creek Visitor Centre, just a ten-minute drive from the main street of Tanunda in Rowland Flat. We highly recommend checking out Barossa Bushwalking – a brilliant resource developed by a Barossa local, and packed with information.
Lunch today is a treat. Motor up Magnolia Road from Tanunda until you reach Harvest Kitchen. In beautiful weather, sit outside on the deck overlooking the lush green lawns where the kids can play to their hearts’ content. There are lawn games and a great children’s menu, while the adults will revel in the gorgeous, seasonal produce and the carefully curated wine list.
After lunch, it’s history time. Take an hour or two to explore the Vine Vale to Bethany Trail.
From Harvest Kitchen, it’s only a minute or two’s drive to reach the Mengler’s Hill lookout, where the whole Barossa valley floor is laid out underneath you. It’s an incredible view and a wonderful way to take in the whole picture of the Barossa and the kids will love the Sculpture Park with its quirky and diverse artworks to be explored. Keep an eye out for the monument commemorating the early European settlers of the Barossa and acknowledging their resilience and fortitude. From the look-out head back down Mengler’s Hill Road, turn left onto Light Pass Road and then right onto Bethany Road. Bethany is one of the oldest European settlements in the Barossa, and a lovely step back in time. You can collect a heritage brochure from the Visitor Information Centre, which provides valuable insights into the buildings, heritage cemetery, unique ‘hufendorf’ layout of the village and the early pioneer history that is still accessible today. The Bethany Church and pioneer cemetery are great spots to really soak in the early European history of the Barossa.
It’s been a big day. An easy BBQ dinner, or takeaway at your accommodation is definitely in order!
Let’s take it a little bit easy this morning. While the Barossa is a beautiful, year-round destination with four distinct seasons, it’s not always sunshine and perfect weather. So if you happen to find yourself in need of a rainy day activity, or just want to kick back for a bit while the kids have some fun, there are some great options in Tanunda. Yesterday you passed The Rex, so if water play, or indoor sports are your jam, check it out. They have casual day passes available, a great range of facilities and a café with lots of healthy options.
Another great option is Barossa Bowland, with a ten-pin bowling alley, Australia’s largest dinosaur mini golf course (yep!), on-site café and a mini games arcade. For younger ones, Impact KidsWorld in Dorrien is a few minutes’ drive from Tanunda and is a fantastic indoor play centre with lots of bouncy castles, a sensory room for quiet play, great café and plenty of activities.
Finally, consider the Barossa Valley Chocolate Company, where the kids can watch the chocolatiers in action, range through an astonishing array of chocolate treats, indulge at the Restaurant, or sample one of the speciality hot chocolates. The Barossa Valley Chocolate Company is also home to the Vineyard Road Cellar Door, so parents can enjoy a wine tasting while the kids have lunch. Excellent! Any of these options is going to provide entertainment for the kids, a bit of down time for the parents and great choices for lunch.
And now, it’s time to plan our exit strategy. This afternoon will depend on your route out of the Barossa. If you’re travelling via the Adelaide Hills, make sure you factor in a bit of time to stop in at the Warren Reservoir in Williamstown on your way. Beautiful walking trails, abundant nature to be discovered and even kid-friendly Barossa Kayak Hire mean you can easily stretch out the afternoon to accommodate more great family times.
For those exiting via the Northern Connector, you can take a detour via Gawler and have a pit stop at Clonlea Park, with a huge range of play equipment, walking trails, skate park and BBQs. The perfect way to round out your family weekend in Tanunda.
Head off knowing that you’ve made great memories in beautiful Tanunda, safe in the knowledge that there is a whole world of adventure to discover the next time you return to the Barossa.