My Barossa Day #3: Space to breathe and time to re-connect with nature

A submission by Cathy Wills (Regional Tourism Manager, Tourism Barossa)

My dream Barossa day is full of space – and the luxury of whiling away the hours without thought of deadlines, schedules or calendar reminders popping up as a notification of unfinished tasks! It unfolds with a (very) lazy start, which probably involves finding a patch of morning sunlight in our garden, accompanied by my husband Grant and a freshly brewed bodum of coffee (courtesy of our neighbours Barossa Coffee Roasters). We’ll be entertained by the aerial antics of the magpies, kookaburras, galahs and parrots in the towering sugar gums above us.

Eventually, we’ll take a five minute drive to the village of Greenock, and settle in for a coffee, maybe two, at our local café El Estanco. This is rarely a quick exercise, as it is difficult to get inside the front door and through to the counter, without seeing friends and neighbours and stopping for a chat. We’ll spend time catching up on what’s new with owners Abby and Julian and hanging out in their gorgeous courtyard, and be reminded what a blessing it is to be part of a connected community. An amazing almond croissant by talented Barossa baker, Eleni may find its way to our table, or a selection from Julian’s intriguing breakfast menu, with a nod to his south American roots. 

El Estanco

Next – we’ll head to Williamstown, with the South Para Reservoir as our destination - but first, a trip down memory lane for Grant as we stop at the Williamstown Bakery for pasties and something appropriately sweet! Grant vividly remembers regular trips to Mount Crawford with his Pop which involved lunch at this same bakery, so this has become our tradition as well.

Our lunch will be on the river bank (alongside the Williamstown mural) just enjoying the simplicity of life. A delicious pasty, watching water birds, enjoying the native bush, with the occasional sounds of kids’ voices drifting from the nearby playground or as they cycle past.

South Para Reservoir has been newly re-opened to the public, and the walking trails are a delight. Good walking shoes are definitely in order as the tracks are fairly rustic, and water bottles can be topped up near the carpark in preparation for the expedition. We’ll aim for a leisurely 1 – ½ hour circuit, but who knows if a side loop might entice us along the way?

Our trail will start at the far reaches of the reservoir, where the water has receded to reveal huge tree stumps that appear like a herd of prehistoric animals in the distance. A sign nearby advises that kayaks can be launched – but we’ll progress on foot, past the huge forestry lots, where we’ll hope to see some kangaroos at the foot of the pine trees. Our chosen route is a wide arc skirting the reservoir’s massive body of water, returning us back toward the carpark under an arched canopy of gums, and there may even be two or three emus meandering along nearby.  South Para and Warren Reservoir

We’ll savour the last moments of this blissful day back under the gazebo at home with a simple fare of Barossa favourites and a glass of wine. (A detour via The Barossa Larder section at the Barossa Fresh Foodland will ensure that we are stocked up with Triple Cream Brie from Barossa Valley Cheese Company, Zimmy’s Pickles and everything else required to create a delicious grazing platter.) A quick glance through the wine cupboard for a decision will be required: Two Hands Shiraz, Quin Wines Grenache, Tscharke Rosé, Whistler Wines Riesling or a cheeky Montepulciano from Geyer Wines?   

Space to breathe and time to re-connect with nature – that’s an ideal Barossa day!

Images courtesty of El Estanco and Reservoirs SA.