Less than an hour’s drive from Adelaide is Port Willunga, the traditional land of the Kaurna people also known as Wirruwarrungga or Ruwarunga. It’s a scenic spot to head to as a city escape, and to immerse yourself in natural beauty, local cuisine and the region’s famed wine.
So whether you're entering our competition to win a weekend away in the region, or just bookmarking for next time, here's some top picks for a getaway in Port Willunga.
Stay: BIG4 Port Willunga
With BIG4 Port Willunga situated in walking distance to one of two beaches, as well as the seaside locations of Maslin Beach, Port Willunga and – a little further on down the Esplanade to Aldinga Beach – the park is uniquely situated to provide easy access to the area. In the summer heat, the park’s swimming pool is great for a cooling dip, while you’ll also find mini-golf and a tennis court to keep you entertained between jaunts around the surrounding McLaren Vale wine region. There’s a range of accommodation options here, from on-site cabins to tents or caravans and even glamping-style pods. Pets are also welcome.
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Eat: Willunga Bakery
Bakeries are often a town’s central meeting place, particularly in semi-rural regions like Willunga. The long-standing Willunga Bakery on High Street doesn’t disappoint. Choose from a selection of house-made pasties, pies (the steak and bacon is top seller) and old school sweet treats like chocolate freckles and jaffa slice. Before you set out for a day on the beach or winery hopping, make sure you’re well fuelled with a visit to Willunga Bakery.
Since popping up on Willunga’s quaint High Street in October 2021, Muni has cemented itself as a slick local stand out. Co-owners Mug Chen and Chia Wu bring Taiwanese influences to the tiny diner’s set menu, while stocking the best of the area’s minimal intervention wineries like BK and Lino Ramble. Dishes change all the time, but regular favourites include Matsusaka pork neck skewers and Taipei-style cold sesame noodles.
Drink: The General Wine Bar
The General Wine Bar in McLaren Flat is currently home to the wines of Zonte’s Footstep. Visitors here can enjoy up to six separate tasting flights available across the range, taking in styles from local variations on shiraz to Mediterranean whites. Fridays at The General are either a pasta, burger or curry night, and on Sundays there’s a two-course roast matched with a Zonte’s wine.
Drink: Ekhidna Wines
Under the guidance of winemaker Matt Rechner, Ekhidna Wines in McLaren Vale is producing some of the liveliest drops in town, including typically dense shiraz and more modern plantings like fiano. An ethos of modern, minimal intervention winemaking drives the label – we recommend planning your visit to match tastings with the six-course set menu to a backdrop of rolling vineyard views.
Do: Port Willunga Beach
Once you’ve winery-hopped and eaten your way around the region, you’ll likely want to spend the rest of your time on Port Willunga Beach. The jetty pylons, also known as ‘the sticks’, are the last remnants of the village’s early settlement and poke up through the receding ocean. While you’re there, you’ll also want to visit the Port Willunga beach caves, a unique set of man-made caves carved right into the cliff face by fishermen to store their boats.
This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with BIG4 Holiday Parks.