|Allow 5-6 Hours
|Difficult – exposed, windy and rocky ridges, multiple ridge climbs
|Clare Valley Wine, Food & Tourism Centre, 8 Spring Gully Rd Clare SA 5453
|Jim Barry Wines: 33 Craig Hill Rd, Clare SA 5453
Stage 1 takes you through the northernmost section of the Trail and includes spectacular panoramic views from Dunns Range.
Starting at the award-winning Clare Valley Wine Food and Tourism Centre (located among the gum trees beside the Clare Caravan Park) take a few minutes to pop in for an energising coffee and quick browse of featured regional produce and local artwork.
Heading east from the Tourism Centre, carefully cross Main North Road and make your way through the gate into the Clare Show Grounds. Look for the brown Riesling Trail sign which also has a Wine and Wilderness trail marker on it. Follow the markers south along the creek initially and then across to the Riesling Trail.
Turn left onto the iconic Riesling Trail and head north for 800m, before turning into Tim Adams Winery cellar door. Remember that the Riesling Trail is a shared use trail and that there will likely be cyclists and dogs to avoid. Make sure you visit Tim Adams for wine tasting and a comfort stop. This is your last formal toilet stop until Jim Barry Wines at the end of the stage.
From Tim Adams Wines, cross Warenda Road and you will see the first stile of this stage. Roughly follow the creek line before heading up an incline through a pretty section of young eucalypts. Keep your eye out for trail markers positioned amongst the trees. After 1.5km or so, you will be intercepted by Spring Farm Road. Cross straight over to access Dunns Range Road..
Continue onto Dunns Range Road for approximately 1km before reaching the ridge line.
Dunns Range ridge line is arguably the highlight of Stage 1 with a couple of elevation high points of 556m and 546m, providing sweeping panoramic views of the Clare Valley. This is a very rocky and exposed 5.5km section, so make sure you have your windproof jacket with you!
Be sure to stick to the ridgeline and don’t get fooled by the many sheep tracks. After 1.8km along the Range, descend west to cross Farrell Flat Road. Take care when crossing this road as it is busy with traffic. You will then climb back up to Dunns Range and be rewarded with a weather-proof hut where you can not only avail of shelter but also enjoy the superb views over the Clare township (and on a clear day, Snowtown and the northern point of Spencer Gulf) to the west through the full length glass windows on the western and eastern walls. Delight in the sweeping views to the east of the townships of Farrell Flat and Burra.
Once suitably rested, continue north along Dunn’s Range, following the trail markers until you reach a stile, bringing you down off the Range and onto some easy-going unpaved road.
Head north on Blockers Road for 300 meters or so before turning west onto Lewcock Road, then north onto Moccundunda North Road which will bring you to the main White Hutt Road. Cross over, onto the Riesling Trail/Mawson Trail and onto Hubbe Road. Pay attention to the signs here to make sure you keep on the right path.
Stay on Hubbe Road for 600 meters before turning left and briefly heading west onto Koorama Road before quickly turning right through a gate into the historic Methodist Cemetery (situated at Clare Valley Cabins accommodation). Follow a vegetated loop of approximately 1.8km which is full of bird life and will ultimately bring you back out on Koorama Road.
Turn right and continue west along Koorama Road before heading north on Gaelic Cemetery Road. This passes the second historic cemetery on stage 1. After passing the Gaelic Cemetery, turn left onto Roach Road for a short time before heading south onto Noble Road. Keep on Noble Road and follow the 90 degree bend at the top of the hill, which brings you into Stanley Stud Road. Follow Stanley Stud Road down to cross the Hutt River and then cross over Horrocks Highway onto MacDonald Road.
Immediately after the next creek crossing, look for the stile on your left. This stile marks the end of the road walking section – we are back on private land!
Enter into the paddock heading south along the creek line – a contributory to the Hutt River. Following directly south along a fence line with adjoining vineyards you will arrive at another stile. Cross McRae Wood Road to the well-decorated stile on the southern side, which leads you into a windy and well vegetated section. This is well sign-posted and will lead you through to a final stile and hill before descending down into Jim Barry Wines cellar door.
Congrats, that is Stage 1!
Wineries and Cellar Doors
- Clare Valley WIne and Tourism Centre
- Tim Adams Wines
- Jim Barry Wines
Toilets are located at the start and end of Stage 6 (opening hours only) at;
- Clare Valley, Wine, Food and Tourism Centre
- Tim Adams Wines
- Jim Barry Wines
Other Points of Interest
- Spectacularly wild Dunns Range
- Scenic views over Hill River and the township of Clare and further to the Spencer Gulf on a clear day.
- Accesses the iconic Riesling Trail and Mawson Trail
- Historic Gaelic and Methodist (White Hut) Cemeteries