Summary

Distance 17.4km
Duration Allow 4-5 Hours
Difficulty Moderate – some hills but mostly undulating & sheltered trail
Elevation Gain ??m
Start Jim Barry Wines: 33 Craig Hill Rd, Clare SA 5453
End Jeanneret Wines, 22 Jeanneret Rd, Sevenhill SA 5453
Map Download Here

 

Description

Stage 2 kicks off in Clare before heading along the Armagh Creek, then into the higher country of Spring Gully.  This section of the Trail showcases sweeping hilltop views, secluded native bushland and wildflower country, plus 4 wineries.

Starting from the iconic Jim Barry Wines, head away from the lure of their cellar door, back out through the stone carpark entrance point. Take a look at the map on the large sign as you begin. Head up the path to the cairn on top of Lavender Hill (as it’s known by the Barry family).  It’s steep, but only 100m to the top. Stop for breath and take in the view back towards Clare. 

Keep following the single track through gumtree scattered bushland to reach a downhill 2-wheel track that pops you out into a vineyard, and then onto Benbournie Road. Cross over immediately and follow markers along the road. Galahs and rosellas frequent these roadside trees.

Continue over a crossroad where you’ll be able to spot the sign 150m ahead, turning you left and over a stile. On your right is “The Armagh” vineyard (check ‘Experiences’ on the Jim Barry website for more information).

Two rapid stile crossings and you’re on the edge of Armagh Creek. Steep banks and teetering gums may have you tree-hugging as you wind along the creek. Passing thick scrub on your left, look out for resident kangaroos in the open paddock to your right. Continue on, until a hop over a low fence will set you onto St Georges Terrace.

Directly across the road, you’re in another Barry family vineyard. Stay close to the creek and enjoy the vineyard views. The trail follows along  the gently winding creek until an unfenced boundary means a sharp left turn onto another vineyard track. Dropping down into the creek briefly, and then over a wider tributary, you’ll find yourself under massive gumtrees (possibly surrounded by large fungi).

You are now on the eastern side of the Armagh Creek, which remains lined by vineyards.. Admire the ancient creek-fed gums, but do keep alert here for a turn between fence posts to your right.

A single chair on your left marks the Crawley property. (The Crawley family once made bricks in the now abandoned kiln you’ll see shortly). Follow a short stretch of dirt track then climb up some wooden steps to your right along the fenceline, before continuing into an open paddock.  By keeping close to the creek, you’ll notice wild quince trees and maybe even wild deer.

Jump over the stile onto St Georges Terrace, and you’ll pass a home on your left that was once a hotel. When turning left along Blyth road, glance right and you’ll spot the abandoned brick kiln. Stay left along this 200m section of road, crossing over before the bend and onto shady Emu Flat Road. You’ll continue along this quiet backroad for more than 2 ½ kms.  Cross directly over the intersection onto the sheoak-lined Maggie’s Farm Road, and be mindful to stay on the right hand side to avoid driveways.

Follow trail markers up a gentle climb, then be sure to pause and enjoy the hilltop vista. Head down the other side where you’ll reach Spring Gully Road.  Cross over into Sussex Squire Wines, where you have a choice of heading 600m up the driveway to their cosy cellar door, or continuing on over the stile and along a meandering paddock track.

After two creek crossings, you’ll briefly pop out onto quiet Leighton Road for 100m,  then into some thicker bush again on your left before once again lobbing onto Leighton Road for a further 200m, then turning west onto a secluded rocky track.  This track takes you uphill for about 300m before turning into a wider track that meanders past 2 campsites. Continue on until you meet Fitzgerald Road, then turn right. Once you reach the intersection, turn left up the quieter end of Spring Gully Road.  Continue on for 1.2kms until you reach Eldredge Vineyards, and turn in the driveway.  Here is an opportunity to stop for food, wine, coffee and a warming session by the fire as you take in the view over the dam. Follow trail markers south through Eldredge’s until you again reach the road for a short while. A stile on the right hand side of the road takes you over the fence before reaching Blue Gum Lookout Car Park, where on a clear day you’ll see the sea.

Turning back into Spring Gully Conservation Park, you’ll likely be in wildflower heaven during late winter and spring. Check the signage en route and see how many rare orchids and stringy bark trees you can spot. The Cascades waterfall provides a very small detour from the trail, and while rarely flowing fast (if at all), it allows a generous view of the valley below and the Blyth Plains further afield.

The Trail through this section of the Conservation Park mostly coexists with the Lavender Trail. A steep descent takes you through more bushland country  – and past a dam – into the alluring  Jeanneret Winery where you will find a welcome seat and plenty of options when it comes to choosing a beverage to quench your thirst after completing the day’s trek.

Wineries and Cellar Doors

  • Jim Barry Wines
  • Sussex Squire Wines
  • Eldredge Wines
  • Jeanneret Wines & Clare Valley Brewing

Toilets

  • Jim Barry Wines (cellar door opening hours only)
  • Eldredge Wines (cellar door opening hours only)
  • Jeanneret Wines

Other Points of Interest

  • Lavender Hill
  • “The Armagh” vineyard
  • Crawley’s historic brick kiln (private property)
  • sea view from Blue Gum Lookout (clear weather only)
  • Spring Gully Conservation Park
  • Lavender Trail

Stage 2 Map & Photos