Summary

Distance 14.5km
Duration Allow 4-5 hours
Difficulty moderate/hard, multiple ridge climbs & steeper sections in the last 4km
Elevation Gain -m [440m if travelling in reverse, Clare to Polish Hill]
Start Paulett Wines, Bush de Vine Restaurant, 752 Jolly Way, Polish Hill River SA 5453
End Clare Valley Wine, Food & Tourism Centre, 8 Spring Gully Rd Clare SA 5453
Map Download Here

 

Description.

Stage 6 is the final section of the Clare Valley Wine and Wilderness Trail. A standout section, Stage 6 offers a challenging walk over two north-south tracking ridge-tops, providing spectacular views across all three Valleys collectively comprising “The Clare”.

Hikers will be rewarded with exceptional dining options, regardless of whether starting at Paulett Wines (Option A), or the Clare Valley Wine, Food & Tourism Centre (Option B).

Option A: Starting from Paulett Wines

Before commencing this section of the Trail, first take some time to enjoy the breathtaking view over the Polish Hill River Valley that greets you upon arrival at Paulett’s.

Look for the trail marker directing you through the bush kitchen botanical garden, before sending you on a sharp descent through private grazing property towards the valley floor. You will eventually come to a stile that pops you out onto a paved road. Cross, then proceed north along a shared section of the Riesling Trail before climbing back up through private farmland in a north-easterly direction. A concrete slab located near the crest of the ridge top is a great place to pause and breathe in your final impressions of the Polish Hill River Valley, before continuing on towards Sevenhill Cellars.

Nestled within the Clare Valley, a stop at Sevenhill Cellars is highly recommended. Wine flights are available 7 days/week, or you may wish to explore the Jesuit history of the area via the historic walking trail on offer (map available at cellar door). Then, fuel up via a gourmet pub lunch at the Sevenhill Hotel, before tackling the final few kilometres of the Trail which traverse a challenging (yet wonderfully scenic) ridge-top.

Trail access from the Pub is briefly south along the Main Road, past the Little Red Grape and Wykari cellar door towards Good Catholic Girl Wines (GCG). Having delighted in the quirks and quaffs on offer at GCG cellar door, turn right as you exit, then immediately head west off the main road, towards the creek line.

Between May and November, the Trail is open through private property along the Gillentown ridge-top (but if walking during fire season, please divert via Gillentown Road).

Once you’ve meandered along Church St, a stile on the other side of Bayes Road provides access to private property.  Markers will direct you across a creek, then left towards the ridge top. Be sure to watch your step during the steep ascents and descents. Once up on higher ground, you will be wowed by the stunning views over the Skillogalee Valley to the west, and the bustling Clare Valley to the east. Various heavily eroded, ancient standing stones (reminiscent of the Jurassic era) arch stegosaurus-style along the ridge-line. These provide inviting places to stop and take in the scenery. There is also a private picnic area in a crook between two summits north of the standing stones, where you are also welcome to rest awhile.

Following the trail-marked sheep track will eventually bring you down to the Skillogalee Valley floor, towards a creek line. This section can be very damp after heavy rain, and the creek may be flowing, in which case you may need to avoid walking in the creek bed. Follow the route alongside the creek until you reach a stile that pops you out onto Spring Gully Road, within striking distance of the Clare Valley Wine, Food & Tourism Centre.

Option B: Starting from the Clare Valley Wine, Food and Tourism Centre

If you are keen for a solid hit-out followed by a long lunch, then you are welcome to consider walking Stage 6 in reverse, starting at the Clare Valley Wine, Food & Tourism Centre and finishing at Paulett Wines’ Bush De Vine Restaurant.

Allow 5 hours of walking/resting/exploring time, prior to lunch. Restaurant bookings are strongly encouraged.

Wineries and Cellar Doors

  • Paulett Wines
  • Sevenhill Cellars
  • Sevenhill Hotel (comprehensive wine cellar, take away available)
  • Wykari Wines
  • Good Catholic Girl Wines
  • Clare Valley Wine, Food & Tourism Centre

Toilets

Toilets are located at the start and end of Stage 6, (cellar door opening hours only), and at;

  • Sevenhill Cellars
  • Sevenhill Hotel
  • Little Red Grape Bakery.

Other Points of Interest

  • Remains of 19th century stone Shepherd’s Hut
  • Historic St Aloysius Church and Jesuit Crypt, Sevenhill
  • Historic Walking Trail including Underground slate cellar, dry stone shrines and Weikert Cottage.
  • Historic Catholic Cemetery, Sevenhill
  • Accessible to Riesling Trail
  • Sevenhill Hotel awarded “Best Country Dining in South Australia” in 2022 open for lunch and dinner, 7 days
  • Little Red Grape Bakery and Café
  • Stunning ridge-top views

Stage 6 Map & Photos