DESTINATIONS
MACAU: Magical Charm
AUSTRALIA, TA: Hobart’s Half Dozen Treasures
USA, NM: Santa Fe – Downtown Retreat & Mountain Ranch Resort
PERU: Lake Sandoval, Amazonia: Mundos Intocados – Untouched Worlds.
AUSTRALIA, SA: Hopping Across to Kangaroo Island
USA, WY: The Legend of Buffalo Bill
USA, NV: Top 10 Las Vegas Travel Tips
KIWI: Stewart Island's Natural Beauty
KIWI: Tuatapere Hump Ridge Track - Stairway to Heaven
KIWI: Sitting on the DOC of the Bay - A Campervan in the Coromandel
HONG KONG: Top Ten Must See Attractions
MACAU: A Macanese Affair to Remember
USA, Rockies: A Most Excellent Adventure - RV Trip Part 2
USA, Rockies: A Most Excellent Adventure - RV Trip Part 1
KIWI: Top 10 Kiwi Coastal Department of Conservation Campsites
KIWI: South by Southwest Auckland
AUSTRALIA, QLD: Campervan Adventures on the Great Tropical Drive
HONG KONG: Hong Kong’s Adventurous Atributes
KIWI: Top 10 Adventure Activities to Experience in Auckland
KIWI: The Gems and Jewels of the Tutukaka Coast
AUSTRALIA, NSW: A South Coast & Southern Highlands Tasting Seduction
USA, WY: Unadulterated Wilderness - Yellowstone National Park
KIWI: Island’s in the Gulf
USA, SD: Famous Faces in Great Places
USA, MT: Montana’s Forgotten Ghost Towns
UAE: Abu Dhabi - More Than A Flight of Fancy
WESTERN SAMOA: In the Footsteps of Robert Louis Stephenson
TONGA: Vava’u Island Group
KIWI: Unpack, Inhale and Unwind – Breathing Easy on Auckland’s West Coast
KIWI: Waiheke Island – Paradise Found
USA, ID: Sun Valley Lodge, Ketchum
USA, ID: A Big City with a Small Town Heart
SOUTH KOREA: Temple Tourism Where Silence is Golden
AUSTRALIA, TAS: Hobart’s Half Dozen Treasures
AUSTRALIA, TAS: A Taste and a Tipple in Tassie
KIWI: Conjuring Up Some Matakana Magic
FIJI: Cavorting on the Coral Coast
USA, CA: Jamaica Bay Inn, Marina Del Rey
NEPAL: Kartwheeling in Kathmandu
KIWI: Going With The Flow - A Day on the Dart River
NEPAL: Eat Pray Hike – Life on a Himalayan Trail Part 2.
NEPAL: Eat Pray Hike – Life on a Himalayan Trail Part 1.
SINGAPORE: Capella Hotel, Sensosa Island
USA, HI: Hairpin Highway to Hana and Beyond
KIWI: Matakauri Lodge, Queenstown
ENGLAND: Haunted by Heathcliff - Yorkshire's Bronte Country
USA, CA: Handlery Union Square Hotel, San Francisco
KIWI: This Restless Land – Hiking the Tongariro Crossing & Mt. Ruapehu
KIWI: On My Bike - Mountain Biking and the Queenstown Bike Festival
ENGLAND: Mark it in Your Calendar – Visit Skipton, Yorkshire
SCOTLAND: A Scottish Highland Fling
REPUBLIC of IRELAND: Wrestling Wrasse on the Beara Peninsula
REPUBLIC of IRELAND: 48 Hours in Cork
ENGLAND: The Land of Romans, Myths and Medieval Castles
SCOTLAND: 48 Hours in Edinburgh
WALES: Wandering North Wales
USA, CA: In Yountville Pushing the Epicurean Envelope
ENGLAND: On The Trail of Lancashire’s Pendle Witches
THAILAND: Sky High in Bustling Bangkok
TAHITI: Lazy Hazy Days of Winter - Tahitii and Moorea
AUSTRALIA, QLD: In Seventh Heaven
VENEZUELA: Where Angels Dared To Tread
NORFOLK ISLAND: Isle of Exiles
NEW CALEDONIA: Flavours of New Caledonia
KIWI: The Wonder Country - Campervan Ventures in Southland
MALAYSIA, Sabah Borneo: In The Land of the Red Ape
AUSTRALIA, QLD: Taste of the Tropics

AUSTRALIA, SA: Dishing It Out In South Australia

When we walked into the restaurant the maître’d was describing the menu to one of the midday diners ahead of us, “Well” he said, “food still remains food . . . from nose to tail," it was something we were soon to sample.

AUTHOR & PHOTOGRAPHER: ©Shane Boocock 2014

 

When we walked into the restaurant the maître’d was describing the menu to one of the midday diners ahead of us, “Well” he said, “food still remains food . . . from nose to tail," it was something we were soon to sample.

At 12.30 pm we had quickly decided on where to have lunch. It didn't take us long to walk to our recommended restaurant as the newly opened Argentinian, La Boca Bar & Grill was next door to our Adelaide hotel, The Stamford Plaza.

 

New Zealander, Stewart Harris from Macintosh Harris Design Ltd. in Auckland, has recently designed the restaurant and what a great job he’d done. La Boca Bar and Grill serves authentic Argentinian cuisine, created with South American passion and flair by Argentinian Chef, Nicholas Arriola. It's the only Argentinian restaurant in Adelaide to slow cook on the ‘Asador’ (a large open fire pit).  The chef’s food philosophy is branded ‘Nose to Tail’ dining, by skillfully slow cooking beef, pork and lamb over the hot coals.

Sangria was poured as we snacked on pita style bread kept warm in cloth bags, accompanied by three different dips. Then came an assortment of Argentinian ' Empanadas' (stuffed bread or pastry baked or fried) followed by 'Mejillones Vino Blanco' black mussels in a white wine and cream sauce. The main course was Bife de Chorizo cooked over flaming embers made from red gum-tree logs under the grill that brings out the distinctive smoky ‘gaucho’ flavours in the thick steaks.

We had arrived in South Australia from Auckland for a short break with the tour company AAT Kings. It started with an 8.20 am departure meaning a trip to Adelaide is less than half a day away as you arrive in the city before noon, literally from, ‘an airline gate to an Argentine lunch plate.’

 

After a comprehensive city tour with we were dropped off at Adelaide's famous indoor Food Market. Guided by Callum a local chef we were escorted to a select number of stalls with a diverse range of produce from organic breads, charcuterie, vegetables, health foods, to smelly cheese outlets, free range produce, chocolate and candy stalls, fruit, yogurt, seafood, poultry and even a dedicated stall selling all kinds of mushrooms – a smorgasbord of produce stalls.

 

Located above the market is Sprout Cooking School where Callum Hann and Themis Chryssidis initiated us in the kitchen that the school operates. This is a great opportunity to not only sample the fresh market food that had been bought meters away but to deepen our food knowledge and healthy cooking skills - the result is a three course meal we prepared, cooked and ate all accompanying by local Adelaide Hills wines.

 

Everyone knows that the Barossa Valley is the premier wine destination in South Australia, and this little region was our first stop on our South Australian food harvest itinerary.

 

Maggie Beer's Farm Shop is a must see for most coach tour companies and families visiting the Barossa Valley. Maggie Beer bought the property with her husband in the 1970s and over the years they have expanded it to include a vineyard, quince orchards, pheasant run and aviary. It’s a popular stopping off point for a range of bottled produce, cookbooks and even Maggie’s own wine.

 

Our lunch stop was an unexpected place to have a kangaroo and Shiraz pie. The Company Kitchen was just on the outskirts of Angaston, a place first settled in the 1840s with some well-known surrounding vineyards such as Penfolds and Wolf Blass. But first back to the Company Kitchen where I was expecting a light lunch – such was my ignorance. The kangaroo pie, the size of a small brick was filled with native ‘quandongs’ (red ripe Aboriginal bush tucker berries) and winter vegetables cooked in Shiraz wine and wrapped in a light pastry served on creamy mashed potato, accompanied by squash, roasted carrot, potato and pumpkin!  All of this accompanied by a sublime bottle of Schmidt Barossa Valley Shiraz 2008.

 

Torbreck Vineyard - never heard of it you may say - however when did you last drink from a 27 litre bottle of wine, yes 27 litres (36 standard bottles) a wine bottle worth A$ 25,000?  Well we didn't drink from it either as they only produce five bottles of ‘Laird’ per vintage in this size – it’s known as a Primat or Goliath. This wine is not produced every year with vintages in 2008 and 2010 being the latest.

 

As Craig the chief winemaker observed, "It's a balance between evil and good." Meaning things can go wrong with the grapes but they try and make sure it doesn't happen. At A$ 900 a standard bottle you suddenly understand that evil is banished and good is a heavenly bottle that will never be offered as you pass through the gates of St. Peters.

 

This is a vineyard on the rise. We dropped in here for a tasting and to say what passed our lips was beyond our imagination was an understatement. We were served six wines, a 2012 Steading Blanc, a 2010 The Steading, a 2009 The Pict, a 2012 Woodcutter Shiraz, a 2012 The Gask and a 2010 Run Rig Shiraz with an added 2.5 percent viognier. They export approximately 50 percent of their stock to about 35 countries.

 

Craig Isbel is the master winemaker at Torbreak Vineyard and from whoa to Goa does he know his wine! After a trip with his mates from Adelaide to Western Australia in his teens he ended up penniless in the Margaret River wine region and with a need to make money began his early vineyard apprenticeship. His settlement at Torbreak came at a time when the vineyard’s accolades started arriving year on year. Now in it's 24th year, the vineyard is a superb example of what is sensational about Barossa wines.

 

As our host Sasha poured wine into tasting glasses he surprisingly said, "It's better to be armless than legless." We had now ventured into the world-renowned vineyard of Jacobs Creek - the largest producer of wine in the Barossa Valley. Jacobs Creek sits on 42 hectares and not surprisingly welcomes 170,000 visitors a year through its visitor centre – for a taste sensation try either the limited edition organic Montepulciano 2011 or the organic Shiraz 2012.  

 

That evening dinner was served at Novotel Barossa Valley Resort’s signature restaurant Harry’s. With fabulous views across vineyards it makes for a great end of day location to taste the artful use of seasonal local produce matched with South Australia wines before dropping into bed, slightly more legless than armless.

 

It was a crisp, cold morning across the Barossa Valley vineyards with mist lingering above the vines but with a beautiful sunrise it wasn't noticed. Our first drive of the day wound its way through the Adelaide Hills to the quaint but touristy town of Hahndorf.

 

The town was first settled in 1839 by Germans persecuted for their religious beliefs from what was then the Prussian region of Europe. Only 45 minutes drive from downtown Adelaide this township attracts many day trip visitors so expect a busy village with a touch of chic and a dollop of kitsch but if old world architecture with a sense of history is what you might appreciate then it's worth a couple of hours.

 

AAT Kings gives you a two-hour opportunity to either wander through the main street to shop and dine or take a 90-minute wander with Hahndorf Walking Tours. They offer a comprehensive introduction to the influential iconography of the remaining buildings along with a history of the families that once occupied the main street.

 

Our tour group then headed out of the hills towards the ocean as we needed to catch a 3.00 pm ferry.  In our next issue we’ll be experiencing the cuisine and wines on a short break, hop and a jump excursion to Kangaroo Island. Part Two will be in the Aug/Sep issue.

 

 

FACTS:

 

AAT Kings

W: www.aatkings.com

 

Stamford Plaza Adelaide – La Boca Bar & Grill

W: www.stamford.com.au/spa/adelaide-restaurant-bars

 

Sprout Cooking School

W: www.sproutcooking.com.au

 

Barossa Valley

W: www.barossa.com

 

Maggie Beer's Farm Shop

W: www.maggiebeer.com.au

 

Company Kitchen

W: www.sacompanystore.com.au

 

Torbreck Vineyard

W: www.torbreck.com

 

Jacobs Creek Vineyard

W: www.jacobscreek.co.nz

 

Novotel Barossa Valley Resort

W: www.novotelbarossa.com

 

Adelaide Hills

W: www.adelaidehills.org.au

 

South Australia Tourism

W; www.southaustralia.com

 

AAT Kings hosted Shane Boocock on his trip to South Australia. AAT Kings Short Break Holidays were recently introduced in NZ and Australia in 2014. The 52 variations (a break for every day of the year) range in length from two to seven days from Nature & Wildlife Holidays, Cultural Enriching Experiences, Family Holidays, Active Adventures, Winter Escapes and Food & Wine Experiences.  Individual travellers are encouraged to join theses short break tours as much as couples are. 

 

If you want to see more just add on a couple of extra days either before or after your tour to take an even bigger bite out of South Australia.

 

 

If you would like to read this article in full or licence it for your own publication, please click here to contact Shane.