A pleasant few hours drive from Adelaide is Banrock Station. (It's station in the Australian meaning of the word, a large property which farms animals, a ranch in American english) Banrock Station had originally been a sheep farm and the sheep had caused a great deal of environmental damage. The sheep were gradually removed, the wetlands restored and vines planted the owners began producing wine.
I drove up on a recent winter's day, the riverland in South Australia boasts over 300 days of sunshine a year so although it was chilly, the sun was shining.
Banrock station has a wine tasting area and shop, along with a restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating. Being it was such a lovely day, an outdoor lunch it was!
The entrance to the visitor's centre. The surrounding countryside is dry scrub (all those days of sunshine!) and the river is used to irrigate the vines and fruit trees that form part of the main agricultural industry in the riverland.
The wine tasting counter and shop where you can buy the Banrock Station wine or other local produce such as dried fruit, jams, spreads.
There's a small kitchen which has a varied selection of dishes, I went with the chicken tikka marsala.
The seating area outside the visitor's centre.
The view of the vines (winter view with no leaves!) and then the wetlands beyond.
Once you finished eating, you can exercise off your lunch by going for a walk around the wetlands. It's possible to walk around the entire wetlands area but it takes several hours, it's an 8km walk, and there are short sections you can do. The visitor's centre has a map and the helpful staff there will explain the walks, plus you have to sign in and out (when you return!) so there's a safety feature factored for wandering tourists!
The view from a different direction on the deck, the white cliffs in the distance I think are from the river.
To get to the wetlands you walk past the vines.
Black swans in the wetlands, there's quite a number of different water birds to be seen.
Banrock Station is a pleasant lunch spot if holidaying in the riverland of South Australia, or as a day trip from Adelaide. It's worth going to experience the wetlands, enjoy the food and bring back some wine!