29 Top Things to Do in the Barossa Valley that Aren’t Wine Tasting

Last updated:

This article may contain affiliate links. This means that if you make a purchase after clicking on a link, I may receive a small commission. Read the full disclaimer here.

The Barossa Valley is located around one hour north of Adelaide in South Australia. It is best known for the world-class wines that are produced in this popular wine region. But what do you do after the wine tasting? Check out some of these other things to do in the Barossa Valley, that aren’t wine tasting!

Have Questions? – Come and join the Facebook Group and ask any questions you may have about travel in South Australia. We can provide answers, make further suggestions and update you with the latest information. Click here to join now.

Best Things to Do in Barossa Valley

The Barossa Valley consists of a handful of small towns dispersed amongst the grapevines. The largest town is Nuriootpa, and this is a great place to base yourself for your time in the area.

From there visitors can fan out and access all the Barossa Valley attractions as well as the things to do in Nuriootpa. Sometimes though it can be hard to find things to do in Barossa Valley not related to the wine industry.

Once you include some of the many wine-tasting options on the list (don’t miss the Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon), it’s very easy to keep busy for a few days with activities in Barossa Valley.

It’s a relaxed and sleepy place though, so take it nice and slow, and enjoy the peace and beauty of this area in the time it deserves. Now here are all the best things to do in the Barossa Valley.

Start the Day with Hot Air Ballooning at Sunrise

Red hot air balloon over the Murray River

I had the opportunity recently to take a sunrise hot air balloon ride over the Barossa Valley and is one of the best things I have ever done! This is one of the most incredible Barossa Valley experiences to do.

It will include a very early morning pickup, and once airborne, around one hour of peaceful floating over this magnificent valley. Of all the Barossa Valley things to do this one is the most romantic – perfect for honeymoons, anniversaries and birthdays.

Once the flight is over, passengers are treated to a full breakfast including sparkling wine while reliving the experience.

Walk the Whispering Wall

If you are looking for unique Barossa Valley activities, this is a good start. Located in the Williamstown area, the Whispering Wall is the dam holding back the water from the Barossa Reservoir, one of Adelaide’s main water sources.

The shape of the wall creates a strange effect, leading to the unusual name. Two people can stand at each end of the wall, more than 100 metres apart, talk to each other in a quiet voice and hear each other. It’s very surreal.

The area around the Whispering Wall is now designated as a nature reserve, so it’s a good place to take a short walk and admire the wildlife in the area. It’s not uncommon to see kangaroos right here.

If you are visiting in summer as we did, be aware that the reservoir is closed on days of high or extreme fire danger.

Check out the View from Menglers Hill Lookout

Named after a local winemaker, Menglers Hill Lookout is a great place to get views over the whole Barossa Valley.

While, yes, it is a valley, the hills surrounding the area are not all that tall, and there are very few locations that give a good view. Make your way up to the car park and spend some time here admiring the area.

Take a short walk through the Barossa Sculpture Park which is also located here. There are perhaps a dozen or two large sculptures made out of granite to have a look at as you admire the view.

Walk the Labyrinth at the Barossa Bushgardens

Located in Nuriootpa, the Barossa Bushgardens were first started in 2001 on 7 hectares of bushland. Its purpose was to preserve the native flora of the area, some of which were becoming very rare.

Today the area has been developed into a relaxing and welcoming space. It includes a picturesque labyrinth, set up to promote mental health through the meditative process of walking around its curves.

Group walks happen regularly to encourage community. This could be a lovely relaxing break in your Barossa Valley sightseeing.

The Bushgardens often hold workshops of their own such as masterclasses on controlling vermin or land management, and they also bring in others to have special events such as night walks to see the bats. They are also a venue for local arts festivals and the statewide SALA festival.

The Bushgardens are open to visit at your leisure, or you can arrange to have a guided tour. There is also a downloadable map if you prefer a self-guided tour. The details can be found on their website here.

Have an Icecream at Maggie Beer’s Farm Shop

When planning your list of what to do in Barossa Valley this has to be included! Maggie Beer is a well-known Australian cook.

She has written numerous cookbooks and appears regularly on television. She was never a trained chef though, her focus is on good, home-cooked food.

In the 1970’s she started producing paté on her property in the Barossa. She eventually opened the Maggie Beer Farm Shop, and now has dozens of products available for sale, including some of the best ice cream available anywhere.

During your visit to the Farm Shop, you can taste many of the delicious products. This is also the perfect location for a Barossa Valley lunch. Maggie’s daughter now runs The Eatery and is open for lunch every day.

The menu changes every day in line with the local seasonal products that can be sourced, but it will always be beautiful, gourmet offerings. The food here is perhaps the most beautiful I’ve eaten anywhere. Bookings are essential.

The Eatery also offers classes, so you can do a class on everything from making desserts to gin school to kids’ cooking classes.

Start with a simple one-hour interactive class to see a cooking demonstration, taste some of the results and learn about the history of Maggie Beer’s farm

Pick up some Fresh Produce at a Farmer’s Market

With so much fresh produce in the area, it’s no surprise to find great farmers’ markets when we are searching for what to do in the Barossa Valley.

The Barossa Valley Farmer’s Market is held every Saturday morning from 7:30 to 11:30 am in the Vintner’s Shed, Angaston, so if you are here on the weekend, put this on your Barossa to-do list.

You can find everything here from fruit and vegetables, eggs, smallgoods, cheeses, breads and pastries, meat, honey, olives and olive oils and much more.

Visit the Breakfast Bar to grab a local breakfast burger and a gourmet coffee. The stalls vary slightly each week, but you can check out their website here to see which producers and there each week.

At the southern end of the Barossa Valley, visitors can also find the Mount Pleasant Farmer’s Markets. These are on each Saturday from 8 am – 12 pm at the Mount Pleasant Showgrounds.

While they do showcase Barossa Valley produce, they also include some of the great Adelaide Hills producers.

You can find all of the current stallholders listed on their website here. Breakfast is again offered, and keep your eye out for other events, such as evening markets and full-day festivals.

There are a number of other markets that run periodically across the Barossa (particularly in the warmer months) such as:

  • Rock’n’Roll Country Markets, Nuriootpa, 2nd Sunday of the month from September to April
  • Barossa Made Market, Tanunda, periodically
  • Makers Market, Kapunda, 3rd Sunday of the month from November to April
  • Angaston Country Markets

Indulge in some Barossa Chocolate

You cannot come to the Barossa without a quick visit to the Barossa Valley Chocolate Company. These folks make over 250 different chocolate products right here in Tanunda.

They have a beautiful big shop where you can select as much chocolate as you desire while watching how it’s all produced through the glass windows.

I was excited to discover they have a small range of vegan chocolates too, so there is something here for everyone.

After selecting your chocolate, make your way into the cafe next door and order yourself – a hot chocolate! Or you could restrain yourself and instead have a light lunch or another snack.

There is also a small ice cream booth to indulge in even more chocolaty goodness before you leave.

If you haven’t already bought your body weight in chocolate to take home, I recommend a stop at the new Fruchocs Shop right on the main street of Tanunda.

Opened in January 2022, this beautiful shop is yet another place I can stock up on my favourites, the vegan Fruchocs. Of course, they also have all their other varieties here too.

If you have not tried these iconic South Australian treats yet, then this is the perfect time to do so, so put it on your list of Barossa Valley places to visit.

Do some Tasting at the Barossa Valley Cheese Co

Cheese and wine go together like peas in a pod, so there is no surprise to find a fantastic cheese producer right in the centre of Angaston.

Drop past to taste some of the cheeses made with local cow and goat’s milk, and take home your favourites along with all the cheese accompaniments offered too.

If you are planning a picnic, there are a variety of packs including things like crackers, dried fruits, quince paste and more.

During your visit, you can watch the live stream of the cheese-making process coming straight from the factory. If you are in the store at 11 am or 3 pm then you will also be able to see Halloumi cooking demonstrations.

Visitors can participate in other tasting experiences, such as a seasonal cheese platter, or a cheese and wine tasting. If you don’t drink wine, there is one for cheese and tea pairing too.

While you are there, check out the information about a custom-made cheese wheel cake. These are becoming popular even for weddings! An interesting alternative for cheese lovers.

Go Kayaking on the Warren Reservoir

Are you looking for active Barossa experiences? Kayaking may not have been on your radar, but right on the edge of the Barossa Valley in the Mount Crawford area is the Warren Reservoir.

Recently the South Australian reservoirs have been opened to the public for recreation purposes, and now kayaking is available here.

Choose from either double or single kayaks and spend two hours exploring this part of the Barossa Valley from this unique perspective.

Click here to book your kayaking experience now

Take a Walk with an Alpaca

How fun is this suggestion for your Barossa things-to-do list? Aurora Sky Alpacas are giving visitors a chance to take one of their alpacas for a walk. Get up close to these buddy animals and take all the photos you want.

On arrival, you spend some time with the alpacas and choose which one you want to walk. After your thirty-minute walk, you can also opt for an additional platter or high tea to enjoy. You will leave wanting to take one of these adorable animals home.

Sadly, this, and other farm experiences at Aurora Sky Alpacas are now only available to people staying with them. Take a look at their accommodation options above.

Get a Donut at Browns Barossa

Fast becoming a reason all on its own to visit the Barossa, you cannot miss the incredible gourmet donuts being produced at Browns Barossa.

You can get the usual favourites, but look out for seasonal or just-for-fun flavours too, like Bailey’s Toblerone Cheesecake or Apple & Blackberry Crumble with Custard. The donuts are made daily so the offerings can change regularly.

They also do some great coffee, so you can get your caffeine fix along with all that sugar. I recommend calling in during the morning as they are very popular and do occasionally sell out.

They are located in Tanunda and are open Wednesday to Saturday.

Do some Craft Beer Tasting

While wine might be the most common drink made here in the Barossa, there are also a few local craft beer makers popping up in the area. Here are some worth checking out

  • Steins Taphouse, Nuriootpa (not a brewery, but you can get most of the local craft beers here in one place)
  • Greenock Brewers, Greenock
  • Barossa Valley Brewing,  Tanunda
  • Rehn Bier, Tanunda
  • Western Ridge Brewing, Greenock (these guys don’t have a cellar door, look out for their beers in local outlets or at the Barossa Farmers Market)
  • Ministry of Beer, Rosedale (No cellar door, but you can find these beers at Steins Taphouse above)

Or Perhaps Some Gin Tasting

If beer and wine tasting are not enough, then how about some gin tasting? The Barossa Valley is starting to see distilleries appearing amongst the vines.

While some wineries are extending their ranges to include gin or whiskey, there are also some stunning dedicated tasting rooms just for gin.

Start your gin tasting at one of these:

  • Seppeltsfield Road Distillers, Marananga
  • Barossa Distilling Company, Nuriootpa
  • Durand Distillery, Nuriootpa (no tasting room, but they do have their own gins and a gin school if you are keen to learn the art of gin making)

Visit a Winery

Okay, I know I said I wasn’t going to include wine tasting, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still visit a winery.

Many of the cellar doors are in beautiful settings, and they often have cafes or restaurants attached where you can eat without drinking any of that Barossa Valley wine in a picturesque setting.

Perhaps stop in at Jacobs Creek for lunch or Pindarie, or First Drop Wines. Some of them, such as Barossa Valley Estate, have gardens to enjoy too (so long as you stay out of the vines!).

A winery that is doing something a little extra is 1837 Barossa. They have set up a sculpture trail consisting of 12 modern art sculptures which is free to visit when the cellar door is open.

There’s an iconic “1837 Barossa” sign that is sure to become an Instagram favourite, and a classic “wings of Barossa” sculpture for another photo opp too.

Get the Perfect Instagram Photo at Lyndoch Lavender Farm

Lavender farms the world over are seeing a rise in visitors as the pursuit of that perfect Instagram photo increases. The Lyndoch Lavender Farm is no exception.

You can wander out into the lavender fields for that perfect shot, or browse the myriad of products made from the lavender that are for sale.

There is also a cafe on site to taste some of the products such as lavender scones or one of the four different types of lavender ice cream.

If you are interested in the farm, take a $2AUD self-guided tour which includes tastings and tea/coffee or pay $7AUD and have a fully guided tour with a few more extras.

I, unfortunately, didn’t have a chance to test out these tours as a wild summer storm came over just as we arrived and cut the power. I hope to visit this pretty location again on my next visit to the Barossa Valley.

Take a Cooking Class

Maggie Beers is not the only place in the Barossa Valley to offer cooking classes. With all the amazing local produce available, it is no surprise to discover Casa Carboni located in Angaston.

This is an Italian cooking school offering classes from pasta making to a class based on produce picked up at the Barossa Farmer’s Market that weekend to a vegetarian class.

Matteo Carboni hails from the Emilia Romagna region of Italy and studied in Bologna, so has a great foodie pedigree.

If you don’t want to cook, you can taste the food during breakfast or lunch, and on Friday evenings the cooking school turns into a wine bar too.

Not quite a cooking class, but you can learn to make cheese with the Cultured Cheese School. They offer workshops to teach the art of cheese making.

Whether it’s Camembert or Haloumi, you can find a class to suit your tastes. Have a look at which classes are coming up on their website here.

Be Amazed at the Herbig Family Tree

Yes, I am telling you to go and look at a tree, but it’s not the tree itself (although it is a bit unusual!) that is interesting, it’s the story. The red gum itself, located near Springton, is estimated to be somewhere between 300 and 500 years old.

It has split apart at the bottom so much that in the 1850s, Friedrich Herbig moved in to live inside the stump, later bringing his new wife to join him in this strange dwelling.

The first two of their huge clan of sixteen children were born in the hollowed-out tree. They soon ran out of room, and Herbig built a small hut nearby to move his expanding family into.

The tree stands today as a reminder of the hardships faced by the early settlers and their tenacity to overcome the obstacles and thrive.

See the Barossa with a Segway Tour

Take a unique look at some of the Barossa views and vineyard areas at Seppeltsfield Winery by Segway.

These tours are such a fun way to get around, and here you can spend about an hour zooming around, learning about the Barossa and having some scenic photo opportunities you would otherwise not have access to.

Click here to book your Barossa Segway Tour

Explore the Picturesque Towns

While there are only a handful of larger towns in the Barossa Valley – Tanunda, Nuriootpa, Angaston – there are dozens of little towns scattered around.

Many of these smaller towns will have little local businesses that visitors can take advantage of and often a wander down the main street can unearth all sorts of places.

You will find cute little cafes and teashops, antique stores, second-hand bookstores, small museums and galleries and many small producers.

Some of these little towns contain acclaimed restaurants and accommodation too, so look for the hidden gems during your visit. Exploring the towns is a must-do Barossa Valley activity.

Look Out for a Festival or Event

As you are planning your visit to the Barossa, check out if there are any events or festivals during your visit. Often music festivals such as “Day on the Green” or comedy festivals like “Grapes of Mirth” are held in the area.

There are food events such as “A Little More Barossa” which is in August and of course the Barossa Vintage Festival which happens in April.

Look out for Christmas markets in the lead-up to Christmas, and almost every year the SANTOS Tour Down Under (cycling race) has a stage that goes through the Barossa.

Take a Hike in the Kaiserstuhl Conservation Park

Two walking trails in the Kaiserstuhl Conservation Park will allow you to stretch your legs and wear off some of the amazing Barossa Valley food and wine.

The main attraction is the national park’s namesake, Horse Head Rock, which can be seen by taking the Wallowa hike.

As you walk through the scrub, across creeks and along rocky outcrops, look out for the local wildflowers, especially if you visit in spring or early summer as I did. You will also almost certainly see kangaroos on your walk at any time of the year.

Take a Bike Ride Amongst the Vines

There are over 40km of sealed bike trails through the Barossa Valley, from Gawler to Angaston so why not hire a bike (or bring your own!) and enjoy the region at a slower pace?

Throughout the Barossa, there are many bike hire places, ranging from simple bike hire at the Novotel Barossa Valley to E-bikes at Barossa Bike Hire. You can also book your E-Bike in advance here.

There are also three cycle hubs – Gawler, Tanunda & Kapunda – that provide more facilities, such as bike hire, bike repair stations, toilets & showers, picnic facilities, water and wifi, for those perhaps cycling further.

Visit One of the Many Galleries or Museums

There are various museums and galleries scattered all through the Barossa Valley. Here are just a few you may like to visit

  • Barossa Museum – Located in Tanunda, this museum focuses on the history of the area, particularly the German settlement.
  • Greenock Aviation Museum – this is a private collection of aeroplanes and other aviation memorabilia. It also includes a huge collection of model aircraft.
  • Jamfactory at Seppeltsfield – A gallery of many of the local crafts, from glassware to knife-making to millinery to leatherwork.
  • Doddridge Blacksmith Shop and Angaston Museum – Located in Angaston, here you can see demonstrations of the lost art of blacksmithing.
  • The Taste of the Region Interpretive Centre – Located in Kapunda, this display includes three rooms dedicated to the nature in the area, the history, the settlement, and the local Aboriginal people.

Taste Vasse Virgin Olive Oil

Vasse Virgin is located in Seppeltsfield, where you can start by looking at the various olive oils and other olive items produced by them both here and in Western Australia.

Along with other gourmet food products, Vasse Virgin also produces a wide range of natural skincare. During your visit here you can look down below and watch the artisans producing their soap range using traditional techniques.

Also available are various workshops to learn how to make your lip balm, or to learn about perfumes or olive oils.

Admire a Collection of Classic Jaguars

Located in Tanunda, the Carl Lindner Collection of Classic Jaguars is a private collection that has taken over 40 years to amass. Now there are over thirty immaculately restored vehicles on display for the enthusiast to admire.

They are open for self-guided tours on Tuesday and Thursday from 10 am-12 pm, and there is a guided tour on those same days at 2 pm.

Cruise down Seppeltsfield Road

The name “Seppeltsfield” has come up a lot during this list, so you may likely have already ticked this one off. Seppeltsfield Road is a pretty, palm-lined boulevard.

It is often depicted in tourism ads and Instagram shots and is particularly a favourite for those visiting with a drone. Why not stop and check it out at either sunrise or sunset to get some beautiful photos yourself?

Try the Traditional German Sport of Kegel

This could be the answer if you are looking for fun things to do in Barossa Valley or things to do in Tanunda! Kegel is a traditional German game brought to the Barossa by the original European settlers of the area.

It’s a lot like ten-pin bowling, but there are only nine pins and the lane is a lot longer. If you are visiting on a Friday, head down to the kegelbahn at the Tanunda Kegel Club and discover what this game is all about.

Or the Usual Ten Pin Bowling

If the kegelbahn is not open during your visit, Barossa Bowland certainly will be. It is open seven days a week and is a great way to pass a rainy Barossa day.

Not only can you enjoy ten-pin bowling, but you can try your hand at the dinosaur-themed mini-golf course too. This is the perfect Barossa activity if you are travelling with kids.

Bookings are recommended but not required, so plan in advance or just try your luck and see if a lane is available when you visit.

Attend a Rodeo

This is not for everyone, but if you are interested in rodeo, then this is quite possibly the closest place to attend one. See all the excitement in the ring, plus enjoy entertainment, food & drink, and even helicopter rides

The Barossa Rodeo is held in Lyndoch in December each year.

About the Barossa Valley South Australia

The Barossa Valley SA was first given its European name in 1837, just a few months after the first settlers came to Adelaide. It was named by Colonel William Light, who was the person who planned out the city of Adelaide’s grid-like layout surrounded by parklands.

The name “Barossa” is attributed to a spelling mistake. It is believed it should have been Barrosa Valley, in memory of the “Battle of Barrosa” in France which Colonel Light took part in.

The Barossa Valley has a strong German heritage, with many settlers arriving in the area in the 1830s and 40’s as they fled from prosecution in their homeland.

Visitors today can still see many Lutheran churches and schools, and evidence of the history is in the town names. Many of the Barossa Valley wineries carry the names of the German founders too, such as Langmeil Winery.

The German settlers were a tight-knit group and held strongly onto their traditional culture until World War I. So much so that even today there is a German language dialect called Barossa Deutsch.

The best way to get around the Barossa Valley from Adelaide is by car
Click here to compare car rentals across many companies all in one search at RentalCars.com

Where to Stay in Barossa Valley

It’s not possible to cover all the stuff to do in Barossa Valley in a day. If you want to stay even longer to enjoy all the attractions at a leisurely pace, here are some of the places I have stayed at over the years when I have visited – and a few extra special places too.

  • Novotel Barossa Valley – One of the top-rated Barossa Valley hotels, I have stayed here multiple times. It’s a typical 4.5-star hotel with comfortable rooms, good food and fantastic views over the vines
  • Jacobs Creek Retreat – I haven’t stayed here, but I have been to a wedding on the grounds and it is one of the most romantic locations I’ve ever been to. Lovely rooms and a stunning garden. Great for a special weekend away.
  • Discovery Parks Barossa Valley – I’m including this one especially because they have glamping tents! They also have a wide range of other accommodation from cabins to camping sites.
  • The Louise – this B&B is pure five-star luxury with one of the best restaurants in South Australia on site.
  • Vine Inn – located right in the centre of Nuriootpa this budget option has hotel rooms and apartments available
Booking advertisement

Barossa Valley FAQs

What is Barossa Valley famous for?

Barossa Valley is renowned for its world-class wineries and exceptional wine production. It’s like the heart and soul of Australian wine country!

The region is particularly famous for its Shiraz, but you’ll also find outstanding Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Riesling. So, if you’re a wine enthusiast or just love a good drop, Barossa Valley is a paradise waiting to be explored.

Is it worth visiting Barossa Valley?

Is it worth visiting? Without a doubt! The Barossa Valley offers a blend of stunning landscapes, rich history, and, of course, delicious wine.

Beyond the wineries, you can explore charming towns, indulge in gourmet food, and even take a hot air balloon ride over the picturesque vineyards. The Barossa has something for everyone, making it absolutely worth the visit.

What is the main town in the Barossa Valley?

The main town in Barossa Valley is Tanunda. It’s a charming place with a relaxed vibe, great cafes, and some wonderful boutique shops. It’s an excellent base for exploring the surrounding wineries and soaking up the local culture.

While Nuriootpa is slightly larger, it’s more of an administrative centre whereas Tanunda has more facilities, accommodation and food venues that visitors want.

Do you need a car in Barossa Valley?

Having your own car can be incredibly handy. It gives you the freedom to explore the attractions at your own pace.

However, if you’re not keen on driving or prefer a more relaxed approach, there are tour options available that can take you to the key spots, allowing you to enjoy the wine tastings without worrying about driving.

So, it really depends on your preference and how you want to experience this beautiful region.

For more information on Barossa Valley tourism, call into the Visitor Information Centre on the main street of Tanunda.

If you are going to do some Barossa wine tasting, these posts will help
Barossa Valley Wineries You’ve Never Heard Of
Barossa Valley Wine Tours
13 Essential South Australia Wine Experiences

Visiting more great South Australian wine regions? These posts might help
Best Coonawarra Wineries for a Wine-Tasting Weekend
Best McLaren Vale Wine Tours

Best Kangaroo Island Wineries

Don’t forget to come on over and join the Facebook group for more South Australian inspiration and to get all your questions answered. Click here to join now.

Enjoyed Things to Do in the Barossa Not Wine? Please share this post with your friends and pin it for later

Pin Me
Josie sitting cross-legged in a garden
About the author

Josie Kelsh is South Australian, born and bred, living here for her whole life. Travelling all over the world has shown her exactly how amazing South Australia is to live and travel in and she uses her passion to show it to you the way a local sees it.