Hay Valley Escape

With the popularity of national parks, it’s a relief to find new camping experiences hosted on private property.

Over the New Year period, we camped at a property in Hay Valley in the Adelaide Hills. The property is part of a hobby farm on the outskirts of Nairne and overlooks surrounding farmland.  

Hay Valley The Landing

Our plan was to undertake a shake down trip in our camper. Somewhere not too far from home, where we could have a play, test the dust sealing, experiment with packing, and try out some of the key features.

On arrival, we setup camp at The Landing with views over the valley. The camper was quickly erected including the tent, awning and ensuite, to add privacy to the hot water shower. The evenings were quite cool, and the diesel heater added that next level of comfort.

Raptor & Tvan at Hay Valley

Like other Station Stays or Hipcamps, the focus is geared to those who like their privacy. You’ll be lucky to see another group during your stay, allowing you to soak up the peace and tranquility without disturbance.

Located on Piney Ridge Road, there are many access points, although we entered from North Road in Nairne, not far from the Green Valley Strawberry Café. The narrow, winding sealed road eventually recedes to an unsealed surface, but it’s well maintained and easy travelling to the property only minutes away.

Owned and managed by Laurise Pretty, choose from two camping spots, the Landing, or the Vineyard View. There are limited facilities, save for a cleared area, a fire ring for use outside of fire restrictions, and potable water, so campers must be fully self-sufficient.

Gated access is provided to the property with only a short drive to the campsite, accessible by conventional vehicle (four-wheel drive not required). A couple of large gums provide plenty of shade for evening drinks without imposing on the camping area.

Laurise and husband Rob Lorefice also own and manage Roam Hire, with a Track Tvan Murranji and Topaz, available for those who want to venture further afield. Book through Camplify.

Howard Vineyard

The Hay Valley property is well located to the surrounding eateries. While the Green Valley Strawberry Café was closed during our visit, it’s worth checking out for their waffles and pancakes. You can also purchase punnets of juicy strawberries direct from the farm.

The Howard Vineyard, also nearby, were very welcoming hosts despite the busy Christmas period. Other places we visited weren’t quite as accommodating. Vineyards can often be a little hoity-toity, but Howard’s seemed to balance casual drinks in the garden, with classy, seated restaurant meals.

Woodside was another area of interest with Melba’s Chocolates, the Chesterfield Whisky Firm, and the Woodside Cheese Wrights located adjacent to each other. The whisky sampling plate and commentary was remarkably interesting! We left with an insight into food pairing of a different kind.

Chesterfield Whisky Firm

The Uraidla Pub was also a surprise, exploring the wine cellar which had been created from an underground water tank. The pub’s internal decoration is best described as eclectic.

We finished off our hills’ itinerary with an early dinner and drinks at the Prancing Pony micro-brewery in Totness.

Despite the calming surroundings of the Hay Valley, we managed to squeeze a lot of activities in by day, exploring the best of our own backyard.

Uraidla Pub wine cellar

If you’re looking for a mid-week or weekend escape in the Adelaide Hills, The Landing at Hay Valley is well worth a visit. Peaceful surroundings, towering gums and views over the valley are just a few of the highlights. And yet it’s still within a cooee of the best of the Adelaide Hills activities.

Bookings can be made through the Hipcamp website and camp fees are from $15 per person per night.