FOUR of the best day tours to take in SA this autumn

When you head out into South Australia’s regions, it’s important to know that it’s the locals who always have the inside-scoop on the best places to see and things to do.

And when it comes to our region (the Murray River, Lakes and Coorong), Juggle House Experience’s very own ‘Master Juggler’ Kelly is this person.

Of course she COULD just give you a list of the best places to indulge in the most delicious food and wine, where the most picturesque places are to break a sweat or camp for the night, or the greatest Insta-worthy locations – but instead, she personally invites you and your crew to hop onboard the Entertainer (a purpose-built limo bus) and take you there herself.

Kel will proudly plan out your entire day’s itinerary using her local knowledge, knack for understanding her visitors and close connections with our best tourism operators along the Murray River, Lower Lakes and Coorong (and even into the Langhorne Creek Wine Region). So if you’re planning to visit from interstate or over the ditch in New Zealand, choosing Juggle House takes away a huge amount stress!

A group as big as 11 people can be seated comfortably in the luxurious Mercedes Sprinter limousine. Known as ‘The Entertainer‘ – this tour ride is exactly as the name describes – fully-equipped with three music DVD television screens and surround sound (perfect for karaoke), lounge leather seating with plenty of leg (and standing) room, plus a licensed bar! Groups larger than 11 can have access to multiple or larger vehicles so no one gets left behind.

Not only will you be cruising in style with Kel, but you’ll pick up some historical insights and local knowledge along the way, proving that the journey can be just as fun as the destination. Kel is the tour guide who has experienced everything you’re doing for herself (more times than she can count, might we add!). She knows this place intimately and loves sharing it with new visitors. Guaranteed that even if you’re returning on holiday (or are a local) you’ll discover a new experience, or fun fact to share at your next dinner party.

Trust us when we say your face will probably ache from smiling and laughing so much (just wait until she brings out the juggling balls – literally!). Kel’s enthusiasm, charismatic personality and accommodating nature make it feel like you’re speaking with a long-time friend – this is what sets her apart from other strict, stuffy, impersonal tours. She loves the region, and loves meeting new people!

With 15 pre-packaged tours on offer from Juggle House Experiences, here’s a quick look at just four of our favourites you can enjoy throughout the Murray River, Lakes and Coorong.

Tip: some of these packages will be included in the upcoming Great State Experiences Voucher, available from 9am Tuesday, 27 April 2021, so you might be able to get on board a tour with Kel for next-to-no-cost if you manage to snag a voucher or two amongst your group! *Terms and Conditions apply.

1. Get lost in the stars

Did you know, about 80% of the world’s population experiences some form of light pollution? Fortunately, one of the darkest places on earth is hidden away within our Mid Murray district, and Juggle House has two stargazing tours that can take you to one of the tallest cliffs along the Murray to experience it! It’s a photographer, astronomer, nature-lover and science-enthusiast’s dream location.

The River Murray International Dark Sky Reserve stretches out 3,200 square kilometres, and measures at 21.97 on the scale of darkness (22 being the darkest). For some perspective, 200-300 stars are typically seen in urban areas of the Southern Hemisphere, whereas you’re more likely to see 5,000 stars (and a better view of the Milky Way) within the Reserve. Isn’t that remarkable?

The highlights of the Gold Stars Sunset Dinner tour include, dinner at either the Swan Reach Hotel or Bowhill General Store (both generously overlooking the river), a guided tour of the historic Ngaut Ngaut Aboriginal Site, finished by stargazing at either the Big Bend or Walker Flat lookouts.

If you’re stretched for time (or prefer to skip straight to the astronomy part) the Quick Silver Stars tour will take you directly to a viewing area within the Reserve.

We should mention, you don’t have to be a bright spark in astronomy for these tours to be fun. You’ll be accompanied by an astronomer who will have a professional telescope on deck, and will guide you through the multitudes of stars, constellations, planets and galaxies on show.

Oh and don’t forget to bring your camera (and tripod) along to capture some astrophotography! You might even get to try some light painting, with tips Kel has been given by passionate local photographer Dave Hartley.

Note: Both tours operate in line with the dark moon phase (see calendar here for dates) however, the weather is a critical factor on whether the tour go ahead,as telescopes are affected by wind, clouds and rain. 100% money-back guarantees or date transfers are provided if tours need to be cancelled or postponed due to inclement weather.

2. Sip your way through the ‘Creek

Discover the award-winning flavours of our local wine region on the Creek and Antiques Tour, where you’ll take to three of our premier cellar doors, plus a premium restaurant perched in the middle of it all.

There’s no hustle and bustle over here, just the perfect patch of vineyard views, sprawling lawns, delicious share platters, and warm hospitality. We can assure you these spots are pretty Insta-worthy too – so make sure you get snap happy!

As soon as you step foot into Bremerton Wines, you’ll wonder why it took you so long to visit! This beautifully restored stone barn turned cellar door, has recently undergone a huge renovation, now flaunting an extended tasting patio, modern bar area and entry.

While tasting your way through the wine menu, their three varieties of Willson Small Batch gin can’t be ignored. Just wait until you start looking at their menu of regionally inspired grazing boards, pizzas and desserts – that’s when you’ll know you need to come back for another visit.

If you have time, break out the lawn games before you go!

You either know of Lake Breeze from its reputation as one of Australia’s most awarded boutique wineries, its brilliant Handpicked music festival that sells out year-after-year, or its newest endeavour as a full-service wedding venue. It’s not hard to fall in love with this place when just about every seat in the 2-storey building lets you overlook the 130-year-old picturesque vineyard.

Meanwhile at Bleasdale Vineyards, premium wines and history is waiting to be unpacked. Uniquely, you can wander behind-the-scenes and see old red gum vats and the enormous 3.5 tonne lever basket press, which was made from the timber of ancient local trees all the way back in 1892!

After a series of wine flights, we hope you’ve left room for The Winehouse. This eclectic restaurant boasts fresh, seasonal foods in a relaxed tranquil setting. As the name suggests, more wine can be explored here, including four locally made award-winning boutique wine labels, and the Creek’s first craft beer, Meechi Brewing.

By the time you load back onto the Entertainer, that karaoke machine will be looking better than ever! With a variety of catchy hits to keep the fun times rolling, it’s time to break out the best of ABBA, Britney and TLC for a sing-along.

[And whether you’re with Juggle House or not, another great stop to consider is the remarkable structure that is Kimbolton Wines. This cellar door boasts some of the most incredible views of Langhorne Creek from its roof top bar and is extending its wine and food list every time we visit! The surroundings are modern and intriguing with the architecturally designed shipping container building creating a real buzz in the region.]

3. Set out for some exploration

If you want to make the most of your visit to the Murray River, Lakes and Coorong then a day out on one of Juggle House’s adventure tours will demonstrate why our region is a favourite for nature lovers.

The Murray River Highlights Tour delivers an up-close discovery of Australia’s biggest and most-loved waterway on a gentle river cruise alongside the magnificent Big Bend cliffs.

The tour also brings you to the friendliest, down-to-earth locals who farm nearby. The LeBrun family’s Big Bend by Night property, nestled on the banks of the river in Swan Reach is where delightful native animal encounters happen, including spotting kangaroos, emus and wombats; watching a sheep shearing show and sheep races; or even getting up close with their pet emu.

Other highlights include a guided tour of the Ngaut Ngaut Aboriginal Site, and a riverside lunch featuring regional produce.

Did you know you can actually visit the church featured on the Australian $50 note? Book in for the Coorong and Silos Tour and be immersed in the significance of Ngarrindjeri culture with a visit to the Aboriginal town Raukkan, where Lakes Alexandrina and Albert meet and famous Aboriginal inventor David Unaipon was born.

And of course, you can’t leave without trying the famous Coorong Yelloweye Mullet that is supplied to some of the best restaurants across Australia by Tracy and Glen Hill of Coorong Wild Seafood in Meningie. You’ll be taken behind the scenes of their fish processing factory to watch Glen delicately deliver a filleting demonstration, showing the tools and techniques on a freshly caught catch of the day.

There will also be a chance to stop to see the intricate details of the Coonalpyn Silo art (if you get time, stop in and taste the authentic Belgian waffles here too), and a tour of world-leading The Bend Motorsport Park.

4. For the thrill seekers

Speaking of The Bend Motorsport Park, where better to begin the Adrenaline Junkies Tour?

Be prepared – this tour is sure to get the heart thumping and blood pumping.

Your first activity of the day will be karting in some of Australia’s fastest karts. Get your bets on – these things allow you to hook around the 1.1km outdoor karting circuit at maximum speeds of 70km/h.

Afterwards, strap yourself into the passenger seat of a V8 Ford Mustang and hold tight for three laps around the world-class track’s ‘Southern Loop’.

Tip: If you love your cars, you might want to take up the opportunity to upgrade your Hot Lap vehicle to the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup – you’ll be rocketing down the entire 4.95km International Circuit in top speeds.

Before leaving, lunch at the Fuel Restaurant is in order to wind down from the adrenaline-fuelled morning. Although for some, it’ll be a much-needed break before cracking on to the optional add-ons.

If you’re feeling brave, SA Skydiving can take you as high as 9,000, 12,000, or 15,000 feet in the air, where you’ll enjoy the unparalleled views of Lake Alexandrina, the Coorong and Langhorne Creek from above. However, if sticking to ground level is more your thing, there’s also the option to take to the Mighty Murray for a jet ski tour with Freedom Boat Hire.

Helpful extras:

Kel’s willingness to go above and beyond is what makes her memorable. If you’re struggling to find transport for a special occasion or simply to get from ‘A to B’ for an even, she can make it happen! Kel can pick your group up from the Adelaide CBD or airport and transport you to your next riverfront holiday home, motorsport event or houseboat holiday with Unforgettable Houseboats (with a stop for groceries if needed). She can even bring a lighter touch to more corporate occasions and team building days out.

Just have a chat with her about what your needs are, and even if your ideas are out of this world (or you’re not sure where to start) she will be able to tick all the boxes, so you don’t have to juggle a thing!