Keen to visit a winery but afraid the kids will drive you nuts? Fear not! Australia has just as many family-friendly wineries as it does acclaimed wine regions, it seems. With offerings such as giant jenga, farmyard animals and playgrounds, you are bound to find a place that will keep the little ones entertained while you relax and sip a Pinot nearby.
Scarborough Wines has a giant checkers set and giant Jenga and for $5 you get an accompanying cheese plate with your tasting
Tamburlaine Organic Wines welcomes family members of all sizes (even the furry ones). The grass area and adjoining play area right next to cellar door is just perfect for pre-packed picnics. Kids can join their parents for a seated tasting experience with a selection of tasty snacks, non-alcoholic drinks and colouring pages to keep them entertained.
Elbourne Wines has farmyard animals including Wessex Saddleback pigs, Black Suffolk sheep, a pony, chickens, geese and ducks. The owners also let the kids of guests use their childrens’ play equipment, which includes a large sandpit, cubby house and trampoline, while their parents enjoy a tasting experience (by appointment only)
De Bortoli Wines offers camel rides around the vines every Saturday (weather permitting) to enjoy while parents indulge in a chocolate and wine pairing in the cellar door.
Calais Estate has a kids’ corner in the cellar door where children can play games and do craft activities. It also sells gourmet picnic packs which can be enjoyed on the grounds, which are home to peacocks, geese and other wildlife
Heifer Station, 15 minutes’ drive from the town of Orange, has a petting zoo and a sandpit complete with toy bulldozers for the littlies, as well as a rustic cellar door, housed in an old woolshed, and outdoor tables sure to please parents.
Robert Stein Winery & Vineyard has a collection of vintage bikes at its motorcycle museum that little boys (and their dads!) will love. The family farm surrounding the vineyard also has Angus cattle, Dorper sheep and Berkshire pigs.
The Rivendell Restaurant and Cellar Door has a playground with a sandpit, slippery slide and climbing frame as well as games on the lawn, including totem tennis, football and bocce
Swings & Roundabouts has been recently renovated with a new eco-friendly wooden playground with wine barrels to crawl through, and a cubby house. Families also love the wood-fired Italian pizza
Xanadu Wines has a small shaded playground that you can see from the cellar door, plus a kids’ menu
Gemtree Wines has a playground and lawn area for children to play on, animals they can visit with their parents, and a 1km-long eco-trail, as well as a picnic area with barbecues
Maxwell Wines has a maze where kids can get lost and a picnic area where you can snack on a cheese platter from the cellar door
Woodstock Wines has a wildlife sanctuary with kangaroos, wallabies and long-nosed potoroos
Tallagandra Hill Winery has a playground set for kids
Murrumbateman Winery features a ping pong table, chalkboard tables and colouring books. The dogs who live at the winery also love a good pat
Clonakilla offers colouring books, a basket of toys and outdoor games such as quoits. You can also BYO picnic lunch