Roadside America: Long Island Wine Country

While Manhattan has endless offerings for the curious traveler, the honking cabs and incessant chaos of the city can leave you needing a break from your vacation. For a laid-back day trip, head to eastern Long Island and explore their expansive wine country.

Getting There

From Manhattan, you can take a train from Penn Station to Ronkonkoma and then transfer for the train to Mattituck. Just be sure to check the schedule, as the train to Mattituck only runs a few times per day. You can also take the Hampton Jitney on the North Fork Line, with the best stops to get off being Mattituck, Cutchogue and Peconic. The wineries are close together, so you can technically walk from one to the other, although better options would be to take a taxi, bike, tour or car. Renting a car is a smart option as the trail is quite easy to follow, with most of the wineries being on Sound Avenue and Route 25. Your best bet, however, is booking a tour as it will allow you to have a designated driver. Some reputable companies include North Fork Wine Tours, Elegant Wine Tours of L.I., Long Island Wine Tours and North Fork Trolley Co.About The North Fork

Coming from Manhattan, you’ll be immersed in a completely new world as you pass farm stands, corn fields, rustic shops and bakeries that look more like homes than stores. As you can see from this map of Long Island Wine Country, there are numerous wineries, vineyards and farms to choose from. The region offers 3,000 acres of vineyards and over 50 wine producers, with a majority of Long Island’s wineries being on the North Fork. Because of its maritime climate, glacial soils and moderate rainfall during the growing season, the area boasts high-quality wine production, especially when it comes to Chardonnay and Merlot.

Where To Visit

Each winery offers something unique, whether it be the ambiance, offerings or way of producing wine. For a small fee, you’ll be able to sample various varietals and ask questions at each space, and can often tour the vineyard, enjoy live music and partake in onsite events. My personal favorite winery in the region is Pindar, the most popular winery on Long Island and for good reason. Their wines are made sustainably using power from a 156-foot tall wind turbine, and their Winter White, an off-dry blend of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, and Cayuga, is supposedly the most sold wine on Long Island. Other top wineries to visit include:

  • Bedell Cellars– This 30-year-old sustainably farmed estate vineyard and winery is family-owned and housed in a renovated potato barn from 1919. You’ll sample wines from some of the oldest vines in the region on an outdoor tasting pavilion with expansive views of open farmland.
  • Harbes Farm and Vineyard– This place has an extremely friendly staff, and the tasting rooms are housed in two cozy barns, Cherry Barn and Wine Barn. Also on the property is a large farm stand, apple picking, U-Pick pumpkins, a 6-acre corn maze, pedal carts, farm animals, pony rides and more.
  • Vineyard 48– While many vineyards offer live music and relaxing picnic areas, Vineyard 48 is well known for featuring live DJs every Saturday and Sunday. Not only do they have award-winning wines, but it’s also a great place for dancing and a more lively atmosphere.

[Flickr image via jiashiang]

Exploring Western Colorado’s Undiscovered Wine Region

wine While many people know Colorado for its rich beer culture and plethora of breweries across the state, their wine regions have somehow managed to go undetected. The reality is, western Colorado is home to many fertile vineyards, boutique wineries and vino-related events. To help shed some light on the subject, here is a guide to exploring western Colorado’s wine region.

History

Historically, western Colorado was too dry to grow the grapes and fruit necessary to make wine. While the soil was rich and the climate mild, the precipitation was uncertain and the land barren. Then, in 1882, water from the Colorado River was diverted to irrigate orchards and vineyards. Because a reliable water source had been secured, fruits and vegetable crops began to flourish. Although Prohibition in the 1920s halted wine production for a bit, it didn’t stop it forever. Today, there are more 100 wineries, many of which are boutique venues putting an emphasis on quality over quantity.wine Wine Regions

There are two regions in western Colorado that are designated American Viticultural Areas (AVA), The Grand Valley AVA and The West Elks AVA. These areas feature unique geographies and climates that allow for grape growing. The Grand Valley AVA includes Grand Junction and Palisade, residing along the Colorado River. Moreover, the West Elks AVA rests around Paonia and Hotchkiss, along the North Fork of the Gunnison River.

What Makes Western Colorado Wines Unique?

The elevation alone makes western Colorado a unique wine region. The dryness of the area helps vintners to control the water because they’re forced to irrigate. Too much water can actually be detrimental to the fruits, so this gives them a leg up in production. Additionally, the elevation, about 4,700 feet, allows the strong sun to beat on the grapes and fruit, making them more flavorful. And, because the region is new, they barely have to deal with pesticides and diseases many wine regions encounter. The dry and mild climate actually kills many popular crop diseases, so this may never become a problem for the region.

wine Wine Tasting In The Grand Valley AVA

The region makes 70 percent to 80 percent of Colorado’s grapes. They have the longest growing season in the state, thanks to the cooling effect from nearby canyons, and the milding effect from the surrounding Grand Valley. While there are myriad wineries in the area, my top picks include:

Carlson Vineyards– Open since 1988, Carlson Vineyards offers free tastings in a fun environment. While low-key, the staff is extremely knowledgeable about wine and the region. For example, they informed me that wine doesn’t have to have grapes, but can be any fermented fruit, which you can sample with their numerous fruit wines. Make sure to try their cherry wine, described as the original “cherry pie without crust.” They serve it in a small plastic cup with the rim dipped in chocolate. Likewise, their cherry lemonade, which contains Carlson Cherry Wine and frozen lemonade is delicious. If you’re interested in buying a bottle, it’s $12.99 or less.

Colorado Cellars Winery– Open since 1978, Colorado Cellars Winery is the state’s oldest winery and the only one allowed to have Colorado in the name. What’s really nice about tastings at the winery is it’s self-serve, with numerous pull handles to pick and choose from (shown above). They’re also well known for their meads, which are extremely sweet and combine wine and honey. And if you’re hungry for some vino-inspired foods, they sell goodies like garlic riesling mayo, zinfandel orange mustard, merlot chocolate almonds and chardonnay havarti cheese. There are often free samples of these out, as well.

Grande River VineyardsGrand River Vineyards has an extremely charming ambiance, with bottles and knick-knacks set up around an oak room. The winery features numerous wines with quirky labels, for example, their “Havin’ A Cow” features a clothed cow sipping wine and jumping on a pogo stick. Their focus is on French-style wines, using grapes grown from western Colorado. A tasting of three is free, while five will cost $3.50.

terror creek winery Wine Tasting In The West Elks AVA

There are many excellent vineyards and wineries to visit within the West Elks AVA. This is where you’ll find the highest wineries in the northern hemisphere, making the products exceptionally unique. When I visited, my favorites were:

Terror Creek Winery– At 6,400 feet, Terror Creek Winery is the highest estate bottled winery and vineyard in the northern hemisphere. The winemaker, Joan Mathewson, is a woman who studied the craft in Switzerland, and came to Colorado to open her own boutique winery. She makes Alsatian-style wines, featuring a dry riesling, a spicy gewurztraminer, a unique chardonnay vinted without oak, a dry and fruity pinot noir and her own creation, a light red chalet. All grapes used to make wines are from western Colorado. From the tasting room, you’ll be able to look out at the vineyards and West Elk Mountains.

Azura– Another excellent place to stop into is Azura in Paonia, an art gallery and winery combined. The space features contemporary fine art from artists and sailors, Ty and Helen Gillespie. Not only is it beautiful inside, but also outside, as the winery has a relaxing courtyard overlooking the North Fork Valley.

Black Bridge Winery & Orchard Valley Farm Market– Also in Paonia is the Black Bridge Winery & Orchard Valley Farm Market. This place is unique in that it’s a lot more than just a winery. They sell and do tastings of boutique wines, while also being one of western Colorado’s only orchards and vineyards combined. You’ll be able to pick your own produce, while also purchasing homemade jams, honeys, sauces, dried fruits, nuts and meats.

wine Wine Trails

Numerous worthwhile wine trails reside in western Colorado. Some of the best include:

Front Range Wine Trail– This trail contains 24 wineries and tasting rooms from Cañon City, near the Royal Gorge, to Estes Park by Rocky Mountain National Park. You’ll head west on I-70, traversing through Georgetown, Dillon and Winter Park, while sampling wines at high altitude. Additionally, these areas feature opportunities for adventure sports like skiing, snowboarding, rafting and hiking.

Heart Of Colorado Wine Country Trail– Resting between Glenwood Springs’ famous hot springs pool and Fruita’s challenging mountain biking trails, this wine route encompasses both the Grand Valley AVA and the West Elks AVA. Follow I-70 along the Colorado River, from Palisade to the base of the Colorado National Monument, just west of Grand Junction. From there, you’ll be able to drive south on US Highway 50, passing Delta to visit the sweet corn capital of the world, Olathe. Afterwards, you’ll turn east at Delta onto CO Highway 92, veering north on CO Highway 65. Here you’ll find wineries along Surface Creek, on the south slope of Grand Mesa, the largest flattop mountain in the world. You can take the outer loop of the mountain, following the Gunnison River along CO Highway 92 east until you reach Hotchkiss for some tastings, before going to Paonia. The drive is very scenic, and offers many excellent opportunities for the lover of wine and nature.

Four Corners Region– This trail mixes history and scenery with wine. Start at Durango, home to the narrow gauge steam railway, then head west to Cortez and the Four Corners Region near Mesa Verde National Park. You’ll see ancient pottery shards, ancestral puebloan ruins and, of course, vineyards.

wine Upcoming Wine Events In Western Colorado

West Elk Wine Trail (August 4 to 5, 2012)- This event will help you experience wine, food and closeness to the land as you set off to venture the West Elk Wine Trail. The nine participating wineries will feature local food and wine pairings, activities and complimentary vino. Email lisafairbank@gmail.com if interested.

Food, Farm, Film And Wine Festival (August 10 to 12, 2012)- Taking place in Paonia, this event will focus on local foods, wines and films. Click here for more information.

Dinner In The Vineyard At Stone Cottage Cellars (August 18, 2012)- The event begins with barrel tastings with the winemaker at Stone Cottage Cellars, tours of the vineyard and wine making demonstrations. A five-course dinner follows, emphasizing the art of food and wine pairing. Contact info@stonecottagecellars.com if interested.

Colorado Mountain Winefest (September 13 to 16, 2012)- This year will be the event’s 21st anniversary. It is the largest wine festival in Colorado, and will include wine tastings, food, music, art, golf, celebrity chef dinners, demonstrations and winery and vineyard tours. Click here for more information.

Uncorked Wine And Music Festival (September 15, 2012)- Surrounded by the beautiful San Juan Mountains, attendees will listen to live music while sipping wine and sampling delicious local foods. Click here for more information.

Relieve Your Tax Day Stress By Taking Advantage Of These Travel Deals And Events

loews hotels Do you dread Tax Day? While you’ll still have to file your income tax returns, these leaders in hospitality are making April 17 more fun for travelers.

Loews Hotels

This April, Loews Hotels, which features properties across the United States, is collaborating with mixologists Tad Carducci and Paul Tanguay from Tippling Bros. to create a special menu for tax season. The hotel hopes to give guests a break during the stressful time by offering concoctions such as The Tax Audit, with American moonshine, simple syrup, club soda and fresh lemon juice, and The Tax Refund, which includes Woodford Reserve Bourbon, fresh lemon juice, honey syrup and shaken bitters strained over crushed ice with a cherry and orange garnish. The drinks will be available from April 2 to April 30.

Call 1-800-23-LOEWS or click here to book. Laguna Vista Lodge

Located in Eagle Nest, New Mexico, Laguna Vista Lodge immerses visitors in a beautiful mountain setting and allows them to relax in nature. To help relieve some of the stress associated with Tax Day, the hotel is offering a “Tax Day Special,” which allows guests to stay at the lodge for three nights, with April 15 costing only $10.40 plus tax.

Call 1-800-821-2093 or click here to book.

http://www.bnbfinder.com/Virginia/Pearisburg/Bed-and-Breakfast/Listing/19634/Inn_at_RiverbendInn at Riverbend

Inn at Riverbend is a charming bed and breakfast in Pearisburg, Virginia, located near the Appalachian Trail, the New River and Virginia Tech. This Tax Day, the property is offering a “Tax Day Refund” package. Guests who book a room for April 15 and then stay on Sunday and Monday will receive a $75 refund on the spot.

Enter promo code TAX DAY REFUND when making a reservation. Click here to book.

Travaasa Hãna

Located in the town of Hãna on Maui, Hawaii, the Travaasa Hãna is a luxury experiential property set right on Kaihalulu Bay. To help guests relax during the tax month, the hotel is offering special classes, programs and pricing. First, there is their Tax Relief Menu, which includes an array of $15 offerings like a 30-minute personal training session, a one-on-one yoga and nutrition workshop, an extension from a 50-minute massage to an 80-minute massage or a select bottle of wine. Moreover, Travaasa Hãna is featuring a 15-course tasting menu with wine pairing for $150 per person.

Call 855-868-7283 or click here to book.

travaasa austinTravaasa Austin

Travaasa Austin in Austin, Texas, is set near the beautiful Balcones Canyonlands Preserve and tries to get guests active in nature. Just like their sister property above, in honor of Tax Day they will be featuring a $15 experience menu and 15-course tasting menu and wine pairing for $150 per person.

Call 855-868-7283 or click here to book.

Americano Restaurant at Hotel Vitale

Hotel Vitale in San Francisco, California, is a luxury property set right on the water. In honor of Tax Day, their onsite Americano Restaurant will be offering a “Tax Relief Special.” From now until April 15, guests will be able to purchase bottles of wine for half price from Monday through Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. The restaurant is famous for its delicious Italian cuisine, created using locally-sourced ingredients, which can be perfectly paired with their vino offerings.

Call 415-278-3777 or click here to make a reservation.

us grant hotel Grant Grill Lounge at the U.S. Grant Hotel

Located in downtown San Diego, California, the U.S. Grant Hotel has been a luxury property and city icon since 1910. This April 17, their onsite Zagat-winning restaurant, Grant Grill Lounge, is offering a specialty cocktail for only $4.17. To receive the discount, patrons must say the password, “DEDUCTION.” While sipping your libation, nibble on exquisite locally-sourced dishes like Jumbo Diver Scallops, California Sea Bass or Niman Ranch Pork Cheeks.

Call 619-744-2077 or click here to book.

New York Water Taxi

New York Water Taxi provides “entertaining, stimulating, and enlightening ways to see New York City’s dazzling skyline, celebrated bridges and lush waterfront parks while maintaining a community-conscious fleet that honors [New York’s] cherished waterways.” For those who can show proof of filing their taxes on April 15 and 16, they will receive a buy one, get one free ticket for the Statue of Liberty Express. This features a one-hour guided tour to see Lady Liberty as well as all day access to their Hop On Hop Off service.

Tickets can be purchased at either South Street Seaport, Pier 17, or West 44th Street, Pier 84.

flat creek estate Flat Creek Estate

Flat Creek Estate, located in Marble Falls, Texas, is an expansive vineyard and winery that regularly hosts festivals and events. To help people get their mind off Tax Day, the estate is hosting a Tax Day Festival on April 15, from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Guests will get to relax in the country, stroll through beautiful wildflowers and take a complimentary vineyard tour. Furthermore, discounted food and wine will be available, including a glass of wine and flatbread pizza from their wood-fired oven for $15. There will also be $5 glasses of wine and $10 bottles.

Flat Creek Estate is located at 24912 Singleton Bend East. Call 512-267-6310 for more information.

Guide to wine tasting in Thailand

thailand While Thailand isn’t typically thought of as a destination for wine-lovers, there are actually various opportunities in the country to experience vineyards, wineries, and tastings. Whether you want to explore a Thai vineyard on the back of an elephant, try a one-of-a-kind local wine, or have a sommelier guide you through a 10-course wine pairing under a candle jungle waterfall, you can use this guide to help you find the best in vino that Thailand has to offer during your next visit.

Hua Hin Hills Vineyard

Located on a former elephant corral, the fertile sand, slate, and cool ocean breeze make this a prime area for grape-harvesting. Huan Hin Hills Vineyard rests peacefully in a hill and jungle setting, close to the Myanmar border and a convenient stop on the way to the Huay Monkol temple and the Pala U waterfall. In you are staying in downtown Hua Hin, the vineyard operates a daily shuttle that leaves from Market Village at 10:30AM and 3PM (about $9-$10 round-trip).

The vineyard takes up over 560 acres, and produces an array of Monsoon Valley vino varieties, including Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Chenin Blanc, Colombard, Muscat, Tempranillo, and Sangiovese. In fact, Hua Hin Hills is the only vineyard in Thailand to harvest the Sangiovese grape, which has hints of red berries. There are a few different ways visitors can sample the wines. First of all, there is the The Sala Wine Bar & Bistro, which features wine and food pairings as well as educational opportunities to learn more about winemaking. The other option is to sign up for a wine tasting experience, which starts at about $9 to sample 3 wines, and goes to about $41 to try 5 wines and pair them with tapas. Other unique and fun vineyard experiences offered include painting wine bottles, playing Pétanque, or exploring the vineyards via elephant, mountain bike, or jeep.siam winery Siam Winery

Siam Winery, which is affiliated with Hua Hin Hills Vineyards, is the largest winery in South East Asia and has a staff of over 1,000 that includes diverse and knowledgeable people from German winemakers to farmers to oenologists. They operate under a New Latitudes Wine perspective, which is basically a new way of looking at wine. The ideology looks at past beliefs about wine creation and combines them with innovation, new technology, and modern discoveries. Winemaker Kathrin Puff explains, “The New Latitude wines teach the right to be wrong. They turn the wine world up-side down. Whilst most wine books refer to the 30th to the 50th latitude as the wine growing country belt, countries like Thailand and India now prove this to be wrong.”

The winery is located about 45 minutes west of central Bangkok and offers 2-hour tours that include a guided tour of the facility, 3 tastings with cheese and crackers, homemade grape juice, and a souvenir to take home. Tours cost about $16 ($6 if you’re under 20 years of age and cannot drink the wine) and must be booked in advance by emailing winerytour@siamwinery.com.

thailand Floating Vineyards

Also owned by Siam Winery, the floating vineyards are a unique way to experience wine tasting in Thailand. While they’re not actually floating, as you can see in the photo on the right, the 1,000 acres of vineyards are situated on islands along canals. What’s really interesting here is that the vineyard kind of acts as an optical illusion. From an arial point of view, the vineyards actually appear to be bouyant, while a closer look will show what’s really going on. The unique landscape makes for an unusual harvest and production process, which you can learn more about through a visit. Make sure to sample white wine from the Malaga Blanc grapes and red wine from the plum-tasting Pokdum grapes, which are what the vineyard is known for. The vineyards are located about an hour southwest of Bangkok in the Chao Phraya Delta near the the Gulf of Siam.

kao yai PB Valley Khao Yai Winery

The PB Valley Khao Yai Winery produces 600,000 bottles of wine per year and the Founder, Dr. Piya Bhirombhakdi, recently received a South East Asia Wine Pioneer Award for his work in wine culture in Asia. Their vineyard is located in the northeastern part of Thailand, in the hillsides near Khaoyai National Park. The chilly temperatures, surrounding mountains that protect the vines, and little rainfall help make the area perfect for grape cultivation. PB produces three ranges of wine, including the Sawasdee Range, PB Reserve Range, and the Pirom Khao Yai Reserve Range. Visitors can sample these varieties through educational tasting tours of their vineyard and winery. Click here to view the various package options.

thailand The Sarojin

While The Sarojin isn’t a winery or vineyard, it definitely caters to the wine enthusiast. This boutique 5-star resort is located in Khao Lak near Phuket and features many unique opportunities to sample the region’s best wines. For the past 4 years, the resort’s wine cellar, which boasts over 160 old and new world wines, has been given the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence. Sam Bonifant, the Wine Director at The Sarojin, explains, “The old principles of what went with what were really quite limited and thus the challenge is to find what is best for the myriad of flavors which modern cuisine has to offer.” To help guests experience these unique varieties, the resort offers degustation dinners with up to 10 courses each paired with wines by the resident sommelier, Dawid Koegelenberg. What’s really unique about these dinners is that they don’t just take place in an upscale restaurant, but literally anywhere you desire, whether it be under a jungle waterlit illuminated by candles, on a beach with the ocean’s waves creating natural background music, or on your own private island. If you want to expand your wine knowledge, The Sarojin offers wine lectures both privately and as a scheduled weekly activity for a group environment. There are also cooking classes to help you enhance the culinary side of your vino pairings.

[photos via sherrattsam, Siam Winery, Rivard, PB Valley Kao Yai Winery, The Sarojin]

4 off-the-radar destinations in South Australia

harris smokehouse While many people who travel to South Australia visit the popular regions of Adelaide and the nearby Barossa Valley, there are many off-the-radar destinations that are also worth exploring. Whether you love wine tasting, unique restaurants, adventure travel, craft beer, architecture, art, or culture, there is something for everyone to experience through these lesser-traversed regions down south.

Hahndorf

Located about 30 minutes north of Adelaide, Hahndorf offers scenic hillside views as well as a strong German influence through the city’s timber-framed buildings, German restaurants, and German-inspired art galleries. The old-world charm brings you back in time while trendy boutiques and restaurants help to keep the city modern. For wine-enthusiasts, the wineries and cellars of Hahndorf give a great opportunity to sample the region’s cold-climate varieties, which are my personal favorite because of their intense flavors. Make sure to stop at Harris Smokehouse, a fourth-generation family-owned restaurant that serves high-quality smoked fish specialties, like smoked kingfish, hot smoked barramundi, and smoked oysters from Coffin Bay. I would also recommend visiting The White House, an 1858 cottage that features everything from rustic and ethical cuisine like coddled free-range eggs with spinach and pork fennel sausages with asparagus and mushrooms, an impressive wine cellar, live music, and a Secret Garden Cinema on Friday nights in the summer and fall. As a nature and outdoors lover, I also love the country-fresh treats of Beerenberg Farm like chutneys, jams, honeys, oils, and other sauces (try the molasses!), as well as getting to pick your own strawberries.south australia McLaren Vale

While you’ve probably heard of the Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale is also a haven for oenophiles everywhere. Located on the Fleurieu Peninsula about 45 minutes south of Adelaide, McLaren Vale is a beautiful food and wine destination with opportunities for wine, cheese, and craft beer sampling, various tasting trails, farmer’s markets, and even art and coastal activities. The opportunities for oenophiles are endless, with more than 65 cellars and family-owned wineries. If you’re more of a beer person, McLaren Vale Beer gives in-house tastings, including their Vale Ale, which own a gold medal at the International Beer Challenge last summer, as well as serves gastro-pub type food like mushroom pizzas and shucked Coffing Bay oysters. I would also recommend trying one (or all) or the tasting trails to get a variety of experiences, like the Cadenzia Grenache Trail, Wine and Cheese Trails, McLaren Vale Scarce Earth Shiraz Trail, and the McMurtrie Trail. If you only have time to do one thing, my top pick would be a visit to Bella Cosa, as it’s not only a Bed & Breakfast but also a winery, tapas bar, and sculpture park where you can stroll around and enjoy outdoor art. On the weekends, visitors to the area can drive about 2 miles to nearby Willunga and enjoy the Saturday morning farmer’s market. You can also bike to Willunga, as the towns are connected by a cycle path. Once you feel like you’ve eaten and drank enough, enjoy the outdoors by treking through Onkaparinga Gorge, relax on the beach, or go fishing or surfing.

australia Clare valley

While most people wanting to experience south Australia’s wine country opt to visit the Barossa Valley, another option that’s just as beautiful but a bit off the beaten path is Clare Valley. Located about 2 hours north of Adelaide, this is one of the more historical wine regions in South Australia and visitors can experience this through tastings at unique wine cellars. I love this region for its countryside ambiance and the way life here seems simple and organic. While there are many different vineyards and wine cellars in the area, there are a few that stand out from the rest. First there is Sevenhill Cellars, which is the oldest winery in the region and was built by Jesuits in 1851 for the purpose of making sacramental wine. Jesuits actually still work there, and along with tastings in the cellar you can also visit a historical crypt that resides underneath the on-site church. Another winery I really love is Knappstein Winery, mostly because I’m a big craft beer fan and there is a micro brewery in their wine cellar. Moreover, Annie’s Lane is a great stop when checking out the Clare Valley wineries, not only because they have delicious Shiraz but also because they have a free art gallery with works from local artists as well as a complimentary wine museum where you can learn more about vino production through the ages. To sample an array of wineries, I would suggest doing the Rieseling Trail, as Clare Valley is famous for its German Rieselings.

australia Flinders Ranges

While this Outback mountain range is a bit further from Adelaide (about 4-5 hours from the central area), it’s a great way to experience the rugged beauty of South Australia. The experience literally feels like going back in time or a trip to a different world as people live in the bush among wild kangaroos and emus with little signs of civilization and modernization. The landscape of the area is extremely unique, with glowing red rocks, vast desert, jagged mountains, and bright starry skies at night thanks to little light pollution. In the Flingers Ranges National Park you will still find a rich Aboriginal culture as these people have lived in the area for thousands of years. The Aboriginal rock art that you will find is impressive as well as the ancient ruins. Another unique outdoor experience is visiting the Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary , where bird watching, off-roading, and hiking are popular activities. Explore precarious-looking mountain peaks, scenic lookout points, ancient seabeds, radioactive hot springs, and see the endangered Yellow-footed Rock-Wallaby in Bararranna Gorge.