It might have been breakfast with the kangaroos that made Barossa Pavilions my favorite place of all the places we stayed in Australia. But more likely, it was the light-up rubber ducky.
We approached Barossa Pavilions in the dark, after a long day of travelling and celebrity spotting. Since it was dark, we couldn’t really get a sense of how amazing the place (and the view) was. But we did get a sense of how great our pavilion was from the moment we walked in.
Barossa Pavilions consist of six separate freestanding little houses, well-spaced apart to guarantee absolute privacy and amazing and unobstructed panoramic views of the Barossa Ranges. They are located on 75 acres of stunning hillside near the town of Lyndoch, which is about an hour-and-a-half northeast of Adelaide.
It’s so private we never saw another person during the three nights we were there. Each pavilion is controlled by a keypad and an access code, so there’s no front desk or check in. The owners text you the access code on the day you arrive and you just drive up and park in front of your pavilion.
The location could not have been better. It never took us longer than 30 minutes to drive to any of the wineries we visited or back at the end of the day.
The pavilions themselves were adorable. They were very modern and minimalist, with a simple open floor plan and wall-to-wall windows running the entire length of the unit. They’re all the same (with some slight decorating differences) and are designed for couples (no kids allowed).
The owners really did think of everything. The well-decorated living room had a selection of DVDs, magazines and even an iPad. The sectional couch was very comfortable and cozy.
Each villa is totally equipped with a modern and well-stocked kitchen with just about everything you could possibly need, including breakfast provisions featuring local foods.
It had cereal, handmade muesli, locally baked wood oven bread, selection of spreads, baked beans, tomatoes, mushrooms, bananas and pancake mix. In the fridge were champagne and orange juice, butter, free range eggs, double smoked bacon, cream and milk, yogurt. Seriously, it was more food than we could finish.
There was also fresh coffee beans for the slightly complicated and oh-so-fancy espresso coffee machine, a selection of fine leaf teas, homemade cookies, chocolate fudge and a very nice small bottle of local port.
The amazing deck ran the length of the pavilion and had a porch swing and a barbecue grill, which we made use of each night, rather than eating out. By this point, we were pretty sick of eating out every meal, and we really liked feeling like locals and going to the butcher, the baker or checking out all the mysterious items at the grocery store.
We’d pick up something each day on our way back to the pavilion, I’d sit on the porch swing, and XFE would get his grill master on. His lamb chops are better than anything at any restaurant anyway. Plus, it gave us the opportunity to enjoy one of the wines from the wineries we had gone to that day.
The front bathroom had a washer/dryer unit as well as a shower and L’Occitaine toiletries, while the back bathroom had a Jacuzzi tub, bubble bath, candles and matches, and even a rubber ducky.
The property was so peaceful, you really felt like no one else was around. We’d walk around in the evenings and look at the bazillions of stars.
And then there were the wild kangaroos.
We saw them two of the three mornings we were there. You’d see a group of them – usually 3-4 — (fun fact: a group of kangaroos is known as a mob) calmly munching away at the dry grass, rooting around with their forepaws. We would try not to startle them and go about our morning, but checking every few minutes to see if they really were there.
They’d eventually get full and look for a bit of shade where they’d collapse on their side before the heat got too much. They’d loll around, scratching their stomachs with their short arms. It was so indescribably awesome.
Between the amazing accommodations and the great kangaroo show, we really did have to pull ourselves away each day. By far one of the best places we’ve ever stayed.
Someone here in the Virginia wine country should really take note and replicate this type of accommodation. There’s way too much of what XFE and I call “Colonial Chintz Chic” in the accommodation choices up here.
And there’s not nearly enough wild kangaroos.