Around harvest time, we are often asked for ideas about where our Rent-A-Row customers can stay. A lot of our citizens like to find somewhere out here to stay overnight and get an early start to their experience the next morning. Others like to participate in sampling our – and the region’s many other fine producers’ – quality alcoholic beverages and want a place nearby to crash overnight. Many even choose to make a weekend of the experience and do a bit of touring around the region. And why not? You’ve already made the drive out here.
With all that in mind, here is a very brief run down of some local accommodation. They were chosen for reasons like proximity to the Shiraz Republic, personal favourites of our staff or for having a point of difference. There is loads more information on each of their own websites and even many more options available on the Heathcote Tourism website.
The Cellars at Heathcote II
The Cellars is the closest place to the Shiraz Republic where you can book a room. Heathcote II’s vineyard is home to The Cellars, located just over the hill from us on the road towards Toolleen. A lot of Rent-A-Rowers and other customers stay at the fancy villas, each having many compliments for their luxurious lodgings.
The villas were constructed with attention paid to the smallest of details. Each one is equipped with its own wine cellar and deck, providing a private view of Mt Camel and its vineyards. The Cellars is priced towards the higher end of the Heathcote spectrum, but is worth it, especially for a more romantic stay for a couple.
Rochester Wine Tavern
The Rochy Wine Tavern is situated 20 or so minutes north of The Shiraz Republic. Mick, a novelist and the owner, offers great accommodation in a beautiful, old rural hotel. The tavern serves pub meals and wood-fired pizzas, craft beer and – of course – boasts a fantastic wine list featuring many of the more northern-sided Heathcote wineries. For local winery tours, the Tavern has a mini-van bookable for groups and driven by Mick. The hotel has free WiFi too!
Did anyone say swimming pool? The Heathcote Inn is a former squash court, renovated into sleek and simple hotel rooms. At its bar beside the pool, the Inn has four craft beers on tap (the only bar in town to serve anything but Carlton), a local wine list and snacks and nibblies. Other features include WiFi, a 24-hour laundromat and a children’s playground.
Cranford Cottage & Mt Ida ecoCabin
At the foot of Mt Ida, just a few minutes north of Heathcote town centre, you will find these modern-rustic self-contained options. Cranford Cottage sleeps up to two couples and has access to a bush golf course of four holes. The ecoCabin sleeps one couple, leaves no carbon footprint, includes a record player, some vinyls and a deck with a great view. The surrounding property has a nice little damn for cooling off in and a small vineyard of its own.
Please note: these two options are closed for February, but are definitely worth considering when you book in for your Rent-A-Row pressing/racking/bottling sessions later in the year.
Notable Mentions and Other Options
The Heathcote Queen Meadow Caravan Park is another option in the centre of town. It has cabin and camping options and, like us, they welcome doggies.
The Heathcote Retreat Motel is part of the Flynn’s Wines empire and offers some sharp, modern units near the centre of town.
As mentioned at the start of the article, these accommodation options are the ones we’ve had personal experience with or offer something different. There are many more options left to be explored, so if you’d like to do your own research head to heathcote.org.au or contact the Heathcote Visitor Centre – (or Google it or whatever!).
This article is the first of a series to be posted in the lead up to the Rent-A-Row vintage of 2018. The series concerns some of the more frequent recommendations we are asked to provide by our citizens about the local accommodation, eateries, amenities and other things to fit into a trip to the Heathcote Wine Region.