Coleraine’s generous main street is certainly reminiscent of a customary Australian country town. And much like a great Australian town, Coleraine is also steeped in history and brimming with discoveries. From a decadent chocolate factory to a classic car collection to incredible natural wonders, Coleraine has so much to offer and we have the insider’s guide to it all.
The heady aroma of sweet and rich chocolate will inhabit your senses when you step into Glenelg Fine Chocolates; Coleraine’s legendary German-style continental chocolate creators. Their truffles and creams are not only ardently handmade but they are also produced using no artificial ingredients. From fresh peppermint sticks to nutty hazelnut crisps to the far-off taste of Turkish delights to the more traditional dark and milk chocolates. Glenelg Fine Chocolates has a chocolate indulgence to satiate the sweetest of tooths.
Looking for something more on the savoury side (with a touch of sweetness if you so desire)? Head to The Catching Pen; purveyors of traditional, homestyle and most importantly, deliciously nourishing food. Their menu abounds with time-honoured delights; runny eggs and crisp bacon, hearty soups, sensational savoury tarts, decadent chocolate brownies, high-rise scones and so much more.
For a traditional pub meal, head to The Coleraine Hotel, The National Hotel or both! These two establishments are all about delivering that infamous Aussie pub hospitality. The meals are big in size, big on flavour and best paired with your favourite pot of ale, making for pub perfection!
Situated on 37 hectares of parkland is The Peter Francis Points Arboretum (aka The Points); a verdant habitat of more than 10,000 recorded plants and Australia’s official Eucalypt Collection (over 500 species of eucalypt genus). With plants flowering throughout the year, the available walks allow for exploration and adulation of Peter Francis’ lifetime of work.
Just north of Coleraine is the Konongwootong Reservoir. The Reservoir was constructed in 1926 as a water source for the town and now serves as a recreational reserve while still fulfilling its functionality. The reservoir lays claim to being a fishing hotspot for Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout and Redfin. It has a picture-perfect backdrop of green fields and towering trees, making it a tranquil fishing haven.
Within easy driving distance from Coleraine are the incredible Wannon and Nigretta Falls; natural waterfalls derived from volcanic after effects. Wannon Falls has a spectacular 30-metre vertical precipice and deep plunge pool, while Nigretta Falls has various channels that cascade into smaller drops and bounces. Both falls are best viewed from the purposefully-built viewing platforms. And although the flow and tributary of the falls are seasonal, exploration of them during the dryer seasons still proves to be a spectacular sight.
The liberal offering of accommodation within and around Coleraine all share one very important aspect; country hospitality. From the fully furnished, cosy and restful Coleraine Homelea to the local feels of the Coleraine Hotel and the National hotel, to the bespoke country lodgings of Black Horse Inn, to the charming B&B of The Little Lodge. They all share the commonality of a community ready to welcome you into their township and award you a serene stay.
Wander down memory lane/road/highway at Coleraine Classic Cars; an original working garage that now houses and showcases restored vintage cars and motorbikes. Chevrolet, Porsche, Holden and many more celebrated car brands are all epitomised in the garage, with the era of 1940s clearly capturing a distinct portion of the collection. Groups and individuals are welcome to view the extensive showcase by appointment.
A meticulously restored railway station forms the historic housing of the Coleraine Tourist Centre. Over 25 years ago the Coleraine Railway station (circa. 1888) was renewed and opened as a Tourist Centre. It is now home to apt tourist information, historical findings, age-old images and local goods/produce (including spectacularly knitted wares handcrafted by volunteers). The centre is open seven days a week.
With all these wonderful offerings, the great Australian town of Coleraine makes for an ideal break in the journey when travelling to/from Coonawarra and Penola, The Limestone Coast. Coleraine will not only capture your attention with its history and natural beauty but it will also capture your heart with its genuine hospitality and country charm.
To learn more about Coleraine and the surrounding Greater Hamilton region, speak to a local on 1800 807 056.