State Government supports tourism in McLaren Vale with grant to aid in the refurbishment of Chapel Hills unique Chapel built in 1865.


An art gallery housed in a winery, a gourmet cooking school on Kangaroo Island and a showcase of native Australian birds have all received a funding boost from the Rann Government.

Tourism Minister John Rau says the funding underlines the Rann Government’s ongoing commitment to building a better South Australian tourism future.

“This latest funding is part of the Rann Government’s $2 million annual assistance for tourism operators across the State who are developing new and innovative tourism accommodation, attractions and tours, as well as revitalising and updating existing tourism ventures,” Minister Rau says.

“Tourism is a highly competitive industry and we need to continue development of accommodation, visitor facilities, and attractions that contribute to the overall tourism experience and encourage visitors to stay longer and even plan a return visit.

“The Government’s ongoing tourism infrastructure funding, coupled with our biggest ever domestic marketing campaign, is getting results for South Australian tourism, with the latest statistics showing a 13% increase in expenditure by both overnight domestic visitors and international tourists, compared with a national average which is flat lining.”

“The three latest successful funding applicants demonstrate the diversity and innovation of our tourism industry.”

One of the funding recipients is Raptor Domain, on Kangaroo Island, which delivers the only “Free Flight” Birds of Prey Display in South Australia to more than 30,000 people annually.

With the help of a $30,000 Government grant, Raptor Domain will move into new premises with extensive facilities for visitors, which will allow owners Dave and Leeza Irwin to host scheduled public Birds of Prey displays daily. The public displays are currently only held on weekends.

“As part of its commitment to taking food and wine tourism experiences in the State’s established wine regions to the next level, as outlined in the South Australian Food & Wine Tourism Strategy, the Government is providing $20,000 towards upgrading Chapel Hill Winery’s unique art gallery, which is housed in a 19th century stone church as part of its cellar door.

“Visitors can now taste award-winning Chapel Hill wines and produce, while admiring South Australian contemporary and indigenous art, in a building which overlooks McLaren Vale’s beautiful vineyards and the coast beyond.

“The Government is also providing $20,000 to Kangaroo Island Source, a company established by Kate Sumner, which aims to connect people with the land through gourmet food experiences and personalised catering using all local ingredients.

“With assistance from the Government, the Source is upgrading a kitchen overlooking a working farm, where the company can provide cooking lessons and demonstrations, as well as special dinners hosted by local producers and guest chefs.”

Raptor Domain Raptor Domain, on Kangaroo Island, is owned and operated by Dave and Leeza Irwin, who produce the only “Free Flight” Birds of Prey Display in South Australia – arguably Australia’s most interactive Birds of Prey display. Currently, Raptor Domain delivers its show to more than 30,000 people annually, and this number is set to grow, when the scheduled public displays, currently only held on weekends and public holidays, become daily events from the start of August. Leeza and Dave – who is known as the “Eagle Whisperer” for his skill with the birds – aim to give people a rare and unique opportunity to view and experience birds, including eagles, falcons, owls and kookaburras, up close and personal, while creating an understanding and appreciation of them, and their role in the environment. Both Leeza and Dave have a long and successful track record of working with wildlife parks, zoos and sanctuaries to nurse and rehabilitate birds of prey, and Raptor Domain aims to provide the best possible care for orphaned, sick and injured birds of prey, ultimately returning as many recovered birds to the wild as possible. More information:

Kangaroo Island Source The Kangaroo Island Source specialises in promoting local island produce through gourmet catering, manufacturing and food consultation. Situated on a working farm, Kangaroo Island Source is committed to reconnecting the kitchen with the land. The company’s aim is to create a place where people can rediscover the simple pleasures of gathering and cooking with produce — as close to its source as possible. Established by Kate Sumner, the farm-based kitchen overlooks the picturesque town of Penneshaw, on 125 acres of farmland, incorporating an expansive vegetable and herb garden, olive trees, figs and berries. Also in residence are Jersey cows, Suffolk lambs and free range chickens. Offering a wide range of menu options from picnic hampers to weddings, the Kangaroo Island Source caters to individual needs. The company is dedicated to supporting local farmers and producers by using regional produce as much as possible. Services also include private lunches and dinners for 2–20 people which can even include a personalised chef, plus cooking classes and demonstrations showcasing Kangaroo Island’s gourmet food. The Kangaroo Island Source’s range of condiments include curry pastes, meat rubs, chutneys and jams. More information:

Chapel Hill Winery and The Retreat at Chapel Hill The team behind Chapel Hill Winery and The Retreat at Chapel Hill, including CEO Marc Allgrove, are passionate about their product and McLaren Vale, priding themselves on delivering a premium wine, food & art experience for guests, using the best sustainable practices. Chapel Hill crafts a range of premium, award-winning wines, which are available to taste at its unique cellar door. Set within an historic 19th century stone church from which the winery takes its name, the cellar door is situated in the hills overlooking McLaren Vale, offering panoramic views of McLaren Vale, Gulf St Vincent and the Onkaparinga National Park. The cellar door is also a showcase for viticulturalist Rachel Steer’s olive oil & verjuice, along with dukkah, relishes and preserves made by executive chef Rebecca Stubbs at the Chapel Hill Retreat. The Chapel Hill Gallery is housed in the same building as the cellar door, in the original Chapel and barrel hall, and the art on display compliments the cellar door’s wines and fine food. Recent exhibitions have included works by Emma Hack, Ian Abdullah, Mitjilli and Will Nolan, amongst others. The Chapel Hill Retreat, designed to complement its winery, offers premium accommodation for up to 20 people, as well as conference and meeting facilities, plus its famous cooking school for guests. More information: