This rural journey takes you from Melbourne to the Goldfields, Spa Country and The Grampians, on to Penola and the Coonawarra wine region, and then through the Murraylands and Adelaide Hills.

The Country Lover's Way introduces the traveler to historic Victorian cities including Ballarat built on the prosperity of the 1850s gold rush. Today Ballarat combines heritage and cafes, a music and arts precinct and botanic gardens.

There are four wine-producing districts in the Goldfields − Ballarat, Bendigo, Heathcote and the Pyrenees and Grampians most offering cellar-door sales.

For relaxing walks the Grampians mountain ranges stretch skyward from the western Victoria's plains. The 167 000-hectare national park is home to almost a third of Victoria's plant species and numerous animals.

Just over the SA border you reach Penola which was first settled around 1840 and has become famous for its association with poets, including Adam Lindsay Gordon, and Mary MacKillop, the first Australian to be beatified. The heritage town is the southern gateway to the Coonawarra wine region.

Coonawarra's rich red soil, pure underground water and a long, cool ripening period are its secrets to creating fine wines. There are more than 20 cellar doors from which to taste and buy throughout the area.

Before reaching Adelaide, spend time enjoying the mighty Murray at Murray Bridge. In total, the town has more than 68 hectares of river reserves. Sturt Reserve is the most popular as it includes picnic facilities and houseboat moorings.

Towards the end of the trip you'll be amazed at the beauty of the Adelaide Hills, potter in towns such as Hahndorf, Australia's oldest surviving German settlement, before driving down to the coast and arriving in Adelaide.

Bloomfield Coast to Coast  |  Country Lovers Way  |  Explorers Highway  |  Great Ocean Road  |  Naturaliste Leeuwin  |  Pacific Coast |  Savannah Way  |  Sydney South Coast  |  Sydney to Melbourne