By Melissa Keogh
The winery studded and palm tree lined strip of Seppeltsfield Road has become a visitor destination in its own right.
But behind the cellar door owners and luxury accommodation providers is a dedicated band of community members, helping to drive business and improve tourism experiences.
If it weren’t for the Seppeltsfield Road Business Alliance (SRBA) cycling and walking trails, a visitor information bay, and major fundraising events would cease to exist.
For the past 15 years the association has combined the forces of locals along the popular tourist strip to create better business opportunities and improve public facilities.
SRBA member and Seppeltsfield Vineyard Cottage owner Sharyn Rogers says the group, comprising 30 business owners and 10 community members, fosters collaboration and community spirit.
“Seppeltsfield Road is visually stunning to drive along, and we have found ourselves home to some of the Barossa’s finest food, wine and culture destinations,” she says.
“It’s become an iconic destination in itself within the Barossa.”
Recent SRBA projects include advocating for a 2km walking and cycling trail from Rolf Binder Wines to Tscharke Wines and The Louise.
The trail is the first stage of a 14km trail project from Tanunda to Greenock, winding through vineyards and scrub, giving cyclists an environmental experience.
While the 2km trail was completed as a joint project between Light Regional Council and Primary Industries and Regions SA, the SRBA is currently seeking funding to support the construction of the remaining 12km.
“We have a lot of people who come to see Seppeltsfield Road because it’s an ideal destination,” Sharyn says.
“But it’s quite a narrow, hilly road so we recognised that being a beautiful area a shared (bicycle and walking) path would be ideal.”
The SRBA also initiated the development and construction of a visitor information bay on the eastern end of Seppeltsfield Road.
The group is currently advocating for one to be established at the western end, with the project up for voting in the State Government’s Fund My Neighborhood campaign.
“Visitors entering from the Sturt Highway have no defined welcome point to the Barossa,” Sharyn says.
“It will also serve as a resting and viewing spot for walkers and cyclists travelling along the bike trail and will help enhance the area.”
The SRBA organises various community events throughout the year, including the annual Shakespeare in the Vines at Seppeltsfield Winery each January.
It attracts about 400 people and is the alliance’s biggest annual fundraiser.
The SRBA is made up of paying members including local businesses such as Barossa Coffee Roasters and Maggie Beer’s Farm Shop.
Gnadenfrei St Michael’s Lutheran Church, Barossa Valley Ballooning and Marananga Brass Band are also members, adding diversity to the wining and dining mix.
“Being a part of SRBA allows businesses to collaborate and leverage marketing opportunities,” Sharyn says.
“It’s a very Barossa thing that if we work together it’s better for business and the community.”
Header image: SRBA members celebrate the opening of a $2m roundabout the group lobbied for over a number of years to improve a black spot intersection along the road.
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