Barossa Daimler Tours is a small family owned business which was started by my husband, John Baldwin, and me, Libby, in August 1994.
We met by chance in a bank in 1981. John was in the Royal Australian Air Force and I worked as a teller. We had both travelled extensively around Australia and overseas and found we had a lot in common. In 1984, we decided to settlein the beautiful Barossa Valley, near Adelaide and found a quaint 160 year old cottage with an underground wine cellar.
John had a passion for wine and had been a frequent visitor to The Barossa as a young man. Because of this, he had often been called upon, by the RAAF hierachy, to take visiting VIPs on private tours of the Barossa Valley.
In the early days, I picked grapes in The Barossa and Clare Valley vineyards with Charlie Melton of Charles Melton Wines and Dave Powell of Torbreck fame, and John and I have both worked on the bottling line at Charles Cimicky Wines.
After having three beautiful children and spending ten years living in this idyllic setting, we decided to start Barossa Daimler Tours. No-one was looking after visitors to the wine regions, who wanted a private experience, in a luxury vehicle.
We found two very rare and immaculate 1962 Daimler Limousines, which were previously used in royal tours of the sixties. They seated 8 persons each and were perfect for our private tours.
John loves wine, and loves to share his local knowledge with all our guests. He definitely has the 'gift of the gab' (he's a good talker!), knows all the locals, including most winemakers, and was actually described by a visiting Washington Post journalist, Eve Zibart, as 'My encyclopaedia' once she had spent a couple of days touring with him.
Here are images of the Queen's Royal visit to Queensland in 1963, with the Daimler in the background.
Our commitment to quality and John's love affair with wine saw us receive Best Tour Operator in 1996, 2000 and 2002 and were finalists in the inaugural Australian Travel and Tourism Awards in 2004 for Best Innovative Tourism Experience. On that occassion, the winner was the 'Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb' - which was hard to beat. We received a Barossa Service Excellence Award in 2006 and our most recent award was to receive a bronze medal at the South Australian Tourism Awards, held in Adelaide on 4th November 2011.
Over the past 21 years, John has had the pleasure of touring with notable identities such as musicians David Helfgott (Shine), James Morrison, John Schuman, actors Graeme Blundell (Alvin Purple), Myles Pollard (McLeods Daughters), Richard Wilson (One Foot in the Grave), Raul de Molina and in August of 2012, he looked after Tim Wonnacott (Bargain Hunt) for 2 days, at the Strathalbyn Antiques Fair. John has also toured with prominent media publications such as The Washington Post, North American Food and Wine Society, OK! in the UK, The Times, The Guardian, Wunderlust, The Australian, Sydney Morning Herald, Luxury Travel, Canberra Times and FHM to name a few.
Recently, we had the absolute pleasure of meeting Max Radford who was a chauffeur for the British Royal Family during the heady days of the royal tours in the sixties. The local news heard about the meeting and so our cheap running gear Daimler was a big hit on the Channel 7 news that night.
Here is our son Joel, myself (Libby) &Max, who is still driving at 89 years!
Here is John, Max and Tim Noonan during the Channel 7 filming.
Barossa Daimler Tours operate personalised private wine tours of the Adelaide Hills, Barossa Valley, Clare Valley and McLaren Vale
Barossa Daimler Tours
503 Rosedale Road
Aust: 08 85 249047
Intl: +(61) 8 85 249047