Adelaide Hills, Nick Rains / Explore Australia Publishing

Population 1806

In the heart of the Adelaide Hills is Hahndorf, Australia's oldest surviving German settlement. Prussian Lutheran refugees fleeing religious persecution in their homelands settled the area in the late 1830s. The town has retained a distinctly Germanic look and many local businesses and attractions are still operated by descendants of the original German pioneers. The surrounding countryside with its rolling hills, historic villages, vineyards, gourmet-produce farms and native bushland is renowned as a tourist destination.

Visitor Information

Adelaide Hills Visitor Information Centre, 68 Mount Barker Rd; (08) 8388 1185 or 1800 353 323


Nearby national parks

Nearby towns

  • Strathalbyn

    This heritage town has some of the most picturesque and historic streetscapes in country South Australia. It has a predominantly Scottish...more

  • Birdwood

    The small town of Birdwood is set picturesquely in the Torrens Valley in the northern part of the popular Adelaide Hills district. The...more

  • McLaren Vale

    McLaren Vale is recognised as a world-class region of vineyards, orchards and gourmet-produce farms. The first grape vines were planted here...more

In Town

Main Street: a mix of historic buildings, German-style bakeries, delis, cafes, restaurants and art and craft shops.

The Cedars: historic paintings, gardens and home of famous landscape artist Hans Heysen; closed Sat; Heysen Rd.

Hahndorf Academy: displays work of local artists in SA's largest regional gallery; Main St.

Clocks and Collectables: housed in a historic butcher shop specialising in cuckoo and grandfather clocks; Mt Barker Rd.

Hahndorf Farm Barn: interactive farm animal shows, with petting and feeding; Mt Barker Rd.

Hillstowe Wines: wine and cheese tastings; Main St.

Hahndorf Hill Winery: boutique cool-climate winery with tastings and the ChocoVino Experience (fine chocolates matched to wines); open weekends; Pains Rd.

Beerenberg Strawberry Farm: balcony viewing of the farm and packing area, jam and condiment sales, and berry-picking Oct–May; Mt Barker Rd.

Historic Hahndorf: obtain A Guide to Historic Hahndorf, which lists 42 historic properties; available from visitor centre.


Cleland Conservation Park This park protects a variety of vegetation, from the stringybark forests in the highlands to the woods and grasses of the lowlands. It also includes panoramic views from the Mount Lofty Summit viewing platform. A highlight is the award-winning Cleland Wildlife Park where many native animals wander freely about. Kids will enjoy the daily animal-feeding shows and the fabulous guided night tours. Bookings (08) 8339 2444. For a rich cultural experience, take the guided Aboriginal tour on the Yurridla Trail where Dreamtime stories come alive. Mount Lofty Summit Rd; 14 km NW.

Belair National Park The oldest national park in SA was declared in 1891. There are plenty of activities, including 5 defined bushwalks ranging from the easy Wood Duck Walk to the more challenging 6.5 km Waterfall Walk, and cycling and horseriding tracks. Visitors can also visit Old Government House, built in 1859 to serve as the governor's summer residence (open Sun and public holidays); (08) 8278 5477; 19 km W.

Mount Barker: a historic town renowned for its gourmet outlets. The SteamRanger tourist train operates from here, including regular trips to Strathalbyn and on to the coastal section from Goolwa to Victor Harbor (this section is known as the Cockle Train; see Goolwa). For SteamRanger information and bookings contact 1300 655 991. Local events include the Highland Gathering and Heritage Festival in Feb; 6 km SE.

Bridgewater: a historic town with excellent gardens and Petaluma's Bridgewater Mill, which has wine-tastings, sales and an up-market restaurant for lunch in a historic flour mill; 6 km W.

Oakbank: craft shops and historic buildings with self-guide heritage-walk brochure available from local businesses. The Oakbank Easter Racing Carnival, held each April, is the Southern Hemisphere's biggest picnic race meeting and brings thousands of visitors to the town each year; 7 km N.

Aldgate: a historic village featuring art and craft shops and historic sites that include the Aldgate Pump and the National Trust–listed Stangate House with its extensive camellia garden; 8 km W.

Stirling: renowned for its European gardens and architecture, including the National Estate–listed Beechworth Heritage Garden (Snows Rd). See colourful parrots in the aviaries at Stirling Parrot Farm (Milan Tce); 10 km W.

Warrawong Sanctuary: large native animal reserve for reintroduced and endangered species, with walking trails and a boardwalk around Platypus Lakes. Guided dawn and evening tours are available; bookings (08) 8370 9197; 10 km SW via Mylor.

Jupiter Creek Goldfields: walking trails with interpretive signs across historic fields discovered in 1852; 12 km SW.

Woodside Heritage Village: includes Melba's Chocolate Factory (with guided tours and sales) as well as craft studios with artisans at work; Woodside; 13 km NE.

Mount Lofty Botanic Gardens: Australia's largest botanic gardens, with walking trails past cool-climate garden species, on the eastern face of Mt Lofty; access via Summit or Piccadilly rds; 14 km NW.

Wittunga Botanic Gardens: native plants; Shepherds Hill Rd; 21 km W at Blackwood.

Eco-friendly activities around town

Morialta Conservation Park 22 km

One of the most stunning parks in the region and located only 10 kilometres north-east of Adelaide, this has waterfalls and deep gorges, woodlands, koalas, echidnas and southern brown bandicoots. The pick of the walks is... Find out more

Aboriginal gallery, Adelaide 22 km

The Australian Aboriginal Cultures Gallery at the South Australian Museum holds the largest collection of Aboriginal artefacts in the world. Some 3000 are on display at any one time.... Find out more

Adelaide Zoo 23 km

With its catchphrase ‘We exist to save animals from extinction’, this is another of Australia’s excellent zoos. Visit the Giant Panda enclosure to see the Wang Wang and Funi. The sea-lion display... Find out more

Swimming with dolphins off Glenelg 28 km

Since 2002, the eco-accredited Temptation Sailing has offered a ‘swim with the dolphins sail’ on a 17-metre catamaran out of Glenelg, in which the bottlenose and common dolphins reputedly come to the vessel... Find out more

Golf courses around town

Glenelg Golf Club 27 km

Glenelg is to Adelaide what Bondi is to Sydney – the city’s most popular beach suburb. The terminus for the City to Bay tram, a Glenelg icon, can be found where Jetty Rd meets the beach, where you will... Find out more

Kooyonga Golf Club 28 km

Kooyonga is a thinking player’s golf course. One of the game’s greatest strategists, Peter Thomson, gave an insight into what is required to play well at Kooyonga after winning the 1972 Australian Open here.... Find out more

Royal Adelaide Golf Club 31 km

In the city of churches, Royal Adelaide is the golfing equivalent of the Vatican. Every visiting golfer should make a pilgrimage to this Dr Alister MacKenzie-designed layout, one of Australia’s top 10 courses,... Find out more

The Grange Golf Club (East Course) 32 km

Vern Morcom was working on the final changes to The Grange’s West course redesign when the club announced plans for a second course. Morcom was asked to design it, on 150 acres of adjoining land, and the East... Find out more

The Grange Golf Club (West Course) 33 km

Melbourne’s sandbelt wasn’t the only region in which golf course construction was booming during the 1920s. Various sites in Adelaide’s western suburbs – Kooyonga in 1922, Glenelg in 1926... Find out more

Cafes & restaurants around town

The Lane Vineyard Bistro & Cellar Door

A hillside perch endows this modern bistro with inspiring vistas of the Onkaparinga Valley. As part of the cellar door for the Lane Vineyard, some of the food offerings here are geared to the restless wine-tasting crowd,... Find out more

Udder Delights Cheese Cellar

Following the winery cellar door model, this is the venue to enjoy a structured tasting of goat and artisan cheeses from this renowned hills producer. But the ‘cellar’ is much more than an outlet store.... Find out more

The Organic Market & Cafe

Packed with fine produce and enthusiastic patrons, there’s always a buzz here. It’s one of the busiest small kitchens in the hills, and every day it turns out a wonderful selection of muffins, platters,... Find out more

Petaluma's Bridgewater Mill Restaurant

A restored bluestone mill, complete with mighty waterwheel, is the unlikely venue for one of Australia’s most awarded regional restaurants. Chef Le Tu Thai orchestrates seasonal menus featuring ethereal creations... Find out more

Nearby eco-friendly places to eat

The Locavore 9 km

The Locavore (‘local eater’) at Stirling in the Adelaide Hills sticks to the ‘100-mile’ philosophy of sourcing food, which in its case includes the Barossa, Adelaide Hills, McLaren Vale and the... Find out more

The Organic Market and Cafe 9 km

This bustling cafe and organic produce outlet in Stirling was the national winner of the best organic retailer award. Something of an institution in the area, it has delicious antipasto platters and great coffee. About... Find out more

Goodlife 28 km

This innovative restaurant and takeaway not only makes carbon-neutral pizzas, but also places an emphasis on sourcing produce that is organic and local. Takeaway pizzas here even come tied up with string.... Find out more

Nearby breweries

Adelaide Hills Craft Brewing 15 km

Located in the former Onkaparinga woollen mill complex at Lobethal in the Adelaide Hills, this brewery/bar is run by Alistair Turnbull and Phil Jones. The pair turned their backs on careers in banking to study brewing in... Find out more

South Australian Brewing Company 25 km

Established in 1888, the South Australian Brewing Company became the state’s dominant beer-maker by steadily acquiring competitors like the Kent Town Brewery, West End Brewery and the Walkerville Co-operative... Find out more

Coopers Brewery 28 km

More than any other Australian brewery, Coopers has grown significant market share over the past two decades on the back of increased demand for alternative beer styles. It was established in 1862 by Yorkshireman Thomas... Find out more

Brewboys 28 km

One of the country’s newest craft beermaking enterprises, Brewboys is a partnership between Stephen Nelsen and Simon Sellick, who also operate the contract brewing company Fresh Cellars. At present they utilise a... Find out more

Campsites around town

Rocky Creek Hut camping area 15 km

On the Heysen Trail, this camping area next to a cottage is on Razor Back Rd, 7 km north-west of Meadows. The stone cottage has a wood heater, sink, rainwater tank and sleeping platforms for 8. There is a short walk from... Find out more

Belair Park Caravan Park 16 km

Just off Upper Sturt Rd, close to the national park’s main entrance, this well-equipped caravan park has a playground and pool. Book ahead during peak holiday times, and bring a gas/fuel stove.... Find out more

Brownhill Creek Recreation Caravan Park 17 km

At this surprising natural nook just a few minutes south from Adelaide, mighty river red gums flank the creek, part of a major valley catchment. There are picnic areas and trails exploring the valley and beyond. To get... Find out more

Chookarloo camping area 21 km

Creekside camping is permitted just 1.5 km from Kuitpo’s main information centre, 8 km south-west of Meadows on Brookman Rd.... Find out more

Woodcutters Cottage 24 km

This former youth hostel is a 4-room stone cottage with a lounge, kitchen and sleeping room for 12, plus room nearby for tents. It is just 2 km from the information centre on Brookman Rd. Booking is necessary and a... Find out more

Jacks Paddock camping area 25 km

Opposite Kuitpo Hall, with access from Christmas Hill Rd, this paddock campground is 11 km south of Meadows. With a restored barn and horseyards, it’s recommended for group camping. Arrange your booking and permit... Find out more

Mount Crawford camping area (bush camping) 31 km

For self-sufficient walkers there are assorted bush camping options along the Heysen Trail, with walk-in access only, including 2 huts. The information office can provide details. Some have rainwater tanks but bring a... Find out more

Chalks camping area 35 km

This expansive and popular grassed site is set among river gums on Chalks Rd, close to the corner of Warren and Forreston rds, 4 km from the information centre. There’s a short walk from the parking area over... Find out more

Cole Crossing camping area 35 km

Around 17 km north-east of Mt Compass, this peaceful camping area is reached from Cole Crossing Rd, 6 km south of Mt Magnificent Rd. No fires: only gas/fuel stoves are permitted.... Find out more

Caravan parks around town

Brown Hill Creek Tourist Park 17 km

This picturesque owner-operated park is set in the Adelaide foothills, 7 km south-east of the city. Its 120-acre bushland setting offers lots of shade and facilities include a tennis court. A minimum-stay period applies... Find out more

Marion Holiday Park 23 km

This tourist park in the southern suburbs is close to the enormous Marion shopping centre. It has very good amenities, shaded areas and good facilities including a recreation room and a tennis court. It makes a good base... Find out more

Levi Park Caravan Park 23 km

Levi Park is just 5 km from the city and a very good base for exploring central Adelaide. It has shady caravan sites and pleasant grassy tent sites, all located in a magnificent historic garden. The River Torrens flows... Find out more

Brighton Caravan Park and Holiday Village 27 km

Just 17 km from Adelaide city, this tourist park enjoys absolute beach frontage and has a nice, relaxed feel. It is a popular family park and bookings are essential during busy holiday periods. A 2-night minimum-length... Find out more

McLaren Vale Lakeside Caravan Park 32 km

This is a spacious, quality park amid the vineyards of the McLaren Vale region. If you want to experience the great wines from the multitude of cellar-door outlets, you will find the park the best base on this part of... Find out more

Moana Beach Tourist Park 36 km

Only a short distance from the Moana town centre and close to the beach, this park is also not far from Adelaide’s southern suburbs. Bookings are required at Christmas, January, Easter and long weekends. There is a... Find out more

Discovery Holiday Parks - Adelaide Beachfront 36 km

With very good amenities and a wide range of facilities, this quality park is close to Port Adelaide, Football Park and the West Lakes shopping complex, as well as only 10 km from the city centre. It is one of... Find out more

Big 4 Port Willunga Tourist Park 39 km

In a quiet rural location about 4 km from Aldinga, this is a spacious park with well-established shady trees. Bookings are necessary at Christmas, January, Easter and long weekends and a minimum-stay period applies.... Find out more

Mount Compass Caravan Park 41 km

As neat as a pin, this newer caravan park in a rural setting has reached a high standard in its early years. It is a great inland base for exploring the Fleurieu Peninsula. Bookings are required in peak periods.... Find out more

Milang Lakeside Caravan Park 44 km

This neat and shady park on the western shores of Lake Alexandrina is the ideal getaway destination for those wanting to have a few quiet days in a waterside location. Bookings are required during Christmas and Easter... Find out more

Hotels, motels & B&Bs around town

The Manna

Tucked behind a revamped stone cottage in the heart of town, this surprising motel complex is home to 50 stylish units. Despite their historic village locale, the rooms avoid fussiness in favour of sleek, contemporary... Find out more

Adelaide Hills Country Cottages

No fewer than five private retreats grace this 80-hectare estate in the heart of the hills. Choices include Apple Tree Cottage, an English-style country house; the Australiana-themed Gum Cottage; and the Nest, an... Find out more

Hannah’s Cottage

The pastoral splendour here is so grand that visiting this self-contained cottage is like being ushered into one of Sir Hans Heysen’s painterly masterpieces. Majestic gums frame views of rolling paddocks, grazing... Find out more

Mount Lofty House

Perched on Mount Lofty’s summit ridge, this gracious boutique hotel enjoys an enviable location. As well as rapturous views across the Piccadilly Valley, it’s close to Cleland Wildlife Park and Mount Lofty... Find out more

Thorngrove Manor Hotel

A fantasy castle brought to life in lavish splendour, this is not so much a boutique hotel as its own baronial world. If your taste runs to turrets, gables and battlements, then the Manor is a dream come true. The... Find out more

Eco-friendly places to stay around town

Clarion Hotel Soho 22 km

Completed at the end of 2008, this five-star boutique hotel was designed with many hidden environmental features, such as water-recycling systems, sustainable building materials and airflow and passive cooling to reduce... Find out more

What's on around town

Heysen Festival: major 10-day event celebrating the life of Hans Heysen, with the Heysen Art Prize, food, wine and entertainment; Sept–Oct.

Oktoberfest: Oct.

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