Adelaide Hills is known for its picturesque villages, boutique wineries, rich farmland and panoramic views of Adelaide. The villages of the Adelaide Hills hold a certain quaintness, no doubt because of their creators – German Lutherins who flocked to South Australia to escape religious persecution in the late 1830s. These settlers were to establish distinctly German villages at Klemzig, Glen Osmond, Lobethal, Blumberg (now Birdwood) and most famously Hahndorf. This pretty place is always abuzz with tourists and locals who eagerly soak up the town’s olde worlde atmosphere as they sample its wares.
Blumberg is one of the many examples of towns which changed their names as a result of intense anti-German feeling during World War I. It was renamed Birdwood after Sir William Birdwood who commanded the Anzacs at Gallipoli and the Fifth British Army in France. Its main attraction is the National Motor Museum housed in the old Blumberg flour mill. Neighbouring Goomerachi has placed itself on the Adelaide Hills tourist trail by building a giant rocking horse for visitors to climb or gaze at.
The village of Lobethal hosts a stunning display of Christmas lights each December. Mt Mount Lofty Summit lookout in Cleland Conservation Park near Mt. Lofty Botanic Gardens at the mountain’s summit has extensive views of the city.
Location: some 30 minutes drive east of the city of Adelaide. How to get there: by car, numerous roads lead to the Adelaide Hills, such as North East Rd via Tee Tree Gully, South-Eastern Freeway via Mt Osmond and Greenhill Rd via Burnside. The Adelaide Hills is serviced daily by coach tours.
Gumeracha is an orderly little town in the upper reaches of the Torrens valley. The name comes from a waterhole known to the Aborigines. It was first settled by the Randell family, who were also closely involved with establishing the Murray River trade. Gumeracha is a rich centre for vineyards, olive groves, orchards and farmland.
Birdwood, a Torrens valley farming town, was known as Blumberg until 1918 and was home to many German migrants. In 1918 many South Australian placenames were changed in response to the tensions of war. Many years ago someone hit on the idea of converting the old flour mill into a museum, including the National Motor Museum. The town has since flourished.
Aldgate, is a charming village with historic buildings and leafy trees and gardens lining one side of the main road. The trees give a spectacular colourful display in autumn and provide a backdrop of green in summer. Walking trails around leafy streets and parks are of interest.
Bridgewater is known for the landmark Bridgewater Mill, and includes a hotel, shopping centre and assorted shops and supermarket. The area is leafy with stately European trees and gum trees and is a popular Adelaide Hills residential area. The town’s beautiful old mill today houses a restaurant and cellar door for Petaluma Wines.
Macclesfield is an historic township nestled alongside the Angus River in the Adelaide Hills south of Hahndorf, between Echunga, Meadows and Strathalbyn. Macclesfield is well known for its beautiful 19th century architecture. Many buildings were constructed of locally hewn pink marble the stone is still in demand today.
Meadows, well known for its magnificent countryside, is central to a rich diary industry. Forestry in another agricultural pursuit. Famous Antatctic explorer Douglas Mawson was a resident at one time, spending his days at Harewood, a 1200 acre property near Meadows.. The main street is named in his honour.
An historic German village in the heart of the Adelaide Hills. The town is the centre of orchards which grow stone fruits, grapes, apples and pears as well as market gardens and dairy and beef farms. The iconic Lutheran Church Complex is the obvious starting point for any exploration of Lobethal.
If ever a town was a victim of its own success, Hahndorf must surely be it. Locals and tourists alike have flocked to this little settlement which originated with Prussian settlers in 1839. What makes it such an attraction? A combinstion of its German heritage, unique architecture, its inherently pleasant setting and plethora of interesting eatieries, shops and services.
Littlehampton is a small hamlet, just 5kms from Mount Barker in the Adelaide Hills, the hub of the hills shopping and business centre. There are a number of dining outlets, retail and other businesses in the main street. The surrounding countryside is fertile and slightly undulating.
This is one of the oldest towns in South Australia, laid out as early as 1839 by a wealthy Scottish lawyer Matthew Smillie. Nairne was his wife’s maiden name. The Georgian architectural influence is apparent. The town features numerous murals depicting scenes from the story of the town and surrounding region, going all the way back to the first settlers and founders.
Woodside, like Oakbank, was established by James Johnston, in the 1850s. Again it was named after a place in Scotland. Woodside is deemed by many as the most attractive town along the Onkaparinga valley in the Adelaide Hills. It exudes nineteenth century prosperity, reflected in its many fine homes and public buildings.
Mylor is a small historic centre which has become increasingly popular as one of the Adelaide Hills dormitory suburbs in recent years. Nearby is Warrakilla estate, the 19th-century home of George Woodroffe Goyder, one of the pioneering Surveyors-General of South Australia. The town is home to the famous Warrawong Sanctuary.
Mt Barker is today an outlying suburb of Adelaide, its accessibility greatly enhanced by a modern freeway. Its success as a nineteenth century settlement is evidenced by the many fine Victorian buildings which remain. Until recent times, it has acted as a centre for the rich farm and grazing land in the vicinity since 1840.
Echunga is a small village between Meadows and Hahndorf . The town thrived during the gold rush days and was a staging post where horses were changed on the coach route east. Jupitor Creek Diggings, near Echunga is an important fossicking area and a fascinating heritage site. It was the first proclaimed gold field in South Australia in 1852 and was the State’s most important goldfield.
Although technically considered to be an outer suburb of Adelaide, the locals consider their pretty suburb to be more a part of the Adelaide Hills than the city of adelaide. The Mount Lofty Botanic Garden is nestled in the hills behind Crafers.
This timeless village charms all who visit with its picturesque streets, enviable lifestyle and spirited community. Nestled in Adelaide s clean and green hinterland just minutes from the city, Whether you re interested in its history, plan to shop, eat or explore the village and its lush surrounds, or plan for a big event, you ll find it here.
Norton Summit is located 12km east of Adelaide in the Adelaide Hills, South Australia. The summit was named after Robert Norton who made the first recorded climb in 1836. Norton Summit Road is one of Adelaide s most popular roads for cyclists. Norton Summit is well known for the popular Scenic Hotel, founded in the 1870s.
Oakbank is a comfortable little town on the Onkaparinga. It comes alive every Easter during the Oakbank Picnic Race meeting which is a South Australian if not Australian institution. Oakbank was named after a place in Glasgow by early settler James Johnston. The Johnston family became early brewers in the district.