Just a stone’s throw from Adelaide, the Adelaide Hills is a perfect day trip for a mini escape from the city. With its blossoming foodie scene, quality wineries and picturesque scenery, the hills of Adelaide are certainly an attraction in their own right.
Start your morning with an early walk through Mt Lofty Botanic Gardens, a gorgeous garden located on the eastern slopes of Mount Lofty Ranges overlooking the Piccadilly Valley. Get lost in its countless hectares of woodland full of walking trails which wind around the Gardens’ seven valleys. Spring and autumn are particularly good times to visit, with colourful magnolias, rhododendrons and roses popping up around every corner.
Once you have worked up an appetite, get back on the South Eastern Freeway and head towards Hahndorf, Australia’s oldest surviving German settlement. Although the town has a strong German heritage, it has become increasingly chic with its top notch eateries, wineries and gourmet produce.
My favourite brunch spot is the White House on Main Street. Inspired by the farmhouse bistros of France, the White House is full of rustic charm and provincial style. You couldn’t find a better place to warm your cockles by the cosy woodfire on a cool winter’s morning.For brunch you can expect innovative takes on classics like the ‘farmers breakfast’ – a unique assembly of baked crouton and free range eggs topped with fillet steak. For the sweet tooth, it’s hard to go past the caramel de boulettes (caramel dumplings) filled with blueberry compote and thickened cream.
For a bit of gourmet shopping, call in to Udder Delights Cheese Cellar in Hahndorf. Their handmade range of goat and cows’ milk cheeses are beautifully presented, each with their own authentic flavour. The alfresco area on the terrace is a perfect spot to capture some winter sun while enjoying one of their tapas or cheese baskets with a bottle of wine.
Spend the rest of the day meandering around some of South Australia’s best wineries, famous for their cool climate wines regions. Start at Rockbare on Main Street then drive through the rolling hills of Ravenswood Lane until you find the Lane Vineyard. This is a perfect place to linger a little longer over lunch at their Vineyard Restaurant overlooking the picture perfect views. The outstanding menu is influenced by the very best of regional seasonal produce.
For a wine tasting with a difference try the ChocoVino at Hahndorf Hill Winery -a chocolate and wine matching experience. Here you can learn all you need to know about gourmet chocolate and fine wine in a fun and informative way.
Continue on the wine tour to Golding Winery in the heart of the Lenswood region. Boasting over 50 acres of vines, the property produces Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir and Savagnin varieties. Enjoy one of their sumptuous regional platters in the garden in the summer months or retreat indoors to the cellar door and cosy up to the open fire with a glass of red.
Finish the day at the famous Lobethal Bierhaus, home to an all-grain micro brewery, cellar door and restaurant. The Bierhaus produces an award winning array of hand crafted character beers. You will also have the opportunity to explore the history of beer and find out how it is made. For food you can enjoy sticky pork ribs, porcini infused chicken breast and slow cooked beef cheeks.
If you’re looking for something more formal, try Maximillian’s or the Bridge water Mill.
I hope you enjoy the Adelaide Hills as much as I did.