Hahndorf offers a slice of German history in the arms of the Adelaide Hills. Here, history meets quaint design in the numerous traditional pubs, eateries, and buildings that line the streets.
The town itself sits pretty in the heart of the Adelaide Hills, just 28 kilometres from the hustle and bustle of Adelaide’s city centre. Before the German settlers came and made it their own, it belonged to native inhabitants and dated back 2400 years to when the Peramangk Aboriginal people named the area Bukartilla, after the nearby swimming hole that flowed into the Onkaparinga River.
When the European settlers arrived in the 1800s, the numbers of Peramangk people declined, and the area started to take on a German look and feel.
There are numerous German settlements that have become important tourist hotspots around Adelaide, and Hahndorf is perhaps the most popular. It was named a state heritage area in 1988, and it boasts a fascinating history that dates back to 1838, when an Australian company director ventured to London to promote colonisation.
During his time in London, he met Pastor Kavel who, at the time, was on a mission to help German Lutherans who were being persecuted by the King of Prussia. He was helping them immigrate to safer places, and the company director persuaded the pastor that South Australia was the perfect place.
Later that year, on the 28th December, a ship carrying around 187 German Lutheran immigrants (which equated to about 38 separate families) docked in Port Adelaide. The ships Danish captain, Dirk Hahn, wanted to help the families he had travelled over with reach their goals of settling down and starting a farming community together, and it was from him that the village got its name.
After negotiating a small segment of land in the Adelaide Hills for the families, the town of Hahndorf was finally beginning to take shape. Over the years, the Lutheran families thrived in their farming roles and brought many German nuances to the area. Soon, more and more German settlements for escaping Lutherans were being set up, and a whole community was created in the lush landscape of the Adelaide Hills.
Today, Hahndorf is not only a popular tourist attraction, but it is also an important part of Australia’s lengthy history. While in the region, you can tuck into traditional German beer and food, wander the streets lined with impressive European architecture, and learn more about the plight of the Lutherans as they escaped Prussia and set up home in the safe arms of the Adelaide Hills.
Hahndorf offers a slice of German history in the arms of the Adelaide Hills. Here, history meets quaint design in the numerous traditional pubs, eateries, and buildings that line the streets.
The vibrant city of Adelaide bursts with cultural colour throughout the year, bringing anyone on Adelaide city tours a roster of fun events, from art exhibitions, to live performances and lively festivals.
Taking place every two years, the Adelaide Film Festival forms an important part of the city’s cultural calendar, bringing the world’s best-loved films from well-known and emerging directors to screens and venues around the city. Held for two weeks during October, the festival will take place between the 5th and 15th of October this year.
During this time, visitors will have the chance to attend exclusive screenings, watch award ceremonies take place, and take part in numerous other cultural happenings that occur around the festival itself.
The festival was set up to celebrate Australian and international screen culture, boasting forums and special events that replicate several themes in the films on show and that give visitors the chance to deep-dive into the film world.
It is now known as one of the most innovative festivals in the country, and is well-known around the world as a spot for hosting exciting new talent that has emerged from the Australia film industry.
When it first began, the Adelaide Film Festival took place in March, just before winter hit. However, since 2013, it has been moved to the month of October to celebrate the arrival of summer and to bring a new cultural event to spring in the city.
Adelaide Film Festival Awards
A large part of the festival is the awards that are handed out to new and emerging directors and locals working in the film industry.
The category for the Best International Feature Film Award is the most anticipated award, celebrating the many achievements of top filmmakers from all across the globe. The festival was the first Australian film festival to offer a juried prize for the best feature film, an accolade that still remains an important part of the celebrations today. For this particular category, the judges look for a distinctive voice in storytelling, bold narratives, creative risk-taking, and generally fabulous films.
If you find yourself exploring Adelaide during the 10-day extravaganza in October, be sure to check out some of the events taking place as part of it. Not only will you get to witness some of Australia’s burgeoning talent, but you’ll also get a taste for the rich cultural landscape that characterises the city.
Haighs Chocolates boasts the title of Australia’s oldest family-run chocolate maker. The company began in Adelaide back in the early 1900s and remains one of the country’s best-loved chocolatiers. Today, visitors can learn all about the chocolate-making process at the stores and pick up delicious treats along the way.
History of Haighs Chocolate
Haighs was started by Alfred E Haigh back in 1915, where it opened on King William Street in Adelaide on the 1st May. Alfred’s experimental chocolate-making technique soon began to get noticed, especially when he released his chocolate-covered fruit centres – a treat that you can still buy at Haighs today.
In 1917, business was absolutely booming, and Alfred realised he needed a bigger location if he was to expand. He went on to buy the family home and a spot of land at Parkside, South Australia. This is now where the Visitor’s Centre is, but it was once a small factory. Five years later, in 1922, he relocated to Beehive Corner, which remains the Adelaide flagship store to this very day.
Today, Haighs boasts 15 stores across Australia, including six in its hometown of Adelaide and six more in Melbourne.
Just outside of Adelaide, you can head to the Visitor’s Centre at Parkside, where you can learn more about the Haighs chocolate-making process. While on a fascinating tour, you can discover more about Alfred’s motivations for starting the chocolate shop and pick up some of the unique techniques that made him a big name in Australia.
While wandering around, you can tuck into some of Haighs’ favourite chocolates and grab a complimentary tea or coffee along the way. The family-run vibe of the factory and stores makes it incredibly welcoming and a firm favourite activity for anyone in Adelaide, Melbourne, or Sydney, where the newest store has just opened.
The Chocolates at Haighs
Haighs continue to use unique cooking processes to make their chocolates distinctive, combining artisan chocolatier skills with the latest manufacturing technology to create different flavours. The vast majority of chocolates made at Haighs are hand-finished, giving them that extra-special artisan touch.
Every year, the chocolatiers at Haighs continue to cook up new, delicious recipes and fine-tune some old favourites along the way. This means there is a constant collection of diverse flavours to try and buy – over 250 varieties, in fact, including hand-dipped truffles and quirkier offerings like chocolate frogs.
Hahndorf, set just outside of Adelaide in the rolling hills, is a unique town that brings a slice of Bavarian life to Australia. Formed after German settlers arrived in the country back in the late 1800s, the town has continued to thrive as a top tourist destination, promising visitors the chance to experience Germany through food, drink, and activities.
The Hahndorf Inn sits less than half an hour outside of Adelaide and is named after the town. The family-owned venue dates back more than 150 years and brings visitors a hearty dose of Bavarian heritage, history, and hospitality. Food and drink served at the inn is both local and imported from suppliers in Bavaria and Austria to provide an authentic backdrop to proceedings.
The Hahndorf and the Holmes Family
The Holmes family own and run the Hahndorf Inn and have been doing so for five generations. German descendants of the family came ashore via the Hermann von Beckrath shop in Port Adelaide back in 1947 with the aim of settling in the Barossa Valley. The five generations that have been a part of the Inn have also owned and run several hotels throughout South Australia.
The Hahndorf Inn Today
Today, the Inn offers visitors a sumptuous selection of traditional German food and beer. Over the years, it has expanded to include the Arcobrau Brauhaus and the Adelaide Hills Wine Centre, giving you the chance to soak up the local vine flavours as well as traditional German beers.
Locals and tourists alike love the warm hospitality at the Inn, and its location just 20-minutes from Adelaide’s Central Business District means it’s within easy reach for anyone exploring the city.
Dishes served at the Hahndorf Inn are particularly memorable thanks to their rich German roots. Expect a menu filled with traditional favourites, like sausages, crispy pork knuckles, and hearty plates of ribs that are all cooked using age-old family recipes from Germany and beyond.
In the warm summer months, visitors can grab a bite to eat al fresco on the outdoor dining area, while open fires keep punters warm and cosy when the weather turns cooler. For smaller members of the family, there is an on-site children’s play area to keep little ones occupied.
Hahndorf’s proud German heritage is evident throughout the town but you don’t even have to leave the hustle and bustle of Adelaide to fully experience it. At the Hahndorf Inn, you have everything you need for a traditional Bavarian experience, including authentic beer and delicious home-cooked food.
Just outside of Adelaide City, the towering peak of Mount Lofty casts a pretty shadow over the rest of the region. As Adelaide’s highest peak, the mountain promises visitors numerous outdoor activities and the chance to experience incredible views from its summit.
At the very top, you can tuck into light refreshments and snacks at The Summit Restaurant, while the rest of the area plays host to adventurous pursuits and fascinating scenery.
Forming the peak of the Mount Lofty Ranges, Mount Lofty Summit attracts more than 350,000 visitors each year. From the top, you can enjoy several walks that weave down to cascading waterfalls, visit the local wildlife park, and step into the Visitor Information Outlet where you can pick up a souvenir or two and learn more about the stunning natural landscape.
Things to do at Mount Lofty Peak
The Mount Lofty Summit Visitor Information Outlet
At the Information Outlet, you can learn more about the flora and fauna of the region, as well as the Aboriginal history from a knowledgeable guide and educational signage. There’s also an on-site gift shop which sells handmade local goods and souvenirs – perfect for picking up a little something to remind you of your time on the mountain.
Perhaps the most popular natural landmark on the mountain, Waterfall Gully is a pretty spot characterised by cascading water. From the peak of the mountain, you can take a leisurely stroll along one of the more popular routes and end up in Waterfall Gully. Here, you can marvel at the natural scenery and spot native wildlife that calls the area home.
For the more advanced walker, you can hop on the Heysen Trail, which takes you through the rugged scenery of the mountain and exposes you to breathtaking views of Adelaide’s city skyline and beyond.
If you’re feeling more adventurous, you can mountain bike along the trails, whizzing past ancient trees and emerging in amazing lookout points where you can catch your breath and soak up the views.
Cleland Wildlife Park
Lofty Mountain is a haven of wildlife, and you can get to know the abundance of native species at the Cleland Wildlife Park. As well as seeing some of Australia’s cutest critters in their natural habitat, you can learn more about their behaviour, breeding habits, and lifestyle.
Mount Lofty Summit is the perfect place to while away a day whilst getting out of the city and exploring the stunning natural beauty of the Adelaide Hills.
Cricket fans visiting Adelaide City won’t want to miss out on a tour of the Adelaide Oval. As the site of numerous test matches and Ashes wins, the cricket ground is full of fascinating sporting history and incredible stories.
Throughout the stadium, you’ll come across plenty of memorabilia that commemorate previous Australian cricket players and their many feats. One such commemoration is the statue of Donald Bradman.
For those of you that aren’t aware of this sporting hero, Sir Donald George Bradman (often dubbed The Don) was a hugely popular Australian cricketer who has since been described as the greatest batsman of all time – no easy feat. His test batting average is thought to be the greatest achievement in any major sport, hence why the bronze statue was erected in his honour at the Oval.
Costing $115,000, the statue was unveiled just outside the cricket ground on February 25th 2002, one year after the cricket legend’s death. It was sculpted by Adelaide artist Robert Hannaford and cast by Mylor Sculpture. Standing at around 2.5 metres high on a 1.5 metre stone plinth, it’s very difficult to miss. The statue itself was unveiled by Governor Marjorie Jackson-Nelson and the Lord Mayor, Mr. Alfred Huang, in front of over 100 guests.
Why Was Donald Bradman so Special?
There are rumours circulating in Australian sporting folklore that, when young, Bradman practised his sport with just a cricket stump and a golf ball. When he joined the Australian cricket team, he quickly rose to fame in just over two years and, right before his 22nd birthday, he managed to set numerous high-scoring records, many of which still stand unbeaten.
Bradman played for Australia for 20 years and consistently set new records on top of his old ones, making him an exceptional player of his time – and all time. He managed to make cricket great again during the Great Depression after taking a hiatus during the Second World War. Right after the enforced stoppage of cricket, Bradman came back captaining an Australian team that were aptly dubbed “The Invincibles” because of their record-breaking, unbeaten tour of England.
Sporting enthusiasts will enjoy soaking up the historic meaning behind the statue, but it is also a chance for non-sports enthusiasts to learn more about the importance of cricket in Australia and how the sport has evolved over the years.
The undeniable appeal of South Australia’s capital city envelopes all who visit. Adelaide is the country’s fifth-largest city and welcomes millions of visitors each year. Being the beautiful coastal city that it is, Adelaide is certainly one of the top tourist destinations in the entire country, not to mention its proximity to one of Australia’s most famous wine regions.
Founded in the early 19th century, the charm of this era still holds true to the city today. There are a number of historical spots around Adelaide, putting on display some of the oldest and most fascinating buildings in the country. Each building tells a story of the 1800’s, and to explore this in such a beautiful setting really does allow you to appreciate this experience. Once you have satisfied your desire to learn more about this city’s past, you can finish your relaxing day with a visit to Barossa Valley. One an hour’s drive away, one of Australia’s oldest and most fruitful wine regions plays host to over 200 cellar doors. You will be treated to premium quality wine from a number of luxurious wineries. Experiencing wine tasting of such delectable flavours that have been perfected over generations explains the 1 million annual visitors to this breathtakingly beautiful region.
The clean, fresh air that encompasses the city of Adelaide is all thanks to the amazing greenery that is spread throughout the city. To leave the concrete behind and lose yourself in natural beauty is easy with a visit to Adelaide’s botanic gardens. Spreading over a total area of 51 hectares, these phenomenal gardens will give you the chance to learn more about a number of different plant species. With separate subdivisions inside the gardens, you will have the chance to explore plantations of medicinal plants, native Australian species and even a wetland that has been designed to irrigate the entire grounds. Having explored the gardens in all their glory, you can then head to the north-west border, where you will find the entrance to the Adelaide Zoo. Established in the late 19th century, this zoo is popular for its focus on education and the fascinating variety of animals. Perfect for the whole family, you will even have the chance to visit the petting zoo with your kids and get up close and personal with kangaroos, quokkas and wallabies.
If beaches are more your style, then the Fleurieu Peninsula is for you! With a number of beachside hot spots to choose from, you’ll be lounging back in the sand and soaking in the warmth of the South Australian sun. Without having to travel out of the city, you will still have access to the Glenelg beach. Glenelg is far more than just a beautiful beach, it has a rich historical significance being South Australia’s oldest mainland European settlement. While the convenience of Glenelg beach’s proximity may entice you, why not travel a little further and experience one of the country’s most fantastic islands. If you really are looking to spoil yourself, you can take a trip to the nearby Kangaroo Island, the gorgeous beaches and clear blue water ensure an unforgettable beach getaway.
Adelaide will cater to your every need, no matter what you’re looking for. With lush wineries and paradisiac islands within driving distance, your visit will be filled with exciting experiences.
In Adelaide City and feeling peckish but not sure what kind of food you fancy? Head straight to Gouger Street, a cultural medley of food and drink from all over the world. Set in the bustling Central Business District of the city, the street was named after the first Colonial Secretary of South Australia, Robert Gouger.
As you wander the vibrant road, you’ll be greeted with a cacophony of foodie delights that will entice all your senses. In some cosy cafes, you can tuck into family-made recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation, while stylish wine bars let you try delicacies alongside tasty tipples from all over the world.
After dinner, Gouger Street is your oyster. With a selection of clubs and cocktail bars to work your way around, there are plenty of hotspots to dance the night away in.
The Restaurants of Gouger Street
Gouger Street is best-known for its abundant selection of Asian restaurants. If you fancy any dish from any cuisines in Asia, this street is your answer. Here, you’ll find high-end international restaurants that serve everything from Thai and Indonesian, to Chinese, Indian, Malaysian and everything in between – you won’t be disappointed.
But it’s not just Asian food that Gouger Street does well. There is also an eclectic selection of restaurants serving food from Italy, France, Argentina, America, and Australia itself. Expect classic dishes from all these destinations, as well as fusion-style concepts and unique recipes. Many of the restaurants along the stretch of road have won awards, showing their dedication to high-end cuisine and their passion for experimenting with flavours.
The Bars and Clubs of Gouger Street
As the night draws on and you fancy moving your feet, you can head to one of the many bars and clubs on Gouger Street. The Loft Oyster & Wine Bar is a good place to start if you want to enjoy a classy night out. The décor is elegant, and the dishes are super cool – plus you can sip on an Espresso Martini like you’ve just stepped out of a Bond film.
Adelaide’s foodie scene is expanding by the day, and Gouger Street is a great place to start your exploration of world cuisine in the city. Try out every cuisine you can think of, or simply wander the street checking out the wild array of destinations you can travel to with a single mouthful.
The village of Bridgewater is set amongst the picturesque Adelaide Hills just 21km to the south-east of Adelaide city. A pretty village, it boasts a certain English charm and is best known for its Petaluma Bridgewater Mill – hence its name. As well as stunning scenery and a historic vibe, the village also produces delicious Petaluma wines and is the home of one of the best restaurants in Southern Australia.
The History of Bridgewater
Before the Europeans arrived on Australian soil, Bridgewater was owned and lived in by the Peramangk and Kaurna Aboriginal people. It was originally known as Cock’s Creek and came to be known as a village in 1840.
In 1859, miller John Dunn built a mill across the creek. It was powered by the waterwheel that still characterises the village today, and it is what gave the village its current name.
The village remains a pleasant escape from the hustle, bustle, and heat of Adelaide’s city centre, and you can explore the beautiful English charm that imbues the opulent houses and European gardens.
Things to Do in Bridgewater
The Bridgewater Mill
No trip to the village of Bridgewater is complete without seeing the historic mill. The original waterwheel remains in place, and you can learn all about how this landmark proved to be such an important part of the area’s history.
St Githa’s Garden
Bridgewater is renowned for its pretty gardens, and St Githa’s Garden is one of the best. Combining a luxury stone cottage and a multi-award winning garden, this one-hectare expanse of beauty is well worth a visit. In the English-inspired garden, you can wander amongst neat manicured lawns, rose gardens, perennials, and mesmerising flower displays, as well as kick back and relax in one of the secluded seating areas.
Stroll Around Bridgewater
There’s no better way to spend an afternoon in Bridgewater than by strolling its quaint streets. Around town, you can check out the abundance of historic buildings, like the Millers Cottage, which dates back to 1860, the General Store from 1877, and the Old Police Station. Wandering around Bridgewater feels like you’ve stepped back in time, while the collection of cute shops, cafes, and restaurants will keep you busy during your visit.
The Adelaide Hills are a great place to explore the historic charm of this part of Australia, and the pretty village of Bridgewater is the perfect starting point.
The Holy Trinity Church sits on the North Terrace in Adelaide City, bringing a historic and impressive architectural slant to the surroundings. The Anglican church is the largest in terms of attendance in the South of Australia, and offers four busy services every Sunday as well as various other meetings throughout the week.
The History of Trinity Church
Trinity Church is different to the majority of other churches in this part of Australia because it still retains elements of the earliest surviving Anglican church building in the South of the country. You can see this particularly in the William IV window that was bought across to Adelaide in 1836.
During its development stage, the church was built in three separate parts. To start with, it was decided that the church would be a prefabricated building from England. However, the building arrived damaged and the idea had to be rethought. Instead, it was agreed that it would be built with stone and in, 1838, Governor Hindmarsh laid the very first foundation stone. The church itself opened later that year and quickly became a landmark. It’s most defining features, a “peaked cap” top tower and the Vulliamy clock made it a unique addition to the newly settled Adelaide city.
In 1844, six years after it was originally built, the church was closed for repairs. During this time, the clock was removed to keep it safe, while the entire body of the church was re-built and re-roofed. It was during this stage of development that the church lost its “peaked cap” before it re-opened again in 1845.
It wasn’t until four decades after it was originally built, in 1878, that there was a new proposal to rebuild when some money was given to the project. Nothing happened, however, until the mid-1880s when the congregation met and completely rebuilt the church to a design that was put forward by famous architect Edward John Woods. His plans included using mellow sandstone, which eventually weathered enough to resemble the original limestone from the first two stages of development.
It was around this time that the name “Holy Trinity” was given to the church.
Today, visitors can marvel at the impressive architecture on the outside, or venture in to explore the rectory and the hall, which was built in 1887 thanks to a donation from a parishioner. The church forms an important part of Adelaide City and remains a stalwart part of the landscape.
Set in the north-west corner of the North Terrace, Adelaide City’s Parliament House is one of the most impressive buildings around – but it came about amongst a bitter debate which took place during the planning and construction stages.
The site’s original design was the brainchild of E.W. Wright and Lloyd Taylor who won a competition that was ran to find a relevant and popular design. Their initial plans featured a Greek Revival theme, with ornate columns, huge towers, and a large central dome, but this design was soon modified by the Government Architect-in-Chief, E.J. Woods, after arguments surrounded the original between 1872 and 1886.
Woods was appointed to supervise the construction by the Marble and Building Company, under the premise that he would use marble from the company for the walls and granite for the base.
It wasn’t until 1889 that the first stage of Parliament House was opened. In 1936, Sir J. Langdon Bonython put forward £100,000 for the development of the second stage which was opened in June 1939. This stage included both the central and eastern sections, though money for the central dome that featured in the original plans ran out so this wasn’t completed in time.
The final version of Parliament House features no less that 10 Corinthian columns (the original plan only featured six), with a set of grand steps that make up the North Terrace façade.
Visiting Parliament House
Parliament House is open to the public, giving visitors the chance to explore one of the city’s most impressive buildings and learn more about the political past, present, and future of the region and Australia as a whole.
You can go into the building whenever parliament is sitting to watch the action unfold, or you can take one of the free tours which are available on non-sitting weekdays at 10am and 2pm. When parliament is sitting, you can also view Question time, which takes place at 2pm and sees the members taking and answering questions about the city and beyond.
Today, Parliament House is a 47-seat House of Assembly, consisting of 24 labor, 21 liberal, and 2 independents.
If you’re keen to get into the heart of Adelaide’s political scene and learn more about the building’s rich and much-debated history, a visit to Parliament House is on the agenda. Not only can you take a free tour of everything that’s on offer, but you can sit in while the members are taking Question Time and having their regular sittings.