Are you looking for things to do in the Adelaide Hills? There’s a lot to choose from – fabulous wine, gourmet food, bushwalks, wildlife, art and history. The tree-lined main streets of the English style villages glow with autumn colour and the parks and gardens are the perfect place to relax with a picnic lunch. Put together by Adelaide Hills locals, this guide of the best things to do in the Adelaide Hills has something for foodies, families or couples looking for a romantic weekend getaway.  

Adelaide Hills Wine Region
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One of the best things about the Adelaide Hills is that they are as little as 20 minutes from the city. And despite the short drive, the Adelaide Hills can feel like a world away from metropolitan Adelaide. The easiest way to get to the Adelaide Hils is up the South Eastern Freeway. From the bottom of the freeway, you can be in the popular towns of Stirling, Crafers, Aldgate and Hahndorf in 15 to 20 minutes.
Gorge Road or Norton Summit Road offer alternate routes to northern Adelaide Hills towns like Gumeracha, Birdwood and Lobethal. While they are slower and windier drives, the scenery is great and there are farm gates and cosy cafes to stop at along the way.

Adelaide Hills FAQs

Summer – Daily average temperatures range from 16 to 28 degrees but daytime temperatures in the high 30s are possible. The Hills are always cooler than metropolitan Adelaide. It is a great time to relax at a vine-shaded Adelaide Hills winery.

Spring – Daily average temperatures range from 10 to 23 degrees. This is the perfect time to see newborn wildlife at Cleland Conservation Park or wildflowers on an Adelaide Hils walk.

Winter – Daily average temperatures range from 5 to 12 degrees, and it can be wet and foggy even if the sun is shining in town. Settle in front of an open fire at the Stirling or Crafers Hotel or try some freshly roasted chestnuts at the Stirling markets.

Autumn – Daily average temperatures range from 10 to 20 degrees. Autumn is one of the most popular times to visit the hills as towns and gardens glow with autumn colour. The main streets of Stirling and Hahndorf and the Mt Lofty Botanic Gardens are the best places to see the red, yellow and orange show.

Public transport is a great option for a day trip to the Adelaide Hills. Regular bus services run to popular Adelaide Hills towns like Crafers, Stirling and Aldgate. 

Buses run regularly to the German heritage town of Hahndorf too.

You can also get a bus from Crafers to Cleland Conservation Park.

Autumn is a spectacular time to visit the Adelaide Hills but don’t jump in the car on March 1 and expect to see colour! The foliage fireworks are at their best from mid to late April. If you are planning a trip to a Hills autumn hot spot like Mt Lotfy Botanic Gardens or Stirling, get an early start as it can get very busy later in the day.

The Adelaide Hills is a perfect location for a day trip from Adelaide or a long weekend getaway. There is food, wine, walks, free things to do and lots of family friendly activities. Best of all, the Adelaide Hills are close to the city so easy to get to.

If you are a family looking for things to do in the Adelaide Hills, there are some great playgrounds. Bring lunch or pop into a bakery or café for supplies then let the kids run around while you relax. 

  • Steamroller Park Stirling – Popular playground right by the roundabout as you come off the freeway. Close to cafes and shops. Toilets. Prety spot in autumn. 
  • Bridgewater Mill Playground – Lovely playground between a creek and Bridgewater Mill. There’s a café there and the Bridgewater Inn if you get thirsty. 
  • Johnston Memorial Park Balhannah – Either run the kids ragged on the pretty tree-lined oval or have a go on the playground. The bakery across the road is excellent! 
  • Lobethal Bushland Park on Kenton Valley Road – the first of a couple of fantastic nature playgrounds. Lots of sliding, climbing, swinging fun to be had or walk along one of the bush trails. 
  • Kersbrook Playground – this new playground has lots of open space, a natural timber-look and a long flying fox. Lots of open space to kick or hit a ball too. 

See more family friendly things to in the Adelaide Hills further down. 

On any weekend you’ll see plenty of cyclists riding through the hills but you don’t have to be part of the Lycra army to have fun on two wheels.

Eagle Mountain Bike Park

If you prefer your cycling to be more off road, check out Eagle Mountain Bike Park. Located on the eastern slope of the ranges, there are over 20 kilometres of cross country trails.  You can also try out the purpose built downhill track and a jumps park. There is something for all ability levels. You’ll find the park on Mount Barker Road (the old freeway)

Amy Gillett Bikeway

For an easier ride, or even a walk, a great way to see some hills countryside is the Amy Gillet Bikeway. The 16km one way path runs between the picturesque towns of Oakbank and Mount Torrens. The sealed path, despite being in the hills, never gets beyond a gentle gradient. There are plenty of opportunities along the way for coffee stops. Spring and autumn would be the pick of the seasons for giving it a try.

Day Tours in the Adelaide Hills - Golding Wines

Adelaide Hills Day Tours

There are lots of great day tours to the Adelaide Hils and they are a fantastic option for lots of reasons:

  • Get more from your day trip with experienced guides who have local knowledge
  • Relax and take in more of the beautiful scenery as someone drives you around
  • Don’t worry about missing a turn off or finding somewhere to park
  • Save money on car hire or fuel
  • Safely enjoy product from the local wineries, distilleries and breweries

Day Trip to Mount Lofty

Things to do in the Adelaide Hills - Mount Lofty Summit

Mount Lofty Summit

If you want to begin your visit to the Adelaide Hills on a high note, this is the place to do it. Mount Lofty summit has great views across Adelaide to York Peninsula. You can relax at the Summit Café and have the best seat in Adelaide for the sun set. There is also a visitor centre that has loads of information on the region. Also keep an eye out for koalas, black cockatoos, kangaroos and bandicoots in the area.

At 727m in height you can occasionally get a flake or two of snow on the ground in winter. If you are going to the summit for a sunset, take a jacket because it is quite a bit cooler here than on the Adelaide Plains. If you are any sort of weather watcher, Mt Lofty is a great spot to see southerly cool changes coming towards the city. It is not uncommon to see some fearless photographers set up here to get a lightening shot as storm fronts approach.

Things to do in the Adelaide Hills - Mount Lofty Botanic Gardens
Mount Lofty Botanic Gardens

Mount Lofty Botanic Gardens

These compact, cool climate gardens are beautiful all year round. There are two entry points that take you to either the Upper or Lower Carparks. The Lower Carpark on Piccadilly Road is the more popular option. It provides easy access to the feature lake and the grassed picnic area. The lake walk is one of the best places in the Adelaide Hills to see displays of red, yellow and orange autumn leaves. In early spring, Magnolia Gully is a lovely walk too. 

From the Upper Carpark there are scenic walks down to the lake but getting back to your car can get you puffing. Follow Rhododendron, Fern, South American, Southeast Asian and West Asian Gully walks along creeks and over bridges. The water features, sculptures and range of plants that can grow here make it a spectacular place. There are a couple of toilet blocks, picnic facilities and a pop-up café in the lower carpark. Give yourself a good half day to look around. 

Opens at 8.30am daily. Check closing times which vary on weekneds and across the year.

Things to do in the Adelaide Hills - Wildlife
Things to do in the Adelaide Hills - Wildlife

Cleland Wildlife Park

Cleland Wildlife Park is 5 minutes from the Mount Lofty summit. It is a wonderful place to have a native animal experience. There are a few enclosures, but the park is mostly open range. Red kangaroos, Grey kangaroos and beautiful Kangaroo Island kangaroos graze in the open and most are happy to be hand fed. The yellow footed rock wallaby exhibit is one of our favourites. The highlight of your visit will be spotting the many little potoroos. They are everywhere and are super cute and can be hand fed. The doe-eyed Tamar wallabies are hard to resist too.

There are keeper talks throughout the day. You can also do a range of interactive experiences with wombats, koalas, cockatoos and butterflies (all at extra cost). We did an echidna feeding, it was great fun – you won’t soon forget hand feeding an echidna as it sits on your lap! If you have never seen a koala up close, you’ll see lots here and have a chance to hold one too. The Barking Gecko Cafe has lots of yummy snacks and there is a picnic area too. It is an easy and relaxing place to spend a day. 

The park is open from 9.30am to 5.00pm – last entry 4.30pm. It is closed on Christmas Day and days of catastrophic fire danger. 

Hahndorf Village

Hahndorf Village

Hahndorf is one of the most popular attractions in the Adelaide Hils. The main street is a full-on celebration of the town’s German heritage. From the architecture and art galleries to bakeries and pubs serving pork knuckles, sauerkraut and schnitzels, the place has an unmistakable German flavour.

The main street has every type of shop you can imagine. You’ll see everything from antiques and gourmet food to clothing, craft and giftware. In autumn, see the lovely old buildings framed by rows of trees changing colour. Hahndorf has something for everyone. Doing a lap of the main street will keep you busy for hours!

Beerenberg Strawberry Farm
Things to do in the Adelaide Hills - Beerenberg

Beerenberg Strawberry Farm

Beerenberg Farm is minutes from Hahndorf’s bustling main street and is heaven for strawberry lovers. From November to April, you can go into the strawberry fields and pick delicious, juicy strawberries. It is a fun family activity. In late 2021, Beerenberg opened an impressive expansion to its farm shop. Now, all under one big roof, you have the shop with all its lovely jams, sauces and relishes, two cafes – one for sweet and one for savoury treats, a demo kitchen and the Beerenberg Museum. It is a fantastic foodie hub, their sweet café is awesome!

Beerenberg is open 7 days a week, 9.00am to 5.00pm. It is closed on Christmas Day.

National Motor Museum

National Motor Museum

The Adelaide Hills is not only a destination for food and wine lovers. The pretty town of Birdwood is 60 minutes from Adelaide and home to the National Motor Museum. It has a collection of around 400 vehicles and hosts a range of special exhibitions. There is a significant motoring library and a huge range of motoring memorabilia on display. Petrol heads will love it!

The museum doesn’t just have cars of yesteryear. It also has unique contemporary vehicles you might not see anywhere else in the world. Check out the amazing Bugatti Veyron, one of world’s most expensive cars with a top speed over 400 kph. Regardless of which car make you are loyal to, put aside a good day to explore all that the museum has on offer. It is well worth keeping an eye on their website to keep track of their latest special displays.

The National Motor Museum is open daily 10 -5, closed on Christmas Day.

Have you been on a Mystery Picnic?

Mystery Picnics are the perfect way to combine fun, food and travel. Solve riddles that take you to a series of artisan food shops that provide goodies for your picnic basket. At the end of the day, you finish in the perfect picnic spot to enjoy your food. Picnics are available in the Barossa Valley, Adelaide Hills, McLaren Vale, Glenelg and Adelaide city.

Adelaide Hills Wineries

Adelaide Hills Wine, Beer and Spirits

One of the best things to do in the Adelaide Hills visiting one of the 60 wineries in the region. The hills and valleys not only create the perfect conditions for cool climate wines, but they are also a beautiful backdrop for the cellar doors that have sweeping balconies or airy viewing spaces so you can take in the views. Some of the most popular varieties in the region include Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc. 

    Adelaide Hills Winery Tours

    5 reasons you should do an Adelaide Hills winery tours

    Do want to really enjoy your day in the Adelaide Hills? Going on a guided winery tour is one of the best things to do in the Adelaide Hills. Here’s 5 reasons you should think of leaving the car at home when you head for the hills.

    1. You can drink! Don’t worry about finding a designated driver. You can’t go to a winery and not try the product. Having a chauffeur is the perfect way to do a winery tour.
    2. Get expert advice from a local. With over 60 wineries to choose from, let local guides take you the hottest wineries in the Adelaide Hills.
    3. Relax and enjoy the scenery. The Adelaide Hills are beautiful, but you can’t appreciate them from behind the wheel. With someone else driving you can take in the views.
    4. Get special deals. Tour companies often have deals with local wine makers so if you fall in love with a wine, you might get it at a great price
    5. It is stress free! No finding parks, no getting lost, no turning up when the winery is closed. Leave your day to a guide and just have fun!

    Adelaide Hills Winery Tours

    Adelaide Hills Wineries

    There is no way we could mention all the wineries in the Adelaide Hills – there are just too many! Below are a few of our favourites. They all offer something different from great dining experinces, unique settings and family-friendly atmosphere.

    Things to do in the Adelaide Hills - Wineries
    Barrister’s Block Winery

    Barristers Block Wines

    Location: Woodside
    Open: Mon-Sun 10.30am-5pm
    Cellar Door : Rustic Barn Setting
    Restaurant: Gourmet Pizza
    Light Meals: Grazing Platters
    Family Friendly: Farm Animals, Deers, Birdlife, Large Garden
    Other: Accommodation,Functions

    Things to do in the Adelaide Hills
    Napenthe

    Napenthe

    Location: Balhannah
    Open: Mon-Sun 10am-5pm
    Cellar Door : Rolling Hills Views
    Restaurant: No
    Light Meals: Picnics + Platters
    Family Friendly: No
    Other: New Cellar Door Development

    Adelaide Hills Winery

    K1 by Geoff Hardy

    Location: Kuitpo
    Open: Mon-Sun 11am-5pm
    Cellar Door : Lakehouse + Deck
    Restaurant: No
    Light Meals: Cheese Platters
    Family Friendly: No
    Other: Functions, Weddings

    Cobbs Hill Estate

    Location: Oakbank
    Open: M-Th-F 12-6 + S-S 11-6
    Cellar Door : Homestead
    Restaurant: No
    Light Meals: Picnics & Platters
    Family Friendly: Large Garden
    Other: Guided Walks, Functions & Accommodation

    Mount Lofty Ranges Vineyard

    Location: Lenswood
    Open: Mon-Sun 11am-5pm
    Cellar Door : Views of the Ranges
    Restaurant: 2 or 3 Course Option
    Light Meals: Summer Wine Bar
    Family Friendly: No
    Other: Events & Functions

    Howard Vineyard

    Location: Nairne
    Open: Wed-Sun 10am-5pm
    Cellar Door : Rustic Stone Barn
    Restaurant: Asian-Fusion Menu
    Light Meals: Bar Menu
    Family Friendly: Large Lawn Area
    Other: Accommodation, Live Music & Functions

    Bird in Hand 

    Location: Woodside
    Open: M-F 10-5 + S-S 11-5
    Cellar Door : Closed for Reno
    Restaurant: Seasonal Degustation
    Light Meals: Regional Platters
    Family Friendly: Large Garden
    Other: Live Music, Art Gallery & Sculpture, Private Tasting Room

    Golding Wines

    Location: Lobethal
    Open: Mon-Sun 11am-5pm
    Cellar Door : Old Stone Barn
    Restaurant: Seasonal Produce
    Light Meals: Wood-fired Pizza, Picnic Baskets
    Family Friendly: Children’s menu
    Other: Woven Tasting Net, Wine Safaris, Picnic Experiences

    The Lane Vineyard

    Location: Hahndorf
    Open: Mon-Sun 10am-4pm
    Cellar Door : Modern +  Hills Views
    Restaurant: 5 Course Provenance Lunch, 7 Course Chefs Table
    Light Meals: Harvest Menu, Picnics
    Family Friendly: Picnic Tables
    Other: Golf Tee, Estate Picnics

    Things to do in the Adelaide Hills
    Ambleside Distillers
    Things to do in the Adelaide Hills - Distillery
    Applewood Distillery

    Adelaide Hills Distilleries

    If like distilleries, there are a few to try in the Adelaide Hills. Two of the most popular are Applewood Distillery in Gumeracha and Ambleside Distillers in Hahndorf. At Applewood there are distillery tours and door sales. A highlight of your stop is relaxing at their beautiful cellar door and trying a tasting flight of their gin. Applewood in Hahndorf is also a beautiful place. Relaxing on the deck in the lovely gardens tasting gin isn’t a bad way to spend an afternoon. If you want to take your gin appreciation to another level, you can also a do a gin blending masterclass there.

    Lot 100 in Hay Valley near Nairne is a collective of several artisan food and drink providers. There you’ll find Hills Cider Co and Adelaide Hills Distillery who make the 78 degrees range of gins. There is also a restaurant and craft brewery here so you could really settle in for the day.

    For something on a smaller scale try the Robbers Dog. Located in the old bank at Mount Pleasant, it is a lovely boutique distillery serving gin, vodka and fruit brandy. And if you have never tried a Perry (fermented pear), pop into Paracombe Premium Perry in Paracombe to try their range of Pear spritzers and ciders. 

    Things to do in the Adelaide Hills - Brewery
    Lobethal Bierhaus
    Adelaide Hills Brewery
    Grunthal Brew

    Adelaide Hills Breweries

    Beer drinkers don’t miss out either with several craft breweries around different Adelaide hills towns. At Lot 100 in Hay Valley, alongside the distillers you’ll find Mismatch Brewing who have a range of ales and lagers. At Silver Bark Brewery in Mount Barker, you can try a range of pilsners and ales in their new tap house. Gulf Brewery in the main street of Hahndorf offers stouts, ales and lagers. You can try them under a lovely vine shaded tasting area, the bar or the beer garden.

    The Prancing Pony is just beyond Hahndorf in Totness. Don’t be put off by its uninspiring exterior. Inside, the Beer Shed is warm and welcoming, and you’ll find a great range of craft beers.  Lobethal Bierhaus is one of the most popular brewers in the hills. Their core range of eight beers and seasonal specials have won many awards. There is a restaurant there too along with a nice outdoor area and a homey indoor bar. Grϋnthal Brew in Verdun is also a great spot. Not only is beer brewed on site, but there is also a local wine range, café, cheese shop, large outdoor dining area, room for the kids to run around and lots of parking.

    Adelaide Hills for Foodies

    Adelaide Hills Restaurants, Pubs and Cafes

    Besides wine, the Adelaide Hills is also a fun foodie destination. There is everything from great pub dining to café and fine dining restaurants. As is the case for the winey restaurants, much of the ingredients are sourced from local producers. Here are a few dining options from formal to something more relaxed.

    Adelaide Hills Restaurants

    Mount Lofty House

    Mount Lofty House

    Does dining like a 19th century aristocrat in a  country manor sound appealing? Then look no further than Hardy’s Verandah Restaurant at Mt Lofty House. Boasting one of the most formidable wine cellars in South Australia, the 4 to 7-course degustation menu is the finest in the Adelaide Hils. The beautiful gardens and view across Piccadilly Valley and vineyards all add to the splendour of the occasion.

    Yuki in the Hills

    If you are not a local this fabulous little Japanese restaurant is easy to miss. Yuki in the Hils is at one end of the main street of Aldgate. Sushi and sashimi are on the menu along with a range of gyoza (dumplings) and a tasty selection of salads and mains. Or you can try chef’s set menu. It is a great spot for lunch or dinner if you are looking for somewhere relaxed and tasty to eat.

    Bridgewater Mill

    The Bridgewater Mill

    Bridgewater Mill’s reputation is nothing short of deliciously fantastic. The restaurant is in the old mill building, complete with large waterwheel. The menu has a multicultural flavour and varies with seasonal ingredients. Like much of the food, the wine list also draws from the local area. For less formal dining, you can try the Little Cog Café which overlooks a creek and fun little playground.

    Chingari

    This Indian restaurant in Nairne seems as out of place as Yuki is in Aldgate. But like Yuki in the Hills, Chingari is a tasty surprise. With a focus on north Indian cuisine, Chingari is the perfect spot to warm up on a cold night in the hills. The service is always great, and you will never leave feeling hungry – especially if you try one of the banquets.

    Things to do in the Adelaide Hills
    Uraidla Hotel
    Crafers Hotel
    Crafers Hotel

    Adelaide Hills Pubs

    If you feel at home in a pub, it’s possible you could go to a trip to the Adelaide Hills and never leave. One of the most pub-rich parts of the hills is only 20 minutes from Adelaide. The Stirling Hotel, Crafers Hotel and Bridgewater Inn all have open fireplaces to keep warm in winter, lovely beer gardens for summer and dining rooms. The Aldgate Pump Hotel hasn’t had the upgrades the other three have, but it still has a great beer garden and cosy atmosphere in winter.

    In Hahndorf, you’ll find your pubs have a German flavour. All on Hahndorf’s main street, the Old Hahndorf Mill, The German Arms Hotel (our favourite) and the Hahndorf Inn all have steins of lager, schnitzels and wurst waiting for you. They are great spots for lunch as you explore the main street of Hahndorf.

    A few other pubs of note in the area. The Uraidla Hotel is a ripper.  It has lovely outdoor dining and eating spaces, an onsite brewery and an onsite bakery. The Scenic Hotel in Norton Summitt has amazing views across Adelaide, great meals and live music.

    Hahndorf Cafes
    The Haus Hahndorf
    Things to do in the Adelaide Hills - Cafes
    Lost in a Forest Uraidla

    Adelaide Hills Cafes

    If coffee, relaxed snacks or late breakfasts are your style, check out some these Adelaide Hills Cafes.

    • Organic Market and Café in Stirling – delicious fresh food in a market garden atmosphere
    • Ruby’s Organic Café in Stirling – great vegan, veggie and gluten free food
    • Fred Eatery in Aldgate – fantastic coffee with a country kitchen feel
    • Red Cacao in Stirling – Chocolatier plus a café with a menu that targets your sweet tooth
    • Lost in a Forest in Uraidla – café/restaurant in an old church – great pizzas, drinks menu and vibe
    • Harvest Café in Mylor – hidden gem with an all day breakfast, dog friendly, delicious food and coffee.
    • Miss Perez in Stirling – stylish café bordering on restaurant. Multicultural menu, platters & a good local drinks list
    • The Haus Handorf – Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. Local produce with traditional German dishes and Haus Pizza
    • Patch Kitchen and Garden in Aldgate – top spot serving delicious seasonal local food. All day breakfasts. The building was Stirling’s original post office, now stylishly renovated to honour the buildings historical significance.

    Sticky Rice Cooking School

    The Adelaide Hills is not just about eating great food, you can also cook great food! Sticky Rice Cooking School is tucked away in Stirling. You’d only know it is there by the cars parked out the front – and that is a common sight. At Sticky Rice you can do a four hour cooking class that finishes with a banquet made of the food you just cooked.

    There are classes in a range of cuisines including Thai, Moroccan, Spanish, French, Mexican and Mediterranean. Your Beveridges – beer and wine – are included in the cost of the class. If the day gets a bit long, you can even stay the night in one of their Asian styled luxury villas. Cooking and accommodation are available.

    Adelaide Hills Walks

    Adelaide Hills Walks

    One of the best ways to explore the Adelaide Hills is on foot. There are walking trails in the Adelaide Hills that focus on both the history and natural beaty of the region. On any of the walks through the bush you could spot kangaroos and koalas and hear the squawk of black cockatoos overhead.

    We have featured just a few Adelaide Hils walks below. If you never go anywhere without your hiking boots, also check the walks in the Para Wirra Conservation Park, Morialta Conservation Park and Belar National Park. These parks, scattered along the length of the hills zone offer dozens of great walking options. The Devils Nose walk at Para Wirra and the Second Falls hike at Morialta are a couple of our favourites.

    Things to do in the Adelaide Hills

    Steub Trail

    Location: Mt Lofty Summit
    Length/Time: 7.4km/3 hours return
    Difficulty: Medium
    Start: Cleland Wildlife Park or Mt Lofty Summit
    Description:This walk zigzags through the bush between Mount Lofty and Cleland. Switchbacks mean the slope is never too great. In spring look out for wildflowers. As you approach Cleland, look for koalas in the nature park.

    Pioneer Womens Walk

    Location: Hahndorf
    Length/Time: 22km 1-way/1-2 day
    Difficulty: Medium – Hard
    Start: Hahndorf Academy
    Description: This long walk takes you through picturesque villages, valleys and bushland. It honours the women who used to walk between Hahndorf and Adelaide to sell their goods. Best done as a 2 day walk so you have time to stop at a café or two.

    Things to do in the Adelaide Hills

    Laratinga Wetlands

    Location: Mount Barker
    Length/Time: 2km / 45 minute loop
    Difficulty: Easy
    Start: Bald Hills Road Carpark
    Description: This is a relaxing walk around the wetlands with abundant birdlife. The path is dog, bike and pram friendly. Little bridges and paths between the lagoons let you make the walk as short or long as you like. There is also a nice picnic area.

    Waterfall Gully to Mount Lofty

    Location: Waterfall Gully/Mt Lofty 
    Length/Time: 7.8km / 2-3 hrs return
    Difficulty: Medium – Hard
    Start: Waterfall Gully or Mt Lofty
    Description: This is a very popular walk & it’s no wonder. There are cafés at both ends, waterfalls, great views of the city & wildlife. Steep sections will get you puffing but there are lots of places to stop & take in the views.

    Things to do in the Adelaide Hills

    Woorabinda Lake Walk

    Location: Stirling
    Length/Time:1.5km / 20 min loop
    Difficulty: Easy
    Start: Mable Street Carpark
    Description: This is a fun family friendly walk. Spotting birds, turtles and maybe kangaroos and koalas around this peaceful lake is sure to make the walk longer than the suggested 20 minutes. If you want a longer walk, follow the markers from the lake.

    Aldgate Valley Nature Walk

    Location: Aldgate
    Length/Time: 13.6km/3.5 hrs return
    Difficulty: Medium
    Start: Aldgate Village
    Description: Also known as the Bandicoot Trail, this pretty walk between Aldgate & Mylor takes you along laneways, dirt tracks & quiet roads. Best done as a one-way walk with a ride waiting for you at Mylor. 

    Things to do in the Adelaide Hills - Beerenberg
    Beerenberg Farm © Beerenberg

    Things to do in Adelaide Hills for Families

    The Adelaide Hills is a fantastic place to visit with children or the young at heart. Check out one of Australia’s best ‘big’ things, get into some nature play and explore life on a farm.

    The Big Rocking Horse

    The Big Rocking Horse

    Here is a big thing the kids will enjoy – the Big Rocking Horse. It’s huge! Unfortunately, it doesn’t rock but for a gold coin donation you can climb it and get a certificate to prove you made it to the top. Besides the rocking horse, there is also a wooden toy factory with some lovely ‘old school’ toys in it.

    For another gold coin you can walk through a petting zoo with kangaroos, emus, and farm animals. Bags of feed are available. There is a small café on site too. It is a fun and inexpensive outing that younger children will enjoy. Gumeracha is a scenic 55 minute windy drive through Houghton and Chain of Ponds.

    Warrawong Wildlife

    Warrawong Wildlife 

    For a native animal experience with a difference try Warrawong Wildlife Sanctuary. Warrawong is an open range sanctuary protected against feral animals. As you walk through the park, you can see koalas, kangaroos, wallabies, bettongs and potoroos. The area is also rich in birdlife.
    Warrawong is home to South Australia’s only mainland population of platypuses. If you are quiet, still and lucky, you might spot one. We recommend the guided tours – at dusk if you can. The keepers are expert animal spotters passionate about what they do. There are also a range of animal encounters and keeper tag along experiences.
    Warrawong is in Mylor, 30 minutes from Adelaide.

    Things to do in the Adelaide Hills

    Woodhouse Activity Centre

    Run by Scouts SA, Woodhouse is only 15 minutes from Adelaide and has a bunch of stuff to do. The highlight is Challenge Hill – a 30 piece obstacle course. There is a maze, frisbee golf and some fantastic tube slides. You can buy a day pass to use the activities. Suitable for ages 5 and up, Woodhouse is a great family location for a day trip to the Adelaide Hills. You can also camp the night and explore other attractions in the Adelaide Hills. 

    Hahndorf Farm Barn Rabbits

    Hahndorf Farm Barn

    This is a lovely activity for younger children. They can get up close to a range of different farm and Australian native animals. Located near Hahndorf, the Farm Barn offers a range of interactive experiences. You can milk cows, ride ponies and cuddle bunnies and guinea pigs. The friendly staff also spend time talking about the animals and how a farm works. There are picnic and BBQ facilities which make it easy to explore the Farm Barn at your own pace.

    Melba's Chocolates

    Melba’s Chocolates

    Located in Woodside, Melba’s chocolates are an Adelaide Hills institution. Anyone with a sweet tooth will love doing a bit of shopping here. You’ll likely leave with an armful of chocolates and lollies. You can watch chocolates get made on the premises and, if you look carefully, you might find the odd free sample.
    If you feel like you need to prepare yourself for the kid’s sugar high, right next door to Melbas you’ll find Woodside Cheese Wrights and Chesterfield Whisky Firm.
    Woodside is 40 minutes from Adelaide via Hahndorf

    Monarto Safari Park

    Monarto Safari Park

    While not strictly in the Adelaide Hills, you will  drive through the hills to get there and it is worth the  extra travel time. Monarto is shaping up as one of the most exciting animal parks in Australia. As the name suggests, Monarto Safari Park’s focus is on African animals. It is the largest open plain zoo in the southern hemisphere. If lions, giraffes, rhinos and chimps are your thing you will love it. Monarto is around 60 minutes from Adelaide. It is open 7 days a week, 9.30-5.00pm. Bring comfy shoes and a hat.

    Things to do in the Adelaide Hills - Fruit Picking
    Cherry Picking
    Things to do in the Adelaide Hills - Fruit Picking
    Fig Picking

    Adelaide Hills Farmgate Experiences

    While Beerenberg Farm is the biggest farmgate experience in the Adelaide Hills, there are several other places to pick fruit. 

    Fruit Picking in the Hills

    If you visit the hills in December and January, you can pick some juicy Christmas cherries. Check out Harben Vale Cherries in Balhannah or Marble Hill Cherries in Ashton. It’s a popular pastime so you might need to book a time to pick your fruit.

    If you are a fan of figs, during February and March head to Glen Ewin Estate in Lower Hermitage. Not only are the grounds spectacular, but you’ll also have up to five varieties of figs to pick. As well as the fresh fruit, there is also a restaurant and cellar door. You can try fig gin and a range of other locally produced spirits and wines.

    Finally, if you are visiting in May, you can ‘Pick a Pink Lady’ at Harrisville Orchards in Lenswood. They have plenty of apple related produce for sale too. Keep an eye out as you drive through the hills for roadside apple stalls. The only picking you’ll have to do there is choosing between a fresh apple pie or a delicious apple strudel. Yum!

    Jurlique Farm Tour

    The producer of botanical based skin care range Jurlique are in the Adelaide Hills. If you are a fan of their creams, oils, mists and aromatherapy range, go to Biggs Flat for a Jurlique Farm Tour. The 90 minute experience covers everything from the history of Jurlique to the planting and harvesting of the plants used in their products. If you feel like a bit more pampering, try the full day Spa Tour option. Bookings essential.

    Mount Lofty Botanic Gardens

    3 Day Adelaide Hills Wellness Escape

    Enjoy 3 bliss filled days of yoga, meditation &  regional produce. Visit Jurlique, local farms, vineyards and particpate in art  & cooking workshops and forest bathing. Sooth your body, mind and spirit with the ultimate indulgence at the exclusive at Parkwood Retreat with local wines and produce.

    Adelaide Hills Sculpture Trail

    Adelaide Art and Craft

    The Adelaide Hills has a thriving arts and crafts culture. Here are a few places and activities to take it in.

    The Cedars

    This is the home of one of Australia’s best known painters, Hans Heysen. Located near Hahndorf, his studio and house are in near original condition. They provide a fascinating insight into the artist and his family. The property is set on 60 hectares of garden that make a lovely spot for a picnic lunch. A revolving collection of around 200 of his painting are on display. Art lovers will find this insight into Heysen’s life fascinating.

    Art Galleries

    Other galleries of note to wander through in the Adelaide Hills include the Hahndorf Academy and The Aboriginal Art House in Hahndorf. Aptos Cruz (Stirling), Field Trip (Balhannah), Top of the Torrens (Birdwood), The Coach House Studio (Gumeracha) and Atelier (Crafers). All support local artists.

    Fabrik

    Fabrik is an art and craft precinct in the township of Lobethal. Located in the old woollen mills, the precinct was established in 2019. It includes gallery space, studios, and displays celebrating the history of the mill. There is also a small shop where artists sell their work. If you are an art and craft type, keep an eye on Fabrik’s website. They are always announcing new events and exhibitions. The historic Woollen mill buildings are worth a visit on their own.

    Hills Sculpture Trail

    For a different way to see the Adelaide Hills, plan your trip around the Adelaide Hills Sculpture Trail. Local and international sculptors have contributed works to 16 towns in the Adelaide Hills. In many of the towns, the sculptures are the centrepiece of their parks and gardens.

    It took us a few days, but we have been to all the sculptures on the trail. To learn more about the trail and what you can do in each of the sculpture towns, read our Hills Sculpture Trail post. As sculpture spotting can be thirsty work, we have included a quick guide to wineries near each town too.

    Things to do in the Adelaide Hills
    Adelaide Hills Markets

    Adelaide Hills Markets

    One of the best things to do in the Adelaide Hills is go to a market. The hills have such a great food and craft and wellness culture, you’re bound to find some nice goodies. The tree-lined streets and ovals and lovely old halls are a great setting. If you plan things right, you could go to a market every weekend!

    • Stirling Markets – 4th Sunday of the month in Druid Avenue
    • Stirling Lane Ways – 4th Sunday of the month from September to May. These are a supersized version of the Stirling Market where stalls spill into the laneways and arcades along the main street.
    • Meadows Country Market and Fair – 2nd Sunday of the month
    • Mount Pleasant Farmers Market – Saturday morning 8.00-12.00 – great market, lots of fresh produce.
    • Mylor Country Market – 1st Sunday morning of each month on the pretty tree-ringed oval
    • Woodside Market – 3rd Sunday morning of the month – fun range of produce and craft.
    • The Blooming Market – 2nd Saturday of the month – Charleston Hall – focus on flowers and plants

    For More Market Information Click Here

    Gumeracha Medieval Fair
    Gumeracha Medieval Fair

    Adelaide Hills Events and Festivals

    Over the course of the year, the Adelaide Hills hosts several festival and events. We have narrowed them down to the month. If you find yourself in the Adelaide Hills around then, check the exact dates closer to the time.

    • January – Tour Down UnderThe hills go into party mode as this festival of cycling races through the region
    • April – Wellness Wander – a weekend of experiences that brings together all that is healthy and relaxing about the hills from food and nature to art, yoga and meditation.
    • May Medieval Fair – Held in Gumeracha, think knights, jousting, archery and lots of mead
    • JulyWinter Reds –  This is a celebration of the Adelaide Hill’s red wines. Open fireplaces, cosy cellar doors and red wine – perfect!
    • OctoberBay to Birdwood – watch cars of yesteryear wind through the hills to the National Motor Museum
    • NovemberUraidla Show – this is a traditional country show just 20 minutes from adelaide, a great day out!
    • December – Lobethal Lights – The whole town gets into the Christmas spirit with colourful Christmas light displays
    Adelaide Hills Accommodation
    Sticky Rice Villas

    Adelaide Hills Accommodation

    There is an enormous range of accommodation options in the Adelaide Hills from caravan parks in Hahndorf to the unsurpassed luxury of the Sequoia Lodge at Mount Lofty House. Below are just a few hills accommodation options. To see more cosy B and Bs, villas, and Glamping options read our Adelaide Hills accommodation guide.

    • Sticky Rice Villas – Stirling – Indulge your senses in the luxury villas set behind Sticky Rice Cooking School.
    • Sequoia Lodge – Crafers – Luxury wellness lodge with stunning terrace views over Piccadilly Valley.
    • Cladich Pavilions – Aldgate – Set amongst towering Stringybark eucalypts settle in at these self contained B&B’s.
    • The Studios by Haus – Hahndorf – Boutique Self-contained studios set in the Main Street of Hahndorf.
    • Aldgate Creek Cottage Bed & Breakfast – Aldgate – Stay in the B&B right in the heart of Aldgate surrounded by gardens.
    • Discovery Hahndorf Resort – Hahndorf – With cabins, powered campsites and resort rooms set among the rolling hills.

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