The Adelaide Hills are just to the west of the city of Adelaide in the Mount Lofty Ranges of South Australia. Driving through the beautiful hills is a popular pastime for residents. Some of the oldest settlements in South Australia are in the Adelaide Hills and much of this area still reflects this old world charm. The temps are slightly cooler here in the summers and the colourful leaves of autumn bring many visitors to the area. There are also many vineyards in the area, which also lend to the charm of the area. The Adelaide Hills are still close enough to the city for a commute, so many who prefer to live in the hills can still make the commute and are never far from the city of Adelaide.

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Getting to the Adelaide Hills

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The Adelaide Hills are just 26 kilometres west of the city of Adelaide, which translates to less than a 30 minute drive. There are 5 different car rental locations in and around Adelaide, so it is quite convenient to hire a car in Adelaide. There are car hire locations in Adelaide City, at the Adelaide Airport, in Adelaide North – Salisbury, Adelaide South – Reynella, and an Adelaide Trucks location close to the airport for hiring trucks, 4 wheel drive, and all-terrain vehicles. Check with your car rental agent about any driving restrictions for the area as well as driving tips and safety guidelines.

Things to do in Adelaide Hills

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Waterfall Gully Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Driving through the hills and taking in the sights of the area is one of the most popular pass times because the region is so beautiful and has a laid back, old world atmosphere. The cool weather is also a draw to the area, especially during the extreme hot in the summers; it is cooler in the Adelaide Hills. Here are some other adventures to be had in Adelaide Hills:

Food, Shopping, and Taking in the Sights

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The Adelaide Hills is a quaint area made up of small towns, filled with farms, gardens, restaurants, and shops. Explore the area through the eyes of a local by asking around for the best places to eat and shop. You will find award winning restaurants with hometown service that are set in historic old towns. Plan to take home souvenirs from craft stores, art galleries, toy shops, chocolate shops, and jewellery stores.

Visit the Mount Lofty Botanic Garden

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Mount Lofty Botanic Garden Photo Credit: Wikipedia

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Mount Lofty Botanic Garden Lake Photo Credit: Wikipedia

The Mount Lofty Botanic Garden is a great place to spend the day. Entry is free and parking is available. Guided walking tours or self-guided audio tours are both available. The park features 3 different walking trails. Bank SA Nature Trail is a steep gradient and about a 2 to 3 hour round trip through the native flora of this region that has been there for centuries. The Valley View trail is an easy gradient that is a 30 to 45 minute walk. The trail takes you through colourful camellias and rhodendrons in the gardens and the surrounding Piccadilly Valley. The third trail is a section of the Heysen Trail. The Heysen Trail covers 1,200 kilometres from Cape Jervis in the Fleurieu Peninsula to the Parachilna Gorge in the Flinders Ranges. The highlights of the Mount Lofty Botanic Garden are the Wollemi Pine found in the gardens; these prehistoric plants date back to the time of the dinosaurs. An added bonus of your visit is the signature artworks that are found throughout the gardens.

Cleland Wildlife Park

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The Cleland Wildlife Park is located near the Mount Lofty Summit. It has been an award winning, major tourist attraction in South Australia since 1967 and is located within the natural surroundings of the Cleland Conservation Park. The park is 35 hectares and is a place where you can interact with the wildlife. If wildlife is your thing, then a visit here should certainly be on your list. You can feed kangaroos, hold koalas, and interact with wallabies, emus, birds, and reptiles. There is a restaurant and a retail shop to make the full tourist experience out of the day.

Beerenberg Strawberry Farm

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The Beerenberg Strawberry Farm is an Australian tradition since 1839 and should not be missed if you are in the Adelaide Hills. You can actually pick strawberries there during the season, which is October through May. Strawberries are not the only thing they grow on the farm; there is also cherries, gherkins, plums, roses, and hot chillies. The farm is open all year round, whether or not it is strawberry picking season, the farm shop is all year and you can take home a taste of freshness from the farm in their jams, marmalades, and condiments with no added artificial flavours, colours, or preservatives. Their products are well-known all over Australia and are sold all over the world.

Historic Hahndor Village

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Hahndor is the oldest German settlement in Australia. It is 175 years old and when you visit the town you will see a blend of old world charm and modern shopping. There are restaurants and shops all up and down Main Street. Their motto is “walk in the past and taste the future”. You should also look for the 100 year old elm trees that line the streets and the original German designed buildings.

The Cedars – Hans Heysen’s Home

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Sir Hans Heysen is one of the best landscape artists in South Australia. He was also a visionary and an environmentalist. His daughter also became a successful artist. Both of their paintings can be seen in their historic home, The Cedars. While there you can tour the studios, the gardens, and the gallery.

Mt. Barker Summit

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Taking a trip to the Mount Barker Summit features an inspiring view and should definitely be included in your stay in the Adelaide Hills. There are magnificent views of the scenic landscape and this place is very important to the Peramangk people, the original inhabitants of this land. The summit is easy to access when you follow the directional signs. The Mount Baker Summit Scenic Drive allows you to see the Summit Conservation Park plus the Laratinga Wetlands. From there, you can go on the scenic walk to take in the sights from above.