Adelaide Hills, SA: Destination Guide

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It’s time to head for the hills, the Adelaide Hills that is, and uncover the secrets of the region that have people coming back time and time again.

Read on to discover the best things to see and do in the Adelaide Hills or find and book accommodation in the Adelaide Hills today.

About the Adelaide Hills

Considering how close the Adelaide Hills are to the hustle and bustle of Adelaide city, it comes as a pleasant surprise to discover how delightful and unfazed the area remains. Renowned for its quaint towns, awe-inspiring landscapes and famed wineries, the Adelaide Hills ticks all the boxes when it comes to deciding on a destination for your country getaway. It’s this quiet familiarity that the Adelaide Hills possesses that really captures the hearts of its visitors, and with the knowledge that there is a new adventure to be had every day, it’s hard not to succumb to that charm either.

Things to do

It would be a crime to ignore the natural beauty that abounds the Adelaide Hills, so luckily there is a multitude of ways that you can get out and enjoy the incredible scenery. The walking trails cater for all fitness levels and allow you to take in everything from the rocky outcrops and undulating hills to the uninterrupted views of Adelaide’s skyline. And if you don’t want to walk, why not ride a bike, horse ride or rock climb?

All of this physical exertion builds up an appetite, so pick from any of the towns that are dotted around the Hills to uncover some culinary delights. Whether its fresh fruit from the local orchards or a gourmet farm-to-table feast, there is something to delight even the fussiest of eaters. Of course, it’s all to be washed down with a tipple of something from one of the internationally recognised wineries that the Adelaide Hills is home to.  


Flinders Column

The impressive Flinders Column – which stands 710m above sea level – is named after Matthew Flinders who sighted and named Mount Lofty in 1802. More than 350,000 people are said to visit this iconic landmark each year. Unfortunately, the tower was witness to one of South Australia’s tragic events, the 1983 Ash Wednesday bushfires, which devastated the region. A plaque was unveiled on the summit to honour the many firefighters who fought the fires and especially those who gave their lives in the protection of others.


Visiting the historic town of Hahndorf - Australia’s oldest surviving German settlement - is like stepping back in time with its village-like atmosphere, making this charming town definitely worth the stop-over. The elm-lined main street features two authentic German pubs, coffee shops, souvenir and gift shops, craft outlets, clothing and leather goods as well as several galleries. Hahndorf was once the home of the renowned landscape artist Sir Hans Heysen who bought a farm called The Cedars. Today, the gracious old family home can be visited Tuesday to Sunday and tours are available.

Morialta Conservation Park

Just 10km from Adelaide CBD is the Morialta Conservation Park, a comparatively small park that is home to some spectacular scenery. What it lacks in size though, it makes up for in sheer beauty, with dizzying rock faces and three seasonal waterfalls all waiting to be unearthed. The park is popular for rock climbers, with climbers rewarded with sweeping views that stretch right over the Adelaide Plains. For those who prefer to keep their feet on the ground there is a number of walking trails, the steps up to the Giants Cave in particular offers amazing views; and if you’re lucky you might even spot one of the local koalas lazing around.

When to visit the Adelaide Hills

With four very distinct seasons, there certainly isn’t a bad time to visit the Adelaide Hills. Summer (which, due to the elevation, means temperatures are generally slightly cooler than in Adelaide itself) is a great time for picking seasonal berries; and during spring the Hills are well and truly alive as the gardens burst with colour and life. Bright deciduous trees line the streets in Autumn and rain down crispy leaves; and while it gets a bit chilly in Winter (frost is not unusual) it’s the perfect time to get a bottle of one of the local reds and unwind in front of an open fireplace.

Getting there

The Adelaide Hills form part of the Mount Lofty Ranges, and are located 26km east of Adelaide.

By car  

It only takes half an hour from Adelaide via the South Eastern Freeway to reach the base of the Adelaide Hills.

By bus

Buses from the Adelaide CBD run regularly every day to all the major townships in the Adelaide Hills.

Where to stay in Adelaide Hills

For accommodation options in and around the Adelaide Hills, click here.