5 day trips from Adelaide you can do by public transport

Brand SA News journalist Vanessa Keys has recently returned to South Australia after more than a decade living interstate and overseas. Since being back on home soil, Vanessa has revisited some of the state’s best attractions, beaches, parks and boardwalks, all by public transport! She shares her top five SA day trips below.

One of the biggest misconceptions about Adelaide is that you need a car to see all the good stuff. This is absolutely not true – and I speak with confidence, having recently moved back to Adelaide after a 12 year hiatus, sans car. I haven’t driven in a decade and my London-born partner is yet to learn, but this hasn’t been a barrier to falling in love with South Australia. In the last four months, we’ve picked strawberries at Beerenberg Farm, hiked through Morialta Falls, picnicked at Port Willunga, swam at Moana, walked along towering cliff tops in Hallett Cove, and more.

Here’s five car-free ideas for getting out of the city:

1. Moana Beach and Port Willunga
It’s only 35km south of the city, but Moana’s stretch of golden sand, sloping dunes and gentle surf gives it a bona fide holiday vibe. After you’ve spent a few hours soaking up the sun, catch a bus through vineyards and paddocks to picturesque Port Willunga. This beach is a real beauty: long expanses of white sand and cliffs that shield swimmers from the wind. When hunger strikes, order from the kiosk at The Star of Greece – you can get grilled Kangaroo Island whiting for a fraction of the price that you’d pay inside at the restaurant. They have an epic wine list, too.

Getting there: Take the Seaford (SEAFRD) line from Adelaide Railway Station until the last stop, Seaford. Walk south along Griffiths Drive for 20 minutes until you reach Moana Beach. To continue to Port Willunga, leave the beach and walk eight minutes to Commercial Road. Take the 750 bus from stop 89 until you reach stop 109 at The Esplanade. To return, catch the 750 outside The Star of Greece to Seaford, and catch the train to Adelaide Railway Station.

Whiting, chips and salad from The Star of Greece kiosk.

2. Morialta Conservation Park
Lace up your walking shoes, grab a hat and pack a picnic: Adelaide’s best bushwalking spot is a speedy 30-minute bus ride from the centre of the city. Morialta Conservation Park is set around a narrow gorge, framed by three waterfalls and bound by steep ridges and cliffs. There’s trails for every age and ability, from families with strollers to experienced hikers. And don’t forget to look up – we spotted eight koalas and a kookaburra on our last visit.

Getting there: Catch the H30 bus from stop I1 on North Terrace, and get off at stop 26 on Morialta Road. Take the path past the playground until you reach the First Falls car park – all the hikes start from there.

A furry friend spotted in the treetops at Morialta Conservation Park.

3. Port Adelaide
Once an industrial harbour, Port Adelaide’s colonial buildings are now home to an eclectic mix of theatres, artist spaces, bars and restaurants. From the train station, it’s an easy 15-minute walk to the wharf, where you can admire the heritage-listed buildings (historic Hart’s Mill is a highlight) and enjoy a coffee at Folklore Cafe, where every table has a view of the water.

Seafarers can climb aboard the Dolphin Explorer, a cruise that travels along the Port River through the Adelaide Dolphin Sanctuary, while landlubbers might prefer to discover the Port’s history at the Maritime Museum, the National Railway Museum or the Aviation Museum. Hungry? Make a beeline for the renovated Port Admiral Hotel. Order a pint of their house lager – The Port Local – and the crumbed mac and cheese croquettes. Trust me on this one.

Getting there: Take the Outer Harbour (OUTHA) line from Adelaide Railway Station to Port Adelaide.

Explore the Port’s history along with the collection of funky street art, cafés, pubs and artistic spaces scattered throughout.

4. Hallett Cove boardwalk
Suspended above spectacular cliffs, the Hallett Cove boardwalk is a signposted walk that follows the coast between Marino Rocks and Hallett Cove. You can begin the walk at either end, but if it’s hot and you fancy finishing with a swim, I recommend starting at Hallett Cove (check out the glacial pavements along the northern cliff tops) and walk south past Marino until you get to Seacliff or Brighton beach – after that long walk, the water feels so good.

Getting there: Take the Seaford (SEAFRD) line from Adelaide railway station and alight at either Marino Rocks or Hallett Cove beach.

Take in impressive views along the Hallett Cove boardwalk.

5. Hahndorf and Beerenberg
The quaint German village of Hahndorf in the Adelaide Hills has everything a day trip requires: a hearty breakfast (try the homemade crumpets at Udder Delights), wineries (Landhaus do generous tastings for $5 a head), bakeries (Otto’s is legendary) and more German bratwurst and pretzels than you can shake a stick at. After you’ve finished perusing Main Street, walk 450m south until you reach Beerenberg Farm. Here, it costs $4 a head (12 years and under go free) to pick berries until your heart’s content. Cap off the day with a gin flight and produce plate at Ambleside Distillery – and don’t worry, the bus stop is within stumbling distance.

Getting there: Catch the 864 along various stops in the CBD, including Currie Street and Pulteney Street, continuing your trip through Stirling, Aldgate, Bridgewater and Verdun, until you reach Hahndorf. Visit Adelaide Metro to plan your journey.

Pick your own strawberries at Beerenberg Farm.

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Wolf Blass life and legend comes to Hahndorf

Recognised by his trademark bow tie, legendary winemaker Wolf Blass has a new venture, one that has taken him to the Adelaide Hills town of Hahndorf.

The German-born wine industry icon’s achievements are on show at the recently opened Wolf Blass gallery and museum in the old German town’s main street.

The attraction has been open to the public for only two weeks but is already luring scores of tourists, wine lovers and locals.

“It has been an emotional thing,” says Wolf, referring to the three-year project that has seen decades of memorabilia, photographs and artefacts relocated from their home in the Barossa Valley.

“Now we have something very modern with a touch of history.”

The Wolf Blass gallery and museum in Hahndorf features a bar, cooperage display, function room, sitting areas and memorabilia scattered throughout.

The gallery and museum, owned and operated by the Wolf Blass Foundation, has been developed in the old BankSA building in Hahndorf’s main street.

Contained within the building is the town’s original schoolhouse built in 1854 and now hosting a Cooperage display.

Many of Wolf’s personal achievements and milestones are contained within a collection of 73 scrapbooks featuring newspaper clippings, photos, and items from past decades.

Among the many prized possessions is the soon-to-be displayed 1865 Melbourne Cup trophy.

Aside from wine, Wolf also has a love for sport.

The 7m long Wolfie’s Horse Bar displays a selection of trophies from his winning horses, while other parts of the building contain cabinets full of other football, cricket and skiing memorabilia.

The gallery and museum stocks a range of wines from a selection of regions, as well as grazing platters, allowing visitors to wander around the exhibits or relax in one of the many sitting areas.

Wolf Blass – full name Wolfgang Franz Otto Blass – is renowned for pioneering wine styles and introducing quality wine to the predominantly beer drinking society that existed in Australia.

Although Wolf Blass Wines’ home is in the Barossa Valley, the 84-year-old was driving through Hahndorf one day with his wife Shirley Nyberg-Blass when they spotted the BankSA building was up for lease.

A few phone calls and handshakes and later the building was sold and set to become the new home of Wolf’s collection of personal memorabilia, originally housed in the Barossa.

Wolf says Shirley was behind much of the interior design, seeking the help of local architect John Ashcroft of BeyondInk.

“I must always thank my wife, she was the instigator,” Wolf says.

“On September 5 we had our first function, a soft opening that was exclusive to Hahndorf and the Adelaide Hills.”

Born in East Germany in 1934, Wolf’s introduction to the Australian wine industry came when he migrated here in 1961 after spending more than a decade working in the European wine industry.

The Hahndorf gallery and museum took three years to complete.

He worked in the Barossa Valley for Kaiser Stuhl as a sparkling wines manager before becoming Australia’s first freelance technical advisor to wine companies across South Australia, earning $2.50 an hour.

In 1966, Wolf registered his business Bilyara, an Aboriginal word meaning ‘eaglehawk’ – a symbol that would go on to mark the winemaker’s brand for decades to come.

His first vintage was 250 dozen, a small fraction of the 50 million Wolf Blass branded bottles eventually sold by 2005.

By the late ’60s Wolf was a manager and winemaker for United Distillers, helping to convert Tolley’s image from a brandy producer into a leading wine icon.

In 1973, the Wolf Blass Wines International company was born, and the man himself was on the way to becoming a household name as he pioneered new wine varieties.

Over the years Wolf Blass has won four prestigious Jimmy Watson trophies, the most highly sought after wine award in the country.

Photo: supplied.

He was the man behind the key word ‘drinkability’ and also engaged more women in wine as alcohol consumption was usually reserved for the working class man.

“In the ‘50s we didn’t drink wine we only drank 120 litres of beer. So that has been the biggest social change – to get women involved because they were totally isolated,” Wolf says.

“Six o’clock closing times, all men at the bar, there wasn’t much fun.

“Wine, sparkling wine, pearl wine was part of that change and suddenly there was a bit of life.”

Wolf says he was met with criticism for “shaking the establishment” throughout the early foundations of his career.

“I made wines that could be easily consumed, I was at the time very much criticised because I did things differently,” he says.

“When you consider I came here with $200 in my pocket and how much I have now achieved … it’s giving me a lot of joy.”

The Wolf Blass gallery and museum in Hahndorf is open Thursday – Sunday.

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Beerenberg celebrates $14m factory expansion in Hahndorf

Renowned South Australian jam and condiments maker Beerenberg is celebrating the official completion of its $14m factory and headquarters at Hahndorf in the Adelaide Hills.

Sixth-generation family member and managing director Anthony Paech has fired up the new bottling line, processing hundreds of bottles of the food producer’s popular tomato sauce.

The multi-staged redevelopment, which began in 2015, will see the longstanding family company’s production capacity double, securing its long-term future in the country’s oldest surviving German settlement.

The 6500sqm head office expansion includes state-of-the-art factory equipment, allowing 15 tonnes of product (60,000 bottles) to be processed per shift.

Beerenberg managing director Anthony Paech switched on the new bottling line recently.

Anthony says the expansion provides a platform for major growth and stability for Beerenberg’s future.

It currently employs 85 people.

“This is a state-of-art design which enables higher control over the cooking and bottling of product, allowing us to craft an even higher quality of product in larger volumes,” says Anthony, whose family has been working on the Hahndorf land since 1839.

“There is also natural light and a climate controlled modern environment for staff, with the latest safety features.

“Finally, there is a room for expansion which we have needed for some time.”

The facility will be officially opened today (June 5) by South Australian Governor Hieu Van Le.

The project was worked on by a number of local businesses, including Moto Projects, Sarah Constructions, McMahon Services, Michael Watson Architects, and Swanbury Penglase.

“We sought to find a community-friendly approach to expand our Adelaide Hills base into an ultra-modern facility, securing its future in the Hills and gearing it for further international growth,” Anthony says.

Siblings Sally and Anthony Paech outside the $14m new Beerenberg factory and headquarters in Hahndorf.

Beerenberg is also a ‘pick-your-own’ strawberry farm and this summer it attracted more than 80,000 people.

Beerenberg – which means ‘Berry Hill’ in German – has more than 90 products in its range, including jams, sweet and savoury sauces and condiments.

The products are available in 24 countries, on major airlines and in more than 300 hotels worldwide.

The business is run by the three Paech siblings, Anthony, Robert, who is farm manager, and Sally who is marketing manager.

Their late father Grant Peach began selling strawberries from a roadside stall in 1971 after the first strawberry patch was planted near the family home.

The Beerenberg family Robert, left, Sally, Carol and Anthony Paech.

In 1975, Grant and wife Carol launched the pick-your-own strawberries concept which quickly became a thriving tourist destination before new products, including chutney and pickled onions, were added.

In 1980 the factory and shop were built and five years’ later a contract was secured with airline Qantas to serve mini Beerenberg jams to customers.

As the years rolled on the first export deals were made and the brand continued to grow until 2013 when it underwent a major overhaul, leading to a boost in national sales.

Grant Paech died in 2011 after a long illness and is remembered as a pioneer and innovator in the state’s food industry.

Visit I Choose SA to find out how you can support our state by choosing South Australian businesses, products and services.

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Outback opal hunters put Coober Pedy on the world stage

Larrikin hobby miners Justin Lang and Daniel Becker are 30m below ground in an abandoned mine shaft and if it weren’t for their head torches they’d be in total darkness.

The two mates are 870km from their homes in the small Adelaide Hills town of Hahndorf, Australia’s oldest surviving German settlement, but are under the spell of the opal, the queen of gemstones.

They say their playground – the deep, narrow and dusty mine shafts in Coober Pedy – is no place for those fearful of spiders, scorpions or centipedes.

Nor is it a place for those lacking the patience required to withstand ‘opal fever’, something Justin and Daniel say they have been infected with beyond return.

“When you find something, it’s pure excitement, there are screams, swear words, all sorts,” says Daniel.

“But then there’s the big question of ‘is there more?’ and you just keep digging.

“You hope you hit the jackpot, which can be a little jackpot but also a lifechanging jackpot worth a million dollars.”

Justin Lang, left, and Daniel Becker appear on TV series ‘Outback Opal Hunters’.

This year, the highs and lows of Justin and Daniel’s opal mining hobby have made it onto TV screens worldwide.

In 2017 they spent nine months filming for a Discovery Channel TV series, Outback Opal Hunters, which has not only been broadcast around Australia but also across Europe, South Africa and Asia.

The pair say plans are also afoot for it to show on 7mate in several months’ time.

The show, which is currently filming season two, follows mining crews around Australian mining towns in the pursuit of finding a fortune.

Justin and Daniel – who were labelled ‘The Rookies’ on the show – had a goal of finding $100,000 worth of opal – and they did it.

Since appearing on the series, the pair have received much media attention, including stints on national television, including the ABC’s News Breakfast and Channel 9’s The Today Show.

They’ve also used the show to promote Coober Pedy, a place they believe is “underrated” and “not always embraced”.

“We want more people to come to Coober Pedy because it’s such a unique place, anyone can have a crack at opal mining and potentially find a million dollars,” Daniel says.

“You need to do your research and safety is always first, but anyone can do it and that’s uniquely South Australian.

“Cooper Pedy is the biggest opal field and has produced the largest quantity of opal in the world.”

The Hahndorf hobby miners’ careers differ greatly to their underground adventures.

Daniel owns the Aboriginal Art Gallery in Hahndorf’s main street while next door is Justin’s German Village Shop where he handcrafts cuckoo clocks and grandfather clocks.

The pair met about seven years ago as they live next door to each other and quickly bonded over a shared curiosity in fossicking for gold in the Adelaide Hills.

Before long they tried their luck with finding gemstones in Australia’s opal capital, travelling regularly to Coober Pedy in hope of spotting that flicker of colour among the dull sandstone.

They say they’d often be mining for a whole week and find nothing, then boom! Opal.

“When it appears, it’s amazing. It’s this beautiful, colourful stone sitting in the boring sandstone and you know you’re onto something,” says Justin, whose great-grandfather was an opal miner in the APY Lands community of Mintabie.

Justin spent the first year of his life in Coober Pedy as his family had lived there since the 1980s and owned the town’s caravan park before moving to Adelaide.

“I’m not a spiritual person at all, but I feel spiritually connected to that place in a really weird way,” he says.

“Hahndorf is the polar opposite to Coober Pedy, they’re almost 1000km apart but I love both of them.”

Daniel, left, and Justin spent nine months filming the TV series in Coober Pedy and snippets in their hometown of Hahndorf.

Daniel, on the other hand, is originally from Germany, moving to Australia in the late ‘90s to finish studies in anthropology.

During their trips to Coober Pedy, Justin and Daniel became good friends with John Dunstan, a veteran miner of over 50 years who in 2003 discovered the Rainbow Virgin Opal valued at more than $1m.

One day John told the pair that the Discovery Channel was snooping around town.

“Johnny said, ‘no one in Coober Pedy wants to be on camera but do you boys want to do it?’” Daniel says.

“We looked at each other and thought, ‘that sounds interesting’.”

The adventures on Outback Opal Hunters are fair dinkum, the pair say.

“Some people say it’s staged and it’s not real, but that’s ridiculous,” Daniel says.

“When we pull out real opal out of the wall, that’s what it is, it’s happening for real.”

Justin says opal mining – and even noodling (sifting through disposed dirt) – is anyone’s chance at finding a million bucks.

“It’s one big adventure,” he says.

“It’s one of the last places for a free man to try his luck at finding a million dollars.”

The next series of Outback Opal Hunters is expected to air in 2019.

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Regional SA tourism operators shine at national awards

Two regional South Australian tourism operators have walked away with gold medals at last Friday night’s Qantas Australian Tourism Awards.

For the second year running, luxury accommodation provider The Frames in the Riverland was crowned Australia’s best Self Contained Accommodation, while Hahndorf’s Adelaide Hills Convention Centre was named best Business Event Venue.

The Qantas-sponsored awards, announced on Friday February 23 in Perth, recognised the best in the business from around the country.

Built in 2014 in Paringa by husband and wife duo Rick and Cathy Edmonds, The Frames offers three private retreats perched on cliffs overlooking magnificent views of the Murray River.

Luxury accommodation exists not only in big cities, but in SA’s regions too.

The couple aims to raise awareness of the Murray River and the emerging boutique wine and craft product culture in the Riverland, SA’s food bowl region.

“To be recognised among the best tourism offerings in Australia is wonderful and we are proud of the opportunity to showcase the Riverland to international and domestic guests,” Cathy says.

“We wish to thank everyone for their continued support, especially our guests who are seeking secluded space to relax and reconnect.”

The Adelaide Hills Convention centre is a popular spot for business events and functions, weddings, birthdays and other celebrations.

Hahndorf family the Schirripa’s and the team at the Adelaide Hills Convention Centre also celebrated a gold medal win for Business Event Venue.

The convention centre was recognised for its “world-class business event facilities and services” and for its scenic views overlooking the Hills.

Aside from the function centre, the Mt Barker Road location is also home to the Three Gums Bistro and Hahndorf Resort Tourist Park, featuring a caravan park and a range of other accommodation options.

The convention centre overlooks stunning views of the Adelaide Hills.

Eight other SA tourism operators from across the state walked away with silver and bronze medals.

SA Tourism Industry Council CEO Shaun de Bruyn says South Australians should be “extremely proud” of the world-class experiences we have on offer.

“The Qantas Australian Tourism Awards recognise the best of the best in tourism within Australia and set the benchmarks for the best business practice which all tourism business(es) should aspire to achieve,” he says.

“For SA to be awarded ten medals is a fantastic result and will further ensure our brilliant visitor experiences and magnificent regions remain on the tourism map.”

State Tourism Minister Leon Bignell says SA’s visitor economy has increased by 29% in the past four years to a record $6.3 billion, reflective of tourism operators’ dedication and passion for the industry.

Nominations for the 2018 SA Tourism Awards are open until June 25. For more information click here.

Silver award winners:

  • Calypso Star Charters (Port Lincoln) – Tourist Attractions
  • Murray River Walk (Renmark) – Ecotourism
  • Yondah Beach House (Foul Bay) – Deluxe Accommodation

Bronze award winners:

  • Santos Tour Down Under – Major Festivals and Events
  • Calypso Star Charters (Port Lincoln) – Adventure Tourism
  • Mulberry Lodge Country Retreat (Willunga) – Hosted Accommodation
  • Marree Hotel (Marree) – Standard Accommodation
  • Barossa Valley Cheese Company (Angaston) – Excellence in Food Tourism

Visit I Choose SA to find out how you can support our State by choosing South Australian businesses, products and services.

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Family-owned distillery lures gin lovers to Hahndorf

An Adelaide Hills family’s curiosity for the world of gin making has led to the establishment of Hahndorf’s first distillery.

Steve, Trudy and son Matt Dickson are behind Hahndorf tasting room and small-batch distillery, Ambleside Distillers, which is already quenching thirsts around town.

All three family members come from different industries, with Matt in construction, Trudy running a recruitment agency and Steve holding 35 years of experience in the health sector.

But it was a six-month trip to the UK that opened Matt’s eyes to the world of gin making, prompting the family to have a shot at launching a distillery and tasting room.

Matt Dickson was inspired to explore gin making after time spent in the UK.

“There was this whole gin revival in London and it wasn’t just about the standard London dry gin, I experienced many boutique gins and just fell in love with it,” Matt says.

“Mum and Dad also visited the UK and when we were back in Australia we introduced ourselves to many of the boutique gins, made with really good tonic water and garnishes.

“For us it was about creating gins we loved and that were of a very high quality and taste that hopefully many others would enjoy.”

With Matt’s experience in the construction industry, the Dicksons built the tasting room and distillery on the family’s property on the corner of Mount Barker and Ambleside roads.

Ambleside has three signature gin styles, crafted on site.

The tasting room’s fit out is simple and modern, incorporating textures such as brickwork and timber.

Crafted and hand-bottled on site are three signature styles, the Big Dry Gin, No. 8 Botanical Gin and Small Acre Gin.

Ambleside Distillers grows some of the botanicals on the property, including thyme and rosemary, while other flavours including jalapeno and citrus are sourced locally where possible.

Matt says that while wine is one of South Australia’s most dominant industries, the family wanted to get in on the state’s blossoming spirit scene.

Platters featuring local produce can be enjoyed with a gin cocktail, overlooking Hahndorf’s rural landscape.

He says the Adelaide Hills region was also cementing itself as one of the premier food and wine areas on offer to visitors.

“Each of the regions is really booming and the Hills is really coming into its own,” Matt says.

“We wanted to get in line with the other businesses in Hahndorf, because if you’re planning a trip to the Adelaide Hills, Hahndorf is where you want to be headed.

“This was an opportunity for us to become a part of a different section of the food and beverage industry, not just wine.”

Steve says the state’s distilling scene had welcomed the Ambleside operation with open arms.

“We’ve had four different distillers visit us and say ‘welcome to the family, it’s good to have you on board’,” he says.

Ambleside Distillers offers platters featuring local cheeses and produce that can be enjoyed on the deck.

Curious about how it all works? The distilling equipment is in view from the tasting room.

Ambleside Distillers is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 11am–6pm.

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A touch of a European Christmas in Hahndorf

You won’t find many crackling wood fires, snow scattered rooftops or mugs of eggnog during the festive season in South Australia.

But venture down the southern end of Hahndorf’s main street in the Adelaide Hills and you might just catch a glimpse of a European Christmas.

Since 2012 C3 Church Adelaide Hills Pastors Bruce and Julie Williams have brought the magic of a European Christmas market to Hahndorf – Australia’s oldest surviving German settlement.

The Hahndorf Christkindlmarkt, now in its sixth year, has drawn a total of 90,000 visitors to the popular tourist strip to enjoy a glass of Glühwein and wander among an array of handicrafts.

The Hahndorf Christkindlmarkt captures the essence of a traditional European Christmas market with twinkling lights and bespoke offerings.

Run by volunteers from the C3 Church Adelaide Hills, the Hahndorf Christkindlmarkt will return for three nights from Friday, December 15.

Bruce and Julie were inspired to bring a touch of Europe to Hahndorf upon visiting traditional Christmas markets in Austria, Germany and the Czech Republic.

“They were remarkable, but probably the most influential was Munich,” says Bruce.

“We started to think about things we could do at home and it dawned on us that we’re in the oldest German town in Australia.

“We put the idea of a Christmas market out to the church and we knew that it would take many volunteer hours to pull it together.”

Pastors Bruce and Julie Williams in traditional German attire.

Daylight saving and the Adelaide Hills’ breezy summertime climate were perfect for an outdoor Christmas market featuring displays of handicrafts, baked goods, artwork and gifts beneath a display of twinkling fairy lights.

During its first year, the Hahndorf Christkindlmarkt had stallholder vacancies, but now there’s a waiting list.

The market has also expanded its footprint by spilling out onto Auricht Road, which closes to traffic for the duration of the event.

The event received recognition from the Mount Barker Council recently when it was crowned the 2016 Community Event of the Year.

Bruce says many Hahndorf traders have embraced the thousands of visitors to the town by keeping their doors open past regular trading hours.

The C3 Church Band will perform carols at 9.15pm every night.

He says the true meaning of Christmas was still evident through the singing of Christmas carols and a nativity scene at the market.

“We believe in the message of Christmas in the birth of Christ and that was still a strong element in the European context as well,” Bruce says.

“The point (of the market) is not to try and get people to the church, there’s no pressure, we just want people to have fun.

“It’s a joyful and happy place.”

The market is expected to attract 30,000 people across three nights.

A licensed area allows visitors to enjoy Lobethal Bierhaus brews and Lobethal Road wines, as well as traditional German-style mulled wine, Glühwein.

Bruce says the majority of stallholders are South Australian, however, the market experiences demand from exhibitors across the country.

The Hahndorf Christkindlmarkt is on Friday December 15, 5 – 10pm, Saturday 4pm – 10pm, and Sunday, 4pm –10pm.

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You know you’re from the Adelaide Hills when …

You can bet there’s a koala in your generously sized backyard, you know a thing or two about wine and you eat cherries by the bucket load in summer.

You’re from the Adelaide Hills, South Australia’s picturesque region renowned for its rolling paddocks, sweeping vineyards and scrubby horizons.

But what really makes a fair dinkum Hills dweller?

1. Spotting a koala, echidna, deer or kangaroo crossing the road is no big deal.

2.  You know how to pronounce ‘Gumeracha’ and ‘Nairne’.

3. You tow the wheelie bin behind the car on rubbish night because your driveway is too long.

4. You live next door to, or up the road from, a winery, distillery or cheesemaker.

5. You went nuts when KFC came to Mount Barker. And then there was Aldi.

6. You have Beerenberg, Buzz Honey and Prancing Pony products at home at ALL TIMES.

You've been a supporter of Prancing Pony since day one.

You’ve been a supporter of Prancing Pony since day one.

7. You can short-cut your way around town with the accuracy of a rally co-driver.

8. You can gracefully climb a fence.

9. Your bushfire survival plan is stuck to the fridge in summer.

10. City folk always ask ‘where’s that?’ when you tell them where you live.

11. You’ve caught the 3.45am bus home from the city up the freeway after a night out.

12. You’re a member of the Facebook group Adelaide Hills Community Chat.

13. You always think of home when you’re in the city and spot the three Mount Lofty towers on the horizon.

The three Mt Lofty towers.

The three Mount Lofty TV towers.

14. Forget watermelon seed spitting contests. Your childhood was all about the cherry stones.

15. You’ve heard of (or live in) a lesser-known town like Flaxley, Lenswood, Gemmells or Dawesley.

16. You’ve cursed driving a manual car when stuck in traffic on the slopes at the Lobethal Lights.

17. You reference going to the city as ‘heading down the hill’.

18. Red Cacao chocolate is not a fancy treat in your house, it’s a pantry staple.

19. You’ve nearly lost a side mirror when driving along Hahndorf’s main street. (But love the popular tourist strip all the same).

Hahndorf is the jewel in the crown of the Hills' tourism industry, attracting one million visitors per year.

Hahndorf is the jewel in the crown of the Hills’ tourism industry, attracting one million visitors per year.

20. You know what Gruner Veltliner is and you know that the Hills is pretty good at making it. Hahndorf Hill anyone?

21. You buy your fruit and veggies from roadside stalls. Or grow them yourself!

22. You’re an expert in South Eastern Freeway etiquette.

23. Your mum bought 10 copies of The Courier when your netball/footy team photo was in the sports pages.

24. You silently disagree when someone from Rostrevor or Blackwood says they’re from the Hills.

25. You’ve only walked the Waterfall Gully route to the Mount Lofty Summit once or twice because you know the Crafers trail is less busy.

The reborn Uraidla Hotel

The Uraidla Hotel was reborn in 2016 after being closed for a long period of time. PHOTO: The Uraidla Hotel Facebook

26. The revival of the Uraidla Hotel brought back memories of the good old days.

27. You know how cold it really gets in winter. (Bridgewater people know what we’re talking about.)

28. You’re a regular Oakbank racegoer, Crush festival attendee or Winter Reds aficionado.

29.  You play rock, paper, scissors to determine who will get out and open the front gate when you get home.

If you’re more of a city slicker, here are 22 signs you’re from South Australia.

German pub of champions

By Melissa Keogh

From sausages to sauerkraut and authentic brews, the Hahndorf Inn has dished up traditional German fare to scores of visitors and locals for decades.

Now the popular Hahndorf establishment can add another feather to its cap after being named the South Australian Tourism Commission’s latest Tourism Champion.

Tourism Champions is a series of videos and case studies of the top operators, businesses and events around the State.

With a new inductee every month, the campaign aims to build the profile of South Australia’s tourism industry – something the Hahndorf Inn has been striving for in recent years.

The 154-year-old hotel, owned by Andrew Holmes and his family, attracts up to 260,000 visitors every year.

“It’s terrific to be recognised as a tourism champion,” Andrew says.

“We essentially provide unique experiences that talk to the history and culture of Hahndorf.”


Andrew says employment at the inn has more than doubled in the past four years to 80 staff, while 85% of employees are local.

With the help of Chinese liaison and marketing officer, Jack Chen, the business has also experienced a 35% growth in sales from the Chinese market since 2015.

Andrew says people’s attraction to not only the Hahndorf Inn but elsewhere along the popular tourism strip was the display of history and mixture of offerings.

“It’s quite unique in that it’s the oldest surviving German settlement in Australia,” he says.

“In autumn Hahndorf is full of European species trees, warm log fires and great comfort food.”

Check out other Tourism Champions here.

Like this story? Nominate a story from your region.
Click here to nominate >>

These inspiring regional stories made possible by:

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