The idyllic state of South Australia has a lot to offer the outdoor enthusiast, wildlife lover or food and wine connoisseur. World-famous culinary hotspots, extraordinary experiences, picturesque scenery and hidden gems are just waiting to be discovered. There are a tonne of things to do in the Adelaide Hills and you may be surprised to learn that they won’t break the budget either.
Make your ordinary weekend, extraordinary with these 10 experiences you didn’t know existed in the Adelaide Hills. Once you know, you will be booking in your next escape and filling up the car with gas as fast as you can say the words “take my money!”
1. The Lane Vineyard
Location: 5 Ravenswood Lane, Hahndorf
If you love a cheeky drop of wine or two then why not see where all the action happens firsthand during a visit to a cellar door in the Adelaide Hills. Jump in the car, bring an #emptyesky and spend a relaxing afternoon at The Lane Vineyard – just thirty minutes drive from Adelaide.
The cooler climates of the Adelaide Hills make it a perfect location for the fruits to blossom and the picturesque surrounds are so peaceful you can practically feel your blood pressure drop immediately. Of course, the wine is the drawcard here but stay a while and sit down in the dining room to sample the regions best seasonal produce with a menu curated by award-winning chef James Brinklow.
A number of extraordinary wine tasting experiences are available taking you on a sensory journey to suit any budget. One of the most popular wine experiences at The Lane Vineyard is a personalised wine blending experience. Put your tastebuds to the test creating your very own wine blend while indulging in a heavenly cheeseboard platter and wine. You’ll even get to bottle your signature blend and take it home with you to share with family and friends.
2. Cleland Wildlife Park
Location: 365 Mount Lofty Summit Rd, Crafers
2020 may have been a rough start to the new decade but the koalas at Cleland Wildlife Park are here to add a little cheer to your day. South Australia is only one of three states that permit koala cuddles and these gorgeous marsupials and their furry friends simply adore the attention.
Cleland Wildlife Park is home to some of South Australia’s most iconic inhabitants including kangaroos, wallabies, wombats, dingoes, snakes, and a variety of birds and reptiles set in a natural bushland setting.
What makes Cleland Wildlife Park stand out from other wildlife parks and zoos are the lack of enclosures. Many of the animals are free to roam and interact with their human friends and selfies are encouraged. If you are looking for things to do on the weekend in Adelaide then bring your family or your friends to Cleland Wildlife Park to pat and hand-feed the animals or sit down to an informative animal talk.
3. Beerenberg Farm
Location: 2106 Mount Barker Road, Hahndorf
Nothing can beat the taste of fresh strawberries that you’ve picked yourself. Enter – Beerenberg Farm in Hahndorf. The farm has been in the Paech family since 1839 and not only is fruit picking an incredibly fun and tasty family activity, it’s a great way to introduce the concept of farms and food production to young ones.
The strawberry fruit picking season in the Adelaide Hills runs from October to April and for just $4 per person, you can pick as much fruit as you desire. While you are here pop into the onsite farm shop and have a look at the jams, chutneys, dressings, jelly and sauces available for sale. Your peanut butter, jelly or jam sandwich has never tasted better and when you are making it, you’ll remember the fun adventure you had in the Adelaide Hills on the weekend.
4. Hahndorf Hill Winery
Location: 38 Pain Rd, Hahndorf
Nestled in the Adelaide Hills, the Hahndorf Hill Winery is a pleasant surprise to stumble upon. Just minutes from the quaint Hahndorf village you’ll find this winery growing Austrian varieties including its ever-popular Gruner Veltliner, Blaufrankisch, Zweigelt and St Laurent right here in Australia.
The inviting cellar door is open for wine tastings but it is the ChocoVino experience that will set your heart aflutter. Pairing Hahndorf Hill Winery and world acclaimed chocolate, the mouthwatering experience is to die for and won’t break the bank with prices starting from $30 per person. Soak up the scenery inside the tasting room perched over the vineyard and take your tastebuds on a sensory journey.
5. Mount Lofty Mountain Bike Tour
Location: Mount Lofty Summit (transfers available from Central Adelaide)
With the sun shining and the birds singing, Escapegoat Adventures will take you on a mountain bike adventure of a lifetime from the Mount Lofty Summit. Pedal power is the name of the game as you ride downhill (thank you gravity) past forests. There are chance encounters with wildlife along the way at the Cleland Wildlife Park where kangaroo patting and koala cuddles will make your heart swell with love.
Following a tasty morning tea to keep you energised, the scenic ride continues through Cleland Conservation Park to Adelaide. This guided mountain bike tour is an easy bike ride jam-packed with spectacular scenery of the Adelaide Hills.
6. Lost In A Forest
Location: 1203 Greenhill Rd, Uraidla
You can find this hidden gem in a repurposed Anglican Church in Uraidla. Lost In A Forest serves up mouthwatering organic pizzas cooked up in a wood fire oven where a church altar once stood. Worship at the altars of the food gods instead that serve up delicious fare, baked desserts and wines from the Ochota wine barrels that all have musical references.
The venue is only licensed for 48 people making it an even more special find. You’ll need to get in quick to find a table but on Sundays, picnic rugs are welcome on the green.
7. Udder Delights
Location: 91 Main St, Hahndorf
Name a more iconic due then cheese and wine… we’ll wait! Udder Delights has been producing handmade artisan cow and goats milk cheese since 1999. If you haven’t visited the cheese cellar door in the Adelaide Hills then add it to your to-do list.
Bring an empty esky and put together a decadent cheese board or stop by, come with a big appetite and share a fondue for two. The tasty treats make for an excellent snack to accompany a picnic at one of the 50 Adelaide Hill’s wineries.
8. Melbas Chocolate Factory
Location: 22 Henry St, Woodside
You’ll smell the aroma of chocolate long before you see them at the Melbas Chocolate & Confection Factory. The working factory can be found in Woodside on the original site of the South Australian Farmers Cooperative Union founded in 1919 producing cheese, butter and margarine. After operations ceased, the heritage-listed complex was given a new burst of life when it became the home of the Melbas Chocolate Factory in 1990.
During a visit to the large chocolate emporium, you can watch the magic of cocoa beans being transformed into chocolate goodies using traditional chocolate-making methods perfected to a fine art. Wander through six showrooms including the chocolate room, depositing room, packing room, panning room, toffee room and the cooling tunnel during a visit to the Melbas Chocolate & Confectionery Factory. Rocky road is a fan favourite and you can purchase some goodies in the gift shop or sit down for a coffee in the cafe.
9. Hardy’s Verandah
Location: Mount Lofty House, 1 Mawson Drive, Crafters
Once home to lavish parties that Gatsby would be proud of at the Mount Lofty House, Hardy’s Verandah remains true to its roots as a restaurant with old-world glamour. The centrepiece is the verandah with opulent touches and a breathtaking view over Piccadilly Valley.
Sit down for a meal with a view here and a seasonal degustation menu that showcases the region’s delectable produce. Foodies will be impressed by each and every course that is placed in front of you and a drinks menu that is effortlessly paired to your degustation experience. The prestigious restaurant has been awarded 3 Chef Hats so if you like the finer things in life then this is a must-do in the Adelaide Hills.
10. Hahndorf Inn
Location: 35 Main Street, Hahndorf
It’s no secret that Hahndorf is Australia’s oldest surviving German settlement and the locals are proud of their heritage. The quaint streets lined with boutique stores and European inspired architecture is where you’ll find the Hahndorf Inn. The old inn is an institution in Hahndorf giving diners a taste of Bavaria and comes complete with its original charm.
For some good ole comfort and traditional Bavarian cuisine, The Hahndorf Inn is the place to be. Step inside and be transported to a German Bierhall with a cozy saloon bar and dining areas. The Adelaide Hills may be known for its award-winning wines but the beer here is just as good. For an unforgettable Bavarian experience add The Hahndorf Inn one to your itinerary.
Experience Oz is your hub for all the top things to do in South Australia. For more information or further travel inspiration head to our website to view all our extraordinary experiences available in the Adelaide Hills.