With rolling green hills, whimsical villages and picture-perfect vineyards, the Adelaide Hills really is a haven for romantic getaways. Only half an hour’s drive from Adelaide’s CBD, this postcard-ready destination is oh-so easy to get to. And you really should – like, now.
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Arguably the Adelaide Hills’ most charming townships, Hahndorf (30 minutes southeast of Adelaide) is a fantastic first port of call. Settled by German migrants in the 19th century, this enchanting spot is beloved for its stone wall architecture, tree-lined streets, emerald surrounds and friendly community.
After checking in to your accommodation, wander down Hahndorf’s main street, Mount Barker Road, and pop into the quaint boutiques and knick-knack shops along the way. Ready for dinner? With a thriving foodie scene, this picturesque spot offers plenty of choice.
For a brilliant escape, get to know Hahndorf’s cultural heritage and treat yourselves to some hearty, belly-warming German fare. Cosy up by a roaring fire and raise a stein at the ruggedly romantic Hahndorf Inn. Or, order yourselves a classic Bavarian schnitzel or slow-roasted pork hock at the German Arms Hotel or The Haus Hahndorf. Prost!
To get your Saturday off to the right start, hit Hahndorf again for a brag-worthy breakfast. Kitchen 2C and The Seasonal Garden Cafe (definitely don’t miss exploring its gorgeous gardens) are local favourites here that will get you caffeinated and ready for the day ahead.
If it’s adventure you’re seeking, lace up your walking shoes and navigate the extraordinary Waterfall to Mt Lofty Summit Hike. Suitable for a range of abilities (expect steep inclines, though), the three-hour track reveals spectacular bushland, waterfall and Adelaide CBD views – keep an eye out for creatures like koalas and kangaroos.
Looking for something a little more relaxed? Wine-lovers, you’re in the right place. Renowned for its vineyards and cellar doors, the Adelaide Hills seems made for winery-hopping. Just minutes from Hahndorf, The Lane Vineyard promises a fabulous day out. Take in breathtaking views of vineyards surrounded by seemingly endless countryside as you sip something delightful and share lunch at its Dining Room – heaven. Don’t leave without also visiting the Tasting Room at nearby Shaw + Smith, awarded ‘Best Large Cellar Door’ by Gourmet Travellerin 2018. And fit in time for sampling the acclaimed cool-climate wines at the family-owned Bird in Hand winery in Woodside (15 minutes from Hahhndorf).
Brew-lovers, there’s a slew of terrific microbreweries to check out here, too. Under ten minutes’ drive from Hahndorf, Totness’s Prancing Pony Brewery doesn’t disappoint. Pull up a chair at its beautifully laid-back Brewshed and enjoy live music, crowd-pleasing cuisine and a tasting paddle of their best brews. Other great options nearby include Loberthal Beirhaus and Gulf Brewery for their cellar doors and mouthwatering bites.
Spoil yourselves with a next-level romantic dinner to celebrate your last night in the Adelaide Hills. Sure to win over animal-lovers, the Cleland Wildlife Park offers a special Indulgence Night Walk experience that’s utterly magical. You’ll toast the sunset and enjoy a cheese platter at twilight before being guided on an exclusive tour of the park, and feeding the super-cute Tasmanian Devils. An exciting photo session with possums or reptiles and tucking into dessert caps off an unforgettable evening.
If fine dining is more your thing, book a table at Hardy’s Verandah at the iconic Mt Lofty House. Synonymous with old-world glamour, exquisite Piccadilly Valley views and outstanding cuisine, this newly refurbished spot uses the very best local produce to create almost-too-pretty-to-eat dishes. To go all-out, settle in for one of the restaurant’s degustation dinners. One word – amazing.
If you haven’t yet been to Cleland Wildlife Park, spend your Sunday morning at this gem of a park. Home to marvellous Australian animals like kangaroos, wombats, potoroos, koalas, dingoes and echidna, it invites couples to get up close with the residences with an array of memorable experiences – we’d happily spend our morning feeding wombats or hugging a koala!
To keep things simple before you finish up your weekend away, gather some gourmet goodies in Hahndorf (think cheese from Udder Delights and pastries from Otto’s Bakery) after picking strawberries at the nearby Beerenberg Farm. Family-owned since 1839 and known for its range of sauces and chutneys, the farm often throws open its doors to couples seeking something sweet for their picnic basket. Next stop? Find yourselves somewhere unbelievably scenic in the countryside for a fuss-free lunch in the outdoors – that’s our kind of al fresco dining experience.
Planning a short break or romantic getaway? Find plenty of beautiful Australian accommodation here…Helpful links:Hahndorf Inn // German Arms Hotel // The Haus Hahndorf // Kitchen 2C // The Seasonal Garden Cafe // The Lane Vineyard // Shaw + Smith // Bird in Hand // Prancing Pony Brewery // Loberthal Beirhaus // Gulf Brewery // Cleland Wildlife Park // Hardy’s Verandah Restaurant // Beerenberg Farm Image credit: South Australian Tourism Commission, Kirkbee Pty Ltd and The Lane Vineyard