Wind your way down leafy lanes, stopping at villages dappled in light with our Adelaide Hills itinerary.
Taste some of Australia’s best cool-climate wines food, pluck produce straight from nature’s top shelf, meander through lush garden sanctuaries and fertile farms, and encounter abundant wildlife. Explore charming towns and let the afternoon linger at over 60 award-winning cellar doors with our Adelaide Hills itinerary. Here’s our guide to the best places to stay, spots to eat and things to do in the Adelaide Hills.
Where to stay
Mount Lofty House, Adelaide Hills
Perched above the famed Adelaide Hills wine region, surrounded by breathtaking botanic gardens and overlooking the stunning Piccadilly Valley, you’d never guess Mount Lofty House is just 15 minutes from the Adelaide CBD. Snuggle up with a good book in the library, stop in for a warming nightcap in the lounge bar, indulge in a hot stone massage at the day spa or treat yourself to an incredible feast at Hardy’s Verandah Restaurant. For the ultimate luxury, check into Mount Lofty House's brand-new Sequoia lodge; 14 luxurious suites with breathtaking views 180 degree views and access to a private lounge with a heated plunge pool and private gardens. The service is just as impressive with daily downturn, gourmet breakfast, daily drinks and tasting plates, and gourmet mini bar all included in your stay.
CABN, Adelaide Hills
Unplug and unwind surrounded by nature at CABN. Set on 180 acres of scrubland and on the doorstep of a conservation park boasting incredible walking trails and breathtaking scenery, this completely off-grid, eco-friendly tiny house is the perfect base for to explore the Adelaide Hills. After a day discovering the bush, cuddle up around the outdoor fire, marvel at thousands of stars lighting up the night sky or kick back in your king size bed with a good book. Jude, the name of the cabin, is also pet friendly. For more eco-friendly stays check out our guide to the best off-grid accommodation in South Australia.
Lenswood Pavilions, Adelaide Hills
Sink into your tub overlooking manicured gardens tucked in the heart of the Adelaide Hills. Welcome to the brand-spanking-new Pavilions at Lenswood, a secluded sanctuary for adults only nestled among rolling vineyards and bountiful orchards. Perched atop a valley, settle down at the Swiss chalet styled Ruhe or modern Italian Alps style villa, Merak and soak in epic views of the Adelaide Hills. Inside, an open wood fire, free standing bath, king bed and luxe decor complete the winter vibes, while a hot tub awaits on the deck.
Find more Adelaide Hills accommodation here.
Where to eat
Lot 100, Adelaide Hills
Bringing together the cellar doors for Adelaide Hills Cider, Mismatch Brewing, Vinteloper wines, Adelaide Hills Distillery, Ashton Valley Fresh juices and underpinned by an incredible restaurant, Lot 100 showcases the breadth of the Adelaide Hills craft beverage offering and is the perfect destination to kick back with friends. With Tom Bubner (Pizza e Mozzarella Bar, Chicken and Pig) and Shannon Fleming (ex-Orana Restaurant) in the kitchen, you’re guaranteed to be well fed, too. Embracing a paddock to plate ethos and with an emphasis on local produce, on the menu you’ll find pizza, pasta and more.
Sidewood, Adelaide Hills
Kick back on a luxury day bed set among manicured gardens as your waiter brings wine straight to you. Hahndorf’s Sidewood Estate is the perfect spot to catch up with friends over a glass (or 10) of famed Adelaide Hills cool-climate wines and ciders paired with incredible food. Book a VIP day bed, pull up a seat in the chic restaurant or snag a spot on the sun-filled deck and soak in the idyllic surrounds. Perfect for families, you can also throw down your picnic rug, sip wine and feast on wood-fired pizzas while the kids are kept busy on the playground.
Hardy’s Verandah Restaurant, Adelaide Hills
Enjoy a decadent dinner with front row seats to the rolling Adelaide Hills valleys. At Hardys Verandah, spectacular meals are matched with local wines and stunning views over Piccadilly Valley. A timeless menu and sommelier-matched wine list has earned the restaurant three Chef Hats and countless awards. Cosy-up by the roaring fireplace with a pre-dinner wine or post-dinner nightcap, soaking up the history and glamour of one of South Australia’s most iconic properties, Mount Lofty House.
Find more places to eat in the Adelaide Hills here.
What to do
Local produce and wine
Some of Australia’s best cool-climate wines, food and produce straight from nature’s top shelf await in the Adelaide Hills. Here, vineyards criss-cross valleys and produce some of the world’s most sought-after wines, orchards overflow with fruit used to produce local cider, jams and preserves and lush green countryside is to thank for rich, creamy cheeses. Stop in at a road-side stall to taste produce direct from the farmer, sample artisan cheeses at Woodside Cheese Wrights or Udder Delights or indulge your sweet tooth with hand-made chocolates at Red Cacao. And of course, no trip to the Adelaide Hills is complete without calling into a cellar door (or 10), and some of our favourite Adelaide Hills wines await at Mt Lofty Ranges Vineyard, Golding Wines, Karrawatta Wines, Shaw + Smith and Bird in Hand. Once you’ve had your fill of wine, swap to a local botanically-infused gin at Ambleside Distillers or a golden ale at Prancing Pony Brewery.
Continue wining and dining with our foodie’s guide to the Adelaide Hills.
The Lane Vineyard 360 degree tasting
Take a seat for one of the Adelaide Hills’ most unique wine experiences: The Lane Vineyard’s 360 Degree Hilltop Tasting. Perched above the Hahndorf vineyard, work your way through a flight of seven premium wines and chef-prepared goodies in The Lane’s unique tasting room with retractable walls, opening-up to stunning 360-degree views of the rolling Adelaide Hills. Consider yourself a wine snob? Go behind the scenes of The Lane’s state of the art winery for a crash course in winemaking with head wine maker Turon White. Create your own master blend, bottle it and take it home to savour later.
While away an afternoon exploring a real-life fairy-tale village at Australia’s oldest surviving German settlement, Hahndorf. Just 25 minutes from Adelaide, Hahndorf is steeped in history and character. Stroll down the iconic main street and explore heritage German buildings, bakeries, pubs and cafes that line the bustling leafy street. Enjoy a traditional German feast at the Hahndorf Inn and wander through beautiful galleries and shops offering everything from traditional sweets and local produce to indigenous artwork and German cuckoo clocks.
What to see
Mount Lofty Botanic Gardens, Adelaide Hills
Explore 97 hectares of lush, green paradise at Mount Lofty Botanic Garden. Though jaw-dropping all year-round, the best time to roam the garden is during autumn, when canopies explode with vibrant yellows, reds and oranges. With meandering paths through some of South Australia’s most beautiful and diverse plant-life, flowing streams and camellias in full bloom, you’ll be walking in a winter wonderland bursting with the colours of autumn. Stroll through Fern Gully, Rhododendron and Magnolia Grove or sit back and chill out by the lake.
Cleland Wildlife Park, Adelaide Hills
Just down the road from the gardens, the lush bushland paradise of Cleland Wildlife Park is a haven for iconic Australian animals. Spanning 35 hectares and home to more than 130 native species including kangaroos, reptiles, wombats and birds, here you can take a selfie with a koala, hand-feed kangaroos, or pat a wombat. For more up-close animal encounters, wildlife lovers can continue to Warrawong Wildlife Sanctuary and Gorge Wildlife Park, or check out our guide to the best wildlife experiences in South Australia.
Jurlique Farm, Adelaide Hills
Visit the home of world-famous skin-care range Jurlique in the Adelaide Hills, just minutes from the bustling town of Mount Barker. The biodynamic Jurlique Farm, where many of the herbs, flowers and plants are grown for the brand’s natural skincare products, opens its doors to the public for a unique opportunity to go behind the scenes and learn about the iconic brand. From seed to skin, see for yourself the nature and science behind the products, visiting the display garden, seed propagation area, biodynamic preparation area and herb drying area. Afterwards, explore the retail shop and stock up on all your skin care needs.
Beerenberg Family Farm, Adelaide Hills
Nothing compares to the taste of fruit plucked straight from the field, and some of South Australia’s best produce awaits in orchards across the Adelaide Hills. Nestled just outside the tourist hot spot of Hahndorf, picking your own strawberries at Beerenberg Farm is a rite of passage during any trip to the hills, plus you can sample their famous jams, sauces and condiments direct from the farm shop. You’ll also find seasonal a pick-your-own cherry, apple, pear and fig orchards tucked all over the hills so take the pick of the crop with our guide to the best places to pick your own fruit in South Australia.
Find more things to do in the Adelaide Hills here.
Taste the best of the Adelaide Hills
Hungry for more Adelaide Hills inspiration? Take your taste buds on tour through the culinary heart of the hills with our foodie’s guide to the Adelaide Hills.