Strudel and schnitzel and sauerkraut - oh my! There's no need to hop on a plane to experience the very best of German hospitality - Hahndorf in the Adelaide Hills will transport you straight to the streets of Dusseldorf, no passport necessary.
Nestled amongst acres of vineyards and orchards, this whimsical village is Australia's oldest living German settlement, attracting about 1 million visitors a year. Stroll the tree-lined main street and step back in time to discover butcher, baker and candlestick makers, as well as cellar doors, artisan boutiques and galleries just waiting to be explored.
Located just 30 minutes from Adelaide, this quaint town is the perfect destination for a weekend spent sipping on beer, chatting to locals and taking in the beauty of the Adelaide Hills. Pull on your lederhosen - we've rounded up the must-do experiences for the ultimate weekend in Hahndorf.
Visit one of the rustic pubs on the main street and you'll be transported to another era. Founded in 1839, the German Arms Hotel is a cornerstone of Hahndorf's rich history - here, you'll be served frothy steins of Bavarian Beer, doughy pretzels and a side of warm German hospitality. Feast on bockwurst, bratwurst and cheese kransky at The Haus, then head to The Hahndorf Inn for a traditional Bierhall experience. If you’re still hungry for more, look for the giant pretzel dangling outside the door of The German Cake Shop, and treat yourself to supersized pretzel doughnuts, apple strudel and beesting cakes. Remember - if you're not rolling home after a visit to Hahndorf, you haven't done it right.
There's no better way to explore Hahndorf than by spending the morning ambling along the main street. Park the car and take a stroll, making sure to stop in at the German Village Shop to see walls lined with finely detailed cuckoo clocks, the Hahndorf Knife Shop for hand-crafted blades, and Hahndorf Sweets for sugary treats of yester-year. Make sure you set plenty of time aside to explore The German Pantry, where you'll find European curiosities to stock your kitchen with, as well as fresh meats and cheeses. For those after a more curated experience, select one of Hahndorf Walking Tours' itineraries and explore behind the scenes of this small town.
EXPLORE VIA BIKE
You don't have to be a cycling pro to enjoy a tour with Bike About - hop aboard an electric bike and you'll be whizzing through the hills in no time. Your guide will take you through the main street and into Hahndorf's surrounds, stopping off at iconic destinations, like Grunthal Brew, Beerenberg Farm and local wineries like Shaw and Smith. Leave the beaten path behind and discover hidden trails through bushland and vineyards, all the while learning more about the area from your expert guides.
PICK YOUR OWN PRODUCE
The high altitude and cool conditions of the Adelaide Hills make this region perfect for growing fruit, but did you know that you can pick your own at this picture-perfect farm? Head to Beerenberg Family Farm between November and April each year and you'll be welcomed by fields of luscious strawberries, warm from the sun. Fill your basket and taste the fruit straight from the vine, before cooling off with morning tea and a cold drink in the Farm Cafe.
VISIT NEARBY CELLAR DOORS
DISCOVER AN ARTISTIC PAST
Take high tea in the home of the great Australian landscape artist, Sir Hans Heysen, who lived and painted just outside Hahndorf. Drift through Heysen's rambling Bohemian home, named The Cedars, which once hosted unique characters like the famous ballerina Anna Pavlova, and explorer Sir Edmund Hillary. Learn more about Heysen's extraordinary life and contribution to the art world, and stay on for a traditional afternoon tea with local sparkling wine.