Lydia C. Lee is still trying to work out what to do with her one wild and precious life. She currently is a haphazard blogger. Read more at holidazeandhellidaze.blogspot.com.au or www.pandoraandmax.blogspot.com
Published January 14th 2014
Travel a world away without hours in the car
We'd finished our time in the Barossa, and were making our way to McLaren Vale for our time at the beach house. This left us with just half a day to make our way through the scenic Adelaide Hills district.
The drive is very pretty, and varies greatly from what we'd seen in the Barossa. Taking the scenic route, on the Gumeracha-Lobethal road, we passed through Lobethal and forests, over ridges with stunning views.
We had a brief stop in the very pretty little town of Stirling, mainly because I wanted a closer look at the amazing Thorngrove Manor. Had we had an extra day, I would love to have a night here. The turreted castle-esque manor house deserves much more exploration than we could afford in this trip. One of the small leading hotels in the world, and voted into the top ten of the most amazing hotels in the world in 2011, this enchanting feat of architectural creativity is worth a visit, even if only from outside the fence.
Then on to the main attraction, some tasting at Petaluma in Bridgewater. Housed in the historic 1860's flour mill, complete with water wheel, there is a very appealing fine dining restaurant, should you time your visit after 12.
However, for us, it was on to the quaint little village of Hahndorf to potter about for an hour or two. Hahndorf is the oldest surviving German settlement in Australia, and the main street is made up of historical buildings dating back to the 1800's. Founded in 1839, the trees that line the streets are a hundred years old, adding to the beauty of the picturesque town. German flags and music add to the ambiance and you investigate the offerings of the restaurants and shops. You feel transported to another time and place, despite being a mere twenty minutes for the Adelaide CBD! 2014 heralds the 175th year celebration so you can plan ahead. There are plenty of recommendations for things to do and see in Hahndorf.
We opted for a tasty lunch of traditional German offerings at Café Assiette, with beer soaked bratwurst and German pretzels, plus the obligatory sauerkraut and potato salad.
As it was our first visit to this region, I was amazed at how close these little villages were (about ten minutes apart), yet how huge the differences were. There is so much natural beauty mixed with history, and plenty of great dining options.
Not far from Hahndorf,is possibly the prettiest medium size country town in South Aust.It has a unique setting with the ever flowing River Angas running/curving through it's centre,linking it's 3 main streets from the top of the town to the bottom.It is well know for it's Antique Shops and close to the wine growing town of Langhorne Creek and Milang,the old port on Lake Alexandrina.Your article,highlighting this region of the Adelaide Hills has been well put together and Stirling and Hahndorf are really worth a visit.The Stirling Markets,now closed for winter are a major tourist attraction and well worth a visit.