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Explore Nairne In the Adelaide Hills

Home > Adelaide > Kids | Free | Food and Wine | Family | Escape the City
by Dave Walsh (subscribe)
I enjoy writing about Adelaide and its many attractions. If you think Adelaide is boring, the problem is not with Adelaide. adelaideunearthed.blogspot.com.au/
Published March 11th 2013
Not the one in Scotland
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The Albert Mill in Nairne


For those of us who don't live in the Adelaide Hills, taking a drive on the freeway can be a novelty.

Extra precautions need to be taken. Tyres - check. Petrol - check. GPS - check. Cash - check.

We travel at a sedate sixty k's to the freeway, and then everyone sinks their foot to the floor. Well, everyone except that one stubborn person in the right hand lane still doing 50km/h.

After a few deep breaths and some calming trance music, all is well. We're ready for life in the slower lane once we have found our turnoff. And it is worth it, because towns in the Adelaide Hills are a pleasure to visit.

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Millie's Bakery @ Nairne


Cattle and sheep stare insolently at you as you pass by. A country deli which doesn't seem to have changed in 30 years turns up a deliciously fresh local bakery pie. And stopping for a drink in the local pub reminds you of the pleasurable time when pokies didn't exist in South Australia.

Nairne is a bit like that. If you call through on a Saturday afternoon you may wonder what's on in Adelaide, because it is sometimes rather quiet. But the locals are more than likely just watching the footy at the local oval.

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A Little About Local History


So don't be disappointed, there are things to see and do - and not all in the town centre. But taking a walk along the main street gives a more intimate feel for the town and its history.

There is a handy free Historic Walking Tour guide available, giving more information about many of the heritage places in Nairne. You can download it from here.

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The District Hotel


There are many quaint old buildings giving Nairne a village feel - the local pubs have a typical 19th century exterior style and always make me want to explore inside.

A sign opposite the Millers Arms Hotel explains some of the local history, while a short stroll down the side street brings you to the Albert Mill, a charming and well maintained old building now used as a Bed and Breakfast business.

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The Millers Arms Hotel


If you have arrived hungry, you may be pleasantly surprised. Apart from pub dining, Nairne has a couple of restaurants sharing the same owner - Chingari (Indian) and Zigi Zaga (Modern Australian).

For something a little more casual, check out the local branch of Millies Bakery Cafe or Flo Jo's Diner. And of course, there is the Monte Bello pizza bar, but it doesn't seem to open during the day.

If shopping is more your thing, there is an infrequent Nairne Community Sustainable Market. Check out the Facebook page to see when it is on next.

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Flo Jos Diner


If your idea of where to visit in Australia is an Adelaide Hills winery, then Nairne has its own, too. The Howard Vineyard has a moderately large range of varieties available, and its dining facilities have had good reviews.

Just be aware that there is a charge for tasting wines on weekends and public holidays, and for larger groups. It's not a practice that I support, but each winery has to make its own decisions on that.

At the far end of town is the disused Chapman's smallgoods factory. I imagine that most residents just wish that the earth would open up and let it disappear, but it probably won't be long before it is razed.

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Nairne's Skate Park


If you have kids on board, there is a modest skate park with basketball hoops just of the main street. That might give you a few minutes to explore the former church on sale - a pretty building with character which could benefit from an imaginative conversion. Perhaps you could even run a business from it?

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Want to Live in a Former Church?


Railway fans may like to check out the Nairne railway station or Steamranger at Mt Barker or the much more dilapidated Balhannah station close by.

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Nairne Railway Station


And once you have seen Nairne, consider driving along the Onkaparinga Scenic Drive to the Mount Torrens heritage area.

There is plenty to see and do along the way, and you're not far from the sights of Lobethal. Bon voyage!
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Where: Nairne, SA
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Your Comment
Much enjoyed this article Dave especially the start which I can relate to. Like your photo of Albert Mill.
by Yin-Yin Ow (score: 3|1589) 1686 days ago
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