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Self Guided Food Walk in Willunga

Home > Adelaide > Cafes | Food and Wine | Restaurants | Walks
by Karen Ross (subscribe)
I love slow travel, slow food and discovering new adventures and delicious regional food in new locations. I'm on an indulgent quest and I'd love you to follow at www.walkeatshare.wordpress.com
Published June 25th 2016
There's an app for that
I love the concept of a 'Foodwalk'. First you walk, then you eat. Complementary activities in my world. I especially love it when accompanied by a friend because you both learn new things, about places and food, while catching up on each others' news. Sometimes there's so much to say that we both talk at the same time!

So my friend Gaynor and I met up in beautiful Willunga recently to walk, talk, learn and eat.

We started at the Old Courthouse building at 61 High Street. You can read more about this building and it's history in Jenny Esots's article here.

Old Courthouse building
Old Courthouse building


There's also a fantastic app, 'Willunga Walks', which you can download to your iPhone or iPad. It has both written and audio information as well as maps, all put together by the National Trust of South Australia.

The app has two walks to choose from. We chose the 'Courthouse Loop' walk. I'm looking forward to doing the second, 'Courthouse to Showhall' sometime soon.

Willunga Walks app
Willunga Walks app


Clearly Gaynor and I had a dilemma since the app is excellent and has so much information, but if we listened to all the information it offered we'd have less time to talk ourselves. So we compromised and took turns.

Across the street, at number 62, is a private home that was once the Post Office and Telegraph Station. From the app we learned that the post office opened in 1858 when mail was brought from Adelaide to Willing by horse, a journey of six hours one way.

number 62 High Street, Willunga
Number 62 High Street, Willunga


The location of the post office changed, in 1916, to it's present location at 4 High Street.

Further down the hill, at number 51, is the Bush Inn. It was built around 1900 and was actually the third hotel in Willunga to be called the Bush Inn. From 1915 until 1973 it's name changed to Canberra Hotel. Clearly that wasn't a good move because now it's called the Bush Inn again and seems to do a very good trade, thank you very much.

Old Bush Inn, Willunga
Old Bush Inn, Willunga


At number 44 High Street is a chic French restaurant called La Terre. The building was originally a bakery from about 1886 to 1967.

La Terre
La Terre


The Blue Door Studio stands at number 38 and this building has an appealing life story. Starting life a church with a thriving congregation, numbers dwindled until the early 1900's when one lone worshipper remained. George Eden would open the church doors each Sunday morning, earning himself the local nickname of 'Old Fidelity'. After George's death in 1934, the building housed the Prisoner of War Control Centre, the Willunga Country Women's Association Rest Room and the Willunga Masonic Lodge. Apparently the building has a sloping floor, installed originally to prevent dancing. Funny since it was recently a dance studio and now used for yoga.

Blue Door Studio
Blue Door Studio


Odd fellows Hall at number 35 was built in 1863 and Altar Bistro at number 27 was a Methodist Chapel, built in 1868.

Oddfellows Hall
Oddfellows Hall


Number 17, cafe and cellar door, was the original butcher's shop from 1857 until 1955.

Hither and Yon
Hither and Yon wine store


The original General Store was at number 22 and had a roller skating rink in a shed at the back of the property during the First World War.

The building at number 7 was a bank for 150 years, first the National Bank, then the Bank of Adelaide and, finally, the ANZ. Now we can all just go to the ATM.

Once the bank
Number 7 was once the bank


The Willunga Hotel at number 3 and 5 High Street, has been a hotel since 1868. Obviously a very successful pub then, and the temptation to duck in for a beer was strong, but we decided to press on with our Food Walk.

Willunga Hotel
Willunga Hotel


We turned right onto St Peter's Terrace and walked past one of the oldest remaining homes in Willunga at number 7. A succession of doctors had their surgery and home here for over a hundred years.

We turned right onto St Lukes Street where, at number 13, a family of nine children and their parents lived in the early 1900's. Number 17 and 21 were both schools for boys and girls respectively.

Former school
Former school


Turning right onto St James Street, we passed McCaffrey Cottage at number 21 where a series of notable people have lived. Rumour has it the man who designed the Daleks from Dr Who lived there in the mid 1970's.

We estimated the walk to be just under 2kms, and it took us less than an hour, including stops to take photos and enjoy the stories on the Willunga Walks app. The app is a great idea, more walks should have them.

Having completed the loop and worked up an appetite it was time to contemplate lunch. We had passed a few lunch opportunities on our walk but I had heard about somewhere that sounded extra-special, only 7kms away on the main road into Willunga. So Gaynor and I returned to our cars at the Old Courthouse building and proceeded to Au Pear.

Read more about Au Pear here.
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When: Thursday till Monday, 12pm-4pm
Phone: (08) 8556 4005
Website: aupear.com.au
Where: 192 Main Road, Willunga
Your Comment
Interesting article. I have walked most of these streets, without being aware of the app that would fill in all the background information.
Love the rumor that Daleks were dreamt up in Willunga.
by prior (score: 1|42) 1202 days ago
Hello Karen,
The National Trust have done a fine job of getting the app trail happening. Thanks for the road test. I can remember some of the historical events, so I must be getting long in the tooth! I also don't have an app phone yet, but it will happen, all in good time. Willunga is spoilt for choice with many great cafes. I highly recommend The Green Room & 3 Monkeys. Cheers.
by Jenny Esots (score: 3|1244) 1207 days ago
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