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Spring Splendour in the Adelaide Hills

Home > Adelaide > Cafes | Escape the City | Family | Places of Interest | Weekend Escapes
by Graeme Fanning (subscribe)
I'm a tour guide who is passionate about South Australia and love to showcase to locals and visitors. Visit my facebook page at
Published October 3rd 2015
Further your horizons in the Adelaide Hills
Adelaide Hills Spring Driving Tour

Spring is well and truly in the air..... the sun is poking its rays out more frequently and nature is bursting with renewal as evident with new growth on trees, bushes, shrubs and undergrowth.

Splashes of colour are now appearing with the beautiful blossoms and what better way to appreciate and celebrate Springtime than to take a driving tour through the Adelaide Hills.

Adelaide Hills
Adelaide Hills countryside


The route starts at Blackwood, then by Main Road to Coromandel Valley, turning left at an intersection heading towards Cherry Gardens.

Then winding through the scenic countryside, the road takes you through Ironbank and onto Stirling.

You then follow the main road out of Stirling to the adjacent town of Aldgate, then Mylor and finally the River road to Hahndorf, finishing the tour in the historic tourist town.

The route is approximately 37.6 kms long, however be prepared for windy roads, yet some eye popping scenery along the way.

Time-wise if you drove non-stop you could complete the journey in just under 50 minutes, however would highly recommend you take your time, soak in the environment and enjoy some of the best the Adelaide Hills has to offer in the way of countryside, food, refreshment and historic towns.

Adelaide Hills
Rural countryside


Although Blackwood is only 12.8 kms south-east from the city of Adelaide CBD, it has a real country and community feel about it being located in the foothills of the Adelaide Hills and abundant with much flora, including the native Australian Blackwood tree, from which it is believed Blackwood was named.

First sub-divided for housing in 1879, today Blackwood is a vibrant suburb with a population of around 4,000 residents.

Coromandel Valley

Leaving Blackwood via the main roundabout, you head on Main Road through the adjoining suburb of Coromandel Valley which is nestled in amongst the rolling hills of the area.

As you meander through the valley, you can't help but notice the heritage and historical buildings dotted on either side of the road, including the Coromandel Valley Primary School, one of the oldest schools in South Australia established around 1877.

Adjacent to the school is the original St John's Anglican Church, built with local stone which also dates from the 1800's.

Cherry Gardens

Continuing through the valley, the road hits a T junction, with the road to the right heading off to Clarendon and to the left, Cherry Gardens.

Cherry Gardens can be described as a semi-rural suburb with tracts of farming land and originally named as the result of a native cherry which at one time grew in abundance in the area.

Every so often out of the corner of your eye, you spy a home made sign advertising fresh produce such as eggs and the sale of firewood.

Across the rolling hills every so often a glimpse is caught of the view out across the Adelaide Plains to the gulf waters and metropolitan beaches.

Near the "high street" area of Cherry Gardens, someone has even gone to the trouble of carving out the name "Cherry Gardens" in a substantial hedge, in case you have forgotten where you are.

Adelaide Hills
Adelaide Hills Valley in Spring


The road continues to wind and meander through the hills past some iconic Australian Eucalypts and roadside native flowers in various colours of yellow, purple and pink.

You know you have reached Ironbank when you see a used caryard on the outskirts with all types of models of cars straddled side by side.

Again this area is described as a semi-rural suburb of Adelaide with a focus, I think being more rural than suburban.

The community feel seems to be backed up by seeing buildings such as the Ironbank CFS (Country Fire Service), Community Meeting Hall and various sporting clubs.


After leaving Ironbank, the road continues to meander past breathtaking views of Mount Lofty and the surrounding ranges before reaching the beautiful town of Stirling.

Stirling offers an ecclectic mix of quaint shops, cafes, pubs, markets and stately old homes in tree lined streets.

Being a vibrant commercial centre close to Adelaide, you can't go past without stopping for something to eat or drink at the Stirling Hotel, which dates from the 1800's, originally known as the Halfway Inn, as this was the place where the horses pulling coaches were changed enroute from Adelaide to Mount Barker.

Patrons spill out almost onto the sidewalk on a sunny afternoon, sitting enjoying their meal or drink under umbrellas.

Adelaide Hills
Stirling Hotel


Continuing on through Stirling, it is only the blink of an eye before you reach the town of Aldgate, which was named after the town of Aldgate in England, meaning "Old Gate".

Near the Aldgate Pump Hotel is an original monument of a pump installed by Richard Hawkins as a means of watering the horse and bullock teams passing through the town on their way to the Echunga goldfields in the 1800's.


Leaving Aldgate, the road takes you on to Mylor, which is described as a small village of just under 1,000 residents.

The thing that stands out as you go through Mylor is the lack of a pub, which in Australia normally is mandatory for any town.

The reason for the absence of a pub was due to the one time inhabitants who were strict Methodists with a high temperance belief.

Like a lot of the country towns throughout the Adelaide Hills, Mylor also hosts a regular country market, usually held on the first Sunday of each month.

Adelaide Hills
Aldgate Pump


The road out of Mylor follows the Onkaparinga River, the second major river in the metropolitan area of Adelaide, after the River Torrens.

Enroute you start to see signs indicating wineries in the area, which around Hahndorf and the Adelaide Hills are starting to become well respected and loved.

You finally reach Hahndorf, a tourist mecca and classified as Australia's oldest surviving German settlement.

A stroll up and down the main street offers much in the way of quaint souvenir shops, authentic German cafes, and a choice of three pubs including the historic Old Mill, the German Arms and the Hahndorf Inn.

Quality craft shops that sell anything from leather to clothing, gifts and art works abound and the overseas tourists in particular love their experience in this town.

You can't leave without trying some German cuisine including Kransky sausages, Sauerkraut, Bratwurst and Bienenstich (Bee Sting Cake) made of a sweet yeast dough with a baked on topping of caramelised almonds filled with vanilla custard or cream. Yum!

Adelaide Hills
Hahndorf Historic Building


A great way to spend time over a weekend with options to perhaps linger a while longer and stay overnight or for the entire weekend in this picturesque setting within an easy drive from Adelaide.

Adelaide Hills
Hahndorf German Souvenir Store

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Why? Explore by car the beautiful Adelaide Hills
When: Any time of the year
Phone: 1800 353 323
Where: Adelaide Hills
Cost: Dependent on your interests and plans
Your Comment
An article about a drive through the Adelaide Hills is a great idea, the scenery fand the towns are equally spectacular. It is a shame you didn;t include a photo in each section to show off the area at its best.
by Gayle Beveridge (score: 3|9188) 2205 days ago
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