Greeted outside Hahndorf Inn, Sharon introduced herself and led us straight to St Paul's Lutheran Church at the southern end of the main street. She then proceeded to tell us about the history of Hahndorf in an entertaining and enjoyable way. I bet you didn't know what the German word "hahn" means? And, no, it's actually more than just the name of the Zebra ship's Captain Dirk Hahn.
Our Strassendorf Walking Tour was very informative and well-conducted. After the church, we were taken to various other locations including a heritage walk which I never knew existed even though I've been to Hahndorf many times. From here, we could see the red gum slab barn family dwelling and milch cow shelter, red gum slab kitchen with corbelled brick and stone bake oven, and two-roomed stone cottage on Widow Schmidt's wheatfield. We also visited the former mortuary which was one of the first stone buildings in the village. Its original shingles, loft and cellar still remain today.
Red gum slab barn
Widow Schmidt's wheatfield
Stories of the founding families, especially their pioneering women, who emigrated from Prussia to escape religious persecution really fascinated me. These precious female figures carried the vegetables they had planted all the way to the early morning Adelaide market to sell. Ladies, can you imagine walking with baskets attached to yokes across your shoulders for several hours in the dark? I reckon the faith and entrepreneurial spirit of these women were truly amazing. From the sale of their produce, they would then purchase bricks to bring back for their church building.
Inside the mortuary
A little further along, we arrived at one of the pear trees planted by the early settlers. You will notice that a well is almost always near a pear tree. Why? Well, Sharon did a great job explaining the folklore surrounding it.
I also learned a lot about fachwerk architecture and its characteristics. This type of Germanic construction was unique and can be best seen in cottages here. Lastly, as time permitted, we entered a restaurant to admire Hans Heysen's stunning The Camp on the Wonoka Creek. In case you're not aware, Heysen was a German-born Australian artist well-known for his paintings.
Sharon using props to explain the fachwerk architecture
There were various opportunities for photography throughout the 90-minute tour and enough time was allocated for it too. I did not feel rushed when trying to snap a good photo. A couple of great places to eat and shop were also pointed out, along with some discount vouchers.
The tour operates every morning of the week except Sundays. Cost is $35 per adult with concession, family and child tickets available as well. If you're interested in German food, a strudel-making component could be included prior to commencing the tour for an additional $40. You'll then return to Hahndorf Inn to enjoy your self-constructed apple strudel all cooked ready for you.