As Australia’s oldest German settlement, Hahndorf is a unique tourist destination.
Hahndorf is nestled in the Adelaide Hills just 20 minutes’ drive from the Adelaide City CBD. German influences are the key to Hahndorf’s charm – architecture, stores, bakeries, restaurants and wineries all owe their style to the German heritage of the town.
The first residents of Hahndorf arrived in Adelaide in 1838 – the name of the town coming from the captain of the ship on which they arrived. When war broke out in 1914, the South Australian Government at the time decided to change the very German name of the town. Hahndorf became Ambleside until the late 1930s, when the name was reverted to its original German.
For visitors, Hahndorf offers the experience of Europe just outside an Australian metropolis. Day-trippers can indulge in tours of the local wineries which produce some of the world’s finest cold weather wines, eat at gourmet restaurants that use local produce to recreate German cuisine, or spend the day berry picking at Beerenberg.
Art and boutique shops add to Hahndorf’s charm. The Cedars is the former home of renowned landscape artist Hans Heysen, and open to the public – displaying a range of his paintings, his studio, and some of his simpler sketches. The Hahndorf Academy showcases more contemporary art by local artists.
German bakeries and boutique cellar doors are perfect for lunch and an afternoon drink, and the two local pubs or one of the many restaurants offer a variety of cuisines if you’re in town for dinner.
Hahndorf is 26km south east of the Adelaide CBD, and takes about 20
minutes by car. Buses run from the Adelaide CBD on the Southlink line on
a fairly regular basis but check the timetable before you go. Tours are
also a common way to see both Hahndorf and the surrounding area.