Around the Adelaide Hills
After spending some time in the Barossa Valley and Clare Valley, the Adelaide Hills were really just a convenient base to explore more of Adelaide & its surrounds. But it really was so much more! We ended up basing ourselves in Hahndorf, which is a small German town about 26km east of Adelaide. After using our free CamperMate app to look at the various different camping options, we settled on a big 4 campsite just outside of town. It was a great site, and still close enough that we could walk in and wonder around the quaint German bakeries, shops, cafes and pubs. There was also plenty to do just in Hahndorf itself. Most of the pubs sell traditional German dinners (as well as other options) and there are lots of German-themed shops which are always worth a look. For foodies (like me) a great spot is at the Beerenberg farm, where you can sample their delicious jams and sauces, but also pick your own strawberries. There is also the Melba Chocolate factory just outside of town, and a handful of wineries. It does get busy in this area around school holidays. We were lucky to be there just after the Easter break so it had started to get quieter but there is plenty to do around the Adelaide Hills too if you need to escape the touristy side of town. There are some fantastic walks to do, which are all only a short drive away. Mount Lofty is worth a visit. It's only about 15km away from Hahndorf and the drive itself is really scenic. Once you get there, the Mount Lofty lookout is a great way to see the skyline of Adelaide. The botanic gardens (just before the lookout) are also stunning. We were there as the trees were turning those beautiful autumn colours, so it was really picturesque. (Be warned though, it's essentially built up the side of the mountain so is quite steep in parts). There is also a wildlife park here which apparently is very good but we just ran out of time. Another good stop for those interested in national parks & walks was Morialta Conservation Park. They had a range of fantastic walks around the park which were all really well marked and easy to follow, and again not too far from Adelaide. For visiting Adelaide itself, there are various options on getting into the city but we ended up driving in & parking which wasn't too bad (we just avoided rush hour). Just walking around the city takes a good day, as there are lots of parks & churches scattered around, and some excellent museums too. We spent another day visiting the botanic gardens in the city and (to keep our little one entertained) headed to Adelaide Zoo. This was a great day out, as the botanic park and zoo are right next to each other. If you're missing the ocean you can get the tram out to Glenelg, which is Adelaide's main beach suburb. You can also do a day trip out to Kangaroo Island. We didn't get time to do this but I have heard it's a great day out, if you can make it out there. The Adelaide Hills were a perfect base to explore Adelaide & around (particularly for campers who still like a bit of peace & quiet). Just remember you are literally up in the hills so it's always a lot colder at night (bring your layers!), and the travel times between roads can be quite different to the km's you're travelling as the roads can be steep & bendy. All well worth it though & I would highly recommend it for anyone looking for a more chilled out spot to explore the Adelaide area. Otherwise there are plenty of other more rural spots outside of Adelaide, so check out the CamperMate app to see all your options.