If the Adelaide Hills is fairytale country, Hahndorf is its fabled gingerbread cottage. It’s definitely baked with tourists in mind – and, yes, it requires a bit of a sweet tooth – but, given a chance, Hahndorf delivers a rich palate of cultural, intellectual and artistic heritage for those who seek it.
Wandering through Hahndorf by ancient elms and gorgeous examples of early timber and brick cottages is a temporal trip to an aesthetically dreamy Germanic settlement grafted on to early colonial Australia. Interiors burst with delectable smells and tastes; delicacies like cheeses, chutneys, sauces, cured meats and wines overwhelm. This is a “switch off, reach for the lavosh and dip into divinity” situation.
Be sure to stop by Chocolate @ No5 and the brand-new Divine Cupcakes right next door. Fashion, furniture, great German beer and, more significantly, art are additional Hahndorf soul pleasers. Once a seat of fine learning, with students from all over Australia sent here to study, the gorgeous old stone Hahndorf Academy is now an impressive regional centre for the arts.
A visit to The Cedars is also rewarding; a picturesque estate on the outskirts of town, it was the home and studio of Australia’s own Hans Heysen, nine-time winner of the Australian Wynne Prize for landscape.
Where? // 26km (25min) southeast of Adelaide.
Did you know? // The Hahndorf cemetery houses one Ulrich Hubbe, who assisted former SA Premier Robert Torrens in formulating the land tenure system known as Torrens Title, which is now used widely across the world.
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