Find a little slice of Germany in the Adelaide Hills, where the tree-lined main street bustles with old-fashioned bakeries, pubs, restaurants and winery cellar doors.
Hahndorf is Australia’s oldest surviving German settlement and an enchanting getaway in the Adelaide Hills. Founded by Prussian Lutherans in 1839, Hahndorf has retained its European flavor. Stroll down the town’s wide main boulevard and admire the quaint timber-frame architecture and heritage plantings of deciduous trees. Explore its range of shops and discover traditional handicrafts, antiques, toys and hearty German cuisine.
Go for a leisurely wander down Main Street and take in the town’s charming streetscape. Browse the shop displays that showcase cuckoo clocks, hand-tooled leather goods, glimmering minerals and children’s toys. Check out Bamfurlong Fine Crafts to peruse the work of local artists and designers. Kids can learn how to make their own candles at the 3 Wishes Candle Barn. Children will also love the puppet shop, fairy garden and old-fashioned candy shops.
The Hahndorf Academy is housed in one of the town’s earliest buildings and features local artists in its galleries, studios and shop. It also contains a migration museum that highlights the town’s international heritage. Pause outside the academy to examine the Angel of Hahndorf sculpture that marks the Hills Sculpture Trail.
Guided walking tours of the main street are available to give you a deeper insight into the town’s character and historic sites. Note the town’s eclectic mix of architectural flourishes, which include European-style pitched roofs with traditional Australian verandas clad with iron lace.
Visit one of Hahndorf’s German-style bakeries or cafés for a tasty snack. There are also restaurants and pubs serving traditional fare made from the Adelaide Hills’ excellent local produce. Stop by the Adelaide Hills Wine Centre to learn about the region’s distinctive wines. Also on Main Street are several winery cellar doors, which represent artisanal vineyards and widely known labels.
Hahndorf is located within the Adelaide Hills region, which you can reach within a 30-minute drive southeast from Adelaide. Stay in boutique accommodations in Hahndorf or enjoy the town as a daytrip from the South Australian capital. A good time to visit is in fall, when the European trees along Main Street put on a show of beautiful colors.