Adelaide Hills, Adelaide
Our next stop on DAY TRIP 5 was the small town of Echunga.
We are now 34kms from Adelaide, and in a small sleepy town, which was more alive back in 1852, when it became the first proclaimed goldfield in South Australia.
Settled in 1839, a gold rush occured in 1852, however it did not last long with the diggings exhausted and all but abandoned within a year. It had a population then of over 1200 people, less today.
At the Echunga Institute, every 2nd Saturday of the month, an "OLD STYLE DANCE" is held. These are great to attend, and you will find the country people very friendly.
Also, on the 1st Saturday of the month, a market is held.
In the main street is the historic Uniting Church, built in 1884. The oldest Church in Echunga is St. Mary's Church, built in 1851 and still holding services till today.
For lovers of wild orchids, you should be able to find some of these in the scrub at Echunga Cemetery in Spring. You are not allowed to pick them, but just to see them is nice. Puppy dogs, Bull-dogs, Crows and Spider orchids to name a few. Be careful in warm weather, as Red Bellied Black snakes live here. Just stand still if you see one, the Snake will slither away.
Next stop on DAY 5 is at MEADOWS.
A nice days outing is going to the Adelaide Hills and following the "old Princes Highway."
Why, when you can nearly fly down along the main highway to Murray Bridge in no time!
Because, we want to see the small towns of interest along the way.
If you take the "old" route, then you will pass through Hahndorf, Littlehampton, Nairne, Dawsley, Kanmantoo, Callington, detour to Monarto Zoo, and finally arrive at Murray Bridge.
On the way back to Adelaide, take the M1, and you will be there in approx 1hour.
The Greenhill Road is a major road in Adelaide that takes you up into the Adelaide Hills.
The Greenhill Road starts in Balhannah in the Adelaide Hills and winds through Carey Gully, Uraidla, Summertown and Greenhill as a two-lane road. The scenery is beautiful, these days you see a lot of Vineyards. You will see Dairy farms, Apple Orchards, Deer Farm, Protea farm and Vegetable farms, and pass through some pretty little towns.
If you come down the Greenhill road at night, then you are in for a treat, as from here the views of Adelaide are fabulous. Adelaide is known for its "twinkling" night lights, the only problem is, there is no where to pull off as we are driving down the very edge of the hills.
Some people don't like driving on this road, I find it quite alright.
On a sad note, 11 people died on Greenhill Road during the Ash Wednesday fires of 1983.
At night, you may see a Koala on the road, I have, so be careful, they are blinded by Car light's.
Bit of info for Aussies. The 3rd photo used to be vegetable gardens, not vineyards. This is where the "Edgell Baby Pea's" advert was filmed, the one where you see people pushing prams through the pea fields. It was filmed very early in the morning under bright lights
Next towns on DAY TRIP 2 are BALHANNAH/OAKBANK
This is the first stage of another day trip from Adelaide by car.....Day trip 5, begins with a drive up the M1 freeway to Stirling. Here, you will see an exit to Stirling, which we will pass through today as we are going to look around here another day. We continue on a few kms to Aldgate.
Coming here on a weekend, you will find plenty of people at the old Aldgate Pump Hotel, known for its warmth, character and Restaurant.
The historic Aldgate Pump Hotel, began its life as an Inn in 1864. At the front of the Hotel, is an old hand pump and trough where oxen and horses were able to have a drink, travelers and colonists went into the Inn for drink and food.
The building has changed over the years. Today, it is a double story Hotel, with the foundations and parts of the verandah and walls the only remaining parts of the original building.
The Aldgate Pump Hotel is at the junction of Mount Barker Road and Strathalbyn Road
Over the road from the Aldgate Pump Hotel is the old 'General Store dating from the 1880's,' it's now a crafts shop.
Aldgate, is full of Autumn leaves [May] and is looking beautiful. It is home to the annual "Autumn Leaves festival," held each year in May.
Next town we stop at is ECHUNGA
Did you know Adelaide's lights twinkle?
For sure they do, so take a drive to Windy Point lookout or Mount Lofty Summit on a clear night and enjoy them. Rug up, because it does get cool!
See the Sun set, and then watch the twinkling lights.
Not all lights twinkle, but Adelaides do. The twinkling effect seen with lights are usually due to atmospheric disturbances, which creates temporary pockets of air that can diffract the light.
DAY trip 9, and we are visiting the Adelaide Hills
Stirling in Adelaide Hills is lovely town to visit at anytime of the year. There are quite a few stately homes here with big gardens, only a little hard to see when driving.
To reach Stirling from Adelaide, take the freeway to quickly travel the 18kms here.
We were here in Autumn, which is one of the best times, for all the deciduous trees have coloured making the streets and the gardens as pretty as a picture.
In April, the Autumn Garden Festival is held, which includes stalls, entertainers, gardens, gardeners, plants, outdoor living and more.
IT IS FREE TO ATTEND.
Still with me on day 9, we are now heading to MT. LOFTY, where we visit the cold climate Botanic Gardens, Mt. Lofty summit for wonderful views over Adelaide, and finally, Cleland Wildlife Park, to cuddle a Koala and pat the Kangaroo's and Wallabies.
Still on Day Trip 8, we follow the South road along the coastline until we come to Leonard's Mill, a 150-year-old heritage-listed building near Second Valley. After a look here, we continue onto CAPE JERVIS. From here, we can easily see Kangaroo Island
The mill has been restored as a restaurant and the stone settlers cottages restored, some with spas and some self-contained. You can rent these.
Second Valley is by the Beach, so you need to drive into it. Fishing is good!
Second Valley is approx 90kms from Adelaide
There is a fairly good chance that during your time in Adelaide, you will drive or travel pass this historic building.
It's a building most people know about, as it seems like it has been here for-ever, situated in the middle of the Princes Highway where it enters Adelaides suburbs.
Such a shame that it is often thought of as south Australia's first "white elephant."
The Tollgate opened in 1841, and began collecting taxes for improving the hill's road. Money was collected, and still nothing much was spent of improvements, so in 1847, after a lot of complaints about paying taxes, the Toll was taken off, and the workers lost their jobs.
It still stands today, hasn't been knocked down yet!
This is a great hike to do when you are in Adelaide. It starts at Waterfall Gully carpark where there is a large waterfall and as you continue up the trail there is a second waterfall.
The cappark is quite small and a lot of people get there very early (around 7am). I got to the car park around 8.30am and got the last parking space.
It is classed as a challenging trail and you would want to be fit to get up to the summit as there are some steep sections. Make sure you take plenty of water.
Once you reach the summit there is a look out, resaurant and suvonier shop.
Overall the hike is 7.8kms and will take around 1.5hours each way (3hours in total).
If you're not much of a hiker you don't have to miss out on the summit, you can also drive to the top if you wish.
The Adelaide Hills not only boasts some of Australia's most beautiful scenery, but is also one of the oldest wine regions in this country. The predominant wines produced here are Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonney. Also to be found here are award winning restaurants, quaint hotels and B&Bs.The wineries listed below are scattered throughout the Adelaide Hills with most having open cellar doors, winery tours and tastings.
Rangeview Road, Carey Gully +61 (0)8 8390 3034
Ashton Hills Vineyard
Tregarthen Road, Ashton +61 (0)8 8390 1243
Pound Road, Macclesfield +61 (0)8 8388 9773
Bird in Hand Winery
Corner Bird in Hand and Pfieffer Roads, Woodside +61 (0)8 8389 9488
Chain of Ponds Wines
Main Adelaide Road, Gumeracha +61 (0)8 8389 1415
Hahndorf Hill Winery
Lot 10 Pains Road, Hahndorf +61 (0)8 8388 7512
Adelaide-Lobethal Road, Lobethal +61 (0)8 8331 7150
Mt Lofty Ranges Vineyard
Harris Road, Lenswood +61 (0)8 8389 8339
Jones Road, Balhannah +61 (0)8 8388 4439
Shaw and Smith
Lot 4 Jones Road, Balhannah +61 (0)8 8398 0500
This hill was used as a "trig point" by Colonel William Light when surveying the original Adelaide plan. It is located in the suburb of Brown Hill Creek, and the hill can be ascended from Brownhill Creek Caravan park (not recommended) or from McElligotts Reserve on Carrick Hill Road. The start of the Carrick Hill Rd path looks like a private driveway as someone has built a house adjacent to it and has placed their letterbox (and bin) at the bottom.
I first walked up Brown hill at night and found it fairly mild, not too strenuous as far as hill climbs go. I walked the next day and found it a lot psychologically tougher because the path looked very steep and long in front of me, and there were scores of flies constantly buzzing around my face. Walking during the cooler months is recommended. Also due to its location it might be busier than elsewhere, there were about 30 people coming the other way when I descended on some sort of hiking group. They were dressed in identical garb to me (hat, backpack, stick) and some (who didn't see me descend from the top) were looking at me like I was part of their group but had packed it in halfway up.
Featuring similar views to Mt Lofty, Mt Osmond reserve is located off the Mt Osmond turnoff on Princes Highway, Glen Osmond. This is really an off the beaten path location as the only place to park a car is in a fire truck entrance. Frequented mainly by cyclists and fitness fanatics, Mt Osmond provides more up-close views of Adelaide in a more picnic-like setting than Mt Lofty Summit. Driving to the reserve takes you past the houses of the well-heeled, who enjoy these views out of their windows.
To find the reserve, take the Mt Osmond exit along Princes highway a short distance uphill from the Cross Road Intersection. Stay on Mt Osmond Road, turning right at Mt Osmond Golf Course, and follow the perimieter of the golf course until encountering a vehicle gate. Park here, being careful not to park on the "keep clear" section.
The Adelaide Hills are unlike any other countryside in that it is so close to the city. So apart from the typical tourist spots like Hahndorf etc., if you have rentred a car, just take it for a spin around the countryside. You'd be suprised by what you will find. Small Cafes, Apple Pie Shop, Cherry gardens which are open for sale of fruits, B&Bs which are open for public viewing etc etc
Monarto is located 70 Kilometres from Adelaide.It is here that a zoo has formed to help with breeding challenges of some of the worlds endangered species.
It is a 1000 hectare sanctuary, where many of the animals are allowed to roam free.
The zoo is part of the Adelaide Zoo.
It is seen from safari type buses and by walking tours with qualified quides.
The zoo is opened from 10.00am to 5.00p, daily and is found on the Princes Highway at Monarto.
Big Rocking Horse is 18.3 metres high, the biggest rocking horse in the world. You can look out from one of the three observation platforms.
There is a Toy Factory there which offers Australia's largest range of wooden toys, games and puzzles. The Rocking Horse and Toy Factory are located on the Main Road at Gumeracha in the Adelaide Hills.
Location: Gumeracha is 36 km east of Adelaide