Its best to park your car, and walk the lovely Elm tree lined main street, stopping to pick up a map from the Information Centre which is on the main road.
There are heaps of very old German buildings here, German food, German music, Souvenir shops, an Antique clock museum, Collectables, Opals, Clothing, fairyland, Icecream & Chocolate shops and so much more. Plenty of choices for souvenirs here!
I love walking along here popping into every shop for a look. I could buy heaps, BUT...Where to put it!
Nearby, is Beerenberg, A strawberry farm where you can pick your own. They also grow Cherries and Plums and have their own range of jams for sale. Open from 9-5 every day.
Located in Heysen Road, just out of Hahndorf in the Adelaide Hills, is "The Cedars" the home of Sir Hans Heysen. He was born in Hamburg, Germany in 1877, and arrived in Australia 6 years later. He started painting when he was a boy, and settled in Hahndorf in 1908. This is where he lived for the rest of his life. He passed away in 1968. Its here where he painted the beautiful Gum Trees located near his home.
You can visit his garden and shop for FREE
To see his Studio and House, you take a guided tour, which is $8 and departs at 11, 1 and 3pm in Summer, 11 and 2pm in Winter.
The Studio was built in 1913, and is just how he left it.
Original works done by him can be seen on the tour.
The Academy, is a 150 year old building in the main street of Hahndorf. It was once a respected school of higher learning, then later used as a seminary, then a hospital. It was doomed to be demolished until rescued by Mr Wotzke.
The Academy is now a gallery with exhibitions and artists in residence.
Inside, there are 4 galleries. As well as Art, and reproductions of Hans Heysen paintings, there is silk, ceramics, handbags, jewellery, glassware, sketches and prints for sale, done by local and interstate artists. The standard of the wares for sale is of very high quality. The Academy is well worth a look around.
There is also a German Folk Museum depicting early days of Hahndorf.
Mt. Barker is about 35ksm from Adelaide, reached by taking the South Eastern Freeway. If you go to Hahndorf 1st, then Mt. Barker is about 12ks further on. You will pass an old Windmill, built in 1842 on Windmill Hill, this is about halfway.
Mt. Barker, the town is named after the Mountain which it is situated by. From the summit, about 2kms east of the town, you get far views of the rolling hills and Mt. Lofty, and then the plains in the other direction.
A good lookout.
To reach the summit, you follow Springs road from the centre of town, or the Mt. Barker summit road from nearby Nairne.
The day that I went up to Hahndorf for a visit it was wonderful the weather was absolutely marvellous. Although not really hot enough while walking around for ice creams it surely was cool enough for a kransky hot dog. You must try one of these !!..if that's not to your taste there are others to be enjoyed.Try the "bum burners" also all sorts of hot dogs ,Chili dogs, Ice creams , yummy fruit sorbets. This is a wonderful old style shop and its faire is fairly priced.
A trip to Hahndorf would not be complete without a trip to the Beerenberg Strawberry Farm. They don't just have strawberries though, they have everything from jams, mustards, sauces and condiments.
Go to the farm, just outside Harhndorf village, and fill up your basket with fantastic gourmet treats.
During October-May which is the strawberry season, you can pick your own. Only recommended if you really want to experience this, as it is no cheaper than buying a punnet at Woolworths supermarket.
NOTE: Don't buy any Beerenberg products at the local Produce Stall in Handorf, as it is much more expensive than buying direct at the farm
The Lane Vineyard has to sit in the the most impressive location of any winery I have ever been to. It is just amazing. You drive up the little road not quite knowing where you are going to end up, and you come over the hill and BANG it hits you in the face. Rolling hills, vines all around you, old gum trees, lakes, its just magic.
And the owners of this place have to be credited for creating a winery that takes full advantage of their location by designing a cellar door and restaurant overlooking it all, with huge grass windows, decking and outdoor areas.
Food is very modern and well presented. Wines are really great. Sometimes you wonder about places like this, if all their money has gone into building the winery but no, the 'Off the Leash Finn No oak white' is particularly good. The Off the Leash range is inspired by the dogs they have there. So cute!
If you are going for lunch I would advise to book as it was very very busy when we were there.
Hahndorf I think is interesting to visit any time of the year. Summer, the tree lined streets give plenty of shade when walking along the footpaths.
Autumn, I really like, as all those Trees have coloured leaves and are a sight to see!
We were here in May, and it was quite cool. Early morning, and the fog was quite thick, luckily, it lifted by the time we left.
In the early years of the colony, the Mount Barker district was known as the granary of South Australia. "The Old Mill" is a steam mill built in 1854. As I find the history very interesting, I will tell you a little. The Mill was erected using huge red gum pillars, and the roof was of slate, now it is corrugated iron. This steam Mill was very important to S.A., attracting customers from as far afield as Victoria.
The German farmers arrived with sacks of grain loaded on their distinctive wagons with sloping sides painted red, blue and yellow. Their Horses were given nosebags of feed while the farmers enjoyed Mrs. Wittwer's cooking in the two storey home over the road, before beginning their long journey back home.
The steam powered mill operated for nearly 60 years producing brands of flour such as 'Pride of the Hills', 'Windmill' and 'Phaultless'.
Later in its life, the Mill turned to producing chaff and processing wattlebark for the tanning industry. In 1923 all milling operations were closed down and the building was used as a wood and grain depot.
In 1971, it became a German-style restaurant, 'The Old Mill Restaurant'. Motel units were also built at the rear.
I haven't been for a long time, so I can't comment on the meals any more.
I did notice it advertises the "largest buffet in the Adelaide Hills," featuring over 40 dishes including traditional German fare and a selection of tasty soups, appetisers, main courses and delicious desserts, for a very reasonable price!
On the last Sunday of each month, it is all things German at the Old Mill with their popular 'Hofbrauhaus' luncheon featuring their succulent ''Pig on the Spit' and famous 'Bombe Alaska', traditional music from their resident German band, Austrian bell ringers along with their famous hat dancing competition the whole family can enjoy. I have been to several of these and have had a wonderful, fun time!
A la carte dining is also available in the Old Mill's Brasserie or Heritage room dining areas.
Breakfast is offered daily and motel rooms are situated in the original historic mill section of the hotel or you can choose from Single and Double Spa Chalets.
You will see the Old Mill on the left hand side as you drive into Hahndorf from Adelaide.
Picturesque vines overhanging the outdoor alfresco area outside the original stone building make it a very inviting area to enjoy!
Now we have finished at the Old Mill, time to look across the road to see "Mrs. Wittwer's" House.
The Wittwers were prominent people in Hahndorf. Mr. Wittwer [senior] worked a windmill, while his son rebuilt the steam mill [old mill] in 1854.
They built their house in 1861, and named it "Detmold House," after Detmold, the town in Germany where the family originated from. The House was considered quite grand for its time.
The german farmers that arrived from Victoria and had to wait for their loads to be processed, used to go to this house to enjoy Mrs. Wittwer's cooking. Some of the farmers stayed there overnight or with family or friends in the village and bartered bags of flour for boxes of fresh or dried fruit to take back to the Murray Mallee.
It is a private home, so can only be viewed from the outside