Southlink operates services around the area, including bus services direct to Adelaide central bus station. The fares and timetables are integrated with the Adelaide services. Google Maps operates the trip planner service, and the fares and route details are on the Adelaide Metro site.
The Hills is a challenge to drive around by car, with some inadequate signage and winding roads, but they are beautiful to drive. With a map you won't go to far in the wrong direction and no doubt have taken a scenic drive.
Public transport isn't great around the Hills, which is a shame given the fantastic wines of the region, however there are a couple of tour companies providing regular services.
- 1 Mount Lofty Lookout (around 20 minutes drive from Adelaide). Has spectacular views of Adelaide and Gulf St Vincent. The peak is a great tourist attraction in its own right, but also home to a restaurant offering modern Australian cuisine, and a Visitor information Centre. There are a couple of buses a day that will take you directly there, so check the timetables carefully. The summit cannot be accessed by vehicle between late evening and early morning hours, however the lookout is still accessible by foot. The only place in the Adelaide region to ever get snow, but even that is extremely rare, and does not occur every year.
- 2 Monarto Zoological Park, Old Princes Hwy, Monarto South, ☏ . Daily 9:30AM-5PM. 1,000-hectare open-range sanctuary undertaking breeding programs for rare and endangered species. The park is 45 minutes (70 km) from Adelaide and is the gateway to the Murraylands region. Drive through Cheetah habitat, and see a Southern White Rhinoceros, Australia's largest giraffe herd and the largest revegetation project of its kind in South Australia's history. Safari bus and walking tours operate every day of the year. One-day pass: child (4-14 years) $19.50, adult (15 years and over) $35, family passes $89.50-101.50.
- 3 Mount Lofty Botanic Gardens. Opens at 8:30AM daily, closes at 4PM (M-Fr) and between 4-7PM (on the weekend depending on the season). 97 hectares of magnolias, etc., with several walking trails, stunning views and good picnic areas. Free entry.
- 4 Hahndorf. One of the Adelaide Hill's most famous towns, Hahndorf is Australia's oldest surviving German settlement. Attractions include a small chocolate factory, the Beerenberg Strawberry Farm (where you can pick your own strawberries for very reasonable prices), parks with barbecue facilities and a playground, plus many small stores selling all manner of products. Hahndorf has plenty of souvenir shops, craft outlets and galleries to explore, including the Hahndorf Academy. There's still a strong German flavour in the town, most evident in the smallgood outlets and German bakeries that line the main street. Visitors can pick their own strawberries at Beerenberg Strawberry Farm or visit the former home and studio of Sir Hans Heysen, The Cedars. There are several good winery cellar doors in the area and the Hahndorf Farm Barn is an enjoyable stop for families.
- The Cedars, Heysen Road, Hahndorf, ☏ , email@example.com. Tu-Su and holiday Mondays 10AM-4:30PM. The home of one of Australia’s most famous painters, Hans Heysen, nestled among the majestic gum trees which featured in many of his paintings. Visit his studio which has largely remained undisturbed since his death in 1968. Adults $10.
- 5 National Motor Museum, Shannon St, Birdwood (in Birdwood), ☏ , fax: . Daily 10AM – 5PM, closed Christmas Day. Cars and motorcycles from all eras on display, also historical car parts, car-related items from repair manuals to petrol station signs and toys.
- 6 Warrawong Wildlife Sanctuary. A zoo.
- 7 Belair National Park. A national park of 835 ha, 11 km south of Adelaide City. Due to its history as a "recreation park", it has many good trails for bushwalking, as well as tennis courts and grassy areas available for hire, and a good adventure playground for children. Old Government House, the colony's first official vice-regal summer residence, is in the park. A vehicle entry fee applies to cars entering the park, or else its western parts can be accessed from the Belair line train, a 35-minute journey from Adelaide city. Gates open 8AM-sunset, except 25 Dec.
- 8 Cleland National Park. A large conservation park of 992 ha (2,450 acres), 20 minutes from Adelaide City. Although it lacks the picnic and sports facilities of Belair, Cleland offers greater opportunities for tourists to get up close and personal with Australian native fauna. Visitors can feed and wander at their leisure among kangaroos, wallabies, Emus and waterfowl. Displays of Dingoes, reptiles, Tasmanian Devils, Wombats, Echidnas and Koalas allow easy viewing access, or stroll through the aviaries. Visitors also have the rare opportunity to be photographed holding a Koala, under supervision from Parks and Wildlife Officers. There is also an Aboriginal cultural tour. Entry fees apply.
- 9 Morialta Conservation Park, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. The park is open to vehicles from 8:30AM to 15 minutes before sunset (closed on Christmas Day). Walkers can access the park from sunrise to sunset. 10 km (6 mi) north-east of the CBD, where the suburbs meet the Adelaide hills. It covers 533 ha (1,317 acres), and contains numerous walking trails of various levels of difficulty, including trails that pass by three major waterfalls, and provide panoramic views over Adelaide itself. There is a popular rock climbing area within the park and a giant cave. The waterfalls only flow in the winter months, and are usually completely dry by Christmas.
- Visit some of the 29 winery cellar doors. The following are a range from the very small to the larger corporate producers.
- Hahndorf Hill Winery
- Shaw & Smith
- Tilbrook Estate
- Bird in Hand
- Barratt Wines
- Ashton Hills
- Wine tours
- Rich & Lingering. Offers bespoke food and wine tours which gratify the senses.
- Visit food producers - small goods, cheese makers, chocolate makers, espcially in Hahndorf, Balhannah, and Woodside.
- Visit country markets in Echunga, Uraidla, Woodside, Stirling.
- The Organic Market and Cafe, 5 Druid Avenue, Stirling. Open 364 days a year from 8:30AM. Market closes 5:30PM. Café closes 5PM. Fantastic organic food, with a large selection of vegetarian meals. Very popular with locals, so get in early for lunch. Also serves Devonshire tea. Seasonal menu. The market and cafe sources high quality produce from local growers, regional suppliers and specialty providers.
- Cladich Pavilions, 27-29 Wilpena Tce, Aldgate (From Adelaide: follow Glen Osmond Road out of the City (A1), continue on to the South East Freeway (M1), take the Stirling Exit and follow Mt Barker Road through Stirling. After ~2 km take a left into Arkaba Road, just before the Railway Bridge, immediately turn right into Wilpena Terrace), ☏ . From $240.
- Adelaide Hills Country Cottages, 229 Oakwood Rd, Oakbank, ☏ . From $300.
- Mount Lofty House, 74 Mount Lofty Summit Road, Crafers, ☏ , email@example.com. From $219.
- Dumas House, 11 Druids Avenue, Mount Barker, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. The former residence of Mr Charles Dumas and his family is available as self-contained accommodation. M-Th $220-245, F-Su $246-265.
- Old Mill Hahndorf, 98 Main Street, Hahndorf, ☏ . A beautiful old building on Hahndorf's Main Street. Very comfortable accommodation, with a sumptuous buffet dinner. From $75.