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Best Things to Do in the Adelaide Hills: Your Autumn Guide

Embrace the cold and escape to charming storybook towns with our guide to the best things to do in the Adelaide Hills.

Adelaide Hills

As the days get shorter and the mercury slowly drops, many of us turn to the comfort of our own homes to make it through the cooler months, waiting (impatiently) for the sun to shine again.

But, here in Adelaide, there’s no reason to stay hidden indoors, with the nearby Adelaide Hills townships and renowned wine region bursting to life with vibrant colours, food and wine festivals and experiences that may just make you forget you’re wearing your heaviest coat.

From quaint cafés and hidden wine bars on tree-lined streets to rustic cellar doors with views of the rolling vineyards, we’ve created a winter guide to the best things to do in the Adelaide Hills to make the most of the small town cosy vibes this chilly season.

Best Things to Do in the Adelaide Hills: Visit



No list of the best things to do in the Adelaide Hills would be complete without a mention of Adelaide's most famous historic town, filled with restaurants, art galleries and home to Beerenberg Strawberry Farm.

At just a 30-minute drive from the CBD, Hahndorf is a unique and quaint village that wouldn’t feel out of place deep in the heart of Bavaria, with the town proud to hold onto its German heritage.

Picture-perfect in any season; it's during Autumn when the tree-lined streets transform into a spectacle of red, orange and yellow. The town is just as popular for visitors come winter, with Same Same But Different Café, Adelaide Hills Wine Bar, and the iconic Hahndorf Inn the ideal spots to steal a table inside and unwind with delicious eats.

Stirling Hotel


Rustic yet elegant, Stirling embodies luxury country living in the Adelaide Hills. With timeless village charm, picturesque valley views and a spirited community, Stirling offers a refreshing escape from the city hustle and bustle, with plenty of character to keep things interesting in the cooler month.

Take a stroll along the tree-lined streets change that with each season, and discover the bustling commercial strip along Mount Barker Road, known as Stirling Village.

The street boasts unique retailers like Matilda's Bookshop and a thriving café culture, and the town has an annual calendar of great events in the cooler months, such as the fabulous wine region celebration that is Winter Reds, and the monthly Stirling Markets.

When you need a bite to eat, look no further than the beautifully renovated Stirling Hotel. Home to a casual bistro, formal dining room, cellars, and even a patisserie with coffee and 'grab and go' food, everything you need to refuel is under one roof.

Mount Lofty Botanic Garden

Mount Lofty Botanic Garden

A hidden gem and one of the best things to do in the Adelaide Hills, the Mount Lofty Botanic Garden provides 97 hectares of spectacular gardens, walking trails and lakes, with a rich display of rhododendrons, magnolias and camellias.

A favourite with locals and visitors alike, the garden is impressive all year round, although the colours of autumn are notably spectacular.

Once you've had your garden stroll in Mt Lofty, be sure to spend some time in Crafers - it's beautiful and quiet year-round, rich in history and natural splendour, with picturesque valleys, eateries and spectacular lookouts. 

Golding Wines


Picture-perfect all year long, Lobethal is less than an hour from Adelaide yet feels a world away thanks to the lush greenery, fruit orchids and heritage buildings dotted along the streets.

Looking for the perfect spot to take in the crisp Lobethal air? Sitting high in the hills, Golding Wines is a must-visit come autumn, with the lush gardens and landscaped terrace overlooking the rolling hills and vineyards.

Home to a fabulous tasting room and restaurant with a burning fireplace, you can settle in with a delicious drop and moreish menu that’s designed to be shared.

Best Things to Do in the Adelaide Hills: Eat

Crafers Hotel

The Crafers Hotel

Situated in the heart of the Adelaide Hills, The Crafers Hotel is a classic and quaint countryside pub. It sits at just 20 minutes from the CBD and arm’s length to Mount Lofty Botanic Garden.

Stone walls, wooden bar, roaring fireplaces and mood lighting will set the tone, welcoming diners in on a chilly day for a hearty winter supper.

With a menu spanning from classic pub fare to French-inspired meals in the restaurant serving everything from scallops to duck breast, you may want to extend your experience with a night in one of their seven hotel rooms.

8 Main Street, Crafers

Fred Eatery

FRED Eatery

Located in Aldgate Village, FRED Eatery is a fun and friendly café serving up fresh eats. From breakfast on the go to a long, lazy brunch in the Hills, FRED's range of modern Australian dishes will keep you coming back for more.

Over and above the delectable bites, the interiors are #instaworthy- think Scandi-styling with bold flashes of green. In the market for some unique homewares? Pop into FRED Living to pick up something fabulous.

220 Mount Barker Road, Aldgate Village

Hardy's Verandah

Hardy's Verandah

Take a seat at heritage-listed Hardy’s Verandah and enjoy a culinary experience steeped in history. Their seasonal menu is plated up in four to eight-course degustations, paired with multi-award-winning wine, sake and creative cocktails.

Expect an explosion of flavours from the finest fish, meat, fruit and vegetables crafted into inspiring seasonal dishes that you’ll remember fondly. 

Make a weekend of it and book an amorous stay in Mount Lofty House, or lap up the luxury at the 5-star Sequoia, and add in an afternoon High Tea at Hardy's for a getaway like no other.

1 Mawson Drive, Crafers

Mighty Mighty Coffee Roasters

Mighty Mighty Coffee Roasters 

As the name suggests, it's Mighty Mighty good here. Tucked away behind Lobethal Bierhaus you'll find this excellent coffee roastery, offering up some of the best coffee and vibes in the Adelaide Hills.

It's bringing premium coffee to the hills, drawing in locals with the drops of their magical cold drip, perfect flat whites and naturally sweet long blacks to help with the winter blues..

For eats, grab yourself something sweet or savoury with a range of pastries, sandos, bagels and smoothies on offer.

Behind Lobethal Bierhaus, 3C Main Street, Lobethal 

Best Things to Do in the Adelaide Hills: Wineries

Sidewood Estate

Sidewood Estate

Set amongst a stunning mix of eucalyptus and landscaped gardens, the opulent, family-run winery is just 5 minutes from Hahndorf Village, and a long leisurely lunch here may just be one of the best things to do in Adelaide Hills.

A popular spot to enjoy a summer's day with friends, Sidewood Estate has just as much pull in the cooler months, with a cosy restaurant - complete with a crackling fireplace, of course - dishing up flavour-packed meals that pair perfectly with your drink of choice.

Leave your winter woes at the doors as you take in the gallery of eclectic Australian artwork, indulge in seasonal dishes and try a drop or two of award-winning wine varietals.

6 River Road, Hahndorf

Nepenthe Wines

Nepenthe Cellar Door

A superbly renovated and recently re-opened cellar door impresses just about anyone who walks through the doors at Nepenthe.

Only 25 minutes from the city, this Adelaide Hills cellar door is found in a state-of-the-art building complete with floor-to-ceiling windows and a large outdoor deck, offering views from just about every angle.

Settle in for an afternoon of guided wine tastings, add in cheese and charcuterie boards when you're feeling peckish, or enjoy private spaces and tasting experiences for a special occasion celebration.

93 Jones Road, Balhannah

Pike & Joyce

Pike & Joyce Wines

Pike & Joyce is a must-visit in the Adelaide Hills for those passionate about good food and great wine. The lovechild of two prominent South Australian winemaking families, the estate offers some of the truest expressions of the region's varieties.

Spanning 25 hectares, the vineyards are some of the highest in the Adelaide Hills, providing the perfect terrain to produce its renowned cool-climate drops.

The tasting room is open daily for visitors to enjoy, and the inspired dining in the restaurant is bold, flavourful, and dishes like housemade pork dumplings with Taiwanese kimchi, fresh Coffin Bay oysters and charred lamb rump naturally pair well with a glass of vino.

730 Mawson Road, Lenswood

Ambleside Distillers

Ambleside Distillers

We may be talking wineries, but if gin is more your thing, then a trip to Ambleside Distillers is one of the best things to do in the Adelaide Hills.

Ideally located in Hahndorf, you can stop in for one of their exquisite G&Ts and light share plates. Make your day out to the Hills extra special and book one of Ambleside’s experiences for gin-tasting flights, or expert masterclasses to learn the art of cocktails and blending your own gin.

With cosy seating inside the modern space, you'll feel your worries float away as you stay warm indoors, gin in one hand, toastie in the other.

1 Ambleside Road, Hahndorf

Best Things to Do in the Adelaide Hills: Stay



Meaning 'to exhale', Espira is a luxury eco-retreat pod that has been designed as a private space for guests to immerse themselves in nature and forget all about the stress of everyday life. 

Perched atop its own 'Dream Hill' in Ashton, this striking escape offers unparalleled views of Adelaide Hills vineyards, Marble Hill, Piccadilly Valley, and the Barossa Ranges.

With a contemporary design and premium amenities, including indoor and outdoor wood fireplaces to keep you toasty warm, Espira invites you to indulge in luxury and soak in breathtaking sunsets and star-filled skies (preferably from a bubble bath vantage point). 

Casa Freschi, 159 Ridge Road, Ashton

Cladich Pavilions

Cladich Pavilions

A haven of sophistication and privacy awaits at the Cladich Pavilions, just 30 minutes from Adelaide's CBD. Our pick as a base while exploring some of the best things to do in the Adelaide Hills, guests can choose from three premium pavilions when booking their stay at Cladich, with each providing a secluded escape surrounded by nature.

The charming bed and breakfast is surrounded by towering gum trees and native bushland, bringing with it the calming sounds of local birds and wildlife to gently wake you in the morning. Bliss.

27-19 Wilpena Terrace, Aldgate

Carriage House

Carriage House 1884

Transport yourself to another era with Carriage House 1884 - a gorgeous option for secluded and stunning Adelaide Hills accommodation.

With wood-panelled walls, welcoming leather seating, fireplaces and bookcases, this accommodation would be right at home in a charming old English village, with large doors opening out to your established garden waiting for a spot of afternoon tea or a glass of local pinot noir as the sun retreats for the day.

During winter, there is nothing quite like a slow stay here, cosying up by the fireplace, book in hand.

112 Mount Lofty Summit Road, Crafers

1965 Lobethol

1965 Lobethal

A haven from the modern world, turn back time and revisit the 60's at 1965 Lobethal. Relax in this stylish, mid-century house that's centrally located in the beautiful Adelaide Hills, with convenient access to the region's premium cellar doors, fine dining, bush walking and boutiques.

It's a thoughtfully curated space that will have you feeling right at home, with contemporary touches to ensure you're comfortable.

Spin Elvis Presley records as you whip a feast in the fully-equipped kitchen, or you can slip over next door to the intimate Hugel Wine Bar for a pre-dinner bev. 

53a Main Street, Lobethal

Ticked off all the best things to do in the Adelaide Hills and ready for another adventure? Check out this iconic Adelaide road trip for a driving getaway from South Australia to Victoria, or visit the Barossa Valley for a premium wine experience

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