Author(s): Shane McNally
For visitors, the experience is breathtaking as these low-lying hills go from rolling farmland and natural bushland to sweeping vineyards, cherry farms and apple orchards. Then every few minutes, there's a town that offers a history lesson, photo opportunity, coffee or tea break, wine tasting and world-class dining and accommodation.
The Adelaide Hills rise only 700 metres at the highest point. What they lack in height, though, they more than make up for in depth. They start just over five kilometres from the Adelaide CBD but take in more than 1000 square kilometres - making them ideal for a quick visit, a Devonshire tea, a drive to a local winery for lunch or an entire week lost in pristine valleys with access to busy country towns and tiny villages that have barely changed in more than 150 years.
From Hahndorf which seamlessly blends tourism and culture to the restaurants and art of Stirling, the thriving rural centre of Mount Barker and dozens of townships established in the mid 1800s, the Adelaide Hills has a built heritage and lifestyle that matches its natural beauty.
The rich history of the Adelaide Hills can be seen in every town and most of the roads that link them. Country cottages buried in thick woods and farmland are there for the observant traveller, so are stately mansions off the main road and even the odd ruin that's been kept in its original form for posterity.
The living heritage continues to evolve, with the Adelaide Hills reviving an almost lost winemaking history to become a thriving wine district boasting some of Australia's best and most popular wineries and around 50 cellar doors.
This book looks at what makes the Adelaide Hills an Australian treasure, with just enough words to inform and entertain without getting in the way of hundreds of images of the stunning landscape. It looks at the significant towns and the features that draw people to visit the Adelaide Hills - the wineries of course but also the walking trails, the conservation parks and a rich calendar of traditional, multicultural, artistic, sporting and culinary events that run throughout the four distinct seasons.