The pretty village of Stirling, just 20 minutes from Adelaide, is considered a key gateway for the region. But before continuing on to explore further afield be sure to take the time to enjoy this well-loved Hills town and some of its nearby attractions.
Founded in 1854, Stirling grew rapidly as a result of the expansion of apple growing and market gardening to satisfy the demand of the expanding city of Adelaide, just 15 kilometers away. Stirling became popular with Adelaide’s wealthy residents in the 1800s, who built summer houses to escape the heat of the plains. A walk through Stirling will reveal some of the most beautiful homes in South Australia.
Stirling highlights include:
- A stroll along the main street, with its garden setting, abundance of tempting shops (homewares, books, fashion and gifts), cafes and restaurants.
- The Stirling Hotel also offers a number of dining options as well as stylish accommodation – grab a coffee and something delicious at their patisserie located just behind the hotel itself.
- Indulge in locally made artisan chocolates at Red Cacoa.
- The Organic Market and Café has been a long-time favourite for locals and visitors looking for a deliciously healthy meal or wanting to stock up on exotic ingredients.
- On the fourth Sunday of every month, Druid Avenue is closed off for the Stirling Market, with local produce, plants and homemade wares available for purchase.
- On the same day (September to April) Stirling Laneways invites people to ‘follow their feet’ through the lanes and side streets of Stirling to discover a convergence of artists and entertainers, food and wine, pop-up stalls and local traders opening up their shopfronts and taking their wares onto the streets.
- Sticky Rice Cooking School, with a national reputation for excellence, especially in Asian cuisine. Guests can book the classes alone or combine the experience with a stay at one of the luxurious pavilions on the property.
- Stirling is one of the best places to admire the autumn leaves for which the region is famous.
- Steamroller Park in the main street is a perennial favourite with families due to the excellent fully fenced playground, the centrepiece of which is a colourfully painted old steamroller. It has shade, public toilets and barbecue facilities.
- Woorabinda Bushland Reserves are just a couple of minutes by car from Stirling and are made up of Stirling Park, Woorabinda, Madurta Reserve and Hender Reserve. They cover around 34 hectares and feature approximately four kilometres of walking trails. Popular activities are walking, wildlife observation, wetlands studies and picnicking. Members of the Stirling Marblehead Yacht Club race their beautiful remote-controlled boats on Woorabinda Lake each Wednesday, making this an ideal time to visit.
Nearby attractions include:
- Mount Lofty Summit at Crafers
- Mount Lofty Botanic Garden at Crafers
- Cleland Conservation Park and Cleland Wildlife Park at Crafers
- The main street of Crafers with some excellent dining options such as Jimmie's Restaurant specialising in wood oven pizza and The Crafers Hotel which was established in 1839 and has recently been fully renovated including luxuriously appointed upstairs accommodation.
- Belair National Park
- Deviation Road Winery at Longwood
- Township of Aldgate with shops, cafes, iconic pub, beautiful gardens and excellent accommodation.
For more information visit the Stirling Adelaide Hills website.
Stirling can be reached from Adelaide by public bus - see routes 863, 864 and 865 on the Adelaide Metro website.
Stirling image credits: Darren Clements / Stirling Business Association