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Updated 28 February 2020


There has been heartache in the Adelaide Hills as we come to terms with the loss recent bushfires have caused in our community, and in many communities around Australia this summer.

Fortunately, most of our beautiful region was physically untouched by the Cudlee Creek fire on 20 December, and the experiences and places visitors love about our region are ready for you to enjoy.

With the information provided here you’ll be able to safely head to the Hills to visit old favourites, discover new gems and perhaps enjoy an event or two. The roads are open, the power is on, the wine is chilled, the charming main streets are unscathed and there are still so many of the beautiful lush green views we are famous for. The welcome you receive will be more heartfelt than ever.

Thank you for the outpouring of support and generosity our community has received. We are so grateful for your eagerness to assist us through donations, volunteering and buying Adelaide Hills produce and wine. Thanks also to those who continued to visit parts of the region not directly impacted.

All the directly impacted areas including Lobethal, Woodside, Lenswood, Charleston, Cudlee Creek, Gumeracha, Harrogate, Kenton Valley and Mount Torrens are safe and open for visitors.

Planning a trip to the Adelaide Hills this summer is one of the best (and most delicious) ways to help in our region’s recovery. It’s true that tourism will play a vital role in our region’s recovery through boosting the economy and supporting jobs and livelihoods. But it’s about more than your wallet. We also look forward to your smiles and company, which boost our spirits and strengthen our resolve to rebound and be even better and stronger than ever.

Businesses that weren't directly impacted will appreciate your custom too as businesses across the region were affected in a variety of ways (loss of trade and stock for example) and they all support the local economy - employing locals and purchasing produce and goods in the community. When you're in the Adelaide Hills we encourage you to support a wide variety of businesses as it's not just the tourism and hospitality sector feeling the pinch. Why not buy a magazine at a newsagent, fill your tank with petrol, pick up some meat at the butcher or have your hair cut? How about a round of golf in the Hills or catching a movie in Mount Barker?

Our thoughts continue to be with those who felt the full force of the bushfires in the Adelaide Hills and further afield. We extend our deep gratitude to the emergency services and countless volunteers for their tireless and often heroic efforts during the bushfire response and ongoing recovery.

The resilience of nature and our communities must be seen to be believed. There are already signs of rejuvenation and recovery throughout the affected areas and we’ll be sure to share these, along with our favourite summer experiences and event updates on Facebook and Instagram. Follow us at Visit Adelaide Hills and please tag us in any great images you snap while out and about enjoying the Hills in the coming months. We'd love it if you could use the following hashtags: #visitadelaidehills #returntothehills #BookThemOut

 

TRIP IDEAS

Planning a trip to support those businesses in and directly around the fire zone? Here are some suggestions:

See summer events (including bushfire fundraisers) and seasonal highlights >

The town of Lobethal was at the centre of the fires but thanks to the incredible efforts of the Country Fire Service and all those who fought the fires alongside them, the main street and town centre were saved. Businesses and residents were so disappointed that the Lights of Lobethal festival, one of our State's most loved Christmas traditions, just couldn't go ahead under the circumstances. There are so many things to do in and around Lobethal and the locals sure could use some moral support as they get back on their feet.

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Lobethal Bierhaus, Lobethal
(credit SA Tourism Commission / Adam Bruzzone)

In the main street of Lobethal, stop in for a beer tasting paddle or meal at Lobethal Bierhaus, enjoy more good food and wine at the brand new Hügel Wine Bar & Kitchen and stay at 1965 Lobethal B&B where you can step back in time, put on a record and celebrate all things retro and vintage.

Retro themed living room of 1965 Lobethal B&B in Lobethal, Adelaide Hills, South Australia

1965 Lobethal B&B
(credit 1965 Lobethal B&B)

Bar and lounge area at Hugel Wine Bar & Kitchen, Lobethal, Adelaide Hills, South Australia

Hügel Wine Bar & Kitchen, Lobethal
(credit Hügel Wine Bar & Kitchen)

Emma & Ivy is a beautiful spot for breakfast or coffee (home decor and giftware too), while Hunted Home & Vintage is a real treasure trove. Head to The Lobethal Hotel or Rising Sun Hotel for a pub meal or have a bite to eat at Lobethal Bakery or the quirky Amberlight Café. Fabrik Arts and Heritage Hub in the Old Woollen Mill is currently a local recovery centre but follow their social media for exhibitions and events. Golding Wines is a Lobethal highlight just out of town where, despite some vineyard losses, their cellar door, terraced area and garden are as beautiful as ever. Many people know Udder Delights cheeses and love visiting their cafe and cheese cellar in Hahndorf. Their production facility is in Lobethal and they lost a great deal of stock due to loss of refrigeration - pick some up next time you're at the shops or in Hahndorf to support this great business that employs many locals. Please note that Lobethal Bushland Park sustained significant damage from the fire and is closed until further notice.

Golding Wines, Lobethal

Golding Wines, Lobethal
(credit Golding Wines)

Large living room with couch and picture windows with vineyard views, Simon Tolley Lodge, Woodside, Adelaide Hills

Simon Tolley Lodge, Woodside
(credit Simon Tolley Lodge)

The township of Woodside is on the edge of the fire area and is the first place you'll start to see the fire scar if you are coming off the South Eastern Freeway via Verdun, Balhannah and Oakbank. Again, the main street and most areas immediately around were thankfully saved so this area remains a highlight for visitors.

Head to Woodside for some of the region’s most iconic food and wine experiences. Fill an esky with treats at Melba’s Chocolates & Confectionery and Woodside Cheese Wrights before enjoying wine and food and stocking your cellar at Bird in Hand (and The Gallery Restaurant), Artwine, Petaluma and Barristers Block who suffered significant vineyard damage but saved their fabulous cellar door, lawns, lush garden and accommodation (Vigneron Villa). Simon Tolley lost the majority of his vineyard but the luxurious accommodation Simon Tolley Lodge was saved and would make a superb base for exploring. Adelaide Hills Escape is another great accommodation option close to the wineries while Shetland Cottage & Studio is close to the attractions in the main street. Satisfy your appetite at one of Woodside’s pubs (The Bedford Hotel and Woodside Hotel) or bakeries (Lobethal Bakery and Lovells Bakery). There are plenty of cafes to choose from - try Woodside Providore, Avalon of Woodside or Chase Chocolate Notes. Allow time to browse the shops including some brilliant vintage, retro and antique shops. Please call in to Adaminca Alpacas 'Farm to Fashion' shop as all sales of their yarn and handmade garments will go towards building their Alpaca farm that was razed in the fires. The Woodside Market is held on the third Saturday morning of the month featuring a wide variety of goods, including fresh, locally grown produce, home baked cakes, bread and pastries, arts and crafts, plants, second hand items, books and more.

Cutting Turkish Delight at Melba's Chocolates and Confectionery factory in Woodside, South Australia
Production of Turkish Delight, Melba's Chocolates and Confectionery, Woodside
(credit Melba's Chocolates and Confectionery)

Tasting cheese at Woodside Cheese Wrights, Woodside, Adelaide Hills in South Australia

Cheese Tasting, Woodside Cheese Wrights, Woodside
(credit SA Tourism Commission / Mike Haines)

Barristers Block winery cellar door and gardens in Woodside, Adelaide Hills

Barristers Block Winery Cellar Door, Woodside
(credit Barristers Block)

In Lenswood, Anderson Hill was hard hit but their cellar door and restaurant (famed for wood oven pizza) is as enticing as ever despite their expansive views being a bit ‘charred around the edges’. Don’t forget Mt Lofty Ranges Vineyard and Pike & Joyce for some of the most spectacular settings in the Hills and excellent food and wine. Vinteloper’s vineyard in this area was lost but the good news is you can support their re-establishment by purchasing their wine online or stocking up at drinks collective and restaurant Lot 100 in Hay Valley (between Woodside and Nairne). Tilbrook Estate winery, vineyard and cellar door between Lobethal and Lenswood lost their winery, almost all their stock and much of their vineyard but their quirky 'cellar door in a shipping container' and framework for a new eco cellar door survived the fire. They have reopened and launched their new label called HOPE! which reflects the first step on their road to recovery - stay tuned to their Facebook page for details and weekend opening times. If you'd like to stay in this area try rustic 1890's cottage Ode to the Orchard with its gorgeous outdoor bath with a view or modern home for up to 12 Fox Holes.

Wine tasting at Anderson Hill winery cellar door in Lenswood, Adelaide Hills, South Australia

Anderson Hill Winery Cellar Door, Lenswood
(credit Adelaide Hills Wine Region)

Aerial View of Pike & Joyce winery cellar door and vineyard, Lenswood, Adelaide Hills, South Australia

Pike & Joyce Winery Cellar Door and Restaurant, Lenswood
(credit SA Tourism Commission / Isaac Forman - Serio)

Outdoor bath at Ode to the Orchard B&B, Lenswood, Adelaide Hills

Ode to the Orchard B&B, Lenswood
(credit Ode to the Orchard)

Head to tiny but lovely Charleston for a meal at the Charleston Hotel with a shady outside dining area out the back, and indulge in some retail therapy at one of our favourite Hills shopping spots Pony where you will find funky homewares, gifts and clothing for the design savvy family.

Pony (retail shop) in Charleston with homewares and giftware on display, Adelaide Hills, South Australia

Pony - Destination Lifestyle Store, Charleston
(credit That Pony Shop - Facebook)

Sadly parts of Mount Crawford Forest sustained damage from the fires so please note that the Cudlee Creek / Fox Creek mountain bike trails are closed until further notice.

Historic Mount Torrens is home to the beautifully rustic and intimate Lobethal Road Wines which had a very close call. Relax in the courtyard setting overlooking the vineyard and enjoy their excellent regional platters and elegant cool-climate wines. The town is home to one of the stone sculptures that forms the Hills Sculpture Trail and is situated at one end of the17-kilometre Amy Gillett Bikeway which is a bitumen track running to Oakbank popular with leisure cyclists, walkers and horse riders. If you fancy an overnight stay, try gorgeous Sinkinson House right in the township (currently accommodating a family that lost their home but one to consider for the future!), Rabbiter's Hut for a restored rural cottage escape or Bella Vista Farm House for views as good as the name suggests!

Lobethal Road winery cellar door, Mount Torrens, Adelaide Hills, South Australia

Lobethal Road Winery Cellar Door, Mount Torrens
(credit Lobethal Road)

All the winery cellar doors and attractions in the Northern Adelaide Hills are open and welcoming visitors. In fact, the fire thankfully did not reach the townships of Cudlee Creek, Paracombe, Houghton, Inglewood, Kersbrook, Gumeracha, Birdwood or Mount Pleasant. This means most of the much-loved attractions in this area were not directly impacted, including Gorge Wildlife Park at Cudlee Creek, The Big Rocking Horse and The Toy Factory at Gumeracha, and National Motor Museum at Birdwood. If you were to drive from the north-eastern suburbs of Adelaide up to the Hills via North East Road, Lower North East Road or Gorge Road then along Torrens Valley Road you may not even see evidence of the fire. But make no mistake, the businesses and good folk right on the northern flank of the fire have been suffering and would appreciate more visitors.

In addition to Gorge Wildlife Park where cuddling koalas is just one of the highlights, Cudlee Creek is home to the The Cudlee Cafe and Cudlee Creek Restaurant, Tavern and Caravan Park.

Lady holding a koala at Gorge Wildlife Park, Cudlee Creek, Adelaide Hills, South Australia

Gorge Wildlife Park
(credit Gorge Wildlife Park)

In the main street of Gumeracha you'll find excellent food and coffee at The Good Pantry or enjoy a pub meal at the Gumeracha Hotel. If pizzas or burgers are your weakness head to Papa Sam's. Drop in at The Coach House Studio for quality arts, crafts, gifts and homewares and check out the brand new Peregrine Store that is full of beautiful things and is set to become a favourite for homewares and decor, gifts, books and quality traditional games and toys. Stock up on beautiful fresh and organic local produce at The Green Shed (also home of Protero Wines) just out of town and perhaps enjoy a picnic in Federation Park by the banks of the river. Nearby winery cellar doors include Mt Bera Vineyards including restaurant and accommodation (Vineyard Cottage B&B) and Talunga Estate which also has dining. At the Old Gumeracha Cold Store you'll find hip Applewood Distillery where you can enjoy their gin and other small-batch spirits as well as Unico Zelo wines, while just down the road historic Randells Mill has a self-contained loft apartment which might just be the perfect place to rest your head. The Big Rocking Horse and The Toy Factory is a perennial favourite with families, with cafe, wooden toys and puzzles and wildlife park.

The Big Rocking Horse, Gumeracha, Adelaide Hills, South Australia

The Big Rocking Horse, Gumeracha
(credit Caty Malo)

Bottles of Applewood Distillery spirits, Gumeracha, Adelaide Hills, South Australia

Applewood Distillery, Gumeracha
(credit Applewood Distillery)

In Birdwood the National Motor Museum tells the story of Australia's love affair with motoring and be sure to head just up the road to check out Top of the Torrens Gallery for a fabulous array of unique and quality pieces, and Treasures on Torrens for vintage wares and collectables. There is the Birdwood Motel right next door to the museum, and plenty of dining options including the pub, bakery and cafe. Just out of town, try MC&K on Mylkappa Road for great food and wine.

Houghton is home to historic Glen Ewin Estate which has a bistro, regional cellar door and fig picking in February and March (season officially starting mid February - keep an eye on their Facebook page).

Figs at Glen Ewin Estate, Houghton, Adelaide Hills, South Australia

Fig Picking, Glen Ewin Estate, Houghton
(credit Glen Ewin Estate)

Other favourites in the Northern Adelaide Hills include:

  • Inglewood Inn, Inglewood - fantastic pub for meals, 1857 Distillery Bar and even a gin and chocolate paddle, pairing three local gins and their garnish with matched luxury chocolate.
  • Paracombe Premium Perry, Paracombe - enjoy apple and pear cider (that's perry!) along with wood oven pizzas right alongside the orchards
  • Kersbrook Hill Wine & Cider, Kersbrook - drop by for small batch wines and premium basket pressed apple cider, stay on for coffee and food too!
  • Mount Pleasant for the Mount Pleasant Farmers Market every Saturday morning (8am-noon), and Elysian Springs for a family friendly winery cellar door with design your own picnic hampers to tempt your tastebuds

Outdoor dining at Paracombe Premium Perry in Paracombe, Adelaide Hills

Paracombe Premium Perry, Paracombe
(credit Paracombe Premium Perry)

Three local gins matched with chocolates, Inglewood Inn, Inglewood, Adelaide Hills

Gin and Chocolate Matching at Inglewood Inn, Inglewood
(credit Inglewood Inn)

Front facade of the historic stone pub, Inglewood Inn, Adelaide Hills

Historic Inglewood Inn, Inglewood
(credit Inglewood Inn)

HOW YOU CAN HELP

If you'd like to help people directly impacted by the fire, consider a donation to the State Emergency Relief Fund or St Vincent de Paul's SA Bushfire Appeal. To help care for the wildlife injured by the fire options include donating to Adelaide and Hills Koala Rescue or Adelaide Koala and Wildlife Hospital. To help re-establish habitat, particularly for threatened or vulnerable species, you can donate to the Wildlife Recovery Fund - a partnership between National Parks & Wildlife Service SA and Nature Foundation SA. Other great ways to help the Hills community include visiting the region or purchasing Adelaide Hills produce including wine from many of the impacted growers and producers. If you love a drop of Adelaide Hills wine you might like to contribute to the local wine industry's appeal that will help with recovery efforts.

 

KEEPING YOU SAFE AND INFORMED

Road Access
All roads have reopened since the fire however if you’re travelling within the fire area we suggest you monitor closures via the Traffic SA website (www.traffic.sa.gov.au) as some roads may occasionally be closed for clean-up activities. Please take extra care due to the risk of fallen branches and trees, wandering stock and damaged road signage.


Remain Vigilant
Be alert to changing conditions and monitor current incidents, warnings, fire danger ratings and fire bans for the Mount Lofty Ranges District through the Country Fire Service website (cfs.sa.gov.au), Facebook page (@CountryFireService), Twitter account (@CFSAlerts) Bushfire Information Hotline on 1300 362 361 (TTY 13 36 77) or on local radio (emergency broadcasts on ABC Adelaide 891 AM).

Visitor Tips
For the privacy and wellbeing of residents please keep to the main roads and be sensitive to people’s loss particularly by not entering damaged properties or taking photos. Please avoid areas where firefighters or recovery crews are active to ensure they can perform their duties without distraction. Please note some tourism businesses close on days of catastrophic fire danger rating.

More bushfire information...