The Piccadilly Valley Loop 

Today, we’re off to check it out for ourselves, chasing brassy trees and autumn hues as we make the most of the unseasonably warm weather before it leaves us for a while. 


We’re starting our drive south of Adelaide, so we head for the Hills through Blackwood and the incredible winding roads of Crafers.

Adeliade-Hills-roads-benheide photography

Image credit @benheide_photography via Instagram

The landscape is nothing short of spectacular and its hard to believe we’re only a short drive from the city and not a world away on narrow, hilly roads surrounded by deep valleys and lush old trees. 

Mount Lofty Botanic Garden

We skirt the edges of Stirling via Waverley Ridge Road, past the Crafers Hotel (which we’ve already decided we’re stopping in at on the way home) towards Piccadilly Road, following the clearly marked signs to Mount Lofty Botanic Garden lower carpark on Lampert Road (note: there are two entrances to the gardens). 


 Image credit via Instagram

Let me tell you, it doesn’t disappoint! The season has peaked slightly later this year, so the next couple of weeks are a prime autumn colour palette. The reds, yellows, oranges and greens of the trees are breathtaking, and I see why these botanic gardens are one of the most photographed spots in the Adelaide Hills at this time of year. 


 Image credit: @scottage_pie via Instagam

Without sounding too cliched it really is the perfect spot to stroll through nature, take a picnic of local produce, up the romance factor, or take the kids on a fun outing. 


After marvelling at the colours and taking way too many pictures, it’s back in the car for a quick stop at the Tapanappa Wines cellar door in Piccadilly, five minutes up the road.  

Off the main road and down the driveway through rows of vines at the Tiers Vineyard (the original home of Petaluma in 1978), we enjoy a tasting at their modern cellar door. 


Back on Piccadilly Road, it’s a picturesque 5km drive to our next stop - Uraidla. We’re torn between woodfired pizza in an old church at Lost in a Forest, or modern pub fare at the newly refurbished Uraidla Hotel which we’ve eaten at before and loved.


Outside the Uraidla Hotel. Image credit: @theuraidlahotel via Instagram

It’s a warmish, sunny autumn day so we settle on an outdoor spot at Lost in a Forest, which we’re lucky to get as they’re at capacity!


 Inside Lost in a Forest. Image credit @hellokatie.j via Instagram

Their beverage list is nothing short of impressive, with wine, beer, cider, gin and spirits from local Adelaide Hills producers like Applewood Distillery, Ochota Barrels, CRFT and BK wines, not to mention a steady selection of impressive imports. 


Pizza at Lost in a Forest. Image credit @angelamarkow via Instagram

We love the charm and simplicity of Uraidla, so it’s a firm favourite when we’re looking for something to do on the weekend. 


Back onto Greenhill Road, we follow the remarkable colours of the Piccadilly Valley to Summertown, taking in the surrounds of this amazing old town before heading down Mount Lofty Summit Road back into Crafers. 


 Views over Uraidla. Image credit @michaelwaterhousephotography via Instagram


A drink in front of the fire at the newly refurbished Crafers Hotel tops off this magic Sunday drive. 

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 Inside the Crafers Hotel. Image credit @sarahshanahan_lifestyle via Instagram

To do this drive: 

  • From the southern suburbs, head up Shepherds Hill Road through Blackwood onto Upper Sturt Road and Waverley Ridge Road to the Main Street roundabout. Turn right, then left onto Piccadilly Road just past the Crafers Hotel.
  • Follow the signs to Mount Lofty Botanic Gardens, turn left onto Sprigg Road before continuing onto Lampert Road that leads you right into the lower carpark.
  • Head back out the same way, turning right onto Spring Gully Road to Tapanappa Wines, literally 200m down the road on your left.
  • From Tapanappa Wines, turn right onto Spring Gully Road, next right onto Piccadilly Road and at the Greenhill Road junction, turn right towards Uraidla.
  • From Uraidla to Summertown follow Greenhill Road before turning left onto Mount Lofty Summit Road. As you reach the roundabout on Main Street turn left to get to the Crafers Hotel, or continue straight to get back onto Waverley Ridge Road. 

Words by Natalie Turns 


Mount Lofty House and the Piccadilly Valley from above. Image credit @__serio__ via Instagram.