No matter the month, it’s always a good time to head for the hills for wellness
Summer: when the living is easy
Long summer days are made for taking it easy and the Adelaide Hills has plenty of relaxing – and mouth-watering – activities to choose from. Feast on summer fruits at Beerenberg Farm, where you can pick your own or sample their sensational strawberry ice cream, or treat yourself to fresh-from-the-tree cherries, available direct from the district’s cherry orchards. In late summer, head to Glen Ewin Estate with its orchard of 12,000 fig trees, where you can pick your own fruit.
“Meet the growers, grab some fresh-picked apples, and feast on a delicious apple crumble”
Autumn: blazing with beauty
Autumn is all about spectacular foliage, and the Adelaide Hills is one of the best places to soak up the magnificent colours of the vineyards and orchards. The tree-lined streets of Stirling and Hahndorf put on a striking display; alternatively, take a drive through the Piccadilly Valley. Other autumn highlights include the Pick a Pink Lady weekend, held every May in Lenswood to celebrate this classic Aussie apple. You can meet the growers, grab some fresh-picked apples, and feast on a delicious apple crumble. The milder autumn weather makes this a great time to try one of the local hikes: good choices include the 4.5km Crafers to Mount Lofty trail, or the more strenuous Wine Shanty Hike, a 10km loop through Cleland Conservation Park. (Keep an eye out for yellow-tailed black cockatoos.)
Winter: time to get cosy
Winter is the time to dial up the romance. As atmospheric mists hang low over the vineyards, there are few things more inviting than unwinding in front of a roaring fire. The Hills are also home to an abundance of native animals. Over 130 species of Australian animals roam the 35-hectare Cleland Park where visitors can hold snakes and lizards, cuddle koalas and take a night walk to hear the hoot of the owls. A crisp winter day is the perfect time to stretch your legs with a walk to one of the area’s waterfalls, which are at their best at this time of year – try Waterfall Gully. If you prefer to stay indoors, browse the bookshelves at one of Stirling’s bookstores (Chapter Two and Matilda are both worth a visit).
Spring: time to bloom
New life is everywhere you look in springtime. The apple and pear orchards are dusted with delicate blossoms, while a cascade of rhododendrons brings a burst of colour to the Mount Lofty Botanic Garden. There are more heavily scented plants on display at the Jurlique flower and herb farm, which produces the ingredients for this acclaimed skincare brand, and daffodils and crocuses at the Ashgrove Iris Farm. It’s also the time to tuck into seasonal treats such as Woodside Cheese Wrights’ eye-catching Monet cheese, a fresh goat’s cheese topped with edible spring flowers and herbs, or fresh spring honey at Buzz Honey near Hahndorf.
“The milder autumn weather makes this a great time to try one of the local hikes”