A German treat in a foreign land.. Discovering Hahndorf
Visiting Hahndorf, a state heritage area recognised as Australia’s oldest surviving German settlement, not only feels like a step back in time, but also a step across the seas and into the life of another people.
Located in the Adelaide Hills a short 20 minute drive from the CBD, Hahndorf is a popular destination for both locals and visitors in South Australia, showcasing some of the best produce and goods the area has to offer. However, Hahndorf has always been more than just a nice place to stop in for some of the finest local food and wine, the unique history of this village tells just one of the many fascinating stories of those who migrate to Australia to start a new life.
The women, wearing their traditional German outfits, became a familiar sight in the developing colony, walking from their village to sell their goods.
Hahndorf was settled in the 1830’s by German Lutheran migrants, initially 52 families drawn to Australia to avoid persecution in their homeland with a promise of a new life in a young country. They created their home away from home in the rich hills of South Australia, settling together and building their own churches and homes, on small land plots they were leased and eventually worked to buy.
These families, and those that followed them, grazed cattle and grew crops, selling their surplus in Adelaide and surrounding areas. The women, wearing their traditional German outfits, became a familiar sight in the developing colony, walking from their village to sell their goods.
Through building their small German community, drawing on their traditions, knowledge and values, and then contributing these in so many ways to the newly developing settlement, these people demonstrate how Australia has become what it is today.
Hahndorf is now a bustling and modern, happening little place, while still maintaining its strong German heritage. With the beautiful main road lined with 100 year old elm and plane trees; traditionally restored and maintained original German style buildings; displays of traditional German folk dancing and music; and huge steins of German beer to help wash down your huge plate of traditional German food, Hahndorf is a pleasure to experience. You’ll be treated to some of the best modern day Adelaide Hills has to offer with locally grown fresh produce, local award winning wines, hand crafted leather goods, art galleries, gift shops and an impressive choice of eateries.
This larger than life German village takes on a whole new meaning when you learn more about the people who first settled this lovely place. The ability of this town today to transport visitors, from Australia and increasingly international visitors, back to the original settlers’ love of, and pride for their homeland Germany, is a true reflection of the value of these original immigrants to our nation and history, and their contribution to Australia.
You can find out more information about this lovely South Australian village at: