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While one of the ‘great wine capitals of the world’, the Adelaide Hills are not all about blends, bodies, & bouquets, as our on-the-road writer, Zoe Macfarlane recently discovered.

Skip every hour being wine o’clock and experience the diversity of the region’s best. How? Stay at the iconic Mt Lofty House, pick up a rental car, and follow these tips for the perfect 48 hours in the Adelaide Hills.

Oh, and plan on dieting when you get home!

 

DAY ONE

 

BUT FIRST, COFFEE

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Image: South Australian Tourism Commission

Start your day with a caffeine hit at the famed Sazón Espresso. It’s not just their specialty coffee and infectious vibes that appeal, their oven-baked flatbread is recommended.

 

COME INTO VIEW

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Image: South Australian Tourism

Get your bearings by hiking the steep-but-rewarding Waterfall Gully trail to Mt Lofty’s Summit. This 8km hike leads you to one of Adelaide’s best views. You can even spy Kangaroo Island on a clear day. Walking not your jam? You can drive to the top too. Look for koalas along the route.

 

HOLY PIZZA!

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Image: Zoe Macfarlane

After you’ve ticked off your recommended steps for the day, it’s time for your reward. Lost in a Forest is a wood oven wine lounge in Uraidla, population 461. Dine in their cool converted church building or if it’s sunny, grab a blanket and enjoy your pizza al-fresco.

 

THE REST IS HISTORY

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Image: South Australian Tourism

Ever wondered where Australia’s oldest German settlement is? Probably not but it’s a worthwhile stop. Chocolate-box charming, Hahndorf reveals German treats and its famed fachwerk architecture. For local insights, the 2pm Hufendorf Walking Tour is lead by descendants of South Australia’s pioneer families.

 

HOW SWEET IT IS

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Image: Hahndorf Hill

Make your way to the Hahndorf Hill Winery for a sumptuous pairing of gourmet chocolate and wine. ChocoVino is their signature experience, melding a beautiful setting with delectable tastings. Not into wine or chocolate or want to keep the party going? The Prancing Pony Brewery offers a fabulous tasting paddle for a grape-free imbibe.

 

DAY TWO

 

TWEETS & EATS

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Image: Adam Bruzzone/South Australian Tourism Commission

Cleland Wildlife Park has all the bucket-list Australian animals. For a more personalised experience though, book their Breakfast with the Birds package. Gain early access, learn the park’s history, and have all your twitching questions answered. You can also feed and photograph the birds freely.

 

A QUIET LIFE

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Image: Michael Waterhouse Photography

The 97-hectare Mt Lofty Botanic Gardens is close to Mt Lofty House and offers a haven to get lost in natures finest. The Lakeside Trail combines diverse flora with plant-themed sculptures. Rhododendron Gully is also impressive.

 

IN THE BAG

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Image: Mt Lofty House

Stirling is known for its quaint boutiques, original art, and designer wares that ensure your souvenirs don’t need to be so… souvenir-y! Matilda Bookshop is an Adelaide Hills’ institution or stop by Stirling Laneways market on a Sunday.

 

FOOD OF THE GODS

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Image: Mt Lofty House

Save the best for last and finish off your Adelaide Hills extravaganza at Hardy’s Verandah. This award-winning, Three-Hat restaurant presents flavours that produce an embarrassing moan at first bite. Go all in with the seven-course degustation and don’t miss out on the coconut sorbet dessert.

 

WHERE TO STAY

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Image: Mt Lofty House

Mt Lofty House is Adelaide’s most iconic boutique property. Part of the Sofitel MGallery brand, this mid-19th-century hotel has been lovingly restored, offering a balance of history, class, and superb customer service. Book a Piccadilly Valley view for the type of vistas that poets write about.

 

What’s on your Adelaide Hills wish list?