It’s a pleasure to drive in the Adelaide Hills, with closely spaced townships, quiet roads and ever-changing scenery. The South Eastern Freeway will have you there in a flash but consider a more scenic route from Adelaide such as North East Road, Gorge Road, Norton Summit Road, Old Norton Summit Road or Greenhill Road.
A favourite drive is the 34-kilometre stretch between the German village of Hahndorf to Birdwood in the north, along the Onkaparinga Valley Road (Onkaparinga Valley Scenic Drive – B34) taking in wineries, roadside stalls and charming townships such as Verdun, Balhannah, Oakbank, Woodside, Charleston and historic Mount Torrens before finishing at Birdwood, home to the National Motor Museum.
Follow the Angas River Scenic Drive (B33) between Stirling and Strathalbyn (38 kilometres) to explore the southern Adelaide Hills. Start in the garden village of Stirling and wind your way along tree-lined Mount Barker road to Aldgate, past the Aldgate Pump Hotel. Travelling through farmland and picturesque scenery the drive heads for Mylor, the closest village to Warrawong Wildlife Sanctuary. Next stop is Biggs Flat, home to global wellness brand Jurlique, where you can take a farm tour. Continue to Echunga - which boomed during the gold rush era - and then the historic town of Macclesfield where Longview Vineyard offers dining and a great cellar door experience. Then it's a short drive to Strathalbyn, passing through lush farmland and towering gums.
From Tea Tree Gully in the north-eastern suburbs of Adelaide, head to Mount Pleasant on the Torrens Valley Scenic Drive (B10), a 37-kilometre journey that reveals highlights of the Northern Adelaide Hills. Wind your way through Houghton, Inglewood and the Chain of Ponds reservoirs. Vineyards, pine forests and bushland line the drive as do picturesque towns like Gumeracha - well known for The Big Rocking Horse, a distillery and wineries. Continue on to Birdwood, one of the most historic townships in the Hills and home to the National Motor Museum. Continue to Mount Pleasant where locals and visitors alike gather for the market on Saturday mornings. Mount Pleasant is a gateway for the Barossa via Springton and Eden Valley.
Take Gorge Road (off lower North East Road) and head towards Castambul, past the Gorge Wildlife park and on to Cudlee Creek. It then joins the Torrens Valley Drive, continuing on to Gumeracha and Birdwood.