The Northern Adelaide Hills is an area of diverse landscapes and attractions; from Inglewood in the west to Tungkillo in the east; Kersbrook and Mt Crawford Forest in the north to Lobethal in the south. Wildlife and wine experience abound, and there are plenty of family-friendly activities kids will love.
Travel scenic routes from Adelaide via Gorge Road, Lower North East Road, or North East Road and base yourself here for easy trips across the Adelaide Hills, Barossa or the Murray River.
If you drive via North East Road, allow time in your itinerary for the traditional tea house called Topiary in Tea Tree Gully, nestled in the beautiful grounds of Newman's Nursery with a stunning wisteria arbour and incredible range of plants and garden wares. Drop in for scones or a coffee, but make sure you book ahead for a meal or high tea experience.
What a fantastic cluster of diverse Hills experiences just minutes from the Adelaide Plains. Saddle up for a horse trail ride, pick figs in autumn or hang out at a winery, cidery or historic pub!
Drop by the historic Inglewood Inn for dining with views off the back deck or a drink in their 1857 Distillery Bar featuring local craft spirits.
Templewood Horse Riding Centre offers riding lessons for children and adults, along with trail rides on the beautiful 200-acre property.
Established in 1843, heritage-listed Glen Ewin Estate is set in the picturesque valleys and rolling hills of Houghton. For more than a hundred years it was the home of Glen Ewin Jams. Today it features a Bistro and regional Cellar Door offering tastings and sales for a number of local wine producers without their own cellar door. From February to April the historic and beautiful terraced fig orchards are open to the public. You can pick your own or buy fresh pre-picked figs, along with other fig products including fig gin!
Paracombe Premium Perry in Paracombe uses tree-ripened local pears and apples to create fine handcrafted perry (pear cider) and apple cider using the best quality fruit, traditional processes and minimal human intervention. Enjoy wood oven pizzas on the weekends overlooking the orchards. Tours and cider making classes are available by appointment.
Open by appointment, Paracombe Premium Wines in Paracombe has an incredible venue overlooking the vineyard. Paracombe Wines’ Sauvignon Blanc was selected as one of just three wines served at the recent prestigious ‘Sverigemiddag’ or Sweden Dinner, hosted at the Royal Palace in Stockholm. They also have for sale a selection of exquisite handmade jewellery made by Maasai women in Tanzania. Subscribe to their mailing list for details of cellar door events.
At Gorge Wildlife Park you can expect a close encounter with the animals including daily koala holding sessions (additional fee applies). The 14 acre property contains Australian native animals, including koalas, kangaroos and wombats, plus exotic species including monkeys, alligators, meerkats, otters and more. You’ll also see a vast range of birds, from Superb Fairy-wrens to ostriches.
Al Ru Farm was purchased by Ruth and Alan Irving as a sheep grazing property in 1980 and they quickly set about converting paddocks to garden. The result is an established 10-acre destination garden among the very best private gardens in South Australia. Small group tours and other experiences in the gardens are available by appointment, as well as three luxury accommodation options.
Kersbrook Hill Wines & Cider is a family-owned winery producing intensely flavoured small batch wines. However they are becoming increasingly well known for their premium basket-pressed apple cider, which is also made by hand using locally sourced apples from surrounding orchards. Visitors can sample wine and cider at their cellar door which is open seven days and also offers pizzas, regional platters, locally made treats and coffee. Look out for their acoustic music nights and afternoon sessions. Also in Kersbrook is Malcolm Creek Wines (open by appointment) featuring a rustic stone cellar door surrounded by beautiful three-acre gardens with peaceful picnic spots and lovely views.
Gumeracha is set in the beautiful Torrens Valley region, surrounded by vineyards, olive groves, apple and cherry orchards.
Visit The Big Rocking Horse and Toy Factory to climb the giant rocking horse and interact with animals in the small wildlife park. The toy factory turns out quality wooden toys which are on sale in the shop along with an extensive range of other toys, games and puzzles.
Head to the Old Gumeracha Cold Store to visit hip Unico Zelo winery and Applewood Distillery (collectively known as Ochre Nation) where you can try their wine, gin and other small-batch spirits. Protero Wines is housed in ‘The Green Shed’ – where locals and visitors in the know head for organic fresh local produce.
Mt Bera cellar door, restaurant and winery between Gumeracha and Cudlee Creek showcases its boutique single vineyard wines with delicious local produce overlooking the Torrens Valley and also offers a vineyard cottage B&B - enter via the stone pillars at the bottom of the driveway. Right next door is another cellar door, Talunga Estate, which offers wine tasting and platters with views over surrounding vineyards and manicured gardens.
In the township itself, visit The Coach House Studio and Peregrine Store for retail therapy before coffee and a bite to eat at The Good Pantry or Papa Sam’s Pizza Bar & Grill. Federation Park is the perfect place for a picnic or barbecue, with play equipment, a creek to play in, and nearby skate park.
Gumeracha hosts the Beer & Bite Festival celebrating craft beer in April. It is also home to the Gumeracha Country Market held on the third Sunday of each month and the Gumeracha Fifth Sunday Market artisan and handmade craft market held in the months where there are five Sundays (between February and November only).
Housed in the historic Birdwood Mill, the National Motor Museum has a fleet of some 400 vintage and classic vehicles awaiting your inspection. But it's more just an excellent collection - it tells the story of Australia's love affair. Motoring memorabilia in the collection includes brochures and maps, tin signs, petrol bowsers, toys, models and photographs. The National Motor Museum's iconic events include the Bay to Birdwood in September, which is the largest, continually held motoring event for veteran, vintage and classic vehicles held anywhere in the world
While in Birdwood, pop in to Treasures on Torrens if you love antiques and vintage wares, and Top of the Torrens Gallery for changing exhibitions of work by local artists. Dining options include Blumberg Hotel, a bakery and café.
The historically significant town of Mount Torrens is home to one of the stone sculptures that forms the Hills Sculpture Trail and is also situated at one end of the 17 kilometre Amy Gillett Pathway, which is a bitumen track running to Oakbank popular with leisure cyclists, walkers and horse riders.
Lobethal Road Wines welcomes visitors to their mudbrick cellar door for tastings on weekends and public holidays. Get cosy by the wood fire in cooler months, or relax in the courtyard setting overlooking the vineyard. They are known for excellent regional platters and elegant cool-climate wines.
A stopping point for bullock teams travelling between Adelaide and the River Murray along with development of pastoral and rural industries in the 1840s provided the basis for the town. This is still evident from the substantial dwellings, many of them two storied, still in wonderful condition today. Visitors can follow the Heritage Trail - Townsend, Prescott, Thomas and Tuck Streets all feature impressive and interesting buildings which are described on interpretive plaques. The Old Coach House on Townsend Street displays numerous historic photographs and artefacts along with historically significant architectural drawings of some of the old buildings.
To the far east of our region about 55 kilometres north-east of Adelaide, Mount Pleasant is a gateway to the Barossa wine region.
On Saturday mornings 8am-12pm you’ll find artisans, growers and producers at the Mount Pleasant Farmers Market offering a good choice of fresh, seasonal produce plus delicious local fare such as fresh baked goods, honey, olive oil, eggs, meat and seafood, plants, flowers, fruit products, wine, salts and spices, cheese and milk, coffee and entertainment. The market is held at the Mount Pleasant Showgrounds in the Show Hall and adjoining grassed areas.
Visit the Elysian Springs winery cellar door set on a 200-acre estate bordering the Eden Valley or be inspired at recreate - a creative reuse centre, shop, materials depot and workshop space that transforms old wares and waste into something fabulous!
Torrens Valley Scenic Drive – Adelaide to Mount Pleasant
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. This passes through the beautiful northern Adelaide Hills and townships including Inglewood, Gumeracha and Birdwood and continues to the Barossa via Springton and Eden Valley.
Cherry Sales and Picking
If you're visiting from November to January, visit a cherry orchard for shed door sales (Kersbrook, Forreston and Gumeracha) or to pick your own (Kersbrook and Forreston). Refer to the Cherries SA Cherry Map for full details.
Mount Crawford Forest
The Mount Crawford Forest Reserve covers an area of 12,367 hectares and is modelled as a community forest. It is managed for sustainable commercial forestry, while providing for the conservation of native flora and fauna and community use for recreation including camping. The extensive forest trail and road network is used by walkers, horse riders and cyclists. The forest is popular with mountain bikers as the Fox Creek / Cudlee Creek Sustainable Trail network (part of the Mawson Trail) provides the opportunity for a diversity of high quality off road riding experiences. The network has hosted range of national and local mountain bike, cross country, downhill and endurance races, and has developed a reputation as having some of the best trails in Australia.
Community Couch Trail
Take a seat and be part of an inspiring story! The Community Mosaic Couch Trail project brought together locals in Northern Adelaide Hills communities affected by the 2015 Sampson Flat bushfires to make mosaic ‘patches’ that joined to form the ‘quilts’ that now adorn a trail of outdoor community couches. Check out the trail of these colourful community couches situated in Houghton, Kersbrook, Gumeracha, Cudlee Creek and Paracombe – works of art that are testament to the community spirit, collaboration and resilience of Adelaide Hills communities.