From Jupiter Creek in the west to Callington in the east, and Mount Barker in the north to Prospect Hill in the south, this part of the Adelaide Hills has a relaxing country feel, with rolling farmland home to beef cattle, horse studs and dairies. Encompassing Meadows, Macclesfield, Echunga, Flaxley, Prospect Hill and Paris Creek this area offers many highlights including winery cellar doors, historic pubs, Kuitpo Forest, Jupiter Creek gold diggings and Jurlique Farm.
The southern reaches of the Adelaide Hills region are most quickly accessed from the Adelaide city via the South Eastern Freeway, exiting at Stirling, Hahndorf or Mount Barker. Alternatively head south from Adelaide and travel through picturesque Coromandel Valley and the lovely township of Clarendon (be sure to stop at the bakery here).
Base yourself here for a serene stay and easy day trips across the Hills, to the McLaren Vale wine region (and other Fleurieu Peninsula highlights such as Strathalbyn, Goolwa and Victor Harbor) and to Murray Bridge on the River Murray.
A part of this area is known as Battunga Country, encompassing Meadows, Macclesfield, Echunga, Flaxley, Prospect Hill, Paris Creek, Kuitpo and Jupiter Creek. A rich tapestry of histories from the hustle of the gold rush era to agricultural pursuits on some of the most productive land in South Australia combine to make a fascinating road of discovery as you tour the region.
Echunga is a farming town with historic buildings and was an important gold fossicking area in the 19th century. To learn more, follow the Jupiter Creek Heritage Trail. Other Echunga attractions include a heritage walk and 18 hole golf course. All British Day, held annually in February in Echunga, is a display day and picnic where enthusiastic vehicle club members meet and showcase their British motor vehicles. Call in at the historic Hagen Arms pub, and pick up garden sculptures, farm gates and other rustic wares at Farm Gate Services Farm Shop.
Located on the Angas River and surrounded by rolling hills, farmland and vineyards, historic Macclesfield was established in 1839. Attractions include Crystal Lake Sculpture Park (home to a biennial sculpture event and perfect for a picnic), Macclesfield ANZAC Memorial Gardens (two acre native garden), a heritage walk, cycling and walking trails, weekly Sunday market, two pubs and Longview Vineyard cellar door which is well known for its food, events, and luxury accommodation.
Set in a picturesque dairy farming area, Meadows has historic buildings, antique shops, a hotel and bakeries. Attractions include The Cheese Factory Studio Gallery and nearby Prospect Hill Community Museum. It’s a gateway to Kuitpo Forest – ideal for camping, bushwalking, cycling and horse riding, with the Heysen Trail running through the area. The Meadows Country Fair in October and Meadows Easter Fair are popular, as is the country market held on the second Sunday of each month. Cellar doors include Karrawatta amd Perrini Estate Winery.
A favourite with campers, picnickers, walkers, cyclists and horse riders, Kuitpo Forest is one of South Australia's favourite nature play spaces - all just a 45 minute drive from Adelaide near the township of Meadows. From Adelaide take Main South Road, then turn off to Clarendon and Meadows, or take the South Eastern Freeway to Hahndorf, then turn off to Echunga and Meadows. Campgrounds and accommodation (cottage and huts) are available from April to November.
At Biggs Flat, take a Jurlique Farm Tour to learn about the plants and processes behind this global wellness brand. Learn about Jurlique, plant propogation, plant varieties and their uses, biodynamic farming principles, the harvesting process and more.
Kuitpo winery cellar doors including Fox Gordon, Ilya Vineyards, Coates Wines, Lazy Ballerina and K1 by Geoff Hardy, plus Magpie Springs in Hope Forest which features an art gallery and outdoor climbing wall.
Situated on the Bremer River, Callington is a well preserved microcosm of a mid 19th century Australian mining community, with the whole township included on the Register of the National Estate.
The Prospect Hill Museum near Meadows offers a glimpse into the past with a home filled with artefacts from about 1840 - 1940, an old school house and Ash Wednesday exhibition.