Exploring the Adelaide Hills begins just a short 20 minute drive from Adelaide CBD. There is heaps to see and do, and here we’ve put together 5 great activities for every-body to enjoy!
Cleland Wildlife Park, Crafers
If animals are your thing and you love a native wildlife experience, then Cleland Wildlife Park is for you! Located just outside of Crafers, 20 minutes from the CBD, you can immerse yourself in nature, feed the kangaroos and even cuddle a koala. Plus it’s great for people of all ages and abilities to enjoy! Entry fees per adult are $25 and kids are $12, or a family ticket will set you back $60. There is plenty of parking and multiple accessible car parks located close to the entrance. Accessible bathroom facilities and a parents room are located at the entrance, next to the café and gift shop. Both the café and interpretive centre are step free, spacious and easy to navigate. There is pram and wheelchair hire available, and you are welcome to take your own lunch to enjoy at one of the picnic spots or free BBQ’s that are dotted around the place. The paths around the park are a mixture of sealed/paved & gravel/dirt, and the majority of the park is flat. There are a few places with increased gradient, but make sure to download this fantastic, detailed access information map outlining facilities, distances and terrain information.
Melba’s Chocolates and Confectionery Factory, Woodside
This is one for the sweet tooths! Melba’s Chocolates and Confectionery has been around since the early 80’s. Melba’s use heritage chocolate and confectionery making machinery, allowing visitors to see traditional techniques in action.
The factory and coffee shop are open every day 9am to 4.30pm and entry is free. The shop itself is spacious to move around and you’ll find rows and rows of delicious chocolates and sweets. There is often work going on in the factory, but it’s on an ad hoc basis so it’s a bonus if you happen to see some of the action. There is an onsite café with limited se
ating inside plus a few tables and chairs outside. There is ramp access and accessible bathroom facilities onsite and a ‘drop off’ space directly out front of the entrance. If you are visiting with large mobility equipment, wheelchair or pram, there is an alternate entrance which can be arranged by contacting Melba’s prior to arrival.
National Motor Museum, Birdwood
Located in the main street of Birdwood in the Adelaide Hills, just under an hour’s drive from the centre of Adelaide, is Australia’s largest motoring collection. The National Motor Museum is open every day from 10-5pm and is host to major events such as the Bay to Birdwood in September and Rock and Roll Rendezvous in April. There is ample parking and easy access to the museum via the main entrance through automatic doors. There are plenty of grassed areas surrounding the museum with BBQ and picnic facilities, all accessed via paved pathways. Accessible and family friendly amenities are available including wheelchair hire and a hearing loop.
Mount Lofty Botanic Garden, Crafers
You can’t visit the hills and not visit The Mount Lofty Botanic Gardens. Set on 97 hectares in the picturesque Piccadilly Valley, the gardens provide a network of walking trails and attracts a wide variety of animals and birdlife. Entrance is free, with paid metered parking. Located a 25 minute drive from the Adelaide CBD, this is a beautiful spot to explore, pack a picnic and enjoy a leisurely stroll. There are two entrances – Summit Road, Crafers (Upper Entrance) or Lampert Road, Piccadilly (Lower Entrance). For those with access needs the lower entrance is preferable, with plenty of accessible parking, bathroom facilities and direct access to the one-kilometre Lakeside Trail which has been designed with universal access in mind. The pathways are wide and flat, and you’ll find various sculptures dotted along the path with information related to each piece translated and embossed in braille. The park is generally open all year round but closed on days when the fire danger rating is severe, extreme or catastrophic – check the website for more information. Free guided walks depart from the lower car park at the end of Lampert Road every Thursday at 10:30am.
Visiting Hahndorf, Australia’s oldest surviving German settlement, is the perfect way to spend a day. Stroll the tree-lined main street (approximately one kilometre) and discover shops, galleries and studios, a cheese maker, leather smith, candlemakers, craft brewery, boutique winery cellar doors, chocolatier, restaurants, pubs and cafe’s. The footpaths are generally flat and paved with ample street seating along the way, plus there are multiple zebra crossings, making it easier to cross the road safely. Although some of the historic buildings have stepped entry, many do have ramp access too, including Udder Delights cheese which is an iconic Adelaide Hills producer. Accessible toilets can be found in most dining venues, with public facilities at Pioneer Park, Alec Johnston Park and Hahndorf Academy/Visitor Information Centre. Parking can be a challenge, so it’s probably easiest to decide where to have a meal and use the off-street carpark for that particular venue. Street parking is limited and means passengers must disembark onto the main road.
Hahndorf is also home to the Adelaide Hills Visitor Centre. The staff and volunteers are well trained and passionate about the Adelaide Hills region. Pop in if for more information and inspiration on your visit.
Driving through the Adelaide Hills is an experience in itself, and there is certainly no shortage of spectacular scenery. Visit southaustralia.com for more inspiration and a number of self-drive itineraries!