In the picturesque Adelaide Hills near the winemaking region of the Barossa Valley, you’ll find a little slice of European life tucked away amongst the Australian scenery. The village of Hahndorf harks back to the Germany of yesteryear, where you half expect to see yodellers and men donning lederhosen just wandering around the charming streets.
It was settled back in 1839 by a group of Lutherans who were fleeing Prussia and persecution there. The village was named after the ship’s captain, Hahn, with the suffix “dorf” added because it means village in German.
Today, the village is a big draw to tourists in the area. The pretty streets lined with historic buildings provide the perfect backdrop to a relaxing adventure, while the centuries-old plane and elm trees add a dose of nature to the proceedings.
It’s the broad array of culture that the village boasts that draws in the most visitors, though. Quaint antique shops rub shoulders with knick-knack stores that spill out onto the streets, while the selection of museums and galleries offer a deeper insight into the village and its rich history.
In one gallery, you can see original sketches penned by Sir Hans Heysen, who was once a Hahndorf resident and a famous landscape artist. Want to learn more about him? You can on a tour of his studio and house, which has been kept in the same condition since he left.
Elsewhere, foodies can revel in the fine selection of cuisine options. You can feast your eyes (and stomach) on everything from chutney and apple strudel to chocolate and fudge. Don’t forget to try Australia’s largest hotdog while you’re in town, too.
While wandering around, look up and marvel at the impressive architecture that flanks the streets. As Australia’s oldest German settlement, there are plenty of opulent buildings to admire, each of which is imbued with its own fascinating past.
The scenery that surrounds Hahndorf is worth exploring as well, thanks to a collection of wineries and strawberry farms famed for the mouth-watering supplies of jams, chutneys, and sauces. Beer lovers will have a great time, too, as the pubs, restaurants, and breweries all serve up a hearty range of German beer.
Stepping into Hahndorf feels like stepping back in time, where food and drink brought people together and the hours were spent whiled away drinking beer and browsing antique stores.