Just a twenty minute drive east of Adelaide city centre, the Hills are a blaze of colour in autumn and a green retreat at other times. Each bend in the road opens up a fresh perspective.
The patchwork market gardens of the Piccadilly Valley, the panorama of city and coastline from the Mt Lofty Summit where you l find an excellent visitor information centre, caf?and restaurant, wildlife sanctuaries in beautiful settings, even a national museum of motoring history. There are plenty of distinctive, country-style pubs where beer, excellent local wines and conversation flow, the natives are friendly and the food is fresh and made from local produce. The cool-climate wines produced here are acclaimed world-wide and there are more than 20 wineries, many with cellar doors.
Hahndorf's German heritage is still very much in evidence. This was the birthplace of Hans Heysen so be sure to visit the famous landscape painter's home, The Cedars, and the stone studio where he worked.
The scenery that inspired Hans Heysen is bushwalkers' terrain, too. Energetic day-trekkers can tackle the Heysen Trail. Observant nature-lovers should head for Cleland Conservation Park or Warrawong Sanctuary. Most people explore by car, often with a picnic hamper of Hills delicacies in the boot.