The Adelaide Hills are part of the Mount Lofty Ranges, east of Adelaide, South Australia. It is amongst the first areas of South Australia to be settled by European settlers and is now unofficially centred on the largest town in the area, Mount Barker, which has a population of around 29,000 and is also one of Australia's fastest growing towns. Mount Barker can be reached from Adelaide by heading 33 kilometres south east on the South Eastern Freeway.
Weather throughout the Adelaide Hills is significantly cooler than nearby Adelaide though warm temperatures are still felt during the summer months. The cooler climate makes ideal conditions for growing vines for high quality wines, leading to its world-famous reputation for Sauvignon Blanc. The average annual rainfall in Mount Barker is 25mm. In addition to viticulture, the Adelaide Hills a popular production area for beef and dairy cattle, cherries, berries, brassicas & cut flowers. The region also has many conservation parks (including Cleland Conservation Park) where native species of fauna can be encountered. Among the more common species are the kookaburra, tawny frogmouth, southern brown bandicoot, kangaroo, brown tree frog, and bearded dragon. Several of the less common species include the antechinus (South Australia), heath monitor (Scott Creek Conservation Park) and the very rare inland carpet python (greater Mount Barker region). Birds found in the Hills include some of the best-known Australian parrots such as the Adelaide rosella, rainbow and musk lorikeets as well as large cockatoos like the Major Mitchell, and the yellow-tailed black cockatoo. Smaller but no less spectacular are the superb blue wren and eastern spinebill.
The landscape is undulating with dense greenery through most parts. Many walking and bike trails abound within the Hills, including a portion of the Heysen Trail and the start of the Mawson Trail. The Heysen Trail itself extends from the tip of the Fluerieu Peninsula, through the Adelaide Hills and on up to the Flinders Ranges, three hours drive north of Adelaide.
The region is popular destination for school groups as well as international visitors.
More information about the Adelaide Hills can be found on the Adelaide Hills website.
Mount Barker Map