Adelaide Hills


Adelaide Hills

Infobox Australian Place | type = region
name = Adelaide Hills
state = sa


caption = Looking out over the Mt. Lofty Botanic Gardens lower lake.
pop = ~ 60,000
area =
est = Early 1800s
seat =
mayor =
region =

logosize =
url =
stategov = Kavel, Heysen, Morialta, Schubert
fedgov = Mayo, Sturt, Wakefield
The Adelaide Hills are part of the Mount Lofty Ranges, east of the city of Adelaide in the state of South Australia. It is unofficially centred around the largest town in the area, Mount Barker, which has a population of around nine and a half thousand people and which is also one of Australia's fastest growing towns.

History

The Adelaide Hills were amongst the first areas of South Australia to be settled by European settlers. A number of towns in the Hills were started as German settlements; Hahndorf, and Lobethal are two widely known examples. The original town names and architecture still reflect this. Descendants of these first settlers and others of German origin still reside in the area. This explains the strong German cultural connection seen in the number of Lutheran churches, Lutheran schools which often have German on the curriculum, and the number of older residents who still speak German. Some customs have grown, such as the Lobethal Christmas lights which began in the 1950s.

Culture

For most Adelaide residents, a drive through the hills is a popular pastime, particularly due to the slightly (2-3 degrees) cooler temperatures in summer and lush green and moderate winters. The Mount Lofty area, home to Adelaide's television transmission towers, has a lookout area, restaurant and a fire-spotting tower run by the Country Fire Service. The area receives a light snowfall approximately once every 3-4 years, occasionally enough to stay on the ground for half a day.

The Adelaide hills region is close enough to commute to the city, yet is the gateway to the country, so residents enjoy the best of both worlds - the country community life and the convenience of the city. Desirability of the area has increased, particularly since realignment of the road and construction of the Heysen Tunnels on the South Eastern Freeway improved road access. Rising real estate prices reflect this. The tunnels are named after Sir Hans Heysen, a famous painter located near Hahndorf.

The region is also a premier wine region within Australia and also one of the oldest. The veritable maze of valleys and sub-valleys, with slopes offering every conceivable aspect, means there is as much mesoclimatic variation as one can find anywhere in Australia, making generalisations of wine type very hazardous. The first vines were planted in the Hills in 1839, three years after South Australia was declared a province, a case of that wine was delivered to Queen Victoria in 1844. There are over 50 wineries (2005) within the Hills region which are open most days for tasting and cellar sales.

The Hills region also has many National Parks, including the Cleland Conservation Park with its free roaming kangaroos, wallabies and emus. The park also has enclosed areas for dingos, koalas, native birds & snakes. Many native species of fauna can be encountered within the hills region. Among the more common species include the Kookaburra, Tawny Frogmouth, Southern Brown Bandicoot, Kangaroo, Brown Tree Frog, and Bearded Dragon. Several of the less common species include the Antechinus (Morialta Conservation Park), Heath Monitor (Scott Creek Conservation Park) and the very rare Inland Carpet Python (greater Mt Barker region). Many walking trails, including a portion of the Heysen Trail and bike trails, including the start of the Mawson Trail abound within the Hills.

ee also

*List of towns in the Adelaide Hills
*South Australian food and drink
*Beerenberg Farm
*South Australian wine

External links

* [http://www.visitadelaidehills.com.au/ Visit Adelaide Hills] ,
* [http://www.adhills.com.au/ Adelaide Hills online] , local businesses
* [http://www.ahc.sa.gov.au/ Adelaide Hills Council]
* [http://www.winediva.com.au/regions/adelaide-hills.asp Adelaide Hills Wineries]
* [http://www.environment.sa.gov.au/parks/adelaide.html Adelaide Hills National Parks]
* [http://www.environment.sa.gov.au/parks/cleland/ Cleland Conservation Park]


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