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More than Meets the Eye in the Adelaide Hills

The stunning region of the Adelaide Hills has become of Australia’s most sought after holiday destinations.

The Adelaide Hills region is located south-east of Adelaide city, bordering the Barossa Valley in the north to the Kuitpo Forest in the south.

Comprised of several townships and localities, each possessing their own unique stories and characteristics, this part of Australia has so much to see and do, that any visit here will be rewarded with breathtakingly unique experiences.

An internationally recognised wine region that produces exquisite wines, every drop produced in the Hills is shaped by the coolness of the altitude, the changing seasons, and of course, the undying passion of the winemakers.

There are about a hundred vineyards and growers in the region, and 60 cellar doors ranging from major producers to quaint boutique wineries.

The Adelaide Hills offers a lifestyle that espouses both the rustic and urbane facets of Australian culture. The diverse settlement of the region includes peaceful residences, agricultural endeavours, business environments, and a thriving tourism industry.

Visitors to the region certainly realise that there is more to the Hills than meets the eye.


A Fascinating Indigenous Background

In early times, the Peramangk Aboriginal people inhabited the tree-filled gullies and park-like tablelands of the eastern Adelaide Hills.

They enjoyed an endless supply of edible plants and grubs to gather, along with marsupials to hunt. The Peramangk habitat encompassed the cool Eucalyptus forests of the Mount Lofty Summit region to the warmer eastern ranges near the Murray Plains.

By the time the first white colonists made their way into the Adelaide Hills in 1837, the Peramangk had all but disappeared, leaving great silent forests for Europeans to explore.

However, their family groups did not become extinct; many families can still be traced back to several survivors. And significantly, their artworks were maintained well into the 20th century.

There were skilled artists known as the Merrimayanna that painted vivid motifs in red, yellow, and white ochre. They made use of several rock shelters in the eastern ranges to depict dreams, ceremonies, and scenes of hunting.

To this day, only some of the Merrimayanna artworks have been interpreted, and many other sites are yet to be discovered.

Hahndorf was a favorite summer camping place for the Peramangk, chosen by the Lutherans. The area abundant with resources (food, water, firewood, and raw materials) — indigenous people called it ‘Bukartilla’. During winter, they constructed warm, dry huts of branches, bark grass, and leaves, often built around the hollow side of old red gums.

They were soon found by European explorers, squatters, and overlanders who passed through the area, or in some cases perhaps even settled there. At times, they even took to visiting the settlement of Adelaide in a large group to conduct ceremonial business and social gatherings.

The Peramangk observed the strange appearance, habits, and artifacts of the European interlopers. They often regarded the white folks as ghostly reincarnations of their own ancestors. The contact was mostly peaceful, though the European police troopers were known to harass them on occasion.

It was not until the mid-1840s that open conflicts arose. The source of the confrontation was a disagreement about the right of the local Aborigines to claim their share of animals and material goods that the Europeans had placed on their lands. There was little physical violence however; in some cases, food and other items were even given by farmers in exchange for assistance with harvesting crops.

Unfortunately, population and traditional practices are difficult to verify. This is because shortly after the European settlement, the Peramangk are thought to have been wiped out by diseases, though some records would later show that they were in fact settled at Point Pearce and Point McLeay.


A wine scene unlike any other

The Adelaide Hills is one of the premier wine-producing regions in Australia. Here, wine is celebrated and wine tasting is made easily accessible.

The region is best known for its cool climate that yields bright, acidic whites and light-bodied reds. Many of the wineries offer generous tours; if booking a reservation in advance, you may even be able to squeeze in some extra activities like blending your own wine or even taking a congenial class or two about wine. Because the wineries are located within such close vicinity to one another, it’s incredibly convenient to go around, explore, and enjoy.

The Adelaide Hills wine region is sandwiched between the Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale, two of the most well-known wine regions in Australia, and it certainly gives these two regions a run for their money when it comes to incredible wine and amazing sites and experiences.

You can learn more about the beautiful wineries of the Hills region here.


Extraordinary towns to explore

With nearly twenty towns and villages lined with shops, galleries, studios, cafes, and pubs, you’ll find that each one holds its own unique, unforgettable story and features that will resonate with you for years to come.

The small town of Echunga is perfect for a little holiday nature getaway, abundant with stunning parklands, expansive reservoirs, and lush farms bursting with fresh produce. Settle into one of the cottages within the greenery, enjoy relaxing walks in the morning, and cosy, enchanting nights by the fire.

Hahndorf is one of the region’s most popular attractions, majorly due to its stunning German-inspired decorations and culture. It offers its visitors a hearty dose of captivating history, with a thrilling splash of local charm.

Before heading out to nearby Mount Lofty, why not make a pit stop to Crafers to get away from the hustle and bustle of urban city life? It is home to the oldest hotel in the entire area, which is the eponymous Crafers Hotel. You can have a hearty lunch whilst you marvel at the stunning panoramic views of the city’s skyline.

Home to crisp mornings, sunny days, and intimate evenings, Adelaide Hills lavishly offers sprawling hills, lush greenery, and hidden gems of towns that contain amazing sparkles within.


A Luxury Resort That Feels Like Paradise

Within the rustic, humble abode of Adelaide Hills sits a magnificent cosy mountain retreat, with a promising experience of unparalleled discoveries awaiting you – the Sequoia Lodge.

It is more than a resort, Sequoia is a deep dive into the region’s story and nature — it is a chance to reconnect with the earth and find the joy of truly just living in the moment.

Allow yourself to return to your higher being by experiencing complete and total wellness through a much-deserved break from the pressure of everyday life.

Sequoia sits on the side of Mount Lofty, high above the Piccadilly Valley. You won’t find any other place in the world where you can find four world-class wine regions within a 50-kilometre radius, from the maritime McLaren Vale to the Langhorne Creek and the high-altitude Eden Valley.

Sequoia is rooted in an incredible natural setting that offers invigorating hikes, preserved national parks, white sandy beaches, and vast plains. This is a wonderful opportunity to connect not only with the land, but also with its people and its fascinating history at an immaculate level.

Retreat to your panoramic suite’s charming sun terrace with a nice glass of wine. Or book an organic facial and a rejuvenating massage to get those knots out. You can even go for a dip in the infinity pool or relax in the artesian spring-fed hot pools by the mountain’s natural springs.

Sequoia is where your worries evanesce and living begins again. Life is different behind Sequoia’s big, shiny gates; time slows down and your mindset changes.

If you’re ready to embark on the journey to rediscover your true self, you know where to go.

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