What a fantastic experience. This was our first cooking class and we’re already planning our next cooking adventure with Sticky Rice. Yukio is an excellent instructor. The menu was well planned. We had a lot of fun and learned so much. Thank you Yukiko and Daniel for all your hard work.
With South Australia’s Premier Steven Marshall announcing the state’s borders will open to the rest of country from next month, it’s time to check out what to see, where to stay and what to do in the state that’s home to the City of Churches.
But if you’re after an escape from city life, there’s really only one place to log into your GPS.
Just 25 minutes out of the Adelaide CBD is the Adelaide Hills where the hardest thing you’ll have to do is decide where to start and what you can fit in, so here’s a beginner’s guide to the region.
Where to start
I always like to start at the top – Mount Lofty Summit.
Here you can see Adelaide stretch out before you – all the way to the coast.
Where to stay
If the thought of combining Zen-like , Balinese or Japanese style accommodation with a cooking classes has you dreaming, try Sticky Rice in Stirling for a unique holiday experience.
Zen Villa At Sticky Rice
Bali Villa Bath at Sticky Rice
Yoko the Japanese inspired Villa at Sticky Rice
Beautiful Vineyard in the Adelaide Hills. Source:istock
For caravan, camping or luxury lakeside cabins, award-winning Hahndorf Resort is the go, offering modern accommodation, plenty of caravan and camping sites and even a restaurant on-site – all within the picturesque township of Hahndorf.
If you’re really wanting to get off-grid, and perhaps share a room with just yourself or your partner, book yourself into tiny homes and getting away from it all. CABN offer a string of tiny off-grid homes, perfect for a wine weekend in the hills.
No trip to the Adelaide Hills is complete without a stop in Hahndorf.Source:Supplied
During winter, getting cosy anywhere in front of a fire goes without question. But if you’re wanting to cuddle up to something other than your partner – head to Cleland Wildlife Park or Gorge Wildlife Park to meet some of the cute local koalas.
Where to stroll
The beauty of the Adelaide Hills is the ever changing food and wine scene. But between meals – and trust me, there will be a lot of them – there’s plenty of places to stretch your legs and work off lunch.
Start at Mount Lofty Botanic Gardens, which offers a hillside amble through 97ha of manicured, rare and cool-climate plants. Entry is free as are guided walks every Thursday. You can set the pace with a leisurely walk around the lake or a strenuous hilly hike.
Stay and stroll around the magnificent Mt Lofty House in the Adelaide Hills, South Australia.Source:Supplied
If you’re really keen … and I mean really keen … hike from Waterfall Gully to Mt Lofty. Past First and Second Falls, there is a 3.9km serious uphill trek to the top. Thankfully, there is coffee at the summit and the views are some of the best in the region.
For something a little less strenuous, Hahndorf offers great walking tours that make for a great jaunt around town. If you’re feeling peckish, try the food and footwork combo with the Strudel and Stroll tour. Learn how to make strudel then, while it’s baking, walk the town with Sharon Pippos learning about its German history along the way.
If you’re a coffee fan, you’re in luck because I haven’t found a bad cup anywhere in the Hills.
For a midmorning hit, drop into Red Cacao in Stirling where it’s all about their award-winning artisan chocolate, coffee and indulgent desserts. When you get to have them all at the same time … bonus!
The one stop you will want to make in Adelaide is to the coffee and chocolate institution, Red Cacao. Source: Instagram
Big ticks for Woodside Providore, which is open seven days and late on weekends, and if you’re into cold drip coffee – drop into Nairne’s Pallet Cafe, located in one of the friendliest towns in the Hills
Time for a real drink?
Away from the vineyards and cellar doors, each Hills village has its own pub … and they all have something different to offer.
The Hahndorf Inn has the full-on German feast and beer fest. Big platters of roast meat, traditional kranskies, sauerkraut and mashed potatoes with beer tasting paddles. You’ll want to loosen your belt.
A platter at Pike and Joyce winery is the perfect afternoon treat while visiting Lenswood in the Adelaide Hills, South Australia. Source: Supplied
For a modern twist on German heritage, try The Haus in Hahndorf, or if you’re looking for a bit of local heritage – try The Crafers Hotel, which is one of Adelaide’s first pubs (established 1839) and its fridges are full of fun craft beer.
For beer, gin and cider lovers, Lot 100 in Hay Valley ticks multiple boxes in the one stop. Taste five locals in a really cool atmosphere: Hills Cider Co, Mismatch Brewing, Vinteloper, Adelaide Hills Distillery (78 Degrees Gin), and Ashton Valley Fresh “not just juice”.
Lobethal Bierhaus is in the old woollen mill and has the perfect mix of boutique beer and buffalo wings. Source: Supplied
You can’t go past Unico Zelo Wine and Applewood Distillery in Gumeracha without stopping in for an afternoon drink. All gins are handmade in an old industrial cold store built in the 1920s. Fun and funky.
And while you’re in Gumeracha, don’t forget the kids. You can’t miss (literally) the Big Rocking Horse (thetoyfactory.com.au).
Food glorious food
For the sweet tooth, head to the Paech family’s Beerenberg farm in summer where you can pick your own strawberries. In winter, you won’t be disappointed. Instead of picking fruit from the vine, you’ll be able to stock up on all sorts of chutneys, pickles, sauces and jams made from local produce.
The Hahndorf Inn hotdogs cannot be missed. Source: Supplied
You’ll want to loosen your belt in Hahndorf. Source: Supplied
At certain times of the year, fruit orchards around the Adelaide Hills offer DIY picking Picture: Ian Routledge, South Australian Tourism Commission Source: Supplied
The ultimate wine trail
It’s why you’ve come to the Hills. If you’re a fan of sauvignon blanc, pinot noir, cool-climate shiraz, gruner veltliner, bone-dry rieslings and some of the best sparklings you will find – you’ve come to the right part of Australia.
With more than 90 wine labels and 50 cellar doors in this cool-climate region, the choice is hard, but here are a few favourites that are now open and are perfect stops during the wintry weather.
Stop in at Pike & Joyce winery in Lenswood, South Australia Source: Supplied
The Adelaide Hills will be open for domestic travel from July 20. Picture: Isaac Forman, Serio Source: Supplied
Stop in at Longview Vineyard which sits among 65ha of rolling hills, vines and sweeping views just outside Macclesfield. Reminiscent of classic, old-world estates but with modern style, it is one of the most awarded wine producers in the region.
Original written by Carolyne Jasinski
It was a great experience, learning some trade secrets to great cooking. Met some lovely people, a totally enjoyable afternoon. Cannot wait to do the next one!!!
Amazing experience thank you. Beautiful food, beautiful people, magical from start to finish
Best inspiration to be creative back at home!
We did the Japanese Essentials. excellent chef guide in Yukiko. food was excellent quality and class was a lot of fun. Daniel was a delightful host. We stayed in the Bali villa which was beautiful and relaxing. Wonderful get away.
I’ve done five classes so far. Great time, great repeatable recipes. Japanese cooking class was amazing. Going to repeat entire menu for family this week.
A great day at Sticky Rice Cooking School, Stirling yesterday – so enjoyed “Sensational Seafood” with chef Tania. Fantastic food, flavours, cooking tips, wonderful host Daniel and new friends Trudy & Rachael. Thanks Claire for making your dream come true – such a beautiful place filled with happiness, love & care.
Fabulous Middle Eastern Cooking class with Genevieve Harris. Wonderful day cooking a delicious menu of Hummus and flat bread, Chermoula chicken, Harissa marinated Prawns,with a beautiful eggplant and tomato salad, and bbq lamb skewers marinated in Hilbeh served with baby spinach, pomegranate seeds and yoghurt sauce.
Then deep fried almond pastries with honey and orange blossom syrup.
All served with lovely wines or fruit juice and water.
Fabulous day, heaps of fun and staying at the villas made the walk home very easy.
Highly Recommended 5*****
It’s all hands on, all interacting with each other. The food, atmosphere and setting are just awesome. highly recommended.
Fantastic fun night out
The perfect Staycation ideas for these Adelaide Hills Luxury Villas. Stay and Play. Wellness, Adventure and Relaxation. Which Villa will you choose? Bali, Yoko or Zen
One of the standout features of group cooking classes is their inclusivity. Unlike non-hands-on activities that might alienate certain members, cooking classes create a level playing field.