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The Highs And Highs Of The Adelaide Hills
adelaide hillsForget the rush and crowds in Sydney and Melbourne; Adelaide offers all the fun and excitement of these major cities, minus the hassle of he millions of people, thousands of taxis and thick smog. The city of Adelaide is complimented by the beautiful Adelaide Hills, and their close proximity to the city centre offers a tranquil and serene escape. This pleasant balance between city life and calm and serenity make them he ideal place to holiday, and being just a 20 minute drive from the city with your car hire Adelaide, they are easily accessible and just beckoning for you to visit. Lush forest, cosy towns and magnificent views are just part and parcel of what you can expect here so get on up to Adelaide Hills and begin the adventure of a lifetime.

The Germans were the first to settle in Adelaide Hills and their influence and presence still runs thick through the towns here. Hahndorf is perhaps the most famous of these towns as it is Australia's oldest surviving German settlement. This town was established in 1839 and many of the original buildings are still standing amongst the elm and plane trees that line the streets. These trees are centuries old and create an air of historical significance. Little boutiques and shops selling wursts, cakes and other decadent German confectionery line the streets add to the Bavarian character of the town, as do the numerous German tourists visiting this slice of their homeland.

Take a trip to England when you pay a visit to Macclesfield, a town that has a distinctly English feel to it. Macclesfield lies deep in the Hills and is about an hour's drive from Adelaide. This picturesque town is surrounded by pleasant farmlands, vineyards and natural bush. It is positioned around a village square that historically was the hub of a major transport route during the gold rush days in the 19th century. In modern times it has become more laid back and visitors usually spend their time here relaxing at the excellent English style pub here, where you can sit down and have a hearty meal and a pint. Every Sunday the square comes alive with the sounds of farmers from the surrounding regions setting up stalls and selling off their fresh produce to the public.

The Adelaide Hills boast not only come of the country's most beautiful towns, but also some of its most intriguing scenery. A great example of this is Mount Lofty, a pleasant place to visit any time of the year. The summit here is the highest peak near Adelaide, and offers stunning views of the surrounding hills and valleys, as well as local highlights such as the Adelaide Plains, Kangaroo Island and Yorke Peninsula. The summit is nestled in the Cleland National Park, which is also home to Waterfall Gully on its western side. This large waterfall is ideally located right near a large car park, which means you can park your car and take a short walk towards heaven. There is a pleasant restaurant and a kiosk here so why not enjoy a meal among the best that nature has to offer.

While these is a lot of nature on offer here, there is also a lot of wildlife. This is clearly evident through the multiple wildlife parks scattered throughout the area, that the kids will just love. Cleland Wildlife Park is situated close to Mt Lofty, and visitors are able to walk through large enclosures and interact with Australian animals such as kangaroos, koalas and echidnas. Warrawong Wildlife Sanctuary is much bigger and is just a 20 minute trip out of Adelaide. Home to over 100 species of bird and animals, a visit here is the perfect way to texperience the Australian bush and wildlife in a protected habitat.

Culture is deeply embedded in the towns of Adelaide Hills, whether it be in the German settlements or in the art galleries and museums that are scattered throughout the towns and countryside. An intriguing time can be had at the National Motor Museum in Birdwood, a museum that houses more than 300 vintage, veteran and classic motor bikes and bicycles. The displays here actually make up the largest collection in Australia. Arts buffs will enjoy visiting the Cedars, the old home and studio of famed artist Sir Hans Heysen. This place is still owned by his family, and many of his painting materials, tools, sketches and notes can be found here.

As the perfect end to your adventures in Adelaide Hills, check out some of the local cellar doors and sample some of the area's finest produce. The hillsides and valleys here are lined with vineyards, and the crisp wines they produce are notorious the world over. Good food and good wine always seem to go hand in hand, and the restaurants and cafes here match the quality of the wine with the culinary dishes they produce. So go ahead and indulge in the complete dining experience! Adelaide Hills will offer you the time of your life because the beauty and wonder of this amazing place will keep you coming back for more, time and time again.

Christine Barton

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