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Adelaide Hills, South Australia

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The Mount Lofty Ranges to the east of the city create a scenic backdrop and a wonderful destination for weekend adventures. The highest point, Mt Lofty Summit, is 710 metres above sea level, and the view from it is awe-inspiring. To reach the Hills, choices include drives of 20 minutes to an hour, along freeways or country roads. Meander along the Gorge Scenic Drive or swoop up to Stirling and Hahndorf on the South Eastern Freeway, the tunnels and bridges of which display an impressive feat of engineering.

Escaping to the Hills from the city’s summer heat (temperatures are a few degrees cooler than Adelaide), the early English gentry built fine stone homes and planted European trees and flowering shrubs. Other pioneers planted vineyards, orchards and market gardens. Their lush legacy remains in displays of autumn colour, world-famous cool-climate wines, magnificent gardens and farmers’ markets plying fresh produce, preserves and specialty foods.

Visit Mount Lofty Botanic Garden, go wine tasting at the 25 or so cellar doors, do your weekend shopping at the Battunga Country Growers Market in Macclesfield, and sample the fare at Beerenberg Strawberry Farm.

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