# H is for Hahndorf
Hahndorf makes the cut for this blog because every time I visit my Adelaide family it is a must to walk the main street and soak up the unique vibe and beauty which is Hahndorf. The village is approximately a 25 minute drive into the undulating Adelaide Hills from South Australia’s capital city of Adelaide. The area was settled in 1838 by German Lutherans who were escaping religious persecution. Today Hahndorf is a popular tourist destination noted for its arts and crafts, candles, fudge, ice creams, chocolates, cheeses, lovely rose gardens, tree lined streets, wineries, antique shops, lively cafes, restaurants and pubs serving hearty German food. It’s a really cool place to visit for a day, a weekend or for and extended vacation.
The early German settlers worked the land, grazing sheep and cattle and growing fruits and vegetables to supply the Adelaide area. A modern day example of this is the Beerenberg Family Farm, established in 1839. Every time you purchase the Beerenberg label, you purchase a little of the history of the Adelaide Hills and Hahndorf!
Hahndorf is named for Dirk Hahn,the Captain of the “Zebra”, the ship which brought the 38 migrant families safely to Port Adelaide. Hahn was also instrumental in negotiating an area of land in the Adelaide Hills where they were able to settle. During the 1st World War the South Australian government changed the names of many of its German settlements and to this end, Hahndorf was changed to Ambleside after a nearby railway station. In December 1935 the town’s name was changed back to Hahndorf.
Just on a side note, South Australia is the only Australian colony that was free settled, a fact of which South Australians are quite proud. Consequently, South Australia has a very German influence in its early settlement both through the Adelaide Hills and the Barossa Valley which are popular wine growing regions.
Hahndorf is proudly Australia’s oldest surviving German settlement, and the German influence is still strongly felt in the town. What is there not to love! Amazingly beautiful country side, interesting history, good German food and good Aussie wines!
Beautiful Hahndorf; give it a google and put this little gem on your list of places to visit. I am sure it will not disappoint.