Travelling Australia - Journal 2012
27 June 2012 - Mannum to Hahndorf and return (not towing)
Today we drove to Hahndorf in the Adelaide Hills to have a look around then returned to Mannum. Weather for the day was good for travelling while staying in the car. The sun shone brightly in a blue sky and there was hardly any wind. But the day was cold with 11°C showing for most of the time on the Pathfinder external temperature gauge; sometimes the temperature was lower.

From Mannum we drove on the Adelaide Road (B35) across the cropland of the Murray Mallee. Recent planting had germinated giving an attractive green cover to the ground although more rain will be needed to ensure a good crop. 18 kilometres from Mannum the road enters the small village of Palmer (population 58, rainfall 421 millimetres a year according to the welcome signboard) and the sandy, nearly flat, limestone country devoted to cropping abruptly gives way to hills covered in granite boulders and supporting grazing sheep and goats. Many rocks have been painted in various colours.

The road winds over the hills to Tungkillo where we turned off to the south towards Hahndorf via Mount Torrens, Woodside, and several smaller settlements. By now we were past most of the granite boulders and driving through green, grassy paddocks with a liberal scattering of river red gums in the area known as the Adelaide Hills. There were some vineyards beside the road but not in such large numbers that the area could be called a wine region (unlike the Barossa Valley to the north).

Arriving in Hahndorf we found a parking spot on the side of the road outside the Information Centre and walked along the main street for a while. Hahndorf is a tourist destination with a wide range of tourist-oriented business along the main street. Eating and drinking are provided for as well a very wide range of souvenirs and knick-knacks. The name indicates the German antecedents of the town and several businesses (such as the German Arms Hotel) have built-on the German background. Several shops concentrate on selling locally produced food and drink.
Hahndorf main street
Main shopping street in Hahndorf.
The weather remained bright and sunny with a blue sky but it was cold. There were few tourists wandering the streets and parking in the main street was very easy; these conditions would not prevail in warmer weather during the tourist season. We expect that Hahndorf would be very crowded at other times of the year.

We left Hahndorf to return to Woodside where we called into the Melba Chocolate Factory. From the shop area we could see into the chocolate and lolly making parts of the factory but there was little activity to be seen; we bought some chocolates and continued along the same road we had used to get from Mannum.

The return drive was uneventful; through the Adelaide Hills green lands, up and over the Mount Lofty Ranges past the sheep and painted boulders, then through Palmer and across the cropping lands of the Murray Mallee to Mannum.

Cropping land
Looking towards Mannum from a lookout above Palmer. The boulders of the Mount Lofty Ranges are in the foreground with the flatter crop lands beyond the row of on-farm storage silos.
daily map