Spend a long weekend in South Australia this Winter

Rustic cellar doors with winter reds, hearty servings by the fire and festivals that bring the season to life in a burst of colour and flavour. South Australia is a magical winter destination. Take some time out to replenish yourself with some seasonal goodness by an open fire in a cosy pub, in a picturesque village filled with old-world providores or touring world-class wineries – all within 30 minutes of the heart of Adelaide. 

Warm winter reds in the Adelaide Hills

Winter Reds Festival
Winter Reds Festival

Sip an award-winning shiraz or cabernet, settle down by an open fire and let the music and hospitality take over. Held over one weekend every July, the Winter Reds Festival is a seasonal celebration of the winemakers and artisans of the Adelaide Hills. More than 30 passionate local cellar doors come together to offer delicious long lunches and entertainment – along with a drop or two of the region’s finest. 

Winter festivals in Adelaide

I Am Here by artist Carla O'Brien at Illuminate Adelaide
I Am Here by artist Carla O’Brien at Illuminate Adelaide

Adelaide brings out some of its best in the cooler months, with a full calendar of food events and entertainment covered off at the Adelaide Winter festivals. Also in July, the Adelaide Beer and Barbeque Festival will warm the soul with some of Australia’s best grillers, as well as local and international brewers, cider makers and distillers. You can also raise a toast in June at the world’s biggest cabaret festival. 

Running for over 20 years, the Adelaide Cabaret Festival hosts a calendar of musical events featuring leading Australian and international cabaret performers. July also inspires with Illuminate Adelaide, a dazzling festival of light that brightens the city’s streets and laneways with light shows featuring contemporary and First Nation artists. Marvel at the many heritage buildings illuminated with light and performance. 

Winter’s seasonal treats continue in the laneway restaurants and bars and you’ll find plenty more winter experiences to enjoy. New York brasserie-styled APOTECA is an Adelaide gem with a courtyard, cellar restaurant and cocktail bar with chaise-lounges and chandeliers. You’ll also find a range of experiences to enliven the palette, from Thai eateries to African-influenced diners. The Adelaide Central Market is another source of crunchy seasonal produce, locally made cheeses and more. 

Winter treats in historic Hahndorf, South Australia

Enjoy dinner and fine wine at the Haus in Hahndorf
Enjoy dinner and fine wine at the Haus in Hahndorf

Spend a day exploring heritage-listed Hahndorf, one of Australia’s oldest surviving German settlements. Today, you’ll find traditional cafes, providores and pubs as well as breweries and cider houses. Enjoy some traditional German food and beer at the iconic German Arms or Hahndorf Inn by a crackling fire. Gulf Brewery has mastered the art of beer making and Ambleside Distiller produces superb gins. Discover more local wines at boutique cellar doors in the area, including Landhaus and La Prova wines.

The region comes to life at the Hahndorf Academy, a regional hub for the arts that is based in a charming 150-year-old building. Explore its four galleries and artist studios. Discover cultural highlights and the Angel of Hahndorf sculpture outside the Hahndorf Academy on the Hills Sculpture Trail. For an intimate glimpse into Hahndorf’s past explore the Hahndorf Heritage Walk, which follows an historic trail past the town’s iconic landmarks. 

Getting there and where to stay

The Manna by Haus, Ascend Hotel Collection
The Manna by Haus, Ascend Hotel Collection

The drive from Melbourne takes under eight hours – you can also take the scenic Great Ocean Road route. You can also enjoy a road trip from Sydney, which takes about 14 hours. There are some great rail options, including The Overland from Melbourne or the Indian Pacific from Perth or Sydney. Head south by train from Darwin via Alice Springs on The Ghan. You can also fly to Adelaide Airport.  Enjoy some great accommodation options close to the action in Adelaide or Hahndorf.

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