Learn about Hahndorf
Established in 1839, Hahndorf is Australia’s oldest surviving German settlement, located in the Adelaide Hills, 28km southeast of Adelaide, South Australia.
Hahndorf’s pioneer settlers were refugees escaping from religious persecution in Prussia (a north-eastern Germanic state). Thirty-eight Old Lutheran families settled the area after arriving in South Australia in 1838.
On their arrival in the new colony, Dirk Hahn, who captained the Zebra, had become deeply concerned about the welfare of his passengers. During his stay in Adelaide, he supported them to find extra land in the Adelaide Hills. This land was in addition to what the much larger group had already purchased just outside the capital of Adelaide.
Thanking the Captain for his assistance, they named the town Hahndorf (Hahn’s village) after him.
Hahndorf is located just 30 minutes from Adelaide via the South Eastern Freeway, with the Hahndorf exit clearly marked. Visitors can also catch a public bus – see route 864, at the Adelaide Metro website.
Small town in South Australia
Settled by 19th-century Lutheran migrants, Hahndorf is known for its original German-style architecture and artisanal food. The ‘Hahndorf Academy’ is home to the German Migration Museum, tracing local history. Only five minutes drive from the village, ‘The Cedars’ houses the studio and art of German-born landscape painter Sir Hans Heysen.
There is no main street in the world that has as many artisans as Hahndorf. The artisan producers make everything from jams, sauces at ‘Beerenberg Family Farm’ to chocolates, leatherwork, handmade knives, candles, soap, shoes, jewellery, local arts and crafts, and of course our famous cheeses from ‘Grunthals’ at the northern end of the village.
Throughout the Adelaide Hills, an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables is grown and can be purchased locally. Producers also make olive oil, ciders and authentic German breads and cakes. Stock up at a roadside stall or farm gate, visit a farmers market or drop into one of the many providores in the region.
But most importantly, experience Hahndorf like a local on a Hahndorf walking tour with history enthusiast Sharon, or a member of her team. All local residents who live, love and work in the village.