It’s no secret, the stunning Adelaide Hills region provides the perfect backdrop for a day out with your family and friends, so let the hours pass you by at any one of these must visit Adelaide Hills events.
The Adelaide Hills has become the location of choice for a growing number major national and international events, and it today boasts an events line-up to rival any outer-metro region.
The winding roads and pretty Hills towns are the perfect setting for anything from vintage car races to wine festivals and the famous Christmas lights at Lobethal. Numerous farmer’s markets, the Tour Down Under and Oakbank Easter Racing are just some of the events that prove there’s never a dull moment in the Hills.
Here’s our guide to some of the major annual events to keep an eye out for in the Adelaide Hills:
Classic Adelaide Car Rally
This car rally is a highlight on the Adelaide Motorsport Festival calendar, recreating the iconic and world renowned tarmac rally of SA held between 1996 and 2009. The nostalgic nature and world class quality of the rally is fitting with the concept of the festival as it maintains the authenticity of the original Classic Adelaide Rally theme – with the main field for competition is for cars pre 1986. Day two of the rally competition is the ‘Udder Delights’ Adelaide Hills Saturday, which sees the rally make its way through the iconic Hills region, much to the delight of local car-lovers. Click here for more information.
Stirling Arts Festival
This annual arts festival is held at St Catherine’s School in Stirling to celebrate the diverse range of arts in the local area. It’s also become a wonderful place to purchase beautiful and unique Christmas gifts. The festival has a wonderful atmosphere that grows each year, with an array of market stalls featuring craft pieces, jewellery and design by local artists, arts-based activities for children coordinated by the school community and art workshops for children. Relax over light lunch or afternoon tea to the tunes of local museum. Click here for more details.
Christmas Pageants and Carols
The Hills come alive with the sound of sleigh bells as Santa comes to town amid traditional Christmas pageant and Christmas Carols fanfare. Many Hills towns hold a Christmas Pageant featuring a range of locally-designed floats (preceding the big man himself of course!). Mount Barker and Stirling are two of the Adelaide Hills’ larger and most popular pageant days. Did you know Newenham are sponsoring the Mount Barker Christmas pageant on Saturday 3rd December for the second year running? Christmas Carols are also held in towns small and large as we embrace the Christmas spirit! Click here to visit the Mount Barker Pageant page.
Telethon SA Family Fun Day
If you’d like to bring the family to a day of rides, amusements, delicious food trucks and free photos with Santa, then Newenham is the place to be following the Mt Barker Christmas Pageant from 12.30 – 3.30 on December 3. Held directly after the Christmas Pageant, this event will only cost a gold coin entry and all proceeds will be supporting Telethon SA and eight local charities. While you’re here, you can also stop past Keith Stephenson Park in Mount Barker on your way home to check out their Christmas Carols and fireworks. It’s set to be a brilliant day for those young and old!
Lights of Lobethal
This fabulous and very famous Christmas festival has been lighting up Lobethal Valley for more than 60 years. The tradition has now evolved into the largest Community Christmas Light Display in the Southern Hemisphere, and right here in the Adelaide Hills. The “Lights On” ceremony is typically in early December and the wonderful displays remain lit each night until New Year’s Eve. There are also lots of activities, attractions and events in the town during this time. Click here for more information.
Hahndorf Christmas Village and the Hahndorf Christkindlmarkt
Hahndorf is almost like a festival worth visiting all-year round. But there are some times of the year when it becomes even more magical. The Christkindlmarkt is one. The German, European-style Christmas market has more than 50 stalls, entertainment, food and more, all decked in wonderful Christmas spirit in a picturesque setting. During the event the entire village of Hahndorf celebrates with enchanting window displays, live entertainment, unique Christmas shopping and activities for the entire family. Click here for more details.
Santos Tour Down Under
The annual Tour Down Under celebration in Stirling is arguably the biggest social event on the town calendar. The town hosts ‘Stirling Spin’, an all-day village festival featuring food, music, markets and games to kick off the day prior the race, with celebrations continuing as competitors ride five laps of the route through the Adelaide Hills towns of Heathfield, Mylor and Aldgate. In 2017 this event will be held on Wednesday 18 January 2017. To find out more, click here.
Join in Australia Day festivities at one of the many towns in the Adelaide Hills. From Mount Barker to Echunga, Meadows to Strathalbyn and Murray Bridge, there’ll be sausage sizzles, family activity days and ceremonies to recognise community members and welcome newest citizens.
Crush Wine and Food Festival
Every January, the Adelaide Hills’ wineries open their cellar doors for a celebration of zingy, chilled Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Riesling, accompanied by fresh local produce, live music and even a smattering of art, theatre and dance. This summer wine and food festival encourages locals and visitors to head to the shady vineyards for a cooling glass of crisp white wine in a stunning setting.To plan your day among the vines, click here
Mount Barker District Show
The annual Mount Barker District Show is an all-time family favourite showcasing indoor and outdoor exhibits and market stalls including local arts, crafts, food, produce and farm animals. There’s something for everyone with plenty of attractions guaranteed to keep the kids entertained all day. You’ll find carnival clowns, bouncy castles, mini golf, face painting, a petting zoo and even the chance to ride a camel. The next show will be held at the Mount Barker Showgrounds on Saturday 25 March from 9am to 4.30pm. To find out more click here.
Oakbank Easter Racing
The Oakbank Easter Racing Carnival is like no other on the planet, in fact it’s the biggest picnic race meeting in the world, attracting more than 60,000 people to two days of racing over Easter Saturday and Easter Monday. Racegoers are encouraged to join in the ‘picnic’ family day atmosphere by bringing their own food and drink to the course (if they wish) and set up picnic tables by the car. There’s kids activities, amusements, food and beverage stands and of course bookmakers. There’s nothing like a day at the races, and there’s nothing quite like a day at the Oakbank Easter Races, Adelaide Hills. Click here for more information.
Dawn Services are held in a number of Adelaide Hills towns every year to mark ANZAC Day. It’s worth rugging up in the early morning Hills weather to experience this occasion, many which hold a breakfast or BBQ to follow. To find a service near you, click here.
Gumeracha Medieval Fair
Game of Thrones fans this one’s for you. Thousands converge on Gumeracha every year for this fair that celebrates all things medieval – with lots of fun. Adults will appreciate the hearty feasts fit for a king, the Medieval Village with traditional tradespeople, and the medieval re-enactments and epic battles. While the kids will love the Punch and Judy shows, wooden sword making and face painting. Dressing up is definitely encouraged. To find out more, click here.
Winter Reds is all about shaking off those winter blues to embrace the best of our wonderful Adelaide Hills’ red wine, roaring fireplaces and cellar doors. More than 30 wineries offer tastings – new and special releases, warming food fare and live music – and most of them have toasty-warm fireplaces. Want to read more about Adelaide Hills wineries, click here.
The South Australian Living Artists Festival is a state-wide festival of visual art, designed to promote and celebrate our State’s visual artists. A large number of Hills venues open their door to host a SALA exhibition and welcome the public to view some of the talent from our own region. Click here for more details.
Strathalbyn Antique Fair
This annual fair attracts more than 6000 people over two days, as it showcases antique silverware, furniture, jewellery, vintage clothing and collectibles. There’s live entertainment, an antiques auction and exhibitions at various locations throughout the pretty town of Strathalbyn. Click here to find out more.
Bay to Birdwood Run
The Bay to Birdwood car rally is the largest, annual motoring event for veteran, vintage and classic vehicles held anywhere in the world. It’s a celebration of vehicles from across the eras and car-lovers will best enjoy the event from a deck chair lined along the route as it makes its way through the Adelaide Hills to Birdwood finishing at the National Motor Museum where the cars will be on display for the day. To know more about this fabulous day click here
Local Football Grand Finals
Local footy finals fever grips the Hills every September for ultimate battle between towns. If you like footy at all, get along to Grand Final day and see some of the region’s great sporting talent on display. Click here to find out more about the Hills Football League
Meadows Country Fair
Regarded as one of the best events of its kind in the Adelaide Hills, the Meadows Country Fair is big and fun and even it has an UDDER-TUG (a hand-milking competition, a competition as old as this popular fair). There’s all the usual fair fun, amusement rides, children’s races, market stalls, a farmer’s alley, live entertainment, yard dog trials, an animal expo, guest speakers, demonstrations and lots more. Click here to find out more
Mount Barker and Stirling host arguably the Adelaide Hills region’s most popular and well-known regular markets – the Adelaide Hills Farmers Market and the Stirling Markets. But the Adelaide Hills is also home to a bunch of other wonderful little markets, which you can find out more about here
Country shows are one of the best ways to experience the true heart of “rural living”. From horse equestrian and sheep dog trials to delicious country baked goods, horticultural displays and craft, there’s a lot to love about this long-standing tradition. Of course, there’s plenty of rides and showbags down sideshow alley along with food, drink and so much to see and do. To find out more about the country show near you, click here.
As you can see there are many reasons to visit the Adelaide Hills throughout the year, why not combine your day out with a visit to Newenham to truly experience and enjoy all the Hills has to offer.
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