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Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Hahndorf, South Australia

Australia's oldest surviving German settlement

A short 20 minute drive up the freeway (it's up as it's through the Adelaide Hills!) from Adelaide is the small town of Hahndorf. 


It was originally established by Lutheran migrants who were escaping from religious persecution in what was then Prussia. They arrived in the new colony of South Australia at the end of December 1838, when the colony was just 2 years old. The captain of the ship they sailed on, although Danish was able to speak English and he negotiated for the settlers to buy land in the Adelaide Hills. They moved to the area in March 1839. In gratitude the town was named after Captain Hahn.

The original 54 families created a farm village and built it in the style that was familiar to them. That style (with some later Australian touches, such as wide verandahs to help keep out the heat) is what Hahndorf is now known for. It's a popular tourist attraction, lots of day visitors from Adelaide as well as overseas tourists.

The Hahndorf Old Mill, it's now a restaurant and hotel, but had originally been a flour mill for the town and surrounding areas.



The attraction of the town is the main street with its traditional style buildings, originally most had been private homes, now they're either shops or restaurants catering to the day trippers. This was the quieter end of the main street, I visited on a Sunday and there was quite the crowd walking along the main street in the centre of the town.

The streetscape in summer is lovely as the old trees have leaves on them! In 1885, hundreds of oak, cork and plane trees were planted and most of them survived to make for a pretty main street.





Had to include this one! The name made me smile!


You can buy your German souvenirs, no need to travel to Germany!


This is now a restaurant, but it had been the town blacksmith. The inside is lovely with lots of exposed stonework.

Education was important to those early pioneers and they eventually established the Hahndorf Academy. It now houses exhibitions as well as being the site of the tourist information office.

A car enthusiast, also out for a country drive it seems! Parked in the main street.


One of the few cottages in the main street that is still a private house. It's not in the main centre part of the town. According to the little heritage sign this is Rodert's Cottage, it's a symmetrical farm cottage built in 1860.

There is a public laneway alongside the cottage and so it's possible to see the property from the back with all the old farm buildings, it looks as though some are being restored.

St Paul's Lutheran church, the foundation stone was laid in 1890 to mark the 50th anniversary of the Lutheran church in Hahndorf. (there was a plaque!)

Closer to the centre of town, but not in the main street is St. Michael's Church, which is the oldest Lutheran church in Australia to still have a worshipping congregation at its church site.

According to the plaques, the front section is from 1858, the Bell Tower was erected to  commemorate the centenary of the foundation of the church in 1839 (the bell tower was built in 1938) 

Hahndorf is a nice way to spend a day as a tourist in Adelaide, it's possible to browse the variety of shops, get something to eat and have a relaxing stroll around the town.

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