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Autumn adventures

Hotels, caravan parks and bed and breakfast cottages are a beautiful way to see the Adelaide Hills. But what about spending the weekend somewhere with a bit of quirk or a lashing of luxury? Join us as we take you on a journey to some of the most interesting, quirky, luxurious and out-of-the-box places to switch off and enjoy your time away from home!

Lucent Art House

This architecturally designed, creative accommodation is located in Stirling and features three self-contained spaces designed with both luxury and comfort in mind.
The unique aspect of Lucent Art House is that the spaces are filled with original paintings, sculptures and other installations, curated furniture pieces and decor made by local artisans.
“The goal of this art hotel is to create a unique and immersive experience for guests by immersing them in a dynamic and visually interesting environment,” says owner Amy Sierp-Worth.
The three spaces – Tree house, Pool Room and Snug – have their own private entrances, courtyards, fully equipped kitchen, bathroom, plush linen and parking.
They can be booked separately or as one large house sleeping 14 people.
Guests can relax in the peaceful, leafy courtyards with a glass of wine and a good book, or roam the space and immerse themselves in the artworks.
Stirling’s main street is only metres away, as are the popular Stirling Market as well as the Organic Market and Café, Miss Perez Kitchen and Bar, and the Stirling Hotel.
Lucent Art House is open every fourth Sunday from 11am–4pm to the public as an art gallery, coinciding with the monthly market on Druid Avenue.

Devon Valley Farm

Fall in love with this gorgeous little caravan named Agatha,
located on Devon Valley Farm at Paris Creek.
The original Clipper caravan has been refurbished and fitted
with modern amenities and styled with art deco finishes.
Sleeping two people in a queen size bed, Agatha has all the creature comforts including an ensuite bathroom, heating and cooling and a stylish kitchenette.
Visitors can cook in the outside camp kitchen, relax with a wine in hand on the deck or soak in the outdoor bath under the stars overlooking the dam.
Located on a small working farm, owners Barry and Anita Chave say the unique experience has proven popular with guests.
“Our guests have loved the seclusion, the tranquillity and the abundance of all that nature has to offer,” they say.
“They have enjoyed the time away from their busy lives; appreciating the chance to switch off, unwind, relax and explore the local area.”
A friendly herd of black Angus cattle are often in the surrounding paddocks and guests can also meet Barry and Anita’s rescue donkeys, pigs and goats if they wish.
“We have two other accommodations available on the farm, and both of these are immersed in the heart of Devon Valley Farm,” Barry and Anita say.
“Guests staying at either of these usually interact with us to help at feeding time in the evening or to help with rounding up our free-range hens for safety at night.”

Thorngrove Manor

Stirling’s Thorngrove Manor has been a member of the prestigious Small Luxury Hotels of the World, a community of unique, non-chain hotels across more than 90 countries, since 1995.
This romantic escape has won many awards over the years and offers guests a whimsical experience that is hard to find in other hotels and accommodation venues.
Thorngrove Manor features curated collections of specialist antiques, luxury handwoven fabrics, bespoke carpets, winding staircases and artworks.
With limited guest numbers, there are no communal spaces, leaving visitors to enjoy ultimate privacy at the timeless boutique property.
Owners Nydia and Kenneth Lehmann laid the foundations of Thorngrove Manor in 1984, the eccentric colonial buildings rivalling something out of a fairy tale.
Since then the couple has built a reputation for providing exceptional service and a five-star experience for guests wanting to escape for the weekend, for weddings and other special occasions.
Nydia says Thorngrove’s interiors are continually evolving, although some important core pieces remain the same.
“Antiques are constantly upgraded, after searching the world for unique and extraordinary pieces, then selected for their sense of theatre and perfectionism,” she says.
“Suites are resplendent works of art, beauty and symmetry.”

Hay Valley Chapel and Cemetery BnB

Mikyla Gilbert owns more than bricks and mortar at her historic property at Hay Valley.
“I own over 100 local dead residents!” she says.
“This venue is certainly one of a kind. The uniqueness of this property is not just its location and creature-comforts, but also its history.
“The backyard is the resting place to more than 100 previous local residents in the heritage-listed cemetery dating back to 1840.”
The Hay Valley Chapel and Cemetery is the region’s newest bed and breakfast offering, opening to guests in early 2023.
The lovingly renovated and restored 1860s sandstone chapel has a three-bedroom, two-bathroom extension offering visitors a unique getaway in the heart of the Adelaide Hills.
Featuring original jarrah floors, gothic-style windows, high ceilings, extensive natural light and a sweeping stair-case, this bed and breakfast is also home to a colourful art collection for guests to ponder. Enjoy a bottle of bubbles and chocolates on arrival, and wake up to locally sourced artisan and organic breakfast supplies.
“Guests can enjoy picnics, morning coffee, late night cocktails and a sunset swing on our adult swing set. It’s all part of the experience,” Mikyla says.
“In winter you can even sit around the fire pit toasting marshmallows and share ghost stories!”
Hay Valley Chapel and Cemetery BnB is adjacent to the popular Lot. 100 bar and restaurant and a 10-minute walk from Green Valley Strawberries and café.

Bandicoot Springs

Visitors to this tiny, yet fully functional pod in Ironbank can escape from the outside world for a while with no disruptions.
Surrounded by native flora and fauna, this secluded little pod is set on the edge of a natural spring running into the Sturt River.
The pod’s owner Tim Robson says Bandicoot Springs is the perfect spot for visitors wanting to immerse themselves in nature and appreciate the sounds of the scrub.
“Bandicoot Springs is on the edge of a natural spring which flows all year round,” he says.
“Spotting the odd southern brown bandicoot is also a highlight for people who stay with us.”
A step up from traditional camping, Bandicoot Springs sleeps two with a queen size bed, kitchenette, two-seater lounge, air-conditioning, a shower, and a composting toilet.
Enjoy a barbecue, read a book on the deck or simply relax and recharge among the trees after a day out exploring the best the region has to offer.
An ideal destination to switch off, embrace minimalism, peace and quiet.


Editor’s note – Winter 2024

Welcome to the winter 2024 edition of the Hills Wanderer!Warm woollen jumpers, coats and gumboots – it's that time of year again!Over the past...