Tourist numbers

The quality of the tourist offerings in the Hills are no secret to the thousands of travellers who flock to the region to indulge in some of Australia’s finest cultural pleasures.
For years tourists have wandered along Hahndorf’s main street, admired the views from Mt Lofty Summit and cuddled koalas at Cleland Wildlife Park.
So the news that visitor numbers in the Hills have jumped almost 25% in the past four years must leave traders and industry leaders thinking – what are we doing better than before? The answer, the experts say, lies in the wine glass and on the food plate.
According to Tourism Research Australia the number of international tourists visiting Hills wineries has risen by 43% in the past four years.
Last year, the SA Tourism Commission marketed the Hills as ‘the land of the long lunch’ offering luxury food and wine pairings in rural towns less than an hour from the city.
It became less about driving through the picturesque countryside and more about eating and drinking local produce.
These days tourists are gathering fresh produce from farms, sampling world renowned cheeses, sipping award-winning beer and cider and swirling some of the best wines in the world … right on our doorstep.
Hahndorf’s main street is also kicking goals for the region and must take some of the credit for many of the positive tourist numbers.
Over the years the bustling tourist strip has lifted its professionalism and capitalised on nearby food and wine indulgences.
The multi-million dollar proposal for Sir Hans Heysen’s property The Cedars will add to the town’s cultural and artistic offerings and bring even more travellers to the region.
The Mt Barker Council also has its hand on the tourism mark with the near-completion of its Rural Development Plan Amendment.
The zoning overhaul will pave the way for more cellar doors, restaurants, art galleries and cafs on the outskirts of major towns in the district.
Even if you’re a local, visiting the Hills through a tourists eyes can still be a rewarding experience.
Yes, driving along Hahndorf’s main street can be a tense experience but do yourself a favor – park the car and go for a wander.
See what all the fuss is about.
It might surprise you.