"Settled by the Prussians" Top 5 Page for this destination Hahndorf by balhannah

Hahndorf Travel Guide: 40 reviews and 102 photos

Hahndorf's history

It was in the year 1838 when Prussian Lutheran families arrived on the Ship the "Zebra," from the easter provinces of Prussia.

Captain Dirk Hahn, Captain of the "Zebra," selected this area near the township of Mt. Barker for the immigrants who had endured a terrible journey to Australia.
Between March-May 1839, some 200 people brought all their earthly belongings over the Mt Lofty ranges and laid out a 'Hufendorf' (farm village) settlement, the only one of its kind ever organised in Australia.

This plan dates back to 10th Century Europe and therefore is of historical importance to South Australia.

The good Captain could see they had ardous times ahead, so he stayed and helped them settle before continuing on his journey.

In gratitude to this wonderful man, they named "Hahndorf" after him.

Hahndorf was the first Australian town specifically planned for and settled by a group of non-British immigrants.

It is Australia's oldest surviving Germanic settlement.

Hahndorf today

The Hahndorf founders based their whole life around the church and its beliefs and set to work with quick-growing crops to provide much needed produce for Adelaide, the capital of South Australia.

Throughout the 1840's, many of the original families moved away in search of more and better agricultural land.

By the 1850's, the primitive huts were giving way rapidly to the traditional fachwerk style of farmhouse and barn imported from Germany, together with stone churches, schools and hotels. Some of these can stilll be seen at the settlement of "Paechtown," an area where time has stood still!

A small but influential number of British settlers arrived and began intermarriage with the original German population.

Hahndorf's village life continued without much change until World War I.

In the 1960's it became popular with art lovers visiting local galleries, and then the South Eastern Freeway arrived in 1974 and bypassed the town. This was really a blessing, as the street was too narrow for the modern traffic.

Tourist's began to arrive in amazing numbers to admire the remnants of traditional German architecture and customs, and so Hahndorf survived the bypass.

Located in the pretty Adelaide Hills, Hahndorf is a short 20min drive from Adelaide, and it is also serviced by Public Bus as well.

These days, a walk along the main street is very enjoyable browsing shops, or enjoying some German Cake at a Cafe.

Don't forget to buy or try the German Wursts and Smallgoods and try the other german food and Beer!

It is a little piece of Germany in South Australia

1.Take the Mount Barker road exit and follow as it continues into the South Eastern Freeway (M1).
2.Follow for approximately 15 minutes and take the Hahndorf/Woodside/Birdwood exit (B34) on the left.
3.At the exiting roundabout, take the second exit onto Mount Barker Road.
4.Follow straight for approximately 4 minutes as road continues into Main Street.
5.Arrive at Main Street, Hahndorf.


continues to MT. BARKER

FROM ADELAIDE.......Please click on this link for our second day trip from Adelaide.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Lovely, shady town to enjoy on a hot Summer's Day
  • Cons:Can be over run with tourists
  • In a nutshell:An enjoyable town to walk the streets and enjoy the history.
  • Last visit to Hahndorf: May 2012
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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