The Adelaide Hills
are part of the Mount Lofty Ranges
, east of the city of Adelaide
in the state of South Australia
. It is unofficially centred on the largest town in the area, Mount Barker
, which has a population of around 29,000 people and which is also one of Australia's fastest growing towns.
The Adelaide Hills were amongst the first areas of South Australia to be settled by European settlers. A number of towns in the Hills were started as German settlements
, and Lobethal
are two widely known examples. The original town names and architecture still reflect this. Descendants of these first settlers and others of German
origin still reside in the area. This explains the strong German cultural connection seen in the number of Lutheran
churches, Lutheran schools which often have German on the curriculum, and the number of older residents who still speak German. Some customs have grown, such as the Lobethal
Christmas lights which began in the 1950s.
For most Adelaide residents, a drive through the hills is a popular pastime, particularly due to the slightly (2–3 degrees) cooler temperatures in summer and lush green and moderate winters. The Mount Lofty
area, home to Adelaide's television transmission towers, has a lookout area, restaurant and a fire-spotting tower
run by the Country Fire Service
. The area receives a light snowfall approximately once every 3–4 years, occasionally enough to stay on the ground for half a day.
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