Hahndorf is a wonderfully dog-friendly destination in the Adelaide Hills, that has been previously named the most dog-friendly town in all of South Australia. While it’s easy to visit as a day trip from Adelaide, it’s also a wonderful destination for a longer stay with your pup, visiting the local wineries, enjoying the local walks and snuggling up by a fire in the evening.
Dog-Friendly Sightseeing in Hahndorf
When visiting Hahndorf with your dog, don’t miss ticking off some of these fun dog-friendly activities around the town and surrounding area.
#1 Stroll Along the Main Street
Hahndorf is the oldest surviving German settlement in Australia. Firstly settled by Lutheran immigrants from Prussia in the final days of 1838, the town’s long history and German roots can be seen while strolling along the main street, Mount Barker Road.
A stroll along the main street should be top of the list of things to do in Hahndorf with your dog. Lined with cute restaurants and boutiques, many buildings show a German influence with typical fachwerk architecture, plus there are many German cuisine restaurants.
It’s possible to go inside some of the shops with your dog. Check out the listing of pet-friendly business in Hahndorf on the local website, and always ask first at the door in case the rules have changed.
#2 Taste Some Local Wine
You don’t need to go far to taste some local wine when visiting Hahndorf with your dog. Multiple shops right on the main street offer wine tasting along with other local goods. Just ask if dogs are allowed to join you.
Alternatively, head to one of the nearby wineries located in the surrounding Adelaide Hills, the closest wine growing region to Adelaide. Just a 15-minute drive away is Bird in Hand Winery. Prior to closing for renovations during 2022, dogs were welcome to join you for a tasting in the shaded courtyard area – check if this is still the case when you make a booking. Choose between multiple wine flights, perhaps accompanied by a platter of local cheese.
#3 Climb to the Summit of Mt Barker
Not far from Hahndorf is the town of Mount Barker, which lies to the west of the mountain known as Mt Barker. Rising to 513m above sea level, its summit provides panoramic views of the surrounding area. Best of all, leashed dogs are welcome on the walking trails around the summit.
The most popular walking trail is the short walking trail from the second carpark to the summit, which is only 250m each way. Close to the summit and lookout area are a number of picnic tables.
For a longer walk, follow the 1.7km loop trail around the summit. A slightly harder trail, follow it from the large boulder in the first area of the carpark. Along the way there are views both to the east and west.
It’s a 20 minute drive from Hahndorf to the carpark for the Mt Barker Summit. Note that the gates are closed overnight.
Dog Parks near Hahndorf
Mount Barker is also home to a terrific dog park, the “Barka Park” Dog Park. The first dog park in Mount Barker, turn off Zanker Drive to park in the adjacent carpark. It’s less than a 15 minute drive from the centre of Hahndorf.
There’s two areas for large and small dogs, along with plenty of seating, shade and drinking fountains. There’s also agility equipment in the larger area for large dogs and paths for walks, although previous visitors note that one part is quite stony and barren.
Alternatively, drive 10 minutes from Hahndorf in the other direction to the Balhannah Dog Park. This huge dog park is the perfect place to let your dog off-leash, with a creek running along one side of it also great for doggy swims during the warmer months.
Dog-Friendly Cafes & Pubs in Hahndorf
One of the top things to do in Hahndorf is to enjoy the hearty German cuisine at the many restaurants and cafes lining its main street. Most venues have large outdoor dining areas, great for enjoying a meal with a well-behaved pup.
Some of the best-rated dog-friendly restaurants in Hahndorf include are The Haus Restaurant, Hahndorf Inn and German Arms Hotel. Each allows dogs to dine at their outside dining area, and likely will even bring a water bowl over for your pup.
We went for a lighter option with a visit to the Wunderbar Hot Dogs with its German hotdogs. There’s a range of hotdogs on offer featuring Kransky sausages, including a Schnitzel option! I choose the German Dog option with plenty of sauerkraut. There’s tables out the front or enjoy a take-away hot dog.
Pet-Friendly Accommodation in Hahndorf
If you’re wanting to staying longer than just the day in Hahndorf, one of the best pet-friendly places to stay is the Discovery Parks – Hahndorf Resort, which is in walking distance of the centre of town (or just a short drive away).
As well as being allowed on sites, pets are also allowed in selected cabins at the resort. When booking online, search for the Standard 2 Bedroom Units that have been marked as pet-friendly. These cabins sleep up to four, with a queen bed and two singles. There’s also plenty of fun for the rest of the family at the resort, including a swimming pool and mini golf.
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About the Author
Shandos Cleaver is the founder of Travelnuity: Dog-Friendly Travel. She has travelled extensively with her Miniature Dachshund, Schnitzel, including to 33 countries across Europe, every state and territory of Australia except Tasmania, and 10 of the United States. She’s passionate about providing inspiration and information to others wanting to travel with their dogs, whether close to home or internationally.