Commencing at The Hahndorf Institute, the route follows the main road out of Hahndorf, crossing the Onkaparinga River before joining the official trail at Verdun.
Pioneer Women’s Trail
The Pioneer Women’s Trail honours the early Hahndorf settlers who supplied Adelaide with fresh produce at a time when most foodstuffs had to be imported into South Australia.
This British colony was less than three years old when the ‘Zebra’ arrived with Lutheran refugees from Prussia who were eager to build new lives free from persecution. Captain of the ‘Zebra’, Dirk Meinertz Hahn, helped fifty-four families to find land in the picturesque Onkaparinga Valley near Mount Barker. Within weeks the women and girls started making regular trips on foot to Adelaide, carrying baskets of vegetables and dairy produce for the hungry townsfolk. They left the village at midnight to walk 35km along rough bush trails and ancient Peramangk tracks, pausing in the early hours of the morning to refresh themselves at a stream in the foothills near Beaumont House.
After selling their wares and purchasing other necessities such as sewing thread, needles, sugar, tea and tobacco for the men, they walked back up the hill. They also carried two bricks each for building their church. This manner of provisioning Adelaide continued until the late 1850s.
The trail used by Hahndorf’s pioneers was rediscovered by the Hahndorf and Burnside Branches of the National Trust of South Australia and Walking SA in 1980. Today’s trail follows it as closely as possible.
The Pioneer Women’s Trail is approximately 26km long and mainly follows country roads, lane ways and bush tracks through a delightful section of the Adelaide Hills with historic homes, deciduous trees and native bushland. Commencing at Verdun, the trail winds through Bridgewater, following Cox Creek part of the way. After traversing beautiful Mt George Conservation Park the trail detours through Stirling, with its many coffee shops. It continues through Crafers and Cleland Conservation Park, before joining the Old Bullock Track, finally emerging to stunning city views and the descent to Beaumont House in Burnside