Our trip starts with me sitting in my car in the McDonalds BP car park in Rockbank Victoria. My over enthusiasm has me there 20 minutes earlier than the organised meeting time and it’s a long 20 minutes before the next person arrives and a good hour until the final couple arrives, flustered by their Google Maps taking them everywhere but the destination they’d plugged in. I already know a couple people in the group and after a short introduction to some new faces, I know it’s going to be a fun weekend.
We hit the road and commence our journey to South Australia. I wouldn’t call the trek across an exciting drive but having done it a number of times, I do find it pleasant and enjoyable. Besides, the trip over is made a lot easier when you’re filled with excitement for the holiday ahead.
Perving at the other cars in the group as we motor along, it doesn’t feel long before we roll into Horsham for a short stop to refill the cars, stretch the legs, and quiz each other about our cars.
We’re all feeling very fresh so we continue on to our lunch stop in Bordertown before pushing on to Murray Bridge where we are met by Adelaide locals Stew and Andrew, two legends that, with the help of fellow SA legend Lee, put the whole weekend together for us. They were all too happy to lead us into Hahndorf which would be our base for the next 3 days.
Hahndorf is a small town only 30 minutes from Adelaide CBD. It was settled by Lutheran migrants in the 19th century and is a popular tourist destination for those wanting to check out its German style architecture and cuisine. It’s a beautiful little town and some of the food there is sensational! Best of all, it’s the doorstep to some amazing roads and some amazing countryside.
We checked in to The Manna Hotel, ditched our bags and headed for the Hahndorf Inn for some much needed refreshments. If we were hungry when we arrived, we certainly weren’t by the time dinner was complete. The pork knuckle I had was massive and cooked to perfection. We were also joined by a number of local Porsche enthusiasts which was great to see and a fun rowdy night was had by all.
9am the next morning, we gathered in the hotel carpark then headed off on our first adventure.
We travelled into Adelaide along Greenhill Rd to our first destination, Richmonds Prestige and Classic Cars. Greenhill Rd is a great little road which weaves around the hill side and provides fantastic views of the city below.
The staff at Richmonds were very welcoming providing us with coffee and tea and biscuits and telling us about some of the amazing cars they had on the show room floor. It is a great place to dream and check out some truly special machinery up close.
From Richmonds we headed back out of town towards Clarendon and took in some great flowing roads including some past Classic Adelaide stages, passing through Kangarilla, Meadows and Bull Creek before stopping for a late lunch at Greenman Inn in Ashbourne. It was a great pick by our SA hosts with excellent food and a nice setting to talk nothing but Porsches.
After lunch, I split from the group to head back into Adelaide to pick up my wife who had flown in to join us while the rest of the group headed to Strathalbyn to check out Collectable Classics, another dealer with an amazing collection of cars.
By the time we all arrived back in Hahndorf it was dinner time and I was ready for some more yummy food and drinks. We enjoyed a good chat and laugh before heading to bed at a sensible hour knowing that we had a bigger driving day ahead.
Saturday, the sun came out and so did a few more locals, doubling the size of our group and adding some extra colour to our convoy. It was going to be an excellent day ahead.
From Hahndorf we headed towards Carey Gully then Lobethal. The roads were an amazing rollercoaster through a beautiful Autumn back drop of red, orange, and yellow trees.
We past by vineyards and farms over rolling hills until we arrived at Applewood Distillery. Applewood is a Gin distillery in Gumeracha and is best experienced by ordering one of their tasting paddles. Five very different types of Gin are served and one of their friendly staff gives a bit of a spiel on each of them and how they are best enjoyed. It’s a really cool place to visit and worth stopping by if you’re touring through the area.
From there we headed back towards Lobethal to take the long way to our lunch stop at Cobbs Hill Estate where we enjoyed a wine tasting session with some nibbles and a light lunch in a picturesque garden setting.
By this time some more SA locals had joined us and it was a great time to meet some wonderful people that had previously just been names on a Facebook page or Instagram account. It was a great relaxing way to spend the rest of the afternoon before shooting back to Hahndorf to prepare for the final night celebrations.
In keeping with tradition, Sal Fernando decided he was going to cook us up a feast at the hotel so the rest of us provided a yummy spread of local cheese and crackers and some local wines while Sal cooked up a beautiful sate chicken and lamb served with salad and Turkish bread. After dinner the guitar came out and Sal entertained us with some classic tunes from The Boss, Bruce Springstein and some other stuff that I’m too young to know. Even I had enough Dutch courage to bang out some favourites for a sing along. It was a fantastic way to spend our last night with good food and drink, non stop laughter and a great bunch of people.
It’s the final day and the locals have turned it up to eleven! We have over 20 cars gathered in Hahndorf as we set off for our final jaunt in the Adelaide hills and they’d saved the best roads until last.
The route took us through Carey Gully, Marble Hill and Montacute over rolling hills, tight twisting hillside roads, through valleys passing by flowing rivers, and lush forests until we rolled into Newton where we stopped for breakfast and our final chance to chat with the locals, check out some sweet cars, and say our goodbyes before hitting the road for the very long trip back home.
There’s a reason why I came back for the 2nd “Mexican Invasion” and it’s not just because of the fabulous roads surrounding Adelaide. In fact, I would say the driving is just a bonus. It’s the friendships that are formed or built upon with people from all different walks of life that share that one common passion of Porsche ownership. It was an incredibly relaxed holiday and a great one to bring your partner along to. The driving is much more chilled than other trips I’ve been on and the focus isn’t just on driving. I know all the wives had a great time taking in the scenery and enjoying the local food and wines. The hospitality and effort that the SA crew went to with the planning was unbelievable and we are truly grateful for everything they did to make sure we had a wonderful time. Us Victorians are very much looking forward to one day returning the favour.