05 Feb 2023

Adelaide Hills come alive as SA regions hit new record high

Cobbs Hill Estate, Adelaide Hills
Cobbs Hill Estate, Adelaide Hills

The Adelaide Hills has honed in on the burgeoning wellness sector and it is paying dividends, with the return of Wellness Wander this April after last year’s inaugural event pumped more than $750,000 into the local economy.

It comes hot on the heels of the highest tourism spend the Hills has ever had over a 12-month period, and the best December accommodation occupancy for regional South Australia on record.

New data from global hotel analytics firm, STR, shows:

  • December 2022 was the best December on record for accommodation in regional South Australia
  • This is the seventh month in a row of record-breaking occupancy in regional South Australia.
  • At 62 per cent average occupancy across regional South Australia in December, there was 125,000 room nights occupied which generated $22.9 million total revenue.
  • Average occupancy in the ‘wine regions’ (Adelaide Hills, Barossa and Clare Valley)* for December 2022 was 65 per cent – well above the pre-COVID December average of 54 per cent – and generating $4.45 million total revenue.

Latest data from Tourism Research Australia (year-end September 2022) shows visitor expenditure in the Adelaide Hills of $217 million – the highest tourism spend the region has ever had over a 12-month period.

Released today, the program for Wellness Wander 2023 offers more than 50 events across 45 venues throughout the Adelaide Hills from Friday 31 March to Sunday 2 April.

The three-day event drives visitation across the Adelaide Hills and taps into the wellness tourism sector worth $14 billion in Australia.

In its inaugural year, nearly 90 per cent of all tickets available to Wellness Wander were sold, with 51 local operators involved and a total of $751,350 in economic impact for the Adelaide Hills region.

This year’s Wellness Wander offers a range of events for all types of wellness seekers, including pilates, brunch and mimosas at Lot 100 in Hay Valley, e-bike wildlife tours soaking in the views from Mount Lofty with Bike About, wellness experts including Barry Du Bois from the Living Room speaking at Ukaria in Mount Barker, and meditation and mandala workshops at Pirralilla Estate in Aldgate.

A ‘pilates under the trees’ in the botanical gardens at Cobb’s Hill Estate is designed for all fitness levels, with eventgoers heading to the 19th century homestead-turned-cellar-door after the session to enjoy a Flammekueche pizza and wine tasting flight.

See the full program and to book tickets head to wellnesswander.com.au 

Minister for Tourism, Zoe Bettison said it is great to see regional South Australia performing so strong, with the best December accommodation occupancy on record.

"It was only last month when we celebrated an all-time high visitor spend for the state, and just before that, when Adelaide Hills clocked its highest ever tourism spend over a 12-month period," Minister Bettison said.

"With world-class offerings and new regional events like Wellness Wander generating three-quarters-of-a-million dollars for the local economy, tourism in the Adelaide Hills is only on the way up."

Adelaide Hills Tourism Chair, Martin Radcliffe said passionate operators have collaborated and are throwing open their doors, farm gates and studios to provide unique wellness experiences across the region, giving wellness seekers plenty to choose from to help them escape, unwind, relax and refresh.

"Today we launch with more than 50 events, with further experiences expected to be announced over the coming weeks," Mr Radcliffe said.

Wellness Wander Founder, and Well Traveller, Executive Producer of Well Traveller TV and Chair of the GWI Wellness Tourism Initiative, Katherine Droga said the flow on effects of the pandemic has seen a significant increase in people prioritising their own mental, physical and social wellbeing.

"This goes far beyond simply forming a new exercise or health regime and instead is becoming a key driver for travel itself with huge growth in wellness travel predicted over the next three years globally," Ms Droga said.

"The Adelaide Hills ticks all the boxes when it comes to what’s important for wellness experiences.

"Wellness Wander harnesses what the Hills has on offer, allowing wellness seekers to experience; fresh, healthy and locally grown produce, pristine nature and wildlife, refreshing spas and springs, refined sustainability practices, award winning accommodation and venues and local cultural connection in a unique and effortless way.

"It really is the perfect way to enhance, kickstart or increase your mental, physical and/or social wellbeing journey."

Owner Cobb’s Hill Estate, Kim Hicks said Cobbs Hill Estate and A Line Pilates are delighted to participate in their first Wellness Wander event in April this year.

"Our ‘Pilates under the trees’ in the stunning botanical gardens at Cobb’s Hill Estate is designed for all fitness levels, with eventgoers heading to the 19th century homestead-turned-cellar-door after the session to enjoy a Flammekueche pizza and wine tasting flight," Ms Hicks said.

"This event will really showcase the best of the Hills whilst looking after our visitor’s own wellbeing!"