The Pioneer Women’s Trail

The Pioneer Women’s Trail

The Pioneer Women’s Trail honors the early European settlers from Hahndorf who supplied Adelaide with fresh produce at a time when most foodstuffs had to be imported into South Australia.
From 1838, when the South Australia colony was just two years old, Lutheran refugees from Prussia had settled in the Adelaide Hills forming the village of Hahndorf. Women and girls carrying baskets of vegetables and dairy products on their backs, or on yokes across their shoulders, left the village at midnight to walk the rough bush track to Adelaide 35 km away.
At about 4.00 am the women reached a stream in the foothills near Beaumont which became a favorite place to rest, wash their sore feet and tidy themselves before walking into Adelaide to hawk their wares. Their load on the homeward journey contained sewing thread, needles, sugar, tea, some tobacco for the menfolk and two bricks each for building the new church in Hahndorf. As more villages were established in the hills, their inhabitants also followed the Trail with goods on their backs. This manner of provisioning Adelaide continued until the late 1850s.
Today I walked in the footsteps of these women, 24 km in under 6 hours with two of my favorite people. The history of women in Australia is fascinating. Its been an incredible day.

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