LOCATION:   66-68 Main Street, Hahndorf  (corner Main Street and Balhannah Road)

Hahndorf Academy Building 2015

The Hahndorf Academy is an Historic Building which is currently used as an Art Gallery, Craft and Historical Centre, and houses the Adelaide Hills Visitor Information Centre.  Sometimes everything comes together to make something quite special.  A vibrant arts scene, a community passionate about its town, its history and a grand old building - together these elements combine to create the Hahndorf Academy: a regional centre for the arts and heritage.

Traugott Wilhelm Boehm established the Hahndorf Academy in 1857 as Hahndorf’s first government supported primary school.  It aimed to provide ‘a sound and good English and German education in order to enable its pupils to enter the learned professions or to prepare for commercial life’.  In 1877 the academy also became a Lutheran teacher’s college and seminary under the leadership of Pastor C.F.A. Strempel.  It was renamed the Hahndorf College in 1878.  Douglas John Byard, an Oxford M.A. graduate and Anglican lay preacher, purchased the property in 1866.  As headmaster, he continued the educational traditions established by his predecessor including the promotion of German.  The closure of the college in 1912 marked the end of its long standing role as an educational institution.  In 1967 it was opened as a gallery on the ninetieth birthday of Sir Hans Heysen by Mr. and Mrs. Walter Wotzke, the new owners, who had restored it.  In 1988 it was purchased by the Hahndorf Academy Foundation Incorporated.  Currently, the building is owned by the District Council of Mount Barker.

The following organisations utilize its facilities:

The Hahndorf Academy Foundation Inc.

The Hahndorf Academy Foundation's activities are located within the Hahndorf Academy and consist of Art Galleries, the German Migration Museum, Artists in Residence, and a retail Art and Craft Shop.


The Adelaide Hills Visitor Information Centre

The Adelaide Hills Visitor Information Centre (AHVIC) is located at the front of the Hahndorf Academy building.  The Adelaide Hills Accommodation & Tour Booking Service and Website is the official website for the Adelaide Hills Visitor Information Centre, based in Hahndorf.  This website is designed to enable you to book accommodation and tours online.

The volunteers and staff at the AHVIC  look forward to assisting with your enquiries, and await your next visit to this special part of South Australia.  Please feel free to contact us for more information and inspiration.

The Artists Voice

The Artists Voice was formed in 1997 and is an association of Hills based Artists.  The group is based at the Hahndorf Academy where it holds regular exhibitions in the upstairs gallery.  Group and solo exhibitions are also presented at other venues throughout the State.
The Artists Voice was formed so that local artists might share resources, ideas and enthusiasm, and to raise awareness of local art within our community.  Most members are established artists with many enjoying considerable reputations throughout Australia.

History of the Academy

The Hahndorf Academy has had a varied and volatile history.  Few buildings in Australia can lay claim to such controversy from inception up until the current time.  Please view the Historical Background of The Academy for details.