Mount Lofty House, our treasured state icon.

Visionary. Statesman. Planter of trees.

Arthur Hardy. One of a kind.

The renowned Hardy family patriarch, Arthur Hardy, arrived on South Australian soil at just 21 aboard the Platina, from his native England. The determined and visionary young Hardy overcame illness to prosper as a grazier on land around Adelaide’s foothills, before embarking on a professional career in politics and law. While building Mount Lofty House and calling it home for over 10 years, he planted three great Californian Redwoods (Sequoias) and through further plantings on his grounds also set the foundations for what would become the Mount Lofty Botanic Gardens. Hardy, who was Australia's first Grand Master of the Freemasons would later in life found the Adelaide Club, become a government minister and a member of the Supreme Court. He continued to visit his office everyday until he peacefully passed away in his 90s, at home in Glenelg.

Hardy's Arrival

A new shore

After Yorkshire-born lawyer Arthur Hardy is advised by his doctor to seek a warmer climate, he migrates to South Australia in 1839. Starting out as a grazier and practising law in the Supreme Court, he is later appointed Crown Prosecutor.

Recreating Home

Laying the foundations

He marries his true love, Martha, back in England and both return to Adelaide in 1850. On their return he builds Birksgate mansion and purchases 1,000 acres along Mount Lofty Summit road, dreaming to build a British style country manor.

High Profile

Feudal splendour

In 1852 Hardy builds Mount Lofty House. The manor soon will become the state's premier venue for lavish and infamous parties. Unfortunately, the Hardys are living way outside their means and become obliged to sell Mount Lofty House in 1865.

The stable times

Arthur Waterhouse

Arthur Waterhouse, a prosperous banker who made his money in the gold rush, purchases Mount Lofty House. Together with his wife Laura, daughter of the South Australian Premier Sir William Morgan, they extend the front of the house to what it looks like today.

Communal Living

Everyone is welcome

For the next 100 years, the house passes through a number of families and becomes home to a commune in the 1970s. While this turn isn't unusual for the time, it marks an end to Mount Lofty House's grand times. After a number of local weddings, the commune disband and the house is sold again.

A black day

Ash Wednesday Fires

On February 16 more than 180 fires rage throughout the Hills, the deadliest fire in Australian history to the time. An estimated 130,000 firefighters, defence force personnel, relief workers and support crews try to extinguish the fires but 28 people, 18,000 cattle and 340,000 sheep will die and 3,700 buildings are burnt down including Mount Lofty House.

New beginnings

The Phoenix rises

Ross Sands, a Stirling architect spends three years restoring the house to its original glory drawing from historic photographs and plans. The property is then turned into a luxury boutique hotel and is extended with the Piccadilly Wing in 1988. In 2009, the South Australian Horbelt family purchases Mount Lofty House with a grand vision.

Designer Boutique Hotel

The Future

In the past nine years the hotel and service has continued to evolve and improve. This included conference room extensions, the construction of Stables Day Spa in 2015 and Hardy's Verandah Restaurant in 2017. In 2018 all rooms will be completely rebuilt to move Mount Lofty House further up the ladder as designer boutique hotel. In addition, the development a new six-star hotel, Sequoia @ Mount Lofty House, will commence soon.

The Adelaide Hills • Our Region

Leading progressive wine region. Historic villages. Food bowl. So much to explore.


Surrounded by great wine

Adelaide was named one of the ten Great Wine Capitals of the World last year and Mount Lofty House is located right in the middle of Australia’s most famous wine regions:

located in the Adelaide Hills wine region with our own two vineyards being the two highest altitude vineyards in the state , McLaren Vale and the Barossa are both just under an hour away.

Discover local award-winning micro breweries (e.g. Lobethal Bierhaus, Uraidla Brewery and Prancing Pony) and boutique distilleries. Explore the food bowl that is the Piccadilly Valley, sample cheeses (e.g. internationally awarded Woodside Cheese Wrights), chocolates, fruits and other delights.

Activities and excursions

From the hills to the sea

Adelaide is famous for its festivals and markets, particularly The Fringe Festival and the Adelaide Central Markets. But there is more…

We have the Mount Lofty Botanic Garden just at the bottom of our estate and the infamous Mount Lofty hiking trackjust up the hill. You might want to enjoy some of our pristine beaches or visit historical site like Hahndorf. And there still will be more.

Talk to our friendly concierge to guide you to hidden treasures and tell you what’s on during your stay.

Awards and Acknowledgements

We never stop doing our best.

Wine List of the Year Awards 2020

Traveller's Choice Award 2020

We are excited to have won the Deluxe Hotel category and Best Restaurant (Hotel) at the 2019 AHA Awards SA. We also made it onto the list for Meeting & Events Venue as a finalist.

We are proud to have won the 2018 + 2019 Readers Choice award and a 3 Chef Hat Rating by the Australian Good Food & Travel Guide. It is an honour to be ranked Number 23 restaurant within Australia.

In September 2018 our General Manager received an acknowledgement for his amazing work: he became one of two highly commended Australian General Managers at the HM Awards 2018, and we were also proudly recognised as finalists for Boutique Hotel, Restaurant, Chef, Concierge and Sales Associate.

We are excited for our Arthur's Wine Cellar to be a 2018 finalist for Best SA Winelist and Best Hotel Winelist.

Gourmet Traveller crowned us second best restaurant in regional South Australia in 2017 plus we were a finalist in Best Winelist/Best Sommelier.

ABIA Awards 2020

AGFG Award 2020

For the second year in a row, we have won Wine List of the Year. We also were awarded the winning position as Best Small Bar.

We are proud to have been awarded Three Chef Hats by Gault & Millau Australia. Hardy's Verandah was recognised as one of the top 100 restaurants at sits at the prestigious number 36 of best restaurants in the nation.

This year were awarded winner in the category Best Reception and received runner up in three more categories: Ceremony Venue, Function Coordinator and 1st Night Honeymoon.

Mount Lofty House was awarded Best Restaurant in the Accommodation Division of the 2018 Australian Hotels Association in July 2018.

We continue to win places in the Australian Bridal Industry Award year after year, taking out the Winner position for 1st Honeymoon Destination.

Australian General Manager 2019

Hardy's Verandah again made it onto the Finalist list for Best SA Winelist 2019 and was awarded 3 Wine Glasses.

We are delighted to announce that Jesse Kornoff was bestowed the highly coveted General Manager of the Year award for his incredible performance, management and achievements over the past 12 months, while Hardy's Verandah was awarded Best Restaurant having received multiple three Chef Hat awards.

The Luxury Travel Awards recognise and celebrate excellence in the affluent travel and tourism industry and awarded us Luxury Boutique Hotel of the Year - South Australia - Australia.

We were awarded an outstanding 3 Glass Rating by Gourmet Traveller Wine Australia in 2018 of which we are incredibly proud.

In 2017 we won the Excellence Award as best South Australian Restaurant, presented by the Australian Hotel Association.