Words and images by Emily Underwood
Hills. What immediately comes to your mind when you think of this word? For me, I envision an expansive landscape of green, dotted with trees and distant houses. Through youthful eyes, they might be seen as a chance at play, to roll down and lie worn out at the bottom. To others, the hills are home. A place of sanctuary, to dwell in a natural setting in undisturbed peace.
The Adelaide Hills is a rugged area east of Adelaide, and plays host to many culinary, touristy, and scenic delights. Adelaide is renowned for having the best of many worlds-the beach on one side, a city in the middle and the hills on the other. Its hills boast many hidden gems, and you don’t have to travel far to discover them. Taking day trips to the Adelaide hills has brought about many fond memories for me growing up. From markets and a colossal rocking horse in Gumeracha to watching an endless stream of vintage cars cruise through Birdwood!
One venue that stands out in my mind is the Melbas Chocolate Factory at Woodside. It’s an annual pilgrimage of mine to take the trip up the winding roads of Chain of Ponds every Easter, and join the crowds that seem to increase with each passing year. Perhaps social media has had an impact, for when I went as a child, there was barely a soul to be found. Now there is a bustling sea of chocolate lovers milling about, the distinct crinkling of chocolate wrappers filling the air, coupled with the whirring of machinery and churning of ingredients in the vats.
Once a hidden gem, Melba’s is now one of the most popular chocolate shops in South Australia. It is both a chocolate gift haven and working tourism factory. Nestled in a sleepy town, the outside resembles a disused factory with old-world charm. Upon entry, you are greeted with the sight of rows upon rows of every kind of confectionery you can imagine. It has a rusty décor feel, with old confectionery advertisements and merchandise adorning the walls, adding a vintage vibe to the venue. Hard lollies, chocolate roasted peanuts and coconut rough slabs are just a few of the treats you can place in your shopping basket as you make your way down the aisles.
There is something for everyone in this magical store of goodies; hard and soft candies, as well as refined goods that serve any dietary requirement. Save your pennies, because when you arrive at the counter, there are even more surprises to be found! I recommend the fudge, and the little freckle frogs that are cheap but absolutely divine. To add to the vibe, an add-on café awaits you as you exit, offering delicious coffee and hot chocolates to top off your chocolate tour.
This historic venue makes for a pleasant day out. The factory’s chocolates are distinctly rich and creamy in texture, and their products are excellent value for money. It is well worth a trip into the hills to visit this Adelaide gem!
Discover more on their website:
Melbas Chocolate Factory
Location: 22 Henry St, Woodside SA
Contact Number: (08) 8389 7868
Weekdays: 9am – 4:30pm
Weekends: 9am – 4:30pm