Utopia might be just 10km from the Adelaide CBD…but once you arrive, we guarantee you’ll feel a million miles away…
Nestled beside an 18m waterfall amongst conservation park gardens, Utopia’s century-old, heritage-listed stone tearoom is home to a relaxed, Modern Australian restaurant and one of the state’s most awarded wedding and event venues.
Open Wednesday to Sunday, Utopia offers:
Hello – it’s us!
In 2000 – armed with only a newborn baby and a lot of courage – Justin and Kelly Markos risked everything to chase their dream of owning their own restaurant and event venue…and so Utopia was born!
From a neglected shell to a beautifully restored, century-old chalet, Utopia has been built with hard work, commitment to excellence and a whole lot of love.
Almost a decade, two floods, a landslide, another baby and four more businesses later, Chef Justin and Event Coordinator Kelly have never lost sight of their original vision – to create a truly welcoming dining experience, where fresh produce meets passion, every guest is royalty and absolutely everything is made from scratch.
Together with their team of almost 30 staff, Kelly and Justin invite you to experience their little slice of Utopia with a coffee, a meal or even a wedding or special celebration.
History of the Utopia chalet
Our heritage-listed chalet is truly unique as Australia’s last remaining national park ‘tearoom’, and one of just a handful of restaurants in the world situated beside a natural waterfall.
Utopia’s character-filled stone chalet was originally constructed as a tearoom in 1912. Designed by Adelaide-based architect Albert Conrad in the style of a Swiss chalet, the building is now considered Australia’s last remaining example of a ‘refreshment room’ set in a national park – and we are proud to continue the restaurant’s 100-year tradition of serving delicious tea and scones!
The building was commissioned by ‘National Pleasure Resorts’, a national body similar to the current government departments for sport and recreation. The tearoom’s role was to provide refreshments to the hundreds of visitors who descended on the gully each month to stroll by the waterfalls, picnic in the peaceful bushland setting and partake in sporting activities such as badminton, tennis, croquet and bowls (in the areas now used as the car park).
You can still see the initials ‘NPR’ (for National Pleasure Resorts) and the opening year 1912 in the original green shields within the chalet’s ornamental leadlight feature windows.
We have carefully retained and restored many of the chalet’s original, unique architectura; features such as the hand-laid parquetry flooring, soaring exposed timber ceiling beams, intricate stonework, glass leadlighting and of course the original stone open fireplace.
Meet Tom, our resident ghost!
According to local legend, the Utopia chalet has been home to its very own ghost for almost 90 years…
In 1926, South Australian Police Foot Constable Thomas Alfred John Tregoweth sadly perished while fighting a bushfire that struck Waterfall Gully. It was reported in local newspapers at the time that he lost his footing on one of the gully’s soaring cliffs, then rolled down a hill – receiving terrible burns and injuries that resulted in his untimely death four days later.
Since the early 1930s, there have been ongoing reports of Tom’s ghostly presence in and around the old chalet, the surrounding bushland and walking trails. Witnesses say this ghostly constable is dressed in a distinctive period police uniform and greatcoat, and many feel he has been keeping watch over Waterfall Gully.
Former owners and guests have shared with us numerous tales of ghostly sightings – most memorable a couple whose car was stopped on the exit to the gully late one night by a gentleman in a greatcoat whose face had no distinguishable features, and who then disappeared silently up into the bushes…
Since taking over the restaurant in January 2010, our team has experienced quite a few quirky happenings…ranging from mysteriously moving items to clanking keys, footsteps, late-night whistling and a comforting ‘presence’. A regular occurrence was the mysterious activation of musical toys belonging to our two sons.
Sadly we experienced a major landslide in 2016, which destroyed the back part of Utopia – including the old residence, where most of our spooky encounters had taken place. Since then we haven’t felt Tom’s presence…although we do hope he will pop in for a visit again one day!
|Wed - Fri
|Sat & Sun
Evenings for weddings and events
YES - Utopia is completely disability accessible!
Closures & Public Holidays
2023 Festive Season Closure!
Closed from 2pm Sunday 24 December, reopening 9am Wednesday 3 January
Get in touch
170 Waterfall Gully Rd
South Australia 5152
08 8379 2488