The Central Hills, which look over Adelaide, consist of the landforms of hills face and foothills, central ranges, and eastern ranges and escarpment.
The towns of the subregion support dairy farming, orchards particularly cherries, apples and pears, market gardens, viticulture, cattle farming and rural lifestyle blocks.
Most of the subregion lies within the Mount Lofty Ranges watershed, which supplies about 60% of Adelaide’s water. Significant watercourses are the Torrens and Onkaparinga rivers.
This higher rainfall area once boasted a complex mosaic of vegetation groups with forest, big gum woodland, heathland, grassy woodland and riparian vegetation. Some systems are stable but two landscapes have been identified as priorities for restoration, based on declining woodland birds: lower rainfall grassy ecosystems and closed shrubland ecosystems. Several vegetation communities and plant species are also declining.