Belair, and the suburbs of Blackwood and Coromandel Valley are at the southern end of the Adelaide Hills (Mount Lofty Ranges). Blackwood is the shopping hub of the district with a wide range of services. It takes its name from the native trees – casuarina stricta (sheoak) and eucalyptus microcarpa (grey box gum) growing on the hillsides. Nearby Belair National Park is a well known favourite park close to the city. The park started life as a government farm.
Coromandel Valley was named after the ship Coromandel after sailers deserted and hid in the area.
Land was surveyed in the 1850s but steep gullies, lack of water and bad roads made farming difficult. The railway bought more prosperity to the area in the 1870s with land subdivision along the line. In 1908 Blackwood Forest was established as the Blackwood Experimental Orchard.
Many professional people enjoyed living in the cool of the hills and used the train to commute to Adelaide. Blackwood remained a country village until the 1960s when the commercial area develped.
Today, away from the bustle of Main Road, one can enjoy shaded walks through the quieter residential areas with occasional pockets of "poor scrub land" still rich with now valued native vegetation. Or one can enjoy the more manicured Hewett Sports Ground, Blackwood Bowling Club or Wittunga Botanic Garden. Views of the gulf can be seen from Gulfview Road. The Sturt Producers Cold Store in Station Road is a remnant of the times when orchards supplied fresh fruit for the city which left the nearby Blackwood Railway Station, "the first station built in the hills". Blackwood has been the home of WJ Adey, Director of Education 1929-1939, explorer Larry A Wells, who was killed by a train, anthropologist Norman Tindale, and artist Anslie Roberts as well as many others..