Mother’s Day: SA’s top chefs share their favourite family eating spots

Mother’s Day is approaching on Sunday, May 12 – a chance to spoil the greatest women in our lives. What a better way to show your appreciation by treating Mum to a meal out at one of South Australia’s dining establishments – and supporting local jobs and producers along the way! Brand SA News contributor Vanessa Keys hunted down some of our state’s top’s chefs to discover where they’ll be taking their family this Mother’s Day.

Georgie Rogers is head chef at East End Cellars.

“Mum and I love driving out to regional restaurants and making a day of it. The Lane at Hahndorf is a favourite – the view is spectacular and Jimmy’s (head chef James Brinklow) food is always a delight.

We also go to Mum’s local pub The Kentish a lot – their smoky paprika hummus with ground lamb is amazing. For brunch, I recommend the scrambled eggs at Hey Jupiter. They’re light and creamy – definitely the best in Adelaide.”

Georgie Rogers of East End Cellars.

Nikkita Wood is the pastry chef and manager at Comida. She also runs catering business A Place at the Table.

“I prefer to stay home on Mother’s Day and avoid the crowds. I usually do a brunch spread with Mum’s favourite goodies from the Adelaide Central Market – Fleurieu Milk yoghurt, KI honey, fruit from House of Organics, pastries from Dough, Brillat-Savarin triple cream from Smelly Cheese, plus my homemade granola and jams.

As a family, we love Sukhumvit Soi 38 on Pulteney Street – the flavours are incredible and the dishes great for sharing. For Sunday lunch, we head up to Terroir Auburn in the Clare Valley. Dan and Annika have taken over the café next door to the restaurant and the food is top notch.”

Comida pastry chef and manager Nikkita Wood, right, with her mother and sister.

Jeffrey Trotter is head chef at the Hagen Arms, and Five O’Clock Somewhere.

“One of our favourites for brunch is Pane e Latte. Order the breakfast carbonara – the baked spaghetti gives it the perfect crunch – and the paccheri al ragu di polpo, which is hands down the best octopus ragu in Adelaide, if not Australia.

For dinner, we love Parwana – they have three menus that they rotate throughout the week. Bring your own wine – their BYO charge goes to the homeless. And for Sunday lunch, Casa Carboni in Angaston is a must. (Owners) Matteo and Fiona make you feel like family, and everything is prepared fresh with produce from the Barossa markets. You feel like you’re in a tiny Italian village.”

Jeffrey Trotter of the Hagen Arms pub in Echunga.

Jodie Zerna is head chef at My Grandma Ben.

“This Mother’s Day I’ll be cooking at My Grandma Ben and hopefully giving all the mothers a day off! We don’t dine out a lot as a family – we tend to have barbecues and bring a plate to share – but when I visit my sister in Christies Beach, we always get fish, chips and tabouli at Champion Takeaway. Ask for the fresh flake – they catch it themselves.

For a cheap lunch, we head to Pho Minh in Mansfield Park – order the pho with oxtail, tripe and tendon. And for brunch, the spicy ramen at Black Dog Gallery in Tusmore is a must (and great for a hangover).

If we’re feeling fancier, we head down to Salopian Inn in McLaren Vale for local SA seafood and something green from their kitchen garden.”

Jodie, right, with her mum and sister.

Luke and Anthony Savas run Pan & Vine.

“We usually spend Mother’s Day at Yiayia and Papou’s (grandparents) house. Mum will serve her signature dish – Moroccan chicken – with Yiayia’s homemade apricot jam marinade.

When we go out, we head to Shobosho and order the roast leek and the kingfish sashimi with yuzu dressing. For brunch, we love the Exchange Specialty Coffee – the Wallace sandwich with avocado, pancetta and chipotle mayo is an institution.”

The Savas brothers of Pan & Vine in Kent Town.

Caitlin Duff runs Sibling café.

“Sibling’s open on Mother’s Day, so we’ll spend the morning there and then head to Mum’s for afternoon tea – this is a special one as it’s my first as a new mum.

For Sunday lunch, our go-to is Fino at Seppeltsfield. There’s eight of us siblings and partners all with varying preferences and they never skip a beat in accommodating us all.

As a family, we go to Goodness Coffee Co in Aldinga every single day (sometimes twice) because their coffee is so good. And we love to drop into My Grandma Ben at Plant 4 Bowden when we visit The Lost Loaf to pick up our bread order. Order the roo stack – it’s delicious and ethical.”

Nathaniel Morse and Caitlin Duff at Sibling café.

Kane Pollard is head chef at Topiary.

“For a relaxed family meal, we head to the Stanley Bridge Tavern. They have a great wine list and tasty small plates – the hummus and wedges with house chilli jam are both great.

For brunch, we love Acacia at Henley Beach. Do the tasting menu – (chef) Duane does an incredible job of piecing flavours together that push you a little out of your comfort zone. We also recently had breakfast at C.R.E.A.M, which was pretty impressive. The donut breakfast sandwich felt a little wrong but so incredibly right at the same time. I had it with a side of buttermilk fried chicken – delicious.”

Kane Pollard, left, of Topiary in Tea Tree Gully.

Feature image: The Lane, Adelaide Hills, SATC.

Visit I Choose SA to meet the people building business and industry in SA, and to find out how your choices make a difference to our state.

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Hop on – the ultimate Fleurieu craft beer trail

Hop to it, beer lovers. South Australia’s Fleurieu Peninsula is the place to be, with a number of well-established brewers and newer, boutique operators calling the region home.

With its outstanding wines, white sandy beaches and alfresco cafés, the Fleurieu has long been appreciated for its delectable food and wine offerings, but it’s time to give the stouts, ales, and pilsners a pour.

So, grab a designated driver and buckle up. Head for McLaren Vale, the heart of brewery territory and further south into Willunga, before visiting a few watering holes on the outskirts and along the coast. Let the ultimate beer trail begin!

1. Victor’s Place
62 Victor Harbor Road, Old Noarlunga

This restaurant, cellar door and brewery is a three-in-one delight set in an old 1870s stone barn, rebuilt with rustic charm. If the sun is shining, head for the outdoor area with a pint in hand and enjoy the views overlooking the Onkaparinga Valley. As far as beer goes, the Sour Cherry Berliner Weisse is a relatively new release and worth a try, as are the rest of its range including the Pale Ale, India Pale Ale, Extra Special Bitter, Saison and Summer Session Ale.

Inside Victor’s Place.

2. Swell Brewing Co.
168 Olivers Road, McLaren Vale

This new brewery and taphouse is the newest kid on the block to join the gang of McLaren Vale’s fellow craft brewery hotspots. Swell Brewing Co.’s new McLaren Vale space is the project of winemaker Corrina Wright of Oliver’s Taranga and her brewer husband Dan Wright. Coastal inspirations and a love for surfing are evident in the brand’s name and overall style, with the brewery offering a selection of its own beers, as well as others, and complemented by classic beer-matching eats such as burgers, chicken wings and sweet potato chips.

Inside Swell’s new taphouse. Photo by Kate Elmes Photography.

3. Vale Brewing
Within the Beresford Tasting Pavilion at 252 Blewitt Springs Road, McLaren Flat.

You can find these guys within Beresford Estate (so it’ll please wine lovers) in McLaren Flat. Have a go at the $15 tasting of the refreshing and sessionable lagers including the Vale Mid Coast, Vale Ale, Vale Lager, Vale Knee Slapper and Vale IPA. Vale has a decade-long history of brewing in the region, starting with small run releases of its original Vale Ale before expanding the core range and growing into a craft beer label well-recognised on SA shelves.

Cheese and beer among the vines at Beresford Estate.

4. Goodieson Brewery
194 Sand Road, McLaren Vale

Family owned and operated Goodieson Brewery is run by Jeff and Mary Goodieson whose property overlooks a tree-lined creek, vineyards and the valley. They’re serious about beer, with the pale ale, pilsner, wheat beer, brown ale, red ale, Maiblock, Christmas ale, autumn ale and stout on offer (although some of these are seasonal styles and have limited availability). Feel free to bring your own picnic snacks and nibbles to enjoy in the outdoor space overlooking the big beautiful gum trees and vineyards.

A beautiful setting on a sunny day.

5. Ekhidna
67 Branson Road, McLaren Vale

This cellar door features beers, ciders and wine from winemaker Matt Rechner. Ekhidna’s traditional Aussie ginger beer is highly sought after, with its strong ginger flavour, hit of spice and hint of sweetness. A restaurant is also on site, offering share plates, heartier mains, and desserts for those who need it. A great all-round experience that will tick boxes not only for beer lovers, but wine lovers, foodies and those partial to a crisp cider too.

Try the beer paddle at Ekhidna.

6. South Coast Brewing Co.
1/11 Jay Drive, Willunga

Beers and beaches – the perfect combination. South Coast Brewing Co. recognises this ideal match and brews its beers with the coast in mind. Three blokes Scott, Brett and Mark are behind this independent operation, with a line of Southern Session Ale a crisp, summery beer that’s almost too easy to drink, the Porties Pale Ale, named after Port Noarlunga, and the Maslin’s Red Ale, named after Australia’s first nudie beach. There’s also the Butter Sou’Westerly, a dry hopped brew that pays homage to winter time’s bitter, cold winds, and the Earl of Seaford Bitter, a delight for true beer appreciators.

The South Coast Brewing Co. trio. Photo sourced from Facebook.

7. Shifty Lizard
33 High Street, Willunga

A relatively new kid on the block, Shifty Lizard owners Lee and Danny opened this new venture in an old butcher’s shop in Willunga about a year ago. The beer bottle and can labels alone are impressive, featuring quirky characters and label names by the likes of the Bruce Lee-zard IPA, Stouty McStout Face and the Lizard’s Dinner. This microbrewery features outdoor dining nestled in the heart of Willunga. Definitely a spot for those who appreciate simple yet stylish interiors and something a little quirky.

8. Smiling Samoyed
Hansen Street, Myponga

Recognised not only for its beer, but the brewery’s two white and fluffy Samoyed dogs, Mia and Hoppy, who will greet you upon arrival. Smiling Samoyed, south west of Willunga, like many breweries is laid back in its style and offers much to look at with small, rustic trinkets and memorabilia scattered throughout facility. Beer wise, the brewery offers both award-winning and limited release brews including the Poppet, Kolsch, Dark Ale, IPA and 12 Paws. Rumour has it that they’ve just re-released the popular Hop Bandit, but be quick because it won’t last long! Grazing plates feature local cheeses, smallgoods and other nibbles while wood oven pizzas, some smaller snacks, and desserts are also on offer.

The fluffy Samoyed dogs are a real crowd-puller.

9. Forktree Brewing
935 Forktree Road, Carrickalinga

With stunning views over the ocean, Forktree Brewing is housed in an old shearing shed – the perfect location for downing a beer, right?! The beers are currently contract brewed, but hopes are to one day have a brewery on site. The froths include the Sunrise Pale Ale, with its citrus and tropical fruit hop aroma, and the Sunset Ale, a fuller bodied, malt driven red ale. The food menu is simple yet satisfying, with burgers enjoying names such as The Ringer beef burger, the Roustabout lamb burger, the Flamin’ Galah chicken burger, the Squeezer pork burger, and the Guesser sweet potato and chickpea burger.

How’s that for a sunset?

10. Meechi Brewery Company
The Wine House, 1509 Langhorne Creek Road, Langhorne Creek

A little out of the way from the other Fleurieu breweries (but still within an hour or so’s drive) is Meechi Brewery Company in wine region Langhorne Creek. Meechi’s winemaker owners proudly launched this small-batch brewery from their backyard shed because “we think every wine region needs a beer label”, and we agree! They were the Creek’s first craft beer label and have been a perfect addition within The Wine House, a wine tasting and dining venue where you’ll also be able to crack open one of Meechi’s handcrafted beers. Meechi is an Aboriginal name for the Bremer River, which runs through the town and then into Lake Alexandrina.

Share your Fleurieu beer trail experience with us on Facebook or instagram by using the #ichoosesa hashtag!

Visit I Choose SA to meet the people building business and industry in SA, and to find out how your choices make a difference to our state.

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How to make the most of a South Australian summer

There are some things about summer that only Aussies will understand. Thongs sticking to the bitumen, seatbelt burns, cricket taking over the telly and sprinklers on the lawn.

But reside in South Australia in summer and you’ll notice several unique ways we like to spend our days as the thermometer climbs.

From dropping a line off the jetty to crunching through a Giant Twin ice cream and flinging a giant plastic tuna along the Port Lincoln foreshore, here’s 11 of the best ways to make the most of the warmer months in SA.

1. Eat bucketloads of cherries

Arguably the best fruit on earth. Try and eat only a handful and before you know it the whole box is gone and your lips are stained purple. Cherry season is mid-November to mid-January. The Adelaide Hills, Riverland and South East are SA’s cherry growing regions, however, the majority of the crop comes from the Hills’ sub-regions of Montacute, Cherryville (how fitting), Norton Summit, Basket Range, Summertown, Uraidla, Forest Range, Lenswood, Kenton Valley and Gumeracha. If you’re in Mclaren Vale area be sure to stop by Fleurieu Cherries five minutes from Willunga. Although, be quick! The season is nearing its end.

Editor’s note January 17: It’s quite possible that the fattest, roundest cherries (almost the size of small plums) can be found this week at the Adelaide Central Market.

Photo by SATC/Adam Bruzzone.

2. Spend a day at the beach

Pristine, stunning, paradise – these words are overused when it comes to beaches, but there’s no truer description for many of SA’s coastal havens.

Metropolitan beaches Glenelg, Henley Beach, Semaphore, Grange and Brighton are always hives of activity, while Port Noarlunga, Christies Beach, Moana and Maslin are good for those located further south of the city.

While all the cosmopolitan action is at our metro beaches, you’ll find more quiet stretches of sand on Kangaroo Island, along the Yorke and Eyre peninsulas and at Limestone Coast towns of Robe and Beachport.

Top picks include Memory Cove in the Lincoln National Park on the Eyre Peninsula and Cap Clairout near Corny Point on the foot of the Yorkes.

Beachport in the state’s South East. Photo by Mark Fitzpatrick.

3. It’s all about the ice cream 

Whether it’s straight out the tub or on a stick, ice cream is a summer necessity. SA is home to a few of the best makers including local icon Golden North, which has been producing the sweet stuff at Laura in the Mid North for the past 90 years. A true South Aussie would have a tub stashed in the freezer or a box of Giant Twins on hand at all times.

If gelati is more your style, look out for Gelista. These guys are artisan-style, handmade gelato pros, with flavours such as almond and quandong, apple pie, macadamia and Kangaroo Island honey, and wattleseed rocher.

4. Toss a tuna

Port Lincoln on the Eyre Peninsula is home to the famous tuna toss event otherwise known as Tunarama Festival. Held at the Port Lincoln foreshore over the Australia Day long weekend, Tunarama has a long history dating back to 1962.

The highlight of the event is the tuna toss, where competitors hurl a 10kg polyurethane tuna replica as far as they can. The world record is 37.23m set by former Olympic hammer thrower Sean Carlin in 1998.

Tunarama Festival is a great family day out, with a number of other competitions and attractions including the boat building competition, a beach bod competition, the prawn toss, prawn peeling competition, beer keg roll, fireworks, markets and displays.

5. Catch a whopper

Blue swimmer crabs, garfish, squid and Tommy ruff are popular catches from SA jetties. Head to Port Germein on the Yorke Peninsula to find SA’s longest jetty, stretching about 1.5km.

Beach and boat fishing make a good day out and can provide hauls of King George whiting, squid, flathead and snapper (check for specific snapper closures).

Freshwater fish such as callop, redfin and yabbies can be found in the mighty Murray River.

Caurnamont near Mannum on the Murray River. Photo by John Montesi.

6. Check out the silo art

Giant artworks splashed across grain silos can be found in various regional towns across the state. Waikerie in the Riverland is the latest town to welcome the impressive artworks, which include a huge parrot and yabby splashed across the silos. You’ll also find silo art at Coonalpyn, Kimba, Wirrabara and Tumby Bay. Take a road trip!

The Tumby Bay silos. Photo by Robert Lang Photography.

7. Follow the peloton

Australia’s biggest cycling race takes over our streets from January 15 – 20 as the world’s best cyclists whizz through stages in Adelaide, the Barossa Valley, Adelaide Hills and McLaren Vale. The exhilarating race brings thousands of spectators to roadsides to take in the action. The event is also a huge benefit for our economy, with last year’s event injecting $63.7 million into the state.

Tour Down Under cyclists speed along King William Street in 2018. Photo: SATC.

8. Jump into Fringe action

Australia’s largest open access arts festival Adelaide Fringe swings into gear from February 15 – March 17. With it brings some of Australia’s – and the world’s – best comedians, circus performers, musicians and actors. The Garden of Unearthly Delights and Gluttony are central Fringe hubs bustling with colour, lights, good food and a whole lot of entertainment. But other venues are also spread throughout Adelaide and some regional areas in pubs, small performance spaces, theatres, wineries, galleries and town halls.

The crowd at Adelaide Fringe venue hub, Gluttony. Photo by Helen Page.

9. Float down the Torrens on The Popeye 

Long considered a treasured family outing, the Popeye boat that floats along the River Torrens between Elder Park and Adelaide Zoo recently took a new lease on life.

New branding was adopted in 2018 and the Popeye began attracting a new generation of passengers when it introduced gin masterclasses aboard with Prohibition Liquor Co. Popeye also hosts functions, parties and high teas. The original Popeye was launched on the Torrens in 1935 – so it’s a longstanding tradition that every Adelaidean should experience at least once!

High tea aboard The Popeye. Photo: Popeye and Paddle Boats on the Torrens River Facebook.

10. Head to a rooftop bar

There is something about rooftops that make drinks taste better. Sip on a gin and tonic while soaking in the sights from eight storeys high at 2KW Bar and Restaurant on King William Street in the CBD. Another top spot is Hennessy Rooftop Bar at The Mayfair, The Gallery on Waymouth Street and Rocket bar and Rooftop.

If a relaxing Sunday arvo cider is what’s needed, then beer gardens are also good places to be in summer. We’ve done the hard work for you and picked out eight of the best beer gardens here.

Impressive views of Adelaide from 2KW Bar and Restaurant. Photo: SATC.

11. Go brewery browsing

Remember when you cradled a glass of shiraz by the fire last winter? Well, now it’s time to clutch a cold pale ale under the air-con instead.

There is a brewery in just about every region, from Beer Garden Brewing in Port Lincoln to Smiling Samoyed at Myponga, and Lobethal Bierhaus in the Adelaide Hills.

Many of our craft brewers are producing award-winning froths, some with quirky flavours such as oysters, strawberries, cherry, milkshake, and even bacon. Yep, bacon. Don’t forget our longstanding big players. SA is also home to legendary breweries Coopers and West End.

The deck at the Wilkadene Woolshed Brewery in the Riverland overlooks the Murray River.

Visit I Choose SA to meet the people building business and industry in SA, and to find out how your choices make a difference to our state.

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Top 10 South Australian Christmas traditions

Some Christmas traditions can only be experienced in South Australia. Where else would you find the kind of nostalgia the West End Brewery Christmas Lights evoke every year?

And forget handfuls of cherries. Thanks to our Adelaide Hills orchardists we eat the favourite Christmas fruit by the bucketload, leaving our lips stained purple throughout the rest of summer.

We camp out at Elder Park in the hot sun to get a top spot for the carols, and we pile in the car and head to Lobethal, feeling just as impressed by the twinkling lights as we did when we were a kid.

Christmas in SA is full of events, markets, activities, and traditions that carry on through generations. Here’s a few of the oldies but goodies you’d be a Grinch to miss.

1. Lights of Lobethal

The small Adelaide Hills town of Lobethal is pretty sleepy, except for in December.

Much of the town decorates its businesses, shopfronts and houses in twinkling lights and Christmas arrays creating the largest community lights display in the southern hemisphere.

It’ll take a couple of hours to get around the whole town, and be sure not to miss Bill and Peg Chartres’s house on the hill of Christmas Lane. Yes, Christmas Lane. The Chartres’s have been displaying lights since the 1980s, with lights, toys and figurines scattered throughout their property.

2. West End Brewery Lights

A child must not reach adulthood without viewing the quirks of the West End Brewery Christmas Displays on the banks of the River Torrens in Thebarton.

You’ll find a nativity scene, a ferris wheel, a water wheel, and Santa and his reindeers among other festive characters and displays.

This free community event is popular with young families, with the lights turning on at dusk each evening until the end of December.

The West End Brewery Lights are a must-visit at least once for every South Australian. Photo by Clive Boyce.

3. Carols by Candlelight 

A classic event for Christmas carol lovers, the annual carols event in Elder Park is the perfect place to belt out festive favourites.

Families serious about the QBE Insurance Carols by Candlelight will arrive early in the day to snag a spot as close to the stage as they can, settling in with picnic rugs, snacks and oodles of enthusiasm.

Brand South Australia has once again partnered with QBE Insurance Carols by Candlelight to offer one lucky person the chance to win a festive hamper full of local products to the value of more than $5000. Enter here.

4. A South Australian seafood feast

Spencer Gulf king prawns, Coffin Bay oysters and southern rock lobster – there’s no shortage of seafood offerings here in SA.

When you buy local seafood you’re supporting SA’s sustainable seafood and aquaculture industries. Ferguson’s Australia, Cappo Seafood, and Angelakis Bros are just a few local names who will sort you out in the seafood department.

Fresh local seafood is a must at Christmas. Photo courtesy of Adelaide Central Market.

5. Beach cricket

Wearing off that seafood feast by playing a good old-fashioned game of beach cricket is almost a Christmas rite of passage in SA. Our state has some of the best white sandy beaches in the country, from the Eyre Peninsula along to the Yorke Peninsula, and Fleurieu.

Many of our coastal towns come alive during summer and especially around the holiday period. The livelihood of their businesses relies on the festive season trade – another reason to keep it local and holiday in your own backyard.

6. Hahndorf Christkindlmarkt

Not yet a longstanding tradition (as it’s only been around for about six years) this European-style Christmas market in the German town of Hahndorf in the Adelaide Hills is well on its way to becoming an annual favourite.

Held in the town’s main street, the Hahndorf Christkindlmarkt brings the magic touches of a European Christmas market to Australia, allowing visitors to wander beneath twinkling fairy lights, shop for handicrafts and enjoy a glass of Glühwein.

The Hahndorf Christkindlmarkt is on December 14–16.

7. Santa’s Magic Cave

Everyone has at least one embarrassing photo of themselves as a child with Santa.

The jolly man in red can be found at the Magic Cave at David Jones, Rundle Mall, where little ones can put in their last-minute wish lists and pose for that classic shot to be cherished for years to come.

The Magic Cave is a bit of an Adelaide icon, launching in former department store John Martin’s in 1896. Aside from Santa and his elves, other fairy tale characters and other glitzy displays can be explored.

8. Victoria Square Christmas tree

You probably won’t find a Christmas tree taller than this one. The giant Christmas tree in the heart of the city in Victoria Square/Tarntanyangga will dazzle with thousands of lights once it’s officially switched on at 8.30pm on December 1.

It’s the city’s Christmas centrepiece and with Victoria Square redeveloped in recent years to include more public furniture and greenery, it’s a place you can hang around and take in with sparkling delight.

The tallest Christmas tree in Adelaide can be found in Victoria Square/Tarntanyangga. Photo by Clive Boyce.

9. Christmas pageants

Christmas pageants and nativity scenes have been around for donkeys’ years and nearly every town has one. It’s a time when the glue guns get a real work out in the making of impressive of Christmas floats and homemade costumes.

Local businesses get on board, as do local schools, sporting groups and community organisations, parading around town and down main streets to kick-start the silly season.

The man in red always makes an appearance and the bitumen is always covered in chalk drawings by the end.

Aside from the big pageant in Adelaide in November, Christmas pageants roll out across our larger metropolitan suburbs to the smallest of country towns.

10. Adelaide Central Market 

This thriving hub is one of the country’s largest fresh produce markets, and right before Christmas it gets crazy.

The stalls are packed with local produce including fruit and veggies, cheeses, meats, seafood, baked goods, smallgoods and other treats needed for your festive household celebrations.

December through to February is the time for stone fruit including juicy, plump cherries, blueberries, strawberries and blackberries that will make for the perfect Christmas pavlova. The market’s opening hours are extended in the lead up to Christmas, check out the website for more information.

Header image by Clive Boyce of Photo Morsels.

Visit I Choose SA to meet the people building business and industry in SA, and to find out how your choices make a difference to our state.

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8 beer gardens you have to sit in this summer

The sun is out, the days are getting longer, and did someone say beer garden?

We went in search of the perfect South Australian outdoor oasis, and we found heaps! Here are eight of the best.

Cathedral Hotel – North Adelaide

Have you been searching for a beautiful heritage listed North Adelaide bar with a renovated rooftop? The search is over! The Cathedral took out SA’s Best Pub Burger in the 2016 SA Pub Burger Challenge, so you can be sure the classic pub fare won’t disappoint.

Here’s their menu, we recommend the beef burger and a glass of Jim Barry Watervale Riesling (Clare Valley).

The sun sets over Adelaide from the Cathedral rooftop garden. Image: Cathedral Hotel via Instagram.

The Cathedral Hotel knows burgers. Image: Cathedral Hotel via Instagram.

Hotel Elliot – Port Elliot

Heading to Middleton for a surf? Or perhaps a beachside getaway is calling your name. Either way, this well-frequented local pub located in picturesque Port Elliot has everything you want, with a sensational beer garden to boot.

A  five-minute stroll from Horseshoe Bay and a short walk to whale spotting favourite Freeman Lookout, you can also catch the Cockle Train or Steam Ranger with the Port Elliot Railway Station situated just outside the hotel.

Here’s their menu, we recommend the Coopers Ale battered garfish fillets, served with the Elliot salad, chips and house aioli. Pair with a Coopers Pale Ale of course!

The Hotel Elliot beer garden is waiting for you! Image: Hotel Elliot via Instagram.

Fish and chips on the Fleurieu at Hotel Elliot. Image: Hotel Elliot via Instagram.

The Republic – Norwood

Built in 1880, the Republic Hotel has undergone extensive renovations with sleek results. This beer garden is perfect for a Saturday arvo with the girls after shopping your new summer look on The Parade.

Here’s their bar menu, we recommend the charcuterie board with cured meats, SA olives, cornichons and ciabatta, and pair with an Espresso Martini (or three).

The only thing better than an espresso martini is three espresso martinis. Image: Republic Norwood via Instagram.

Some of the local produce on offer at Republic Norwood. Image: Republic Hotel via Instagram.

Bridgewater Inn – Bridgewater

Only a 20-minute drive from Adelaide, the Bridgewater Inn is the perfect Adelaide Hills escape. Nestled among lush greenery, relax in the garden with unrivalled views of Cox’s Creek.

Here’s their menu, we recommend the Cox chicken breast schnitzel (500g) with one of their signature toppings such as parmigiana (napolitana sauce, cheese and ham),  Mexican (smashed avocado, bacon, jalapeno, sour cream),  Kilpatrick (bacon, Worcestershire sauce and cheese) or garlic prawns in a cream sauce. Match with a Rockford Alicante Bouchet rosé (Barossa Valley), you know it’s a good idea.

Just in case you didn’t know you were in the Adelaide Hills. Image: Bridgewater Inn via Facebook.

These mega schnitzels will make a return visitor out of you, that’s a promise. Image: Bridgewater Inn via Facebook.

The Edinburgh Hotel – Mitcham

Ask anyone in the foothills of Southern Adelaide if they know The Ed, and not only will they know it, they’re probably sitting in its garden as you speak.

The famed Ed garden (renowned colloquially as one of Adelaide’s best) is bordered by pergolas, vines and lush gardens. The fellas love it here (and so do the kids).

Here’s their menu, we recommend The Ed signature flatbreads with heirloom and semi-dried tomato salsa with buffalo mozzarella, basil and pine nut pesto and smoked salmon with capers, feta, avocado, rocket and fresh lemon. Pair with a refreshing local gin and tonic served with citrus.

A family friendly atmosphere that will have you settling in from day to night. Image: The Edinburgh Hotel website.

What’s more refreshing in summer than a gin and tonic? It’s ok, we’ll wait. Image: The Ed via Instagram.

The Feathers Hotel – Burnside 

They won Best Beer Garden in Australia in 2017. Enough said.

Here’s their Terrace menu, we recommend any of the sociable plates, especially where cheese is involved. Match with a Howard Vineyard “Clover” sparkling wine (Adelaide Hills) and welcome, you’ve arrived in paradise.

Weekend goals. Image: supplied.

You had us at sociable plates. Image: supplied.

Parkside Hotel – Parkside

It’s impossible not to salute the Parkside Hotel at how different it is from it’s former state. The recently renovated venue is turning heads as one of the main hangs for South Aussies this coming summer.

And not only is there current beer garden greatness, there is also future beer garden greatness to come! A family friendly outdoor area (separate from main beer garden) on its way with completion due in the next couple of days. There is also another outdoor area which is in the construction phase, due for opening in the coming months.

So make sure you check it out.

Here’s their menu, we recommend the prawn and heirloom tomato pizza with SA king prawns, chilli, rocket and basil paired with an Aperol Spritz.

Your summer hideaway in bustling Parkside. Image: supplied.

What’s a pizza between friends? Image: Parkside Hotel via Facebook.

Port Admiral Hotel – Port Adelaide

This Port Adelaide pub, with its nautical vibes and bustling atmosphere, is quickly gaining a reputation as a bucket list must-see.

Adelaide’s oldest building (established in 1849 on Black Diamond Corner), the Port Admiral is a tip-of-the-hat to SA history and it’s really, really cool.

Here’s their menu, we recommend the Port Admiral fried chicken wings (500g or 1kg) with buffalo, Thai, sweet and sour or barbecue dressing. Pair with an Applewood Distillery whiskey or a Port Local house brew – a collaboration between the Port Admiral and Pirate Life.

The Port Admiral Hotel, Adelaide’s oldest building. Image: Port Admiral Hotel website.

Warning: these wings are addictive. Image: Port Admiral Hotel via Instagram.

Header image features The Feathers Hotel.

Visit I Choose SA to meet the people building business and industry in SA, and to find out how your choices make a difference to our state.

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Just moved here? What to know if you’re new to Adelaide

So, you’ve decided to call Adelaide home.

Welcome! And allow us to congratulate you on a most excellent decision.

But don’t just take our word for it – in The Economist’s Global Liveability Index 2018, Adelaide was named in the top 10 most liveable cities in the world for the seventh consecutive year.

We’re also ranked in the top 10 healthiest cities in the world.

As with all cities, ours has its own quirks, terminology and things only locals would know, so here’s your introduction to becoming an Adelaidean.

Where will I meet you?

There’s one iconic meeting place in the heart of the city that every local knows – the Mall’s Balls.

Situated in the middle of Rundle Mall, their official name is The Spheres, but no one calls them that. However, everyone meets there.

The Mall’s Balls is one of Adelaide’s most renowned landmarks and meeting places.

Late night shopping

Another thing to note about Rundle Mall – it’s open for late night shopping on Fridays. All other suburban shopping centres are open late on Thursdays.

Don’t worry, no one knows why and we often forget this fact. The Adelaide Central Market is also open until 9pm on Fridays.

Hit the mall on a Friday night before heading to dinner or drinks down one of Adelaide’s many laneways.

Don’t forget your bags

Speaking of shopping, South Australia has had a plastic bag ban in place at its supermarkets since 2009.

Yes, we’ve been bringing our own bags to the shops for nearly 10 years and the eastern states have only just jumped on board. They’ll get used to it, as will you.

Order your I Choose SA totebag at under the South Australian merchandise tab.

Baby you can drive my car

It’s a bit of a running joke that it takes 20 minutes to get anywhere in Adelaide.

Especially if you have a car. So, if you have become a permanent resident of SA, you must transfer your exiting licence to an SA driver’s licence within 90 days.

Click here to find out more about the full requirements.

Get your driver’s licence sorted and you could be cruising around some of the state’s most picturesque landscapes, like these vineyards at Kellermeister Wines in the Barossa Valley.

Getting around on public transport

If public transport is more your speed, you’ll need a Metrocard.

You must tap your Metrocard when travelling on buses, trains and trams, at the start of your journey on an Adelaide Metro Service.

You can get one from Adelaide Metro InfoCentres, newsagents and ticket vending machines. They can be topped up online, or at the infocentres, newsagents, and convenience stores.

Click here to learn more. Adelaide’s CBD also has a number of free public transport options.

Adelaide’s trams run between the Entertainment Centre and Glenelg.

Let the music play

It’s no secret we love our live music, which is quite fitting as Adelaide is the first and only UNESCO City of Music in Australia. Adelaide has a vibrant and varied live music scene with venues hosting gigs and performances every night of the week.

Click here to find a live music venue.

A musician plays at the Grace Emily Hotel, one of the city’s well known live music venues.

We’re a festival state

What really sets Adelaide apart is its festivals. The calendar is full of them and they distinctively inhabit every corner of the city.

From the Adelaide Fringe Festival to WOMADelaide, the History Festival, Adelaide Cabaret Festival, Adelaide Fashion Festival … just to name a few.

In October/November, Adelaide is also home to OzAsia, Australia’s only international festival celebrating contemporary art from Asia. The 2018 program landed recently, check out the highlights here.

Check out Adelaide’s other festivals here.

The Garden of Unearthly Delights is a magical place to be during the Adelaide Fringe, which runs from late February into March.

We love our footy

There are two main football teams in South Australia – the Adelaide Crows and Port Power.

The rivalry is real and you must pick a side. The state comes to a standstill when these teams face each other in what we call the Showdown. Told you it was serious.

This guide barely scratches the surface of everything SA has to offer, but it’s a start.

The best way to get to know our beautiful state – its food, wine, sport and lifestyle – is to get out there and enjoy it!

During a Showdown match, one end of Adelaide Oval will be covered in teal, black and white (Port), while the other in red, blue and gold (Crows).

Oh, and we we also have our own lingo!

South Australians are renowned for speaking a little bit posher than the rest of the country. Our accent has been likened to the English and South African accents.

We also use some funny words including ‘fritz’, ‘Stobie pole’, and ‘bathers’. Scrub up on your SA lingo here.

Sonia Bavistock is a fashion and lifestyle blogger and also has her own social media management and copywriting business. Sonia is passionate about all things South Australia and can often be seen dining out with a glass of wine in hand.

Visit I Choose SA to meet the people building business and industry in SA, and to find out how your choices make a difference to our state.

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Header image: SATC.

Coffee lover? Where to find the best brew in SA

It seems simple; roasted beans, ground and brewed, milk frothed and poured into a mug cradled between two hands.

But it can also go so wrong. Too bitter, burnt milk, a cranky barista and you have a combination of coffee sins that is sure to (almost) ruin a morning.

But with more cafés adopting a choose local ethos by using South Australian dairy milk and locally roasted coffee beans, coming across a dud brew is almost hard to do.

Brand SA News has set out on the ultimate coffee quest – to find the best coffee shops in the land, the friendliest baristas in the burbs and the types of cafés that truly make you feel at home.

From regional coffee hotspots to trendy metro hideaways, we’ve searched the state with the help of fellow caffeine fiends and our pool of regional journalists, to find the best spots across the state for good coffee.

But this list is just scratching the surface, so if there’s a coffee shop we’ve missed, hit Brand South Australia up on social media using the #ichoosesa hashtag and spill your caffeine secrets.

Metropolitan Adelaide

The Meat & Cheese Club, King William Street.

Exactly what a hole in the wall should be, this coffee and sandwich shop is a new kid on the block.

Owner Damian Vasilevski is a solid I Choose SA supporter, frothing Paris Creek Milk for the coffees (which are always hot) and using Udder Delights Cheese and Barossa Fine Foods smallgoods for menu items.

Meat and Cheese Club owner Damian Vasilevski and Adelaide Lord Mayor Martin Haese, who visited the coffee spot earlier this year. Photo: Facebook.

La Moka, Peel Street.

A solid CBD favourite, La Moka is not only a perfect spot to soak up laneway vibes, but more importantly, this yellow-doored café makes good coffee. Every time. After dark on weekends those lattes can turn into espresso martinis!

Bond & Lane Canteen, Colonel Light Gardens.

They grind from 7am weekdays. Having a cuppa or a meal here is homely and comfy, and the owners are big I Choose SA supporters, so you know you’re supporting local.

The cake cabinet will leave you drooling.

Two Sparrows Coffee & Kitchen, Forestville.

A must-visit for the latte art itself.

Barista Brian’s creation’s will leave you highly impressed and almost unwilling to touch your coffee in fear of ruining the masterpiece.

Mind blown. Photo: Instagram, @his.names.sparky

Adelaide Hills

The Organic Market and Café, Stirling.

An old Hills favourite that’s been around for decades.

Makes consistently good coffee, which can be enjoyed in a quiet corner or outside among the trees and many four-legged friends.

The menu is healthy, homely and nutritious, with chock-a-bloc salads for summer and hearty soups for winter.

The Good Pantry, Gumeracha.

This café uses locally roasted coffee and serves all day brekkie, soups, dips platters, and local juices. It also doubles as a little art and crafts gallery.

Limestone Coast

Metro Bakery & Café, Mt Gambier.

One of Mt Gambier’s most popular spots, the Metro Bakery not only knows how to bake a good pie and pastie, but their coffee is on the mark too.

Presto Eatery, Mt Gambier.

Located in a refreshed heritage building in Mt Gambier town’s centre, this café is exactly what a good coffee lover needs in a rural town.

Coffee is roasted by local roaster Bricks and Mortar Coffee. Relax with a cuppa inside or chill out the front and watch Mt Gambier life go by.

Presto Eatery Mt Gambier. Photo: Instagram @prestoeatery.

Fleurieu Peninsula and Kangaroo Island

Cactus, Kingscote – KI

A fairly new addition to Kangaroo Island, this cosy café is popular with tourists and locals, so be sure to rock up early.

Pair a coffee made from custom roasted beans by Rio Coffee Adelaide with a sneaky sweet treat and soak up the sun on the blue and white deck.

3 Monkeys Fine Foods, Willunga.

These guys are taking a break and returning in September, but they’re worth the short wait.

The coffee is just how you’ll want it to be and you can sip your fix while browsing through gifts, homewares and gourmet goodies.

McLaren Vale

Mullygrub, McLaren Vale.

This café which also exists in food truck form is known for its simple dishes made from scratch.

Their coffee is also on the mark, with milk by the Fleurieu Milk Company.

Dal Mare Coffee, McLaren Vale.

Too early to sip on a red? This wine region is also well known for its boutique coffee shops scattered around the place.

A corrugated iron shed that is the Dal Mare Coffee headquarters is an unsuspecting caffeine haven, but these guys know their stuff.

Roasting their own beans, the main focus of the business is wholesales, but you can also spot them roadside through the travelling Short Black Caravan.

The Short Black Caravan on the side of the road is a welcome sight when you’re craving coffee on the go! Photo: Facebook.

Barossa Valley

Barossa Farmers Market

Grab a coffee and take a wander through the fresh produce stalls offering goodies from one of the state’s most renowned  food and wine regions.

Coffee wise, local roaster artisan Bean Addiction will take care of you. Their actual shopfront in Nuriootpa is closed for renovations, reopening this month.

Yorke and Mid North

Red Hot Shot, Clare.

Jodi Weckert is the lady in the little red van, pulling up at businesses and giving locals their caffeine fix.

Passersby have also been known to give a wave or a toot as they see her on the road, signalling the need for a coffee fix!

Watervale General Store, Watervale.

This quirky store is run by well known local foodies, Louise and Neil Haines and is renowned for its quality coffee.

The store has a big focus on local produce and is a good spot to pick up a few traditional or gourmet groceries.

Coffee Barn Gelateria, Moonta.

We may be luring you here just for the ice cream… but the coffee is good too!

In summer, move fast though because lines will creep out the door.

Finding this Yorke Peninsula gem is half the fun. Turn off the highway and head off the beaten track.

Far North

Bluebush Café, Port Augusta.

Good coffee is possible in the outback.

Located within the stunning Australian Arid Lands Botanic Garden, the Bluebush Café’s setting alone is worth the visit.

It’s peaceful and serene dining before a stunning backdrop of the Flinders Ranges.

The Bluebush Café overlooks stunning views of the Flinders Ranges and outback flora. Photo courtesy of AALBG.

Murray and Mallee

Arrosto, Renmark.

This multi-award winning boutique coffee roaster will put a spring in your step. They service many cafés in the region.

Renmark-based Arrosto Coffee has recently collaborated with Glossop winery’s 919 Wines to create a coffee liqueur, The Firewater.

Made from Scratch, Waikerie.

Described as “Waikerie’s little health oasis”, this Riverland gem is hugely popular with locals.

Coffee is by the above Renmark boutique roaster, Arrosto. The café’s interior pays close attention to small, homely details such as locally grown flowers on the table, put together by Riverland business Daisy and Ginger.

Eyre Peninsula

Boston Bean Coffee Co, Port Lincoln.

EP locals Brian and Sue Scott run this award-winning speciality coffee roasting business that recently opened a coffee bar and roastery on Mortlock Terrace.

Born from a desire to lift coffee standards in regional areas, Boston Bean is all about the local game and are also supporters of environmentally friendly coffee cups.

Hitting Port Lincoln in summer? Try the cold brew over ice with a splash of milk.

Visit I Choose SA to meet the people building business and industry in SA, and to find out how your choices make a difference to our state.

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Top 6: 4WD and camping spots in SA

A little bit of mud never hurt anybody.

Whether it’s navigating the dry and dusty red dirt roads of the Far North or taking in the stunning coastlines along the Eyre Peninsula, South Australia offers a whole bunch of landscapes to explore on four wheels.

We’ve done our research and declare these six spots as the best 4WDing playgrounds in the state.

Some of them are dedicated 4WD parks, meaning you’re supporting local family businesses when you visit!

1. JAKEM Farm
Where: Eclair Mine Road, St Ives.

This 4WD park south of Callington in the Adelaide Hills will keep the most passionate 4WDer occupied for hours (or days!)

Just 45 minutes from Adelaide up the South Eastern Freeway, JAKEM Farm features 16 tracks of mostly steep and rugged terrain and overlooking acres of rolling hills.

A number of campsites are also available, and visitors might be lucky to spot kangaroos, wedge-tailed eagles, ducks, turtles and other wildlife along the Mt Barker Creek.

Mostly importantly, JAKEM Farm offers a place for 4WDers to play hard away from national parks or public roads.

Being stuck in a rut is part of the fun! Photo: JAKEM Farm Facebook.

2. Saunders Gorge Sanctuary
Where: Three Chain Road, Sanderston.

This spot not far from the town of Mt Pleasant is a good one for weekend trips, as it’s only 90 minutes from Adelaide.

It’s a private conservation area with a dedicated three-hour Eagle View 4WD Track.

There are a handful of campsites (with drop dunnies!) if you’d like to explore the area over a couple of nights.

The walking trails are a birdwatcher’s delight.

3. Coffin Bay National Park
Where: 60km west of Port Lincoln, Eyre Peninsula.

The Coffin Bay National Park is one for beach drivers, offering a variety of conditions such as soft sand and narrow, winding tracks.

Much of the park can only be accessed by 4WD. Popular spots include Black Springs, Sensation Beach and Point Sir Isaac.

Follow the route markers, be alert of wildlife (such as wandering emus!) and oncoming traffic.

There are also many walks and hikes through vegetated dunes, up to lookouts, and overlooking offshore reefs.

As for camping, there are four designated campgrounds, with permits to be purchased online or at the Port Lincoln Visitor Information Centre.

4. Loveday 4×4 Adventure Park
Where: Caddy Road, Barmera.

Loveday 4×4 Adventure Park in the Riverland is an 8000-acre property that includes a 14km stretch of the mighty Murray River.

The landscape features clay flats, creek beds, sand hills, steep and stony hills, and sandy mallee scrub.

The Loveday park has a bit of everything – from quiet, serene spots along the Murray, to tracks just waiting to be tackled by hardcore 4WDers.

Camp sites are accessible with 2WDs and caravans.

5. Little Dip Conservation Park
Where: Nora Creina Road, Robe.

Located on the outskirts of Robe on the Limestone Coast is the Little Dip Conservation Park.

The many tracks are sure to give your vehicle a good workout.

Aside from the stunning coastline views, 4WDers can also travel to lagoons and inland lakes throughout the park.

The beach is also popular for fishing.


6. Flinders Ranges

The stunning Flinders Ranges is arguably one of the best camping and 4WDing destinations in SA.

The many tracks and terrains of the region are suited to 4WDers with the right gear and who know what they’re doing.

The region offers many tour operator and self-drive experiences, including Alpana Station (5km from Blinman) which features two self-drive 4WD tracks.

The Mt Samuel 4WD track is a four-hour journey through sheep grazing country, with challenging mountain ridges and steep descents.

REMEMBER: Stick to the tracks, admire plants and wildlife from afar, take your rubbish with you, leave your pets at home and respect the heritage of the places you visit.

Visit I Choose SA to find out how you can support our state by choosing South Australian businesses, products and services.

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How to make the most of a South Australian winter

Winter – it’s the coldest time of year when South Aussies turn into a glove wearing, red wine sipping and fierce footy barracking bunch.

The winter months bring no shortage of activity across the state with festivals, events and attractions lighting up the city and warming our regions.

From underground outback bakeries, to spotting southern right whales off the coast at Victor Harbor and cradling hot chocolates in cosy cafes, there are hundreds of ways to enjoy the chilly months in South Australia.

Here are 15 of the best!


1. Get lost in a bookshop
There’s nothing quite like the alluring smell of a book.

In the leafy suburb of Stirling in the Adelaide Hills, you’ll find Matilda Bookshop, a small independent store stocked with new releases combined with something a little bit different.

O’Connell’s Bookshop on Bank Street in Adelaide is another oldie but goodie, with a selection of rare and unique stories to devour.

It’s also Adelaide’s oldest antiquarian and second-hand bookshop.

2. Drop a line
It takes courage to climb out of bed at 4am and have the boat in the water by the crack of dawn when the fish are biting.

But it’s worth the effort, especially in winter – the prime time for King George Whiting.

The Eyre Peninsula, Yorke Peninsula, Limestone Coast and Kangaroo Island are the go-to spots.

Stuck on where exactly to go? Head here.

The underground bakery at Farina. PHOTO: Rob Fairweather.

3. Visit the Farina Bakery
The ghost town of Farina, 55km south of Marree in the state’s Far North has a population of zero, but it’s bakery is roaring hot.

Until July 21, a dedicated band of volunteers, overseen by the Farina Restoration Group, will fire up an old underground wood-fired Scotch oven.

Fresh bread, hot pies, pasties and buns are sold to scores of visitors, who can also explore the town’s ruins, some of which are undergoing rehabilitation.

4. Sip a red in front of a fireplace
Adelaide is a member of the exclusive Great Wine Capital Global Network (alongside Bordeaux, France, among others) so the abundance of fine wine is being poured out of our cellar doors.

Sipping a smooth glass of red in a comfy armchair by a crackling fireplace? Saturday arvo sorted.

Here’s five fireplaces to warm those hands over, plus another five below!

• Café El Estanco (Greenock, Barossa Valley)
• Bendbrook Wines cellar door (Hahndorf)
• Lost in a Forest (Uraidla)
• Ruby Red Flamingo (North Adelaide)
• Wirra Wirra Wines (McLaren Vale)

The Belgian chocolate fountains at Providore. Photo: Providore, Adelaide Central Market, Facebook.

5. Head on a chocolate hunt
South Australia is home to the country’s oldest family owned chocolate maker – Haighs.

Head to either end of Rundle Mall to stock up on choccies then wander over to the Adelaide Central Market.

Here you’ll find Providore and will probably become entranced by the Belgian chocolate fountains.

Twenty minutes up the South Eastern Freeway in Stirling is Red Cacao with its handmade truffles, cakes, coffee, brownies and waffles.

6. Get outside
It can be tempting to stay rugged up with a good book or movie, but when it’s not raining, winter in South Australia is often met with blue skies.

So hit the beach, tackle the Mt Lofty Summit, explore a national park or take your four-legged friend for a walk (and then hit one of these dog friendly venues).

Mt Lofty Ranges Vineyard is again hosting Pinot in the Dark as part of this year’s Winter Reds.

7. Hit a wine festival
There is a stack of wine festivals unfolding this winter, allowing wine lovers a chance to try not only the best drops, but local fare and music too.

The McLaren Vale Sea & Vines Festival is on the Queen’s Birthday long weekend (June 9, 10 and 11) offering intimate degustation dinners with winemakers and chefs, winery tours and general lounging around cellar doors.

New wine festival on the block – Sip and Sounds – will take place at the National Wine Centre on July 22.

From July 27 – 29, the Adelaide Hills’ Winter Reds will lure thousands of wine lovers to more than 30 wineries across the region.

Wine appreciators can be spotted at the Hot 100 Winter Harvest at the Adelaide Convention Centre on June 29 and 30.

8. Shop (local of course)
Hit the mall, arcade or your country town main street and buy something special.

Better yet, buy something that’s South Australian made or owned.

Looking for the State Brand will make things easier, or head to the Shop South Australia marketplace which will point you directly to all things SA, including wine, homewares, fashion, gifts, skincare and more.

Set in a private coastal garden in Robe, Trader Jack’s provides a unique and stylish stay. Photo: Robe Lifestyle Properties.

9. Travel
With a long weekend and school holidays on the horizon, a winter break is the perfect opportunity to recuperate and reset.

We’ve said it before, but South Australia offers the best playground in the country, with national parks, beaches, bushland and vibrant city laneways.

From former bacon factories to treehouses, shipping containers and fancy retreats, quirky accommodation offerings are on the rise, giving you more options to stay somewhere cool (and affordable).

We’ve nailed down the top 10 quirky accommodation spots.

10. Get arty
August is the month of the annual SA Living Artists (SALA) Festival, Australia’s largest community-based visual arts event.

Dozens of exhibitions and art showings will unfold across the state in a diverse range of locations from slick CBD galleries to regional exhibitions set before vineyard views.

Also, Colours of Impressionism is still showing at the Art Gallery of SA until July 29.

It’s been a huge hit so far, featuring 65 works by legendary artists Monet, Cézanne, Renoir and Pissarro, among others.

I Choose SA ambassadors Laura and Brendan Carter from Applewood in Gumeracha.

11. Cheers to World Gin Day
Raise your glass to the many craft gin makers in South Australia, including Prohibition Liquor Co in the CBD, Ambleside Distillery at Hahndorf and Kangaroo Island Spirits.

Applewood at Gumeracha has made gin from the hail damaged pear crop and will be releasing it on World Gin Day on June 9 at the Inglewood Inn.

12. Get thinking
We’re about to enter the season of ideas.

Entrepreneurs Week in July is once again showcasing the state’s most innovative start-ups, technologies, workspaces and ecosystem leaders.

The week of e-week events will keep you busy, as will Hybrid World, a digital entertainment and technology event that gives a glimpse into the future of the industry.

The Festival of Ideas is also unfolding on July 12–15, inviting speakers including scientists, journalists, historians, architects, economists and theologians to explore a myriad of topics.

A whale frolics off the coast of the Fleurieu.

13. Go whale watching
Head to Victor Harbor to spot these gentle giants – southern right whales – which return to our coastlines each winter.

Their annual journey to SA is part of the breeding cycle.

The SA Whale Centre at Victor Harbor is a good one to visit for families, featuring interactive exhibits, artefacts and displays.

14. Celebrate the shortest day of the year
The winter solstice is the one day of the year with the least daylight hours and this time it will fall on Thursday, June 21.

The winter solstice brings out a range of events celebrating the long night and first step towards spring.

A winter solstice-inspired pop-up wine event will reawaken the former Royal Adelaide Hospital foyer on June 15.

The SA Wine Industry Association, in collaboration with Food SA, will welcome 15 wineries to the site.


15. Head to the cabaret

Local, national and international artists will descend on Adelaide on the Queen’s Birthday long weekend for the annual Adelaide Cabaret Festival.

It’s one of the biggest events of its kind, featuring a rich program of classic and contemporary performances.

A colourful collection of burlesque, cabaret dinners, family galas and a piano man will make a weekend of pure entertainment.

Visit I Choose SA to find out how you can support our state by choosing South Australian businesses, products and services.

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How to choose SA this Easter

We’re the birthplace of Haigh’s Chocolates, our Easter seafood is the best in the nation and we knew that combining Fruchocs and hot cross buns was a legendary move.

South Aussies know how to make the most of Easter, whether it’s camping under the stars in the Flinders Ranges or nibbling the ears off a chocolate bilby at the Beehive Corner.

With the four-day break only days away, we’ve compiled a list of ways to choose South Australian businesses, products and places this Easter.

Don’t forget to share your local purchases or experiences with us on Facebook and Instagram by using the hashtag #ichoosesa

1. Stick around

Why gallivant around elsewhere when some of the most stunning landscapes, natural hideaways and pristine environments are on our doorstep?

Eyre or Yorke Peninsula coastal getaways, Far North explorations, Limestone Coast escapes and Barossa Valley wonders are all reachable within a day’s drive (or flight).

When you choose to holiday locally, you support local accommodation providers, the hospitality sector, shops, businesses and families.

So pick a spot you haven’t been before or return to an old favourite.

The Adelaide Central Market is a good place to collect Easter seafood that’s fresh and local.

2. Stock up at the Adelaide Central Market

Almost half-a-million shoppers are expected to wander through this foodie’s paradise in the lead up to Easter, on the hunt for fresh products, local seafood and traditional Easter eats.

Market traders are expecting to sell more than one million kilograms of fresh produce before the weekend, with Easter rating as the market’s second biggest trading period of the year.

Samtass Seafoods is expecting to sell 500kg of fresh local snapper, 250kg of Spencer Gulf prawns and 100kg of local flathead fillets, while market bakers will churn out more than 75,000 hot cross buns.

Visit the Kangaroo Island Stall in the market for a selection of island produce, including the ultimate Easter feast, southern rock lobsters by Ferguson Australia.

3. Go fishing in one of SA’s pristine ocean spots 

From the clear and peaceful waters of the Yorke Peninsula to the true fisher’s territory off Kangaroo Island, there are plenty of good spots to wet a line in SA.

Autumn is the time for mullet as the fish school in large numbers, while catches of flathead and the much-prized King George whiting increase in the lead up to winter.

Stuck on where to go? Check out our Top 10 Fishing Spots.

Simon Haigh from Haigh’s Chocolates is an I Choose SA ambassador.

4. Get your chocolate fix from a local chocolatier

From the legendary Haigh’s Chocolates, to a hot-cross bun flavoured Red Cacao truffle, SA knows a thing or two about Easter indulgences.

Chocolatiers are perfectionists and sticklers for quality so you can be sure that a beautifully packaged Easter treat has been made with love and probably hand-packaged as well.

Try Melba’s Chocolates at Woodside, Bracegirdle’s House of Fine Chocolate, Chocolate @ N°5 in Hahndorf, Just Bliss, or the Port Elliot-based Carob Kitchen.

5. Frock up for the Easter races

The Oakbank Easter Racing Carnival in the Adelaide Hills is one of the biggest events on the state’s racing calendar, with the tradition dating back almost 150 years.

This year the carnival will undergo a bit of a reshuffle, as the Great Eastern Steeplechase moves from Easter Monday to Easter Saturday, with the latter expected to draw crowds of about 20,000 people.

The Clare Easter Races will also unfold on Saturday, March 31, and seeing as the Clare Valley is home to some of the state’s finest wines and produce, expect gourmet offerings.

6. Cling onto the Fringe madness

The Adelaide Fringe might have gone into hibernation for another 12 months, but in Whyalla the party is just getting started.

The UneARTH Festival is on March 30 and 31, providing creatives, artists and locals a chance to enjoy everything from circus acts to music and cabaret.

7. Have a hot-cross-bun-a-thon

There is nothing more mood-lifting than watching butter melt on a toasted hot cross bun.

Longstanding family business Kytons Bakery do a good all-round version of the spiced sweet buns (and even a Fruchoc variety!) while we hear that Red Door Bakery is also among the best bun makers in town.

Give a few local bakeries a go and rate them out of 10!

8. Fly a kite at Semaphore

Kite flying is a childhood pastime and in Semaphore the sky will come alive with colour for the Adelaide International Kite Festival from March 31 – April 2.

The free community event at Semaphore Beach will feature South Aussie kite fliers going up against New Zealanders and interstate visitors.

A festival marketplace with wares and activities will be open from 11am–5pm each day.

9. Soak up the tunes at the Blenheim festival

About 2000 people are expected to gather in the Clare Valley for the annual Blenheim Music and Camping Festival from March 29–30.

Listen to tunes by the likes of The Black Seeds, Mojo Juju, Timberwolf, Bootleg Rascal, Z-Star Delta, Kings and Associates, Wanderers and Emdee.

Festival-goers can camp (or glamp if it’s more your style) under the stars and do it all again the next day.

Blenheim is family friendly event with all ages welcome.

Zoos SA CEO Elaine Bensted is an I Choose SA ambassador.

10. Visit the zoo

Adelaide and Monarto zoos will both be open over Easter.

Free choccie eggs will be on offer and visitors have the chance to see a real life Easter bilby.

Monarto Zoo’s Lions 360 experience will also run as usual – although this heart-stopping chance to get up and close to the king of the jungle is popular so be sure to book before you go.

11. Get on ya bike!

With an extensive network of trails across national parks, forests and reserves, Adelaide’s Mt Lofty Ranges is well on its way to becoming an international mountain biking destination.

So dust the cobwebs off the deadly treadly, pump up those tyres and explore some pretty amazing scenery at the Cudlee Creek Forest, Eagle Mountain Bike Park, the Belair National Park or Sturt Gorge Recreation Park.

Check out more spots here.

12. Take your pooch on an Easter egg hunt.

Yes, really.

The Woofery Dog Bakery is hosting a free doggie Easter hunt on Saturday, March 31, at Plant 4 Bowden.

Four-legged friends will be sniffing out dog-friendly Easter treats in Bowden Park and humans can also indulge as the Plant 4 market stalls will be open from 9am–3pm.

Register your pooch here.

Phil Sims from Robern Menz is an I Choose SA ambassador. The longstanding SA business is bound to get a workout in the lead up to Easter.

13. Grab a FruChocs showbag at Coles

Fruchocs maker Robern Menz has been around for 150 years and is one of the state’s strongest family businesses spanning over four generations.

This Easter they’ve launched a $10 FruChocs Easter showbag in all Coles supermarkets across SA.

Featuring a trio of Fruchocs varieties, the goodie bag is the perfect Easter gift to take to that Easter barbecue.

14. Graze your way around a farmers market

Prepare to stretch your I Choose SA tote bag to its limits this weekend, as many farmers markets will welcome Easter treats to the usual lineup of fresh produce.

Farmers markets are great places to not only smash the weekly shop, but sample local produce and chat to the farmer or maker all in the one spot.

Many SA farmers markets have live music, hot coffee and delicious pastries to keep you going while you stock up for an Easter Sunday feast.

Check out this list of SA farmers markets, but consult Google to check if the one closest to you is running over Easter!

15. Enjoy the bizarre pre-Good Friday rush at your local supermarket

There’s nothing quite like the Easter Thursday rush that has grocery shoppers in a flurry.

Mums and dads are flying through the aisles with chocolate-smeared toddlers hanging from their trolleys, the cheese and cracker section is getting a good work out and everyone’s arguing over what box of Shapes to take on the camping trip.

It’s busy and a bit crazy, but the pre-holiday spirit is infectious.

Visit I Choose SA to find out how you can support our state by choosing South Australian businesses, products and services.

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