Dive into crystal-clear waters, shop for beautifully handmade artworks or fling a fish as far as you can. With the sunshine back for good, South Australia is a state ready for exploring.[listicle]
Spend a night at the drive-in
The drive-in is so much cooler than the movies. Even if the sound is crackly and you forgot to wash the windscreen, when you’ve finally wrestled your seat into a comfy position, the sun waning and the credits begin to roll, it’s just so good.
South Australia has one remaining drive-in at Gepps Cross, about 30 minutes drive north of the CBD. Pick up your mates and catch a double-feature all for the price of a single ticket (plus popcorn) at your local multiplex.
Uncover a secret centuries-old swimming hole
Adelaide is known as ‘The City of Churches’ yet few have ever visited – or even heard of – The Cathedral at Piccaninnie Ponds Conservation Park. Over thousands of years, fresh groundwater rising through the limestone has carved an extraordinary chasm that’s among the best swimming holes and diving spots anywhere in the country. Walking trails circle the pool and it’s definitely worth spending an hour or two exploring the park.
Piccaninnie Ponds is located 32 kilometres south east of Mount Gambier in the state’s South East. In order to preserve the beautiful site, some regulations exist concerning activities in the park. A permit from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources is required for snorkelling and diving.
South Australians do enjoy celebrating local food and wine – and why wouldn’t they? With uniquely fertile growing conditions, SA produce is difficult to surpass. The January calendar includes two very different events around this motif – one in the city and the other further afield.
The Unley Gourmet Gala on January 16 is a vibrant street party that consumes one of Adelaide’s most cosmopolitan eating and retail strips. Presented as part of the Santos Tour Down Under (more on that later), the al fresco gathering showcases top restaurants, wineries and fashion.
Then there’s Harvest Festival McLaren Vale, a fun, all-day bash, thrown in the middle of lush wine country. To be held on January 14, the event has a regional focus with food and drink provided by local producers as well as tastings, cooking masterclasses, live music and a market garden.
Photo: Unley Gourmet Gala/Facebook
Toss a Tuna at Tunarama
Seeing a grown man – or woman – swing a 10 kilo tuna like an Olympic hammer-thrower is probably one of the strangest sights you’ll ever witness. Well, that’s Tunarama.
The World Championship Tuna Toss, held annually in the costal town of Port Lincoln, draws competitors from all over the world. It’s the main event in a three day festival with plenty to hook you in. FYI, if you feel like having a fling, anyone can enter.
Proof Aussies will make a competition out of just about anything, the Tunarama events calendar also features competitive beer keg rolling, prawn peeling, sand sculpting, watermelon eating, the Miss Tunarama and Miss Jnr. Tunarama parades and more. There’s also a dinner dance and film festival – kicking off from Friday January 27.
Learn to love lycra at the Santos Tour Down Under
Australia’s biggest cycling event runs rings around Adelaide from January 14 to 22. Spread across a number of suburbs and towns from the seaside to the hills, the race winds through wine country and speeds down city streets. Every man and his bike are out to catch the peloton skid by. You can even register to ride some of the race stages that are open to the public.
Make sure you head to the Tour Village on Victoria Square in the very heart of town. It’s the Tour hub, team meeting point and a marketplace for brands to show off their latest cycling tech. Free and open every day of the race, the village is also a great place to just hang out, catch up on the day’s results and enjoy some live entertainment.
JamFactory is where good Australian design lives. Established to promote and sustain innovative local design practices, it is a showroom and gallery packed with beautiful handmade objects, artworks and furniture. JamFactory – now spread across three SA locations – houses a stunning collection of Australian glass, ceramic, timber and metalwork that’s all available to purchase (or just drool over.)
Catch a double-header at Australia’s mot loved sporting ground
Some in Melbourne claim the MCG is “the home of cricket”, but we reckon when you’re standing on the hill under the 106-year-old scoreboard, the sun is ducking behind the Western Stand, there’s a cold beer in your hand and you’re watching a few overs – the Adelaide Oval is impossible to beat.
This summer, the oval is the arena for an epic, back-to-back WBBL battle between the Adelaide Strikers and the Sydney 6ers who play a double-header on January 2 and 3. Get down and cheer them on from 2pm.
Photo: Adelaide Strikers[/listicle]
(Lead image: JamFactory)[qantas_widget code=ADL]Check out Qantas flights to Adelaide here.[/qantas_widget]
Tim lives life between the coffee-shop and the cinema. He's a writer whose words have appeared in GRAM and Broadsheet, and he operates under the moniker @timmyvolume across most social sites.