By Kaia Wallis
It seems like an eternity, but winter has finally come to an end.
Spring is here.
Now, it’s time to emerge from your cocoon, cancel your Netflix subscription and re-enter the wild – well, at least the outdoors.
From cuddling creatures at the newly re-opened Warrawong Wildlife Sanctuary in the Adelaide Hills, to discovering handmade crafts at the Fullarton Markets, and exploring South Australia’s vast backyard – Spring is set to bring an abundance of events to the state, and there are hundreds of ways to make the most of an SA spring.
Here are 10 of the best!
1. Visit some furry friends
After a five-year closure, Warrawong Wildlife Sanctuary in the Adelaide Hills has re-opened just in time for spring.
Kangaroos, wallabies, bandicoots and potoroos are just some of the animals thriving in the sanctuary.
Gorge Wildlife Park in Cudlee Creek offers free koala holding sessions (at the keeper’s discretion) for visitors, so it’s the perfect place to go for up-close koala encounters.
Kangaroos, wallabies, potoroos and many more furry friends are just 30 minutes away from the Adelaide CBD at Cleland Wildlife Park.
Adventure seekers should head to Monarto Zoo to see rhinos, giraffes and even lions up close.
2. Head to the markets
Food, music, produce, fashion, craft… markets are a gold mine for fun.
Visit Plant 4 Bowden on Saturday mornings for local food, drinks and fun, don’t forget to bring your four-legged friend and enjoy the sun outside.
For fresh produce, home-made crafts and jewellery head to the Fullarton Market on September 22.
After fashion? Head to Gilles at the Grounds in Wayville for vintage goods and local designs.
3. Get festive
SA is the festival state renowned for huge events in food, music and more.
This year I Choose SA Day will coincide with CheeseFest + FERMENT the Festival on October 27, SA made cheese toasties will also be on offer, so you don’t want to miss this one.
Avid gardener? Head to Mt Pleasant for the SA Spring Garden Festival on September 22 running in conjunction with the Mt Pleasant Farmers Market. The festival is full of plants, décor and guest speakers.
OzAsia Festival will return from October 25 – November 11 with a line-up featuring disco dancing Korean grandmothers and acrobatic Shaolin monks.
The event is also bringing back the Moon Lantern Festival on October 27.
4. Food, food, food and wine.
Sure, no one needs an excuse for more food and wine… but it’s nice to have one.
Well, boutique wine centre East End Cellars has just announced lunch and dinner options designed to perfectly complement their signature cheese boards – so don’t forget your appetite.
5. Get outdoors
It’s spring! Which means weekends are no longer reserved for blankets and movies.
Not afraid of some mud? Check out our top 6 4WD and camping spots in SA here.
6. Check out the bar scene
With the days getting longer and the nights not so chilly it’s time to take advantage of Adelaide’s flourishing bar scene.
Stuck on where to go? Here’s 11 Adelaide bars you might have missed.
Plus, we recently sat down with three local small bar owners who spilled their secrets to success here.
7. Visit Port Adelaide
Established in 1840, Port Adelaide is home to impressive 19th-century buildings, wooden ships and a dolphin pod.
Whether you cruise along the historic Port River on the Dolphin Explorer, take a self-guided walk along the Port River Dolphin Trail or brave the waters in a kayak – there are plenty of ways to see the dolphin pod in action.
Or simply grab a coffee from Red Lime Shack and take a walk along the Port.
8. Explore the regions
Take the October long weekend to explore SA’s backyard.
Hop in the car and head to Port Augusta’s Australian Aric Lands Botanic Garden, visit some cuddly alpacas at the Softfoot Sanctuary on the Fleurieu Peninsula or have a drink in the Adelaide Hills.
9. Take in the art scene
Whether it’s a stroll through your neighbourhood or a road trip in the regions – you’re likely to encounter some phenomenal art in both galleries and on street walls.
Jump in the car and head to Tumby Bay on the Eyre Peninsula – where Argentinean artist Martin Ron spent over 400 hours painting the town’s grain silos.
Or, take yourself on a walking tour and explore the Wonderwalls in Port Adelaide – a result of the 2015 and 2017 Wonderwalls street art festivals.
10. Watch the flowers bloom
Of course, no spring itinerary would be complete without a trip to one of the state’s public gardens.
So, grab your camera and explore the Mt Lofty, Wittunga or Adelaide botanic gardens, find sanctuary at the Japanese styled Himeji Gardens in Adelaide or simply visit your local park for a picnic.
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.