By Melissa Keogh
No 9am meetings, no peak hour bus commutes, pinging emails or packed soggy lunches.
The Christmas holidays are so close we can smell them, so pack the camper, fill the barbecue gas bottle and prepare to leave the office long behind.
You backed SA all year, you shopped local and supported all things homegrown.
But the number of South Australians choosing to explore their own backyard could do with a boost.
“Our international and interstate visitors are up, but we’re not seeing as many South Australians taking advantage of the great holiday locations right on their doorstep,” says Tourism Minister Leon Bignell.
“SA was named as one the top five regions in the world to visit in 2017 by Lonely Planet, proving there’s no need to visit places like Bali or Thailand when we have some of the best beaches in the world right here in SA.”
So whether it’s a day-trip to Port Elliot (worth the bakery visit alone) or falling off the map for a while at the Innes National Park, choose SA not only as home – but for adventures too.
Why? Because summer in SA is the stuff that childhood memories are made of.
Here’s the Top 6 reasons to choose SA this holiday season.
1. We have the River Murray.
The grand old Murray is a natural beauty winding its way though the Riverland and Murray Mallee before entering the Southern Ocean at Goolwa and the Coorong.
The Murray River is a haven for water-skiers, house-boaters and picnickers.
Bit of a history buff? Many river towns, including Renmark and Mannum, offer rides aboard paddlesteamers which have been chugging along for decades.
2. We have the Yorke Peninsula.
White sandy beaches and freshly caught seafood? Sold.
Only a short drive away, Yorkes is a fisherman’s paradise, beachgoer’s delight and ice cream indulger’s haven. (The Moonta Coffee Barn and Gelateria is a must-visit).
Whether it’s reeling in southern garfish and blue swimmer crabs at Ardrossan or checking out a lighthouse or two at Corny Point or Cape Spencer, the YP is the place for a typical seaside summer getaway.
3. We have laneways.
Peel, Leigh, Bank, Gilbert, Ebenezer. The list goes on.
There’s nothing quite as thrilling as stumbling upon a hidden gem down a narrow laneway.
What’s more satisfying is that you’re bound to sip on local wines, gins, or whiskeys, as most holes in the wall are big on choosing SA. Looking for a new watering hole? Check out 11 bars you might have missed.
4. We have cricket at Adelaide Oval.
Cheer on the Adelaide Strikers at the oval this summer (head to the website for more info).
Even if you lack knowledge of the gentleman’s game the Big Bash League is an easy-to-follow game enjoyed by all.
However, get in quick as tickets are snapped up fast!
5. We have opals.
Coober Pedy is a gem. (See what we did there?)
The Desert Cave Hotel in SA’s fascinating “opal capital of the world” is a unique accommodation experience, with a choice of above-ground or dug-out style living.
Old Timers Mine offers a fantastic insight into the history and labour that the first opal miners endured back in the early days.
Other outback places to visit include the Heritage Blinman Mine, a Mid North copper mine that thrived between the years of 1862 and 1907.
6. We have (really good) wine.
Ever had the dreaded experience of desperately searching an interstate wine menu for an SA drop?
Troubleshoot that problem by never leaving!
With Adelaide being one of the Great Wine Capitals of the world, you’ll never be left dry.
SA’s globally celebrated wineries (of which there are more than 200) offer a range of experiences from cellar door wine tastings to grazing platers piled with fresh, local produce.
We’d love you to share your local holiday sights with us on social media by using the I Choose SA hashtag #ichoosesa
Visit I Choose SA to find out how you can support our State by choosing South Australian businesses, products and services.