The ultimate guide to I Choose SA Day 2018

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By Melissa Keogh

Reckon you’re a fair dinkum South Aussie? Well, prove it!

Saturday, October 27 is I Choose SA Day, an annual celebration of all things South Australian, from Balfours frog cakes to the Mall’s Balls and bung fritz.

But there’s way more to it than that. I Choose SA Day is the day to back your state by choosing local products, goods, services, destinations and activities.

And it won’t be hard to do. SA is home to some of the world’s finest produce and best holiday destinations you’ll find. Our state’s playground comprises some of the oldest vineyards in Australia, funky cellar doors and laneway bars, pristine beaches and coastal hideaways, and stunning natural environments that will take your breath away.

If every SA household put a modest $2.30 a week towards buying local food and beverages, it could support up to 600 new local jobs. So let’s do it on October 27.  Look for the State Brand to ensure the company you’re buying from or dealing with employs locals and contributes to the growth of our state.

So no matter what sort of South Aussie you are – a foodie, a sports nut, a dog lover, a beer drinker, wine aficionado or traveller – we have you covered.

HOW TO CHOOSE SA IF YOU’RE…

A foodie

Foodies need not be reminded how good SA has it when it comes to gastronomic delights. Our state’s capital is home to Orana, the best restaurant in Australia as crowned by the prestigious Good Food Guide Awards.

Then there’s the slick Japanese-inspired Shobosho on Leigh Street in the CBD, stunning South African cuisine at Africola, and the New York-inspired bar and grill Sean’s Kitchen in the Adelaide Casino, just to name a few.

Adelaide’s suburbs are also home to unsuspecting eateries given recent high praise by the New York Times’s Australian bureau. Check out reviews of Parwana Afghan Kitchen in Torrensville, and Mexican delight Taco Quetzalcoatl in Salisbury.

But the big foodie event on October 27 and 28 is CheeseFest+FERMENT. Head along to Rymill Park/Murlawirrapurka in Adelaide to get a taste of all things fermented (e.g. cheese and wine!) You’ll find the I Choose SA toasties, including the delicious classic toasted sanga made with Skara Smallgoods ham, La Casa Del Formaggio mozzarella, and Spring Gully pickles.

In other foodie news, I Choose SA events are also happening at the Adelaide Central Market with cooking demonstrations by Sprout Cooking School.

We’ll also celebrate the launch of the SA strawberry season, with a live auction hosted at the central market by real estate industry’s Anthony Toop on October 27 from 11.45am.

Place your bid on a tray of the season’s first strawberries and show your support for local growers, with all proceeds going to charity.

At Plant 4 Bowden a chef from Jessie Spiby’s restaurant My Grandma Ben will also put on cooking demonstrations.

Pop into your local Foodland to find delicious SA produce and if you’re at the Happy Valley and McLaren Vale stores, spot foodie Bree May cooking up a storm. A number of farmer’s markets are up and running across the state weekends, offering fresh produce from the farm.

I Choose SA toasties (including The Classic, pictured) can be found at CheeseFest+FERMENT on October 27 and 28.

A shopaholic 

There’s no better way to choose SA than at the checkout.

Hit Adelaide’s main shopping precinct, Rundle Mall, to drop by a number of local boutiques and gift shops stocking SA wares, clothing, jewellery and gifts. Adelaide Arcade and Regent Arcade towards the mall’s eastern end are excellent places to browse through small stores stocking local art, makeup, homewares, skincare and gifts.

Womens fashion hub BNKR in Rundle Mall is home to brands under Australian Fashion Labels, one of Adelaide’s greatest fashion success stories. Head to Ebenezer Place in the East End to find more small boutiques.

If you’re not in town for I Choose SA Day or shopping from home is more your style, then hit up Shop South Australia, Brand South Australia’s online marketplace listing only local brands.

A party animal

Head to the buzzing Peel Street in the city’s West End, enter into a battle of the whisky and rums bars on Vardon Avenue or check out Adelaide from a few storeys high at one of the city’s rooftop bars, such as the Mayfair Hotel’s Hennessy or 2KW Bar and Restaurant. Think you’ve seen it all? Here’s 11 bars you might have missed.

Fancy some live music or a bit of a boogie? As a UNESCO City of Music, Adelaide knows how to play a good beat. Head to one of our many longstanding live music venues such as The Gov, The Grace Emily, Jive, Fat Controller, Crown & Anchor, The Exeter, Adelaide Uni Bar or The Jade Monkey.

Pink Moon Saloon on Leigh Street is one of Adelaide’s funkiest laneway gems. Photo: SATC.

A wine aficionado 

With Adelaide, South Australia, a member of the global Great Wine Capital Network and home to some of the country’s oldest vines, our state produces some of the best drops on the planet.

Our wineries are often headed by multi-generational family businesses producing the highest quality wines.

The Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, Coonawarra, Clare Valley, Langhorne Creek and Adelaide Hills can be accessed from the city in a day. Tip: the magical D’Arenberg Cube in McLaren Vale is a must-visit.

A beer drinker

Twist the top off a Coopers, crack the can of a West End or knock the froth off one of our characteristic craft brews.

SA is home to a large gang of brewers – both large and small scale producers – who are pushing the boundaries with brewing and experimenting with new flavours.

If you’re a traditionalist, we recommend the classic Original Pale Ale by the biggest Australian owned brewery, Coopers. If you’re thirsty for something a little funky, here’s 10 SA beers you really need to try.

The Wilkadene Woolshed Brewery on the banks of the Murray River at Murtho is another must-visit. Photo: SATC/Adam Bruzzone.

A sports nut

You’re scoffing down a Balfours pie at Adelaide Oval every fortnight during footy season and sipping on a West End Draught in the peak of summer at the Big Bash League.

You dust off the deadly treadly at Tour Down Under time, you’ve watched the Adelaide Bite baseball team swing a few and you’ve been decked out in pink at Priceline Stadium in true Adelaide Thunderbirds style.

But aside from professional levels, SA also is home to a family of grassroots sporting clubs that often make up the fabric of our suburbs and regional towns.

So head to the local cricket and cheer on your team, have a swing at your local golf club, hit your local swimming centre or go for something a bit niché. Archery anyone?

A café crawler 

Treat yourself on October 27 to a latte, cappuccino, flat white, espresso, long black – however you have it – at one of the dozens, probably even hundreds of cozy cafés throughout SA.

Many of our cafés use local milk from brands like Fleurieu Milk and Tweedvale, and coffee beans roasted locally too. Ask where the muffins, biscuits and slices are made and chances are they’re baked on site or locally. We did all the hard work for you when we hunted down the best coffee spots across the state. Check out our story here.

More of a tea drinker? Check out T BAR, Adelaide’s first tea salon, stocking 120 blends and varieties sourced worldwide.

Avoiding the delicious pastries at La Moka on Peel Street is impossible, just do it. Photo: SATC.

An adventurer

Pack the swag, check the tyre pressure and stock the Esky. SA’s landscapes are a camping, fishing, 4WDing, mountain biking and bushwalking playground.

If going off road is your thing, check out these Top 6 4WD and camping spots in SA, including spots in the Flinders Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, and Limestone Coast.

SA is also renowned for its mountain bike trails, some of them more suited to skilled downhill riders, others appropriate for young families. We also have the Murray River, an ideal spot for water sports, while the state’s coastlines provide some of the top surfing spots.

Want to really lift your heart rate? Go shark cage diving in Port Lincoln and swim with great whites.

Lincoln National Park on the Eyre Peninsula offers a 4WD experience. Photo: SATC.

A dog lover

Take your furry pal to one of these dog-friendly venues we’ve scouted out or treat your pooch to a little something from your local pet supplies store.

Check out SA business Doggy Grub, who make ready-to-eat dog meals made with 100% natural and human-grade ingredients and deliver straight to your door.

Is your four-legged friend easy to please? Hit your local butcher shop and pick up some raw meat bones for them to chew.

A traveller 

Keep the tourism dollars in SA by choosing a local holiday destination for a weekend away.

Explore your own backyard by visiting quintessential country towns, camping under the stars, or even booking a night in a luxurious city hotel.

Jump aboard the SeaLink ferry and fall in love with Kangaroo Island, home to a gin distillery, honey farms, Australian sea lions, cellar doors and conservation parks.

Shuck fresh oysters while paddling your feet in the sea off the Eyre Peninsula’s Coffin Bay, throw a line off the jetty along the Yorke Peninsula, sleep under the stars in the Flinders Ranges, or head underground at opal town Coober Pedy.

You can experience the best of SA and book your next local getaway with RAA Travel. 

A Pure Coffin Bay Oysters boat among the pristine waters of the Eyre Peninsula. Photo by Mark Fitzpatrick.

A local business owner

The best thing you can do to show your support for the state, and let consumers know you’re local, is to grab some of I Choose SA merchandise and run your own activities in store.

Get in touch with the I Choose SA team at [email protected] and let them know what you have planned for the day.

And something for the kids…

Hit the Adelaide or Monarto zoos, support longstanding family business Wallis Cinemas or check out the newly opened Warrawong Wildlife Sanctuary at Mylor in the Adelaide Hills.

Westfield Marion’s Food Hall will also celebrate I Choose SA Day with kids cooking classes, live music and face painting.

Monarto Zoo is the largest open air zoo in the world and will provide a full day of wonder. Photo: Zoos SA.

However you spend I Choose SA Day in 2018, we wanna hear about it!

Snap your local purchase, destination or activity and use the #ichoosesa hashtag, and follow us on Instagram @brandsouthaust, Facebook @brandsouthaustralia and Twitter @brandsouthaust.

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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