This Easter long weekend you'll find a wide range of family-friendly carnivals, festivals and events all around South Australia.
BY SAM SMITH
While we can’t deny the lure of everyone’s favourite chocolate-dropping rabbit, there are a whole lot of reasons to head further afield this Easter long weekend, before and after the big egg hunt.
From horse racing carnivals to beachside picnics; kite festivals to cockroach racing (yes, cockroach racing), in South Australia, you’re bound to find an event that takes your fancy this Easter.
Oakbank Easter Racing Carnival, Saturday 26 March and Monday 28 March
Oakbank Easter Racing Carnival is a South Australian tradition, set in the picturesque Adelaide Hills. Located at Oakbank Racecourse (46 Oakwood Road, Oakbank) among leafy canopies and historic architecture, it’s just a 25 minute drive away from Adelaide’s CBD.
Renowned as the world’s biggest picnic race meeting, the Oakbank Easter Racing Carnival runs all day on Saturday and Monday of the Easter long weekend and attracts over 60,000 picnickers each year. Bring a rug, some chairs, a plate or two and a bottle of your favourite wine, or treat your tastebuds to gourmet food and drink from one of the event’s many vendors. There are plenty of spots to park-up and kick-back around the course, and a kids’ zone to keep younger attendees entertained.
Don’t want to drive? Link SA runs a bus service from multiple locations to and from the event. Buses can be booked through the Link SA website.
Tickets are $30 for adults, $15 for concession, $10 for children and $60 for families. For more information, see the Oakbank Racing Club website.
O'Dea Electrical Clare Easter Races, Saturday 26 March
The Clare Valley is one of South Australia’s most beautiful regions, famous for its meandering laneways, world-class wineries, rolling hills and charming countryside villages. It’s also home to the O’Dea Electrical Clare Easter races, held on Saturday 26 March at the Clare Valley Racing Club (Corner of Stradbrooke Road and Main North Road, Clare). The Racing Club is tucked away just north of the Clare township, nestled between vineyards.
You’ll find gourmet food and wine stalls, multiple jumping castles, fairy floss and kids activities to keep the whole family entertained throughout the day. There’s also plenty of grownup entertainment, with prominent Adelaide DJs hitting the track post-race to keep the party pumping.
General admission is $20 per person, and buses will be running to and from the Taminga Hotel in Clare throughout the day. For more information, see the Clare Racing Club website.
Clare Valley grape vines.
Shottesbrooke Cellar Door Afternoon Delights, Sunday 27 March
Let McLaren Vale lure you this Easter with Shottesbrooke Cellar Door Afternoon Delights. Held from 11am till 5pm in the decadent cellar door estate’s courtyard, it’s a treat for the tastebuds with fine food, delicious wine and fantastic live music aplenty.
Taste exclusive Shottesbrooke wine varieties, available by the glass and bottle, as well as unique local cuisine courtesy of the Current Shed restaurant. There’s plenty of entertainment for the kids too, with free activities running throughout the day.
Tickets are $15 for adults and include a take-home wine glass. Tickets for children 2 years and over are $5 and come with a free activity pack.
Booking for this event is essential; click here to access a booking form. Alternatively, you can call 08 8383 0002 or email at email@example.com.
For more information about Shottesbrooke Cellar door, visit the Shottesbrooke website.
Meadows Easter Fair, Friday 25 March, Monday 28 March
Aptly named Meadows is one of the Adelaide Hills’ prettiest towns, full of quaint craft shops, historic buildings, wineries and bakeries. Its Easter Fair, held from March 25 to March 28 at the Meadows Memorial Hall, is a community showcase with 100 stalls selling crafts, collectibles, fresh produce and plants.
Admission is free, as is parking, with a large range of food on offer and shady picnic areas, perfect for afternoon lazing. The fair runs from 9am till 4pm each day and was awarded Community Event of 2012 at the 2013 Australia Day awards.
For more information, see the Meadows Easter Fair website.
Seacliff Easter Family Fun Day, Saturday 26 March
Bring the family to Seacliff – one of Adelaide’s most popular beachside precincts – on Easter Saturday for the Seacliff Easter Family Fun Day.
Running from 12pm till 4pm pm, Saturday 26 March at Angus Neill Reserve, there will be a number of great events for the whole family including an Easter egg relay and petting zoo as well as face painting, magicians, live performances, games with prizes and competitions.
There will be a sausage sizzle, drinks and cakes to satisfy rumbly tummies, and market stalls to keep parents occupied. Easter bunny will hop in at 2pm, so be sure to stick around!
Entry is $15 per child; for more information, see Weekend Notes.
Beach views from Adelaide's sunny Seacliff.
Brick-a-laide, Friday 25 March, Saturday 26 March
South Australia's most exciting LEGO event, Brick-a-laide, is returning to Adelaide from March 25 to 26 at the Adelaide Convention Centre. Lose yourself in intricate miniature worlds. This year’s highlights include a USS OGEL WW2 Battle Cruiser replica measuring over 4 metres long, a gigantic collaboratively-built space scene and sprawling city display, constructed with the utmost attention to detail.
Star Wars fans will be in heaven, with Empire and Rebels troops running rampant. See battles played-out in front of you with multiple displays including an epic Star Destroyer. Inspired? You’ll find a range of traders, selling some seriously cool sets.
Brick-a-laide runs in hour-long blocks, so it’s important to book your tickets in advance. Sessions run from 8:30am to 4:30pm on both days. You’ll begin by exploring the exhibition area, before making your way to the games area. This is where you can chat to traders and pick up your own sets. After this head to the Brick Café for a great range of refreshments.
General admission for visitors 16 years and older is $11, children aged 2 to 15 cost $6 and children under 2 are free. Please note, there is a $4.95 booking fee.
For more information and to book tickets, see the Brick-a-laide website.
Blenheim Festival, Friday 25 March
Blenheim Festival is a fantastic mix of camping, music and culture, set among the rolling hills and beautiful vineyards of the Clare Valley. Spend the weekend with 20+ talented international, interstate and SA bands and 1500 fellow festival-goers.
Blenheim Festival is a privately run, not-for-profit festival, with the aim to show-off local and international musicians’ talents and raise funds for New Hope Cambodia. You’ll also find a range of mouth-watering food stalls, markets and bars throughout.
For more information, see the Blenheim Festival website.
Cadell Harvest Festival, Saturday 26 March
Proudly left-of-centre, Cadell’s Harvest festival is the place to be this Easter if you’re in the mood for something a little different. Held at Cadell Oval in South Australia’s Riverland, the Harvest Festival runs from 1pm to 7pm and features events such as orange and grape throwing, carp tossing and cockroach racing.
There’s also a giant pumpkin competition, an Easter egg hunt for the kids, live entertainment, wine tasting, food stalls, market produce and cooking demonstrations from 3pm till 4:40pm by Masterchef’s Callum Hann and dietician Themis Chryssidis.
Entry is $4 for adults and children under 15 get in for free. For more information, visit the Cadell website
Callum Hann and Themis Chryssidis, ready to cook up a storm at the Cadell Harvest Festival.
Adelaide International Kite Festival, Saturday 26 March, Monday 28 March
Look to the skies on Easter Saturday and Sunday for the Adelaide International Kite Festival, held from 11am till 5pm at the sunny Semaphore foreshore. See kites of all colours, shapes and sizes twist, turn and fill the sky with colour, with professional international flyers from Florida and New Zealand representing their countries.
Of course, you’ll find interstate and local kite flyers too, as well as a festival marketplace with stallholders selling their wares and running activities throughout the day.
For more information, check out the City of Port Adelaide Enfield website.
Coober Pedy Opal Festival, Friday 25 March, Saturday 26 March
Jewel of the desert, Coober Pedy, will come to life over the Easter long weekend with the Coober Pedy Opal Festival.
The event kicks off on Friday night with a special 8pm screening at the Hutchinson Street drive-in, then it’s live music at the Desert Cave Hotel.
Hit the streets on Saturday for a colourful street pageant, kicking off at 11am until noon. At 12, the Opal Festival officially begins with a wide range of food and drinks, jumping castle, obstacle course, water slide, story-telling and spectacular fireworks at 9pm. For those wanting to party-on, there will be live music and entertainment at the Dersert Cave Hotel again, from 8pm.
For more information, see the Coober Pedy Opal Festival website
Coober Pedy's stunning Breakaways.