1. Santa gets here first
Despite being about as far away from the North Pole as you can get – 14,000km away in fact – Santa starts in South Australia early, presumably so he has a shorter trip home on Christmas morning.
Kids will wake up almost a day earlier than their counterparts on the West Coast of the United States, opening their presents ahead of most of the world. Santa even makes it to the most remote places in South Australia, like the Outback Indigenous community of Watson – pulling in on the blue and gold Indian Pacific transcontinental train.
2. Sustainable Seafood with low mileage
Nothing says a Southern Hemisphere Christmas celebration more than fresh seafood on a hot day. South Australia has both in abundance. Summer temperatures average 28C and the fisheries – prawns, crabs and oysters – make up an affordable Christmas feast for most families. There's also the highly prized rock lobster (we call it crayfish) for a more extravagant meal.
The best thing? It's all sustainably sourced from our pristine waters. The Spencer Gulf King Prawn Fishery was the first king prawn fishery in the world to gain the Marine Stewardship Council certification for sustainability. Most of the fisheries in South Australia are rigorously managed by organisations like in Primary Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA)cooperation with industry bodies – after all, the industry can only survive if the catch does too.
If you're feeling adventurous, you might even try your luck tracking down some rare native Angasi oysters that are being revived by oyster farmers on the Yorke Peninsula. It's a whole new taste experience.
South Australia produces some of the best wine in the world. There are the flagship names like Penfolds Grange and Hill of Grace, but countless others are making great drops of their own.
The Barossa Valley alone has over 80 cellar doors and 150 wineries. When you add the Clare Valley, McLaren Vale, Langhorne Creek, Coonawarra, Riverland, Adelaide Hills and many other regions, it makes for more wine than you'll ever be able to try.
For a quick sample of the state, stop by the National Wine Centre on the edge of the Adelaide CBD to try up to 120 wines – Australia's biggest wine tasting experience. Even better, take a bus trip to one of the regions and bring home a case of white so it's sitting chilled in the fridge ready for a warm Christmas day at the beach. Speaking of which…
4. Endless white sand beaches
There is more than 5,000 kilometres of coastline in South Australia. City beaches like Henley, Semaphore and Glenelg are easy to access and will doubtless be crowded and festive for the holiday season.
Drive out of town and you'll find countless beautiful (and often empty) beaches to enjoy. Surfers routinely head out to the Yorke Peninsula to catch waves on Pondalowie, West Cape, Trespassers and out by Corny Point, or even more remote and impressive waves at Cactus Beach near the edge of the Nullarbor pass the Eyre Peninsula.
For families or those looking to enjoy a laid back day (and a glass of that top-notch white wine), there's plenty to choose from. Marion Bay or the secluded Shell Beach on Yorke Peninsula are a good starting point, or Aldinga and Sellicks Beach are even closer to Adelaide, south of the city on the Fleurieu Peninsula. Go a little further and there's the Cape Jervis ferry to Kangaroo Island – with even more perfect shorelines to explore.
5. Up in (renewable) lights
We know a good light show when we see one. Christmas lights are a common sight in Adelaide at this time of year, and a short drive out of the city into the Adelaide Hills to Lobethal will bring you a country town that fills its streets with colours. The best thing is that – thanks to a robust mix of renewable energy, they're some of the most environmentally friendly lights in Australia. Can't beat that for a guilt-free spectacle.Jump to next article