Meningie is a small country town in the south east of South Australia, at the northern end of the popular Limestone Coast attractions. Once spelled Minningie (an indigenous word for mud), Meningie is celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2016 with a program of fun things to do for all ages.
Located on the shores of Lake Albert, there are many Meningie attractions for tourists who pass through on this scenic route to Mount Gambier and the eastern states. Water sports including fishing, swimming, kayaking, jet skiing and water skiing are all common, while the nearby Coorong National Park is an unspoiled home for many native birds and animals. For history lovers the Meningie Cheese Factory Museum provides hours of enjoyment for a modest few dollars entry, and you can enjoy a tasty meal in the restaurant afterwards.
Blackstone Engine at Meningie Museum (Image: supplied)
Throughout 2016 the Meningie Progress Association have organised many free events to commemorate the town's 150th birthday. While some are still in the planning stage, here are some of the free things to do that you will find in Meningie during the year.
March 1-31: Exhibition - 150 Years of Art During March the Pelican Gallery in the main street of Meningie is holding an exhibition of 150 Years of Art, with gallery director Catherine Gibbon displaying art from Meningie's last 150 years.
Animals Anonymous at Meningie Food, Fun & Family Fair (Image: supplied)
March 11: Food Fun and Family Fair Come to the Food Fun and Family Fair at the beautiful Lions Jubilee Park on Friday March 11 from 4-9pm for twilight fun and lots of free things to do. With free live music and family entertainment, there's plenty of fun for kids with circus workshops, a climbing wall, live native animals and birds from Animals Anonymous, and a bouncy castle.
Try tasty world foods from Asia, freshly baked goodies from the German Cake Shop made famous last year at the Tour de Cure, or sample the local fish - the delicious Coorong Mullet. Just make sure that the pelicans don't pinch your produce. A history book written by local historian Marianne Cunneen will also be for sale at the fair so that you can take away some memories of Meningie. Why not stay for the weekend, Canoe the Coorong or enjoy some of the other Meningie attractions?
Bus Outside the Meningie Hotel 1950 (Image: State Library SA B62354)
March 26 - May 1: Meningie Art and Photographic Exhibition The Meningie, River, Lakes and Coorong exhibition opens on March 26 at The Chambers gallery. This free event will showcase the natural beauty of the Lakes Albert and Alexandrina, the Coorong, and the River Murray. It finished with a silent auction on May 1 which will help build a new playground at the Meningie Oval.
May 22: Meningie Museum Open Day The Meningie Cheese Factory Museum open day is another of the free things to do during the Meningie sesquicentenary. The Meningie museum opened on the centenary of Federation and tells the history of cheese making and other local industries such as fishing and farming. See a display of tractors and working engines through the ages, and don't miss the special restaurant menu with food from the past.
Shooting at Lake Albert Gun Club (Image from Facebook Page)
October 21-24: Vintage Caravan Club Weekend
Come to the Vintage Caravan Club weekend at the Lake Albert Caravan Park from October 21-24. Quaint vintage caravans from all over the country will gather at the Lake Albert Caravan Park and be open for people to look through. Check the websites for more details.
October 29: Meningie Sesquicentenary Party and Reunion Picnic
Help volunteer community newspaper celebrate The Lakelander celebrate its 40th birthday with a Back to Meningie Reunion and BYO picnic lunch at the Lions Jubilee Park on the shores of Lake Albert, and meet old friends from Meningie again.
During the evening party at the Meningie oval, with free live music, great food and a licensed bar. Details of the event are not yet available but it will be a huge night. Check the website.
Paddle Steamer 'Milang' Near Meningie 1895 (Image: State Library SA B7666)
October 30: Nautical Mail Delivery Re-enactment
Watch a colourful mail re-enactment with a flotilla of boats travelling from Meningie to Milang as well as a breakfast and sailing regatta organised by the Meningie Sailing Club. The flotilla will include old time paddle steamers as well as sailing and motor boats. Some will travel as far as the narrows at Narrung and the Point Malcolm Lighthouse and others will travel across both lakes and finish at Milang. The mail re-enactment will continue through to Adelaide GPO.