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Home > Adelaide > Community Events | Escape the City | Free | Museums | Weekend Escapes
by Jenny Rossiter (subscribe)
Writer, photographer, educator, explorer of places new, with a passion for adding fun back into life.
Event: -
Meningie 150 - the Main Celebration
Meningie 150, Lake Albert
Lake Albert Shore, Meningie

The year 2016 marks 150 years of settlement in Meningie. Meningie has enjoyed many celebrations this year. However, the biggest celebration in this Coorong town is yet to come. On the last weekend in October the town is planning a monster celebration that includes kites, carp throwing, lighthouses, paddlewheelers, steam trains, history, raft regatta, vintage vehicles, dancing, boat races, plants, a historical mailrun and more!

Meningie 150
Look out for the commemorative hay bales and you will know you are getting {L-R} close, closer, Meningie!

All Things Floral and Newsworthy
Gardeners will enjoy the living floral display by Meningie Garden Club on the corner of Narrung Road and the Princes Highway. Orana Melaleuca Nursery will be celebrating 40 years and holding an open day on Saturday the 29th October in conjunction with the local Community Newspaper, The Lakelander, which also turns 40. Both are on the Princes Highway, The Lakelander Office at 74 Princes Highway and Orana Melaleuca Nursery next door at number 76. The main street will bloom with colourful geraniums, pelargoniums and flowering annuals in celebration of the anniversary.

Orana Melaleuca Nursery, Meningie 150

Catch the Light
The highlight of the weekend will be the beam shining from Point Malcolm lighthouse on Friday 28th October. This will be the first time the lighthouse has shone its light since September 1931.

Point Malcolm Lighthouse, Goolwa, Milang, Meningie, Meningie 150, Historical Mail Run
Point Malcolm Lighthouse shines again.

Travel over on the Narrung Ferry which will be celebrating with pretty 'ferry lights'. Another highlight of the weekend is the Old Style Dance at Narrung Hall from 7.00 - 11.00pm on Friday the 28th October.

Narrung Ferry, Point Malcolm Lighthouse, Meningie 150
The Narrung Ferry will have fairy lights.

The Saturday night celebrations Yuntowalurmi - will be hosted by Ernie Dingo and Adam Hurle. Yuntowalurmi is the Ngarrinjeri word meaning 'coming together for a special event or occasion'. Music will be provided by one of South Australia's premier vocal dance bands, Sound Factory. Lead singer Heidi Rilstone was a local Meningie girl. The Wild Matildas Bush Band will call dances and get the audience on their feet. They will be joined by two local bands, Rritjarukar (Willy Wagtails) and The Regulators. Families will be treated to the biggest fireworks display ever held in Meningie at 9.00pm.

Tickets are available from and are priced at $30 for adults, $25 concession and $10 for students. Under 14s are free.

The Historical Mail Run
An historical mail run has been planned to include travel on road, rail and lake. The Oscar W will depart carrying a bag of mail written by the general public. Special Meningie 150 stamps have been produced. The mail journeys to Milang by paddleboat, to Strathalbyn by vintage vehicle, boards the Steam Ranger for a train ride and finally arrives at the Adelaide GPO in a vintage postal van on Monday morning.

Oscar W, Goolwa, Milang, Meningie, Meningie 150, Historical Mail Run
Oscar W will carry a Meningie 150 commemorative mail bag.

Summary of Events

Point Malcolm Lighthouse lights up 5.30 - late

Narrung Ferry is decked out in 'Ferry lights' sundown - late

Old Style Dance, Narrung Hall, 7.00 - 11.00pm


Open Day celebrating 40 years for The Lakelander, 74 Princes Highway, 10.00 am - 12.00pm.

Open Day celebrating 40 years for Orana Melaleuca Nursery, 76 Princes Highway 10.00am - 12.00pm.

Wadmore House 150th birthday anniversary. The oldest existing building in Meningie will be open 10.00am - 12 noon, with guided tours through all three venues available.

Back to Meningie Reunion. Class and family reunions in the Lions Jubilee Park, BYO picnic, 10.00am - 3.00pm.

Lions Jubilee Park, Meningie 150
Meningie Lions Jubilee Park

Catamaran yacht race from Milang to Meningie.

Trailor Sailor race from Narrung to Meningie.

Yuntowalurmi (150 Celebration Party), featuring live music and fireworks, Fiebig road (adjacent the Meningie Cheese Factory), 3.00pm - 1.00am.

Oscar W and other paddleboats arrive during the afternoon.

Cheese Factory, Meningie, Meningie 150
{L-R} Cheese Factory Museum, park hosting Yuntowalurmi, Cheese Factory


A Pop-Up Post Office will appear at the Sailing Club for a mail re-enactment.

The Oscar W will depart surrounded by a flotilla of boats, and carrying a bag of mail bound for the Adelaide GPO.

Purchase a Meningie 150 special commemorative envelope and stamp and send a letter which will travel by boat (to Milang), vintage vehicle (to Strathalbyn), Steam Ranger (to Mt Barker) and vintage mail van to the GPO.

Steam Ranger, Meningie 150, Meningie, Lake Albert, Lake Alexandrina
Steam Ranger will carry the mail.

A fishing competition, carp throwing competition and unpowered raft regatta are planned for the Sailing Club.

A vintage car display and lunch will be available at the Coorong Mechanical Restoration Club.

OPAL Kite festival, 10.00am - 2.00pm, on the Meningie Area School oval.

Meningie Area School, Meningie 150
Meningie Area School oval

Birdlife and Strange History
Meningie is well known for its pelicans, but did you know that it is also famous for an ostrich? South Australia's sole bushranger, John Francis Peggotty, was a particularly short man who started his 'career' by stealing from the homes of wealthy Londoners and using the chimney as his get-away. He sailed to Australia in 1890 and continued to exploit his short stature and life of crime as a bushranger in the Coorong. His signature get-away was an ostrich that had been set free when ostrich feathers became unfashionable.

Pelicans, Birdman of the Coorong, John Francis Peggotty, Meningie, Meningie 150
Birdlife and The Birdman of the Coorong

The Birdman of the Coorong, as Peggotty became known, was responsible for many a robbery and a murder or two. He was shot in 1899 while escaping into the sand dunes on his long legged ostrich. His body, and his hoard of gold and jewellery have never been found.

A Bird's Eye View
The lookout at the end of East Terrace has 360 degree views of the town and lake. The lookout has a carpark and short uphill walk with a single flight of stairs. It is signposted from the Princes Highway.

Meningie Lookout
Meningie Lookout

Accommodation Options
A list of B&B's, caravan parks, motels, hotels and even chapels available for accommodation for the weekend is available on the Meningie 150 site.

Chapel, Meningie 150, Meningie
Stay in a chapel from yesteryear.

All photographs by JA Rossiter

Find the full calendar of events here.
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Why? See Meningie shine a light on its history.
When: Friday 28th October - Sunday 30th October
Where: Meningie, South Australia
Cost: Free
Your Comment
Great article Jenny - I'll be there! :)
by Paula McManus (score: 3|3656) 1588 days ago
Great shot of Paddle Boat.Nice little town Meningie.Pleasant caravan park by lake,with good sunsets at times.Pelicans use to frequent Jubilee Park and take your lunch if you were not watching.Good base for taking a look at the Coorong.
by noelp (score: 3|1199) 1598 days ago
Great first photo and a good roundup of info in this article. Well done! Do you know on a stinking hot summer day in Adelaide, Meningie can be surprisingly cooler with the breeze being cooled over the lake. This looks a great weekend.
by Kat May (score: 3|1434) 1588 days ago
What a fantastic lineup of activities. The people of Meningie have obviously been working very hard to pull this together.
by Gayle Beveridge (score: 3|8057) 1602 days ago
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