The great thing about Father's Day in Australia is it falls on the first Sunday of September. This provides a second opportunity for folks like me who have missed the June occasion observed in other countries, to remember and appreciate Dad. Instead of buying the usual wallet, tablet or electric drill, I decided to make best use of his visit with me in Australia to spend some quality time together. Thus began my search for the best places and activities to spoil Dad on Father's Day across Melbourne, Adelaide, Sydney, Gold Coast, Brisbane and the surrounds of Victoria, South Australia, New South Wales and Queensland. Here are some of the Father's Day Offers I found to make Dad feel special on Sunday, 2 September in Adelaide and South Australia.
Angas Plains Wines
Collage of Angas Plains Wines / Image courtesy of Angas Plains Wines
South Australia is synonymous with quality Australian wine and it is no different at this humble vineyard rated 5 stars by James Halliday's Australian Wine Companion since 2010. With dad being somewhat of a wine aficionado, Angas Plains Wines is sure to please. Located in the Langhorne Creek wine region, just 50 minutes' drive Southeast of Adelaide, Angas Plains Wines is a family business owned by Phillip and Judy Cross, who are very passionate about producing quality wines. Customer favourites include their Special Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Emily Cross Shiraz, Unwooded Chardonnay, Sparkling Chardonnay and Sparkling Cabernet Sauvignon. Their PJ's Shiraz 2008 won a Gold Medal at the 2010 Royal Sydney Wine Show and received a 95 points rating from James Halliday's Australian Wine Companion in 2011.
Despite the bustle in the vineyard and weekends hosting a wedding, Judy informed me that she still managed to decanter something special for dads on Father's Day. Firstly her chef will be cooking a special 3-course lunch at only AUD35 for adults and AUD15 for children under 12 years, commencing at 11am. Secondly, vigneron Philip will be hosting a free tasting of his complete range of wines and sharing stories about each in the cellar door. Dad can choose his favourite from the Angas Plains Wines range and enjoy a glass of it with his lunch. Bookings are essential.
If water and dad are not best mates, then encounters with Australian Sea lions, Southern Bluefin Tuna and the Great White Shark will have him holding his breath in awe. To help dad become Aquaman for a day, I spoke to Matt Waller, owner of Adventure Bay Charters which offers some of South Australia's best water-based wildlife encounters.
Come face to face with the Great White / Image courtesy of Adventure Bay Charters
Family owned and operated, Adventure Bay Charters is the most awarded tourism operator in Port Lincoln and South Australia's 2010 and 2011 Best Adventure Tourism Award company. Matt informed me that he is offering a souvenir hat and stubby holder to all dads, readers and my subscribers who Swim with the Great White at AUD295 on Father's Day. Simply mention "Lionel's Father's Day Special" when booking to receive this offer.
For a spicy Father's Day, you don't have to go as far as India. The Spice Kitchen, established in 1989 brings authentic Indian food, recipes, spice blends and chutneys to Adelaide and South Australia. 'The Dhaba' developed as a casual eating place with a seasonally changing menu allows dad and you to explore the many flavours of Indian cuisine by providing regional home-style, street foods, peasant, Tandoori and fine dining recipes all under the one roof. At this 2009 and 2012 South Australian Best Indian Restaurant, each dish is cooked from scratch and there are no bulk cooked meats. Their labour intensive cuisine may be slightly more expensive but there are no short cuts to real Indian food.
A journey of Indian cuisine at The Dhaba / Image courtesy of Spice Kitchen
Chef Director Ragini Dey recommends his Kerala Pot Roasted Duck with egg, cashew nut and spice filling and tamarind palm syrup gravy, the Four Vindaloos of Beef, Beetroot, Pork neck, Goat mince and Eggplant, and also Mumbai's favourite Baby Goat Biriyani of tender fall-apart meat pieces with layered basmati rice, coriander, mint and fried onions. For Father's Day, Ragini is offering a special one-off blend of his rare and unique spices with orders of food on the day. Reservations are essential.
You can't visit Adelaide without bringing dad to jail, literally. A major part of Adelaide's heritage from the time of the early settlers till modern days, the Adelaide Gaol is one of the two oldest public building in the city. Adelaide Gaol Preservation Society Inc. established in 1989 supports the South Australian Government in promoting and preserving the Adelaide Gaol as an educational museum, a major tourist attraction and a valuable part of South Australia's heritage.
The Society, headed by current President Michael Atkinson MP and his volunteers, run a selection of authentic guided Gaol Tours including History Tours, Ghost tours and Twilight Tours. Dad can enjoy stories of the Gaol's history on Sunday at 11am, 12pm or 1pm. Bookings are essential.
If dad has been raving about his youth culture of surfing, cars, and romance in the 1960s, The Beach Boys Australia Tour will help his California dreaming come true on Father's Day. Adelaide's premier live entertainment venue, the Adelaide Entertainment Centre (AEC) will be the stage for Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston and David Marks to celebrate the iconic band's 50th anniversary.
The Beach Boys 50th Anniversary / Image by annendale of Flickr
Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988 and recipients of The Recording Academy's Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award, The Beach Boys recently reformed, performing together at the Grammy Awards earlier in 2012 and releasing a new studio album, "That's Why God Made The Radio". These band mates in their 60s and 70s will take dad on a sonic déjà vu, to 'Think About The Days' with 'Summer's Gone'. Suddenly its 1965 all over again and dad will 'Dance Dance Dance' the night away. Tickets retail from AUD99.90.
Why? Dads can be a tough lot to buy gifts for. This Father's Day I've decided to find the best ways to spend quality time with dad in Australia. Here are some interesting ways I've found to spoil dad on Father's Day in Adelaide and South Australia.