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Celebrate Father's Day the South Australian Way

Home > Adelaide > Lists | Fun Things To Do | Father's Day | Family | Weekend Escapes
Published September 3rd 2014
From Wirra Wirra to Urimbirra, we've got dad sorted
Mental note: Father's Day is on the first Sunday of September. That means it just happens to coincide with the Royal Adelaide Show, which begins on the first Friday of September each year. One idea then would be to take him to The Show for a fun dad's day out.

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Happy Father's Day!


If that's too much excitement and he'd prefer a more relaxing Father's Day, then consider a trip to McLaren Vale. The Vale Market is held on the first and third Sunday morning of each month and is a nice place to start the day.

Wine tasting is more or less mandatory in McLaren Vale, but with over 70 cellar doors it's difficult to know where to begin. A few popular places include Wirra Wirra Winery, Hugh Hamilton Winery, and Coriole Vineyards. There are some family-friendly wineries in the region as well.

McLaren Vale also has a few breweries that might be more to his taste. My beer connoisseur of a father sings the praises of Goodieson Brewery, while the Smiling Samoyed in nearby Myponga rates highly too.

When stomachs start rumbling, The Artel Lounge Bar & Restaurant, Bracegirdles at 190, and The Barn Bistro come highly recommended for a bite to eat (best to book in advance though if you're hoping to secure a table on Father's Day).

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Discover the best of McLaren Vale, like tapas at The Artel and Wirra Wirra's big Church Block bottle


Back on the topic of beer; take a trip in the other direction and head to Hahndorf. Not only can you spend the day exploring the sights of the historic town, but also indulge in some taste testing at the Gulf Brewery and a väter day feed at The German Arms Hotel.

Adelaide has some interesting museums that dad might like to check out. Some notable ones that are open on Sunday are the National Motor Museum in Birdwood, South Australian Maritime Museum in Port Adelaide, and the Classic Jets Fighter Museum at Parafield Airport.

It's the first week of spring, so it might be nice to head outdoors and do something active. Take a stroll through Hallett Cove Conservation Park to admire the geological wonders and stunning ocean views. The Boatshed Café is right next door for refreshments, although if it's a meal you're after you'll need to make a booking.

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Take dad for a hike through Hallett Cove Conservation Park


Or take a drive along the Fleurieu Peninsula to Second Valley; it's a beautiful spot by the sea ideal for fishing, snorkeling, and peering into rock pools. On the way, stop at the Myponga Reservoir and Lookout to check out the view.

The dolphin season with Temptation Sailing resumes mid-September, perfect timing to book a date or purchase a gift voucher for him to swim with wild dolphins. To see them at close range and in their natural environment is an incredible experience and one he won't soon forget.

Another opportunity for dolphin and wildlife sightings is on a kayaking adventure. You can Canoe the Coorong together or take a tour of the Adelaide Dolphin Sanctuary and Ships' Graveyard. With enough notice, you can arrange a booking for Father's Day; otherwise a gift voucher is just as thoughtful.

He might be keen to get on the water but not in the water, in which case the One and All quite often holds an open day and a cruise over the Father's Day weekend. You'll need to be organised and book the cruise in advance, but the opportunity to be a pirate for a day makes it worthwhile.

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Enjoy waterfront views at Second Valley, Myponga Reservoir, or with Temptation Sailing


For something different and a bit of a thrill, dad can try his hand at target practice at Marksman Indoor Firing Range. There are several different shooting options and price packages available. It's open every day, but bookings are recommended.

This one's certainly not for everyone, but it does top many a bucket list. If you think he's game, sign dad up to Skydive Adelaide. It's probably wise to gauge his level of enthusiasm for skydiving before forcing him to leap out of an aeroplane – we're aiming for a Father's Day to remember, not one he'd rather forget.

An activity that's equally entertaining, but decidedly less terrifying than skydiving is mini golf. Putt putt, or whatever you choose to call it, guarantees a good time and is an activity the whole family can participate in. Some of the best places to play mini golf are at The Beachouse in Glenelg and the Semaphore Waterslide Complex.

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Feed the kangaroos at Urimbirra Wildlife Park


Another way to spend Father's Day is with the native animals at one of South Australia's wildlife parks. There are a few to choose from, like Cleland Wildlife Park in Crafers, Urimbirra Wildlife Park near Victor Harbor, and Gorge Wildlife Park in Cudlee Creek.

In no way is this an original idea, but it's definitely a classic. If dad is a movie buff or the weather takes a turn for the worse, take him to a Gold Class screening at Event Cinema Marion. It's a little more luxurious than other cinema options and will make him feel like a king, at least for a few hours.

As the saying goes, the way to a man's heart is through his stomach. If this is true then there are lots of fantastic restaurants and cafes in Adelaide where you could take dad for a meal to celebrate Father's Day, just don't forget to make your booking as soon as possible.

Alternatively, a barbecue at the beach or a picnic at the park is always a good way to spend time together. I'm sure you have a favourite spot, but Market Square in Old Noarlunga, the Willunga Rose Garden, Aldinga Beach, or a picnic at Peter Lehmann Wines are nice settings for a family get-together.

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There are lots of nice spots for a picnic, like Willunga Rose Garden, Aldinga Beach, or Market Square


Finally, as a tribute to remember and celebrate the lives of father figures no longer with us, there are Father's Day remembrance services held at various locations around Adelaide, including Centennial Park and Enfield Memorial Park.

That's just a few ways to spend Father's Day in South Australia, but there are plenty more, many of which you'll find with a quick search of Weekend Notes. Just remember, you don't need a reason such as Father's Day to show dad you care, many of these suggestions can take place any time of the year.
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Why? Spend quality time with your dad
When: First Sunday of September
Where: Various locations around Adelaide
Cost: Depends on the activity
Your Comment
I love the giant brick wine bottle.
by Bryony Harrison (score: 4|11560) 1197 days ago
Hello Hayley, my request is always to have a day of peace and quiet (still to receive it) but your suggestion of a day in Hahndorf eating fine food and drinking beer sounds pretty good. I had a shiver run up my back at the mention of skydiving but, other than that, who would have thought you could do so much in and around Adelaide? Regards, Tony
by Tony Dyer (score: 2|449) 1197 days ago
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