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Fork on the Road is Adelaide's favourite food festival on wheels, but is mostly found in Adelaide's CBD. The free wheeling food trucks have infrequently found themselves far from the city, to date only in the western suburbs of Port Adelaide and Bowden.
That's about to change! In October Blackwood's beautiful Wittunga Botanic Garden celebrates its 40th birthday, having first opened to the public in 1975. Once owned by the Ashby family, Wittunga was donated to the state in 1965. While there's no promise of free birthday cake, our fabulous foodie fleet will flock to feed the famished at Wittunga in their first foray south of Adelaide.
Four Generations of Ashbys at Wittunga Gates in 1925 (Image: State Library SA B 70984/26)
This free event will have all the party atmosphere of a normal Fork on the Road, but visitors will be also greeted with a fanfare of live music from the Band of SA Police. Wittunga Botanic Garden is perfectly placed for pleasing plenty of people while they picnic in this perfect setting of plants from Australia and South Africa. Large lawn areas allow plenty of room for playing with the kids, while there are little romantic retreats for escaping the crowd if you would enjoy more seclusion.
A Fork on the Road would not live up to its name without free children's entertainment, and all the regular fun for kids will be on offer at Wittunga Botanic Garden. But for this special Fork in the foggy foothills it's particularly appropriate that Nature Play SA will be encouraging mud play for kids with a Mud Kitchen for the young ones to experiment. Expect recipes like mud meringue, dirt doughnuts, silt sausages, and clay cookies to be popular on the day. Bringing some spare clothes might be a good idea.
Forkers without toddlers to tend will enjoy watching the ducks (no feeding please), perhaps some performers, following the Naming Trail to learn how plants were named, and admiring the beautiful gardens. Wittunga Botanic Garden is a popular wedding venue too, you never know when and why you will be back here.
Unfortunately the fun police set a few rules in Botanic Gardens so please remember that cycles, scooters and skateboards are simply stopped - not allowed in Wittunga Botanic Garden. Cats are contraband, bunnies are banned, and dogs are disapproved. In fact don't bring any pets please. And no picking flowers either!
Wittunga's 40th birthday is a free event on Saturday October 17 from 12-4pm. Parking is normally quite limited at Wittunga but special arrangements are being made on the day. Of course locals will strut their stuff down the hill from Blackwood, but Wittunga is also very accessible by train from Coromandel railway station if you want to use public transport.