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Thursday, 23 October 2008

South Australia Celebrates Festive Season with Perfect Climate in Great Outdoors

South Australia's near perfect climate with sunny days, long evenings and balmy nights in summertime "Downunder" makes it an ideal holiday getaway from Hong Kong and China for the Christmas, New Year and Chinese New Year festive holidays.

The Festive Season is celebrated in the great outdoors with fairs, colorful parades, pageants and picnics.

Nowhere are celebrations more spectacular than the State Capital, Adelaide, where festivities get underway with the annual "Christmas Pageant" on November 8.

As usual, the historic city streets come to a standstill as over 400,000 spectators witness one of the world's largest pageants featuring more than 70 floats, bands and walking sets. This year everyone joining the excitement can also lend a hand in a Guinness World Record attempt at the longest and largest "Mexican Wave".

The current world record was set earlier this year by 168,000 people in Bristol, USA.  With more than 300,000 people attending the pageant, hopes are high of breaking the record along the 6km route as "Adelaide waves to the world".

The 2008 Christmas Pageant is bigger and better than ever, with new floats such as Once Upon a Storybook and Flights of Fancy with Granny Flo and also a new Stardust Castle where Christmas wishes come true!

Christmas is also a time for South Australian's to enjoy the fresh local produce including cherries and strawberries from the Adeliade Hills, apricots, peaches and nectarines from the Riverland and fresh seafood from the Eyre Peninsula and Limestone Coast.

Picking your own strawberries at Beerenberg is a fun activity for family gatherings during the Christmas period and at the farm store you can taste new products as soon as they are released; and jams and condiments from the Farmer's Choice range, are available for purchase.

The Adelaide Hills Cherry Trail also gives you the opportunity to pick your own fresh local cherries, just a short drive from Adelaide. The South Australian cherry season is November to January, with a peak in December which is just perfect for Christmas. Many of these orchards grow more than just cherries. You may find figs, raspberries, apples, plums, apricots and all sorts of jams and preserves there.

For a truly Australian Christmas feast, stock up on the best local seafood from the Adelaide Central Market.  Seafood such as lobster, oysters, prawns, whiting and marron are also in season, making seafood dinners as popular as traditional roast turkey over the festive season.

To explore Australia's food and wine capital, the "Gourmet Tour of Markets & Boutique Wineries" is a unique experience that combines two of South Australia's most significant icons - the famous Adelaide Central Market and the Barossa Wine region, offering a truly exciting food and wine touring experience.

This superb day unfolds with an early start, taste your way through the Adelaide Central Market. Sit back and relax as you enjoy the scenic drive to the Barossa to savour wines of distinction at the best of the regions boutique style wineries. A tour of historic Seppelt Winery culminates in a tutored private tasting and sip of a rare 100 year old port.

Christmas for South Australians is also a time to head for the beach. Adelaide itself boasts more than 30 kilometres of unspoiled sandy beaches with the popular seaside suburb of Glenelg just a 20-minute tram ride from the city centre. In Glenelg, swimming with wild dolphins is one of the best ways to enjoy the Aussie summer.

To satisfy some serious retail therapy, high-end shopping strips and legendary niche businesses offer something perfect for everyone, from iconic chocolatier, Haighs (www.haighschocolates.com.au) and the beauty hub of Jurlique, famed for turning organic herbs from the Adelaide Hills into a range of divine beauty products (www.jurlique.com.au), to legendary outback fitter, R.M. Williams (www.rmwilliams.com.au), and the JamFactory with its awe-inspiring collection of art design, glassware and handcrafted jewellery (www.jamfactory.com.au).

After a day's worth of shopping, head out to one of Adelaide's famed wine bars or cocktail lounges. Described as the most elegant wine bar in Adelaide, The Apothecary 1878 boasts an extraordinary range of wines and quality champagnes, complemented with an upmarket menu inspired by Italian cuisine. An historic feel is carried throughout with rich velvet carpet, mahogany cabinets and imported chandeliers. www.theapothecary1878.com.au

For more information about the many Christmas and New Year events and attractions in South Australia, please visit: www.southaustralia.com

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