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January 22, 2015

How to… long weekend

If the prospect of barbecues, endless chat about Taylor Swift controversies and bumming around at the beach is feeling a little bland, here are some alternate activities for your Australia Day long weekend.

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  • Words: Johnny Von Einem

It’s a long weekend! Australia’s favourite tradition.

For those of you fortunate enough not to be earning the hospitality big bucks, you’re going to need something to do to take up your short-lived free time. These are our picks of the best in food, culture and sport (kind of).

Neon Lobster Five Star Banquet at Alpha Box & Dice

There’s no better way to kick off a long weekend than with a five-course Mexican banquet, courtesy of the best food and wine pairing in the state: The Happy Motel and Alpha Box and Dice.

Friday night is the ticketed main event, with promises of pork, prosecco and pineapple, as well as disco vibes from Surahn and a relaxed attitude toward pants at the dinner table.

The festivities continue free of charge from Saturday to Monday, and if good wine and a Mexican grill aren’t enough to lure you down, live music will be provided by Aiden Jones and Dr. Piffle Reincarnation on Saturday, St Morris Singers on Sunday, and Max Savage and the False Idols on Monday.

Australia Day Weekend Astro Bowls at The Jade Monkey

Cold beer and sports faintly reminiscent of the old English upper class, that’s what summer is all about. The cricket has been going for a while now, so why not mix things up and head to The Jade for a game of astro bowls.

For those unaware, astro bowls is the seldom seen combination of carpet bowls and astroturf, and will be happening this Sunday on The Jade’s specially laid indoor pitch. There’ll be $6 Pale Ales all day and all you need to participate is a team of four and a spare $2 per player. Registration closes at 2:45 and the games begin at 3:00pm.

Spectators can also drift between the action of the astrodome, and the equally alluring arcade games and pinball machines available free of charge.

Wonderwalls at Our Port

It’s natural to be drawn towards water on a long weekend, so when you inevitably end up on a train to Port Adelaide, wander through Wonderwalls as it happens from Friday to Sunday.

The street art festival is bringing an array of local, national and international artists to the Port for punters to marvel at as they’re let loose on their allocated wall space.

There will be walking tours, markets, panel discussions with artists, a laneway street party and the ever-reliable food trucks. For more information head to their website.

Survival Day

If what you’re looking for is a celebration less focussed on the first European boot to touch Australian soil, and more on the resilience of the culture and people who have been here for centuries, then Survival Day at Semaphore will be happy to have you.

Hosted by the Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute, the day is packed with traditional performances, live music, activities for the kids, as well as face painting for the adults, and it’ll finish with fireworks at 9pm.

There’s no better time to reflect on the significance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and people than on the anniversary of that day in 1788 when European colonisers first ignored their existence, and no better way to reflect than with a celebration of survival that involves good people by the beach. Festivities start at 11am and admission is free. For more information see the event page.

Enjoy your Monday off!

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