As we head into the summer season, South Australia comes alive with outdoor events, music festivals and alfresco dining at some of the state’s favourite food spots. And, if you’re looking for an excuse to escape the city, one of SA’s beloved regions, McLaren Vale and the Fleurieu Coast—with its pristine beaches and premium wineries—is transforming into a vibrant hotspot of activities with its Encore Summer Activation Series.
The Encore Summer Activation Series brings 90 days of Summer vibes, welcoming an exciting array of market stalls, entertainment, outdoor bars and dining pop-ups for all South Aussies to enjoy.
Whether you’re a local, a newcomer, or just visiting our beautiful state, there really is something for everyone, with free entry and a family-friendly atmosphere. Fill your summer social calendar with fun and flavour with our top picks below.
Aldinga Beach is the perfect location to reconnect with nature as you take in the long stretch of Silver Sands, with breathtaking views of the coastline and panoramic sunsets. Also home to the Silver Sands Beach Club, you can drive directly onto the beach with a beach pass and spend the day kickin’ back with friends and family.
At Aldinga Beach, embrace the stunning coastline views and indulge in the delicious offerings of Pizzateca Beach from the beloved pizza makers of the recently awarded Best Pizza Restaurant in South Australia, Pizzateca.
Launching on December 15th, this fully-licenced pizza pop-up will be open on selected dates from 4-11 pm, serving hand-made pizzas and cold beer from the Oztalia Bar, making it an ideal spot for a summer picnic while enjoying breathtaking SA sunsets.
Known for their traditional, Neapolitan-style pizzas, this year will see the addition of the newly launched Gelateca gelato at their famed beach pop-up, made by Italian-born gelato maker Andrea Calabrese, who hand-crafts the delicious desserts.
Where: End of Norman Road, foreshore.
When: 15 Dec 2023 – 28 Jan 2024, 4 pm-11 pm.
Christies Beach is a unique beachside shopping precinct in a picture-perfect coastal setting—the perfect spot to get your retail therapy fix. With a popular patrolled surf beach, ideal for water and beach activities, it’s also a snorkelling hot spot with the stunning Witton Bluff reef.
TJS TWILIGHT MARKETS
Located in Rotary Park, the TJS Twilight Markets will be held fortnightly on Fridays from 5-9 pm overlooking the beach. With market stalls that include homewares, jewellery, fashion, and everything in between, there’ll be a stack of food vendors every evening and a playground and grassed park to help keep the kids entertained.
TJS Twilight Markets
Where: Rotary Park.
When: 3 Nov 2023 – 22 Mar 2024, fortnightly on Fridays, 5 pm to 9 pm.
Locals and visitors to Onkaparinga are in for a treat with the SandBAR, an exclusive Summer venue bringing local craft beer, wine, spirits, and live entertainment to the beautiful Christies Beach. The SandBAR features a relaxed, chilled-out vibe, fitted with timber furnishings, lending itself to a rustic beachside charm complete with a picket fence, benches, barrels, and tables with umbrellas to provide shade on those sunny days.
With the perfect combination of live acoustic music and panoramic ocean views, you will enjoy breathtaking sunsets from the cliffs, just 50 metres from the water’s edge. No reservations are needed; just stroll on in and experience the true essence of summer.
Where: The Esplanade.
When: 1 Dec 2023 – 25 Feb 2024, Thursdays to Sundays from 12 midday.
The small seaside town of Moana offers a patrolled sandy beach with beginner surfing waves, a surf club, the popular Deep Blue Café and a caravan park tucked behind the sand dunes providing direct access to the beach.
GOOD VIBES @ PORTAL 58
Moana’s Good Vibes @ Portal 58 combines wood-fired pizza, cheeseboards, local wine and beer, all complemented by great tunes and kids’ games. It’s a perfect family outing spot. Spend lazy summer days relaxing on the lush lawns, listening to the waves roll in on the expanses of soft Moana beach sand.
Good Vibes @ Portal 58
Where: Nashwauk Crescent Reserve.
When: 1 Dec 2023 – 25 Feb 2024, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 2 pm.
Port Noarlunga, where the Onkaparinga River meets the sea, is the perfect spot for fun in the sun. Where swimming, paddling a kayak, snorkelling, or diving the spectacular reef and fishing from the jetty are part of the good life and all within walking distance from a delightful main street, full of coastal village vibe.
Experience a taste of South Beach Miami right here in South Australia at Port Noarlunga’s Cabana Club during the Encore Summer Activation Series.
Returning seven days a week, this unique beach pop-up bar located right on the Esplanade will serve up local beers and wines, craft cocktails and colourful entertainment, guaranteed to get you moving in your seat or grooving on the dancefloor. With uninterrupted views of the stunning Port Noarlunga vista, swing by and enjoy a feed or a cheeky cocktail or two as you celebrate the beauty of summer here in SA.
Where: The Promenade, Mamma Carmela’s.
When: 20 Dec 2023 – 28 Jan 2024, open from midday.
Willunga is a town where history and heritage blend perfectly with cool hipster and hippy vibes, complete with galleries, studios, op shops and other retro stores. If you’re hungry after all your exploring, enjoy a feed and bevvy in one of the various cafés, pubs, and restaurants.
SUMMER IN THE SQUARE
Summer in the Square is a cultural feast with markets, twilight events, and live music set in the charming ambience of Willunga Town Square. Showcasing local artists and makers inspired by the Willunga and Fleurieu Peninsula region, Summer in the Square allows you to connect with the artists directly whilst you watch them work and kick back under the leafy canopy as you enjoy great coffee and live entertainment.
Summer in the Square
Where: Willunga Town Square.
When: 1 Dec 2023 – 25 Feb 2024. Every Saturday morning throughout summer. Plus Twilight Markets Dec 1, Jan 12 & Feb 9 and Art in the Square Feb 25.
The Encore Summer Series is a must-visit summer destination that features returning favourites like Pizzateca Beach and The SandBAR, along with new additions, including Good Vibes @ Portal 58. If you want to make a weekend of it, why not book accommodation in the McLaren Vale and Fleurieu Coast and explore all this beautiful South Australian region has to offer?
Prepare for an unforgettable summer with the Encore Summer Activation Series—where every day promises a new adventure and endless fun perfect for the whole family.
For more details and to plan your visit, head to www.valeandcoast.com.au/encore.