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This is nothing unusual for us as we get to most shows in Adelaide during the year. This time we went along on Friday – the first day of the show at Adelaide Showgrounds.
The 4WD & Adventure Show is the biggest outdoor show of this kind (4WD & Boat) in Adelaide, so it does have the highest ticket price. But you are getting two shows for the price of one! $18 for adults, $14 for concessions and $9 for children aged 12-15 years (free for under 12’s) will get you your tickets online. Expect to pay about a $1 extra for gate ticket prices.
Purchasing tickets online does come with a 6-month free digital subscription to Pat Callington’s 4WD Magazine if you want to opt in. It also includes entry to win the shows Adventure Chest of Prizes – something you can also enter on the iPads at the show.
Be careful of the booking charges related to purchasing online. A booking fee of $2.50 + 2.5% could end up being more expensive in some situations so it’s worth spending a minute working it out. If you want the free magazine subscription though – it’s worth it and that’s what we did.
It’s also a bit strange that the kid’s prices seem a bit high, especially considering there is not much specifically for them to do. Compare this to the Let’s Go Caravan and Camping Show, held in February each year – the next biggest outdoor leisure show and they are free (under 16) to get in! And there is much more in the way of family activities.
SA Boat & Fishing Show
This review focuses on the 4WD & Adventure part of the show. Although we have a love for boating, having sold the boat earlier in the year, it’s still a bit of a sore spot! Looking around the boats would only make us extremely jealous and have us walking around with sad faces!
Saying that though, Pacific Marine was there, dominating the display area in their usual fashion! Nothing against them, they just are always so big! Pelican Marine & RV were showing off their stuff and Yahama Pitmans Marine had their usual impressive display. We have to stay away from the Whitleys boats because we just love them too much!
Coastguard and SA Sea Rescue Squadron were on hand for their boating safety advise. And there was another chance to go through the SA Boating Handbook theory session before taking the opportunity to get your boat licence – just in time for summer.
The Toyota Unbreakable Stage was set up in the Jubilee Pavilion and had a good line up of presentations. Asher Dezsery, Rod Cross, Andrew & Nick from Hook Line & Sinker and Paul Carter were just a few names making an appearance and making fishing look so easy! Jase Andrews from All 4 Adventure also had a slot on this stage, and he must have been a busy boy because he also had a couple over on the Engel Bush Camp Stage too!
4WD Show presentations
We spent quite a bit of time over at the Engel Bush Camp Stage which focused more on travel, adventure and 4WDing. We caught Emma George giving a great talk on her family travels of the Big Lap last year. She had some great tips on how they did things and hopefully, she will update her blog, Love the Outdoors soon with everything they learnt and discovered! We loved the idea about using foldable solar panels as shade and wind deflectors around the awning – something for us to work into our set up!
The girls from Bendleby Ranges and Skytrek Willow Springs Station gave informative presentations on their offerings up in Flinders Ranges. Its great to see how tourism is really making its mark in this region. It’s certainly given us more inspiration to get up there and start exploring the 4WD tracks and amazing camping opportunities. Whilst this may not normally be our thing, especially being coastal girls, it’s right on our doorstep and we really should open our mind up to going to such an incredible part of Australia. This is what we love about coming to these shows – the inspiration!
We headed back to the stage for the Ronny Dahl session, famous for his YouTube channel but we must have missed something. We got there just before it was due to start, but 20 minutes later, he’s still at the side of the stage talking to a group of fans. Odd. Admittedly we did know much about him, hence why we went along, but there didn’t seem to be an actual afternoon presentation. From the looks of the Shows Facebook page, there was a session in the morning where he was up on stage talking about his adventures, but maybe he just got bored of it by the afternoon! Who knows. He soon disappeared though which was disappointing.
Jase Andrews from All 4 Adventure at the 4WD & Adventure Show
However, it did mean we were ready for Jase from All 4 Adventure who was up next. We’ve watched quite a bit of this show so we were looking forward to seeing him. With their new Series 10 – A Decade of Dirt coming out next week, it wasn’t surprising the talk was much about that. He got me a bit lost in this storytelling half-way through but bounced back with an amazing find on one of their recent trips, and you can really see the passion he has for what he does.
It was a shame that Roothy wasn’t at the 4WD & Adventure Show show, despite this being heavily advertised. It would have been good to have displayed this notice on the boards around the show, instead of going along at the talk time to find he wasn’t coming!
We wanted to catch up with Cub Campers as we’d seen a model we liked the look of, but unfortunately, they weren’t there this time. The fact that it is a 4WD, Adventure and Boat Show, there was still quite a few different camper trailer and caravan brands on display, with Jayco presenting their Super Display over in the Ridley Centre.
The new JTrak Outback model is the new generation of adventure for Jayco. It’s the first of its kind into the camper trailer market from such a big name in the caravan industry. On first impressions, it looked quite smart, but from looking closer, it actually lacks a lot of the modern day camper trailers. It felt like it was trying to be a caravan come camper trailer, but not a hybrid, but just lost in its way. Inside felt like fittings and panels had been taken from the adjacent Jayco caravan and somehow fitted inside the JTrak – it was a weird feeling! By doing this, it felt it was lagging behind some of the main competitors in this market.
More disappointingly though was that the sales assistant next to the JTrak knew hardly anything about it. As a new model on show, surely on the team would be clued up on the ins and outs so they can really show it off. After all, it was the first model you saw as you came from the Wayville Pavilion! As it was about 1pm by this point, and none of the information booklets were on display (they were still in a sealed box) and the sales assistant couldn’t answer our questions, we politely walked away, never to return again.
In Jayco’s defence though, we found this lack of knowledge quite evident at this year’s show. We like to ask questions, well Sara likes to ask quite a few. But not difficult ones, just ones we can compare like-to-like with against other models we viewed. It doesn’t make sense to be told ‘oh, I’m not sure’ or having a guess at the answer – the first day of the show or not!
What caught our attention…
A few different brands did catch our attention this time though that we’ve not really looked at before. The Blue Tongue Overland XF Series 2 caught our attention – so did the price. But definitely worth some thought as it ticked a serious amount of boxes for us. We also came across Stoney Creek that we’ve not paid much attention to before. They only had a few of their models on display, but we quite liked the look of their forward fold model.
We’d also heard about the new Skamper Kamper Dingo Pup model. This was a model in a lot more realistic price range and looked to be around the right size for what we are looking for. Unfortunately, though, we felt that the quality had been comprised in the price and weight reduction and didn’t spend long taking a look. But it is a good looking camper!
The Ford Ranger display caught Sara’s attention and jumped in for a dreamy moment of driving away in one! One day…
Team Isuzu D-Max and Land Rover were carrying out their stunts outside – fulfilling any needs of anyone wanting to be a crash test dummy! Helmets were provided, and the smiles came for free!
This is undoubtedly the best show of the year for 4WDing and Boating in Adelaide. It makes a great day out if you enjoy this outdoor lifestyle. And the stage presentations are worth heaps in themselves, let alone the displays on offer too.
There is something for everyone, new, old, shiny or dirty! One tip we recommend though is to do a quick comparison on your smartphone of show prices. It’s easy to get caught up in the moment and purchase something, to find when you get home it wasn’t such a great deal after all. We’re saying this from experience! A lot of suppliers do have amazing deals – but it pays to just double check.
The weather this year was absolutely perfect for this years 4WD & Adventure Show, and we look forward to it being just as good next year!
Did you go to the show this year? Let us know what you thought in the comments below! Did you grab any good bargains, or just become green with envy?!
Water loving British girl who moved to Australia and seriously caught the travel bug! Loves to explore and share destinations that inspire others to spend more time on the water and in the great outdoors. Typically, you’ll find her on a boat or next to the ocean, often in a daydream!