Friday, March 20th, 2015

The backyard Easter egg hunt is a cherished childhood tradition that brings joy to young and old alike.

The Oakbank Easter Racing Carnival, in the Adelaide Hills, takes this pastime one step further, moving the search for colourfully-covered chocolate eggs into the wide green paddocks of the town’s world-famous racecourse.

Melba’s giant Easter egg hunt will happen every hour on the hour from noon on Easter Saturday, April 4, and Easter Monday, April 6, and is open to children aged between three and 12. They’ll be able to scramble amongst hay bales, straw and other top-secret hiding spots to find the Easter bunny’s hidden treats.

Oakbank Racing Club Chairman John Glatz said the Easter egg hunt is an important part of Oakbank’s KidsZone area, located in the centre of the racecourse.

“For many families, going to Oakbank is an Easter tradition and children are a large component of our overall attendance, so it’s crucial we have a range of activities for youngsters,” Mr Glatz said.

“Last year about 10,000 eggs were hidden and found in the annual Melba’s giant Easter egg hunt and thousands of children took part.

“It’s such a simple activity, but one that brings so much happiness and also gets the kids outdoors and ‘unplugged’, which is what we’re all about at Oakbank.”

Each child participating in the hunt can go into a draw to win one of two giant Melba’s Easter egg, weighing in at a whopping 2kg.

It’s the second year Melba’s has supplied its chocolate treats for the Easter egg hunt at Oakbank and Melba’s proprietor Graeme Foristal said being a part of this iconic event is a great way to support local organisations and bring people to the Adelaide Hills.

“It’s great seeing children at a traditional family picnic venue having fun with mums, dads and carers.

After all who doesn't like a treasure hunt?” Mr Foristal said.

“We lived opposite the racecourse when our children were little and being involved with the Oakbank Easter Racing Carnival brings back lots of happy memories.”

“We expect to supply more than 13,000 eggs this year, most are solid milk chocolate as they are more durable for the hunt.”

New egg moulds arrived at the iconic chocolate factory in Woodside late last year and fresh ideas and designs for the giant Easter sweets are being finalised. The giant eggs are made individually using a depositor and mould spinner.

“The important part is to have the chocolate even around the mould or the egg end up being wobbly when it is stood up. Our gift wrappers then add all the final touch of Easter magic,” Mr Foristal said.

Mr Foristal said solid eggs are best for Easter hunts because they’re harder to squash. He listed trees, bushes and cupboard shelves at home are among the best hiding spots for the more fragile hollow eggs, while eggs wrapped in bright, multi-coloured foil add to the excitement. And the sneakier the hiding spot, the better.

A new addition to Oakbank last year, the KidsZone includes a petting zoo, the opportunity to take pony rides, a side show alley and a selection of other rides and amusements.

The Stable Stars, a kids club designed especially for horse lovers aged between three and 11, will have art and craft activities on hand for members.

Children under 13 can enter Oakbank free and tickets for those aged between 13 and 17 are $10. Adult tickets are $30. For bookings or enquiries, please contact the Club’s office on 8388 4072 or email [email protected]

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Oakbank Easter Racing Carnival, Oakbank, racing, Thoroughbred Racing SA, Easter, Adelaide Hills, Easter long weekend



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