On 12 March 2007, Goolwa was recognised as the first Australian town to become an accredited Cittaslow or 'slow town'. By combining the efforts of the Alexandrina Council, the Southern Alexandrina Business Association and the community of Goolwa, a steering committee successfully measured our town against a set of criteria. The assessment covered issues like environmental policies, infrastructure, heritage, tourism, community programs, education, local produce, transport, arts and culture.
Since accreditation, Goolwa has worked with other towns to gain this international recognition. Katoomba in the Blue Mountains NSW and Yea Murrindindi, in central Victoria are Cittaslow and in 2011 became the foundation members of Cittaslow Australasia. These towns have joined over 250 communities and regions across the world who have gained similar recognition from Cittaslow International which is based in Orvieto, Italy. In 1999, Cittaslow developed out of the Slow Food movement which had begun, also in Italy, in 1986.
The central focus of Cittaslow is to identify the unique characteristics of the town (or region), to work with Council, business and community to maintain strategies to preserve those unique characteristics and encourage residents and visitors to slow down and enjoy what the town (Goolwa) has to offer, preferably with family and friends. Sustainability and community spirit inspires Cittaslow in Goolwa. Cittaslow is "a work in progress" as everyone involved strives to improve the life and experiences for visitors and residents.
In 2017, Goolwa hosted the Cittaslow International General Assembly with representatives from all over the world visiting Goolwa. More details are available from the Cittaslow Goolwa website.
As part of some of the activities associated with being a Cittaslow, Goolwa hosts:
- The Cittaslow Goolwa Farmers Market (2nd and 4th Sundays of each month.)
- At the Wharf – a food and music program hosted at Signal Point during the summer months
- Cittaslow Corner – information centre in central Goolwa
- Cittaslow Goolwa Community Garden – Kessell Road, Goolwa
- Food and Wine group – activities for anyone interested in food and beverages – including “How to” sessions
- Smoke Off – annual community food smoking cooking competition
- Environmental Group – maintains roadsides on Hindmarsh Island
- Goolwa Fruit/Food Forest
The community of Goolwa extends a warm welcome to you to come and enjoy our unique environment, friendly community, outstanding food and drink opportunities and relaxing locations, and take back to your communities, the ideas of Cittaslow.