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Published March 21st 2016
Update February 7th 2015
Entry for kids is now free (up to 3, if accompanied by adult)
Find the perfect vehicle for a supermarket car park
A Lord Kitchener Poster - Part of the Militaria On Display
The National Military Vehicle Museum is a volunteer run and non profit museum specialising in military vehicles of all types. It also maintains a large collection of militaria including uniforms, models, radio equipment and even artillery guns on display.
The museum is located north of Adelaide, rather appropriately in part of the former World War 2 Salisbury Explosives Factory at Edinburgh Park. It is operated by the Military Vehicle Preservation Society of South Australia with the aim of restoring and preserving modern military vehicles, with a special emphasis on Australian military vehicles.
Part of the Military Vehicles Collection at the National Military Vehicle Museum
The museum also plays a part in local events such as the Salisbury Christmas pageant, when some of the military vehicles collection take part in the procession, transporting members of the Salisbury RSL.
Inside a Mobile Radar Unit - One of the More Modern Military Vehicles
The collection of military vehicles on display is huge, ranging from tanks and half track vehicles, through armoured cars, trucks, scout cars, a hovercraft, a former US Army Willys Jeep, and many other unique special purpose items of military hardware. Most of the vehicles are privately owned, and have been lovingly and authentically restored to original specifications. Owners sometimes advertise military vehicles for sale on the society's website, so if you think your Hyundai gets dented too easily in the supermarket car park then perhaps trade up to a 1941 Bedford truck?
There Are Some Military Vehicles for Sale. Would You Drive This in the Supermarket Car Park?
All of the military vehicles on display at the National Military Vehicle Museum have interpretive signs to explain their origin and role, making your museum visit an educational experience. You can see the electronics inside a mobile radar unit which is on loan from DSTO, get up close to a massive floodlight used to illuminate an airfield, and even see a top secret chart from the Maralinga Village. There are several dioramas depicting full size wartime scenes, such as a field hospital with nurses and patient, and a camp kitchen with cook and associated militaria.
A Field Hospital Diorama at National Military Vehicle Museum
One area displays scale models of military vehicles, while other rooms showcase military electronics and wireless communications equipment from yesteryear. Some of the older equipment is enormous, and not easily portable enough for soldiers to use in the field.
The National Military Vehicle Museum does not attempt to glorify war in any sense. It simply showcases how Australian military vehicles looked and were used through history. It aims to become one of the leading tourism and educational facilities in Adelaide for military vehicles and militaria, and they are keen to obtain accreditation from History SA in this role.
During the About Time history festival the museum offered a tour of the buildings constructed during World War 2 to house the Salisbury Explosives Factory. More than 6,000 men and women toiled there in an enormous complex spread over 4.5 square miles, starting a whole new era for Salisbury and ultimately the National Military Vehicle Museum.
For more information about the museum, see their website. Their entry fees are very reasonable, and the museum is open every Sunday and most public holidays from 10am until 4pm.
Jolly Good Show!
I'd love to drive the old Commer 4x4 down to the supermarket carpark and see those shiny toyos bang their doors into the rims. Be nearly as good as a Saracen... or the town car I dream of...a Ferret!