I'm a resident of the northern suburbs of Adelaide, keen to share interesting ideas for weekend activities, especially but not exclusively, north of Gepps Cross.
Published November 22nd 2015
Get underground in Adelaide
The old Treasury building on the corner of Flinders and King William Streets, is one of Adelaide's most historically significant buildings. The building is now the Adina Apartment Hotel, but it has been restored in a way that preserves the original features of the building. The National Trust Treasury Tunnel Tours allow you to take a guided walk through some fascinating South Australian history, which occurred in the old Treasury, including the tunnels located under the building.
Background The old Treasury was built in stages between 1839 and 1907 and was originally called the State Building. Construction started only three years after South Australia was proclaimed by Governor Hindmarsh at the Old Gum Tree in Glenelg. In 1838, Governor Hindmarsh was recalled to England and Governor Gawler became the second governor of the new colony. The first stone was laid by Governor Gawler who used the opportunity to announce that Adelaide was to be the capital city of South Australia, putting an end to debate about where the capital would be located.
Over the ensuing years many events of historical significance have taken place on the premises - from the minting of the first Australian gold coin to an impromptu visit from the Beatles while evading fans. The South Australian government convened in the Cabinet Room between 1876 and 1968. South Australia was the first colony in Australia to give women the vote, and the fourth place in the world, and the decision was made in the Cabinet Room of the old Treasury.
Cabinet Room in the old Treasury building, Adelaide
The Tunnels The National Trust Treasury Tunnel Tours allow you to take a guided tour through the Cabinet Room and the original underground tunnels of the old Adelaide Treasury Building. The tunnels were used for storing gold during the Victorian Gold-rush in the 1850's and have been used for various other purposes since then. In the 1960's, the tunnels were used as offices for map makers who developed a photo-lithographic technique which was adopted internationally.
These tunnels are open to the public and can be easily accessed by taking the lift near the reception counter and following your nose,so to speak.
The Old Cabinet room is kept locked and I am told that someone at reception can arrange for you to take a look,provided they have someone to spare to take you there and unlock the door.
Worth taking a look!