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This will open your eyes
Discover Hidden Secrets of Adelaide at the Open Doors Weekend
This year Open House Adelaide has returned to the History Festival under a new guise, the Open Doors - Built Heritage Weekend. For us inveterate snoopers who love to explore the hidden secrets of Adelaide, it's a wonderful present to celebrate the festival's 15th birthday. Open Doors is your chance to once again get behind the fašades of our built heritage gems around the state with tours, open days, talks and more. The best part is that many of these are free things to do.
Nearly 40 places around South Australia are opening their doors to the public over the weekend of April 28-29 2018. From Bordertown to Coober Pedy, and Port Pirie to Willunga you can find places to visit. Of course, many buildings are also open in Adelaide city and the metropolitan area too. There's one very important thing to remember though - bookings are essential for many events, so be sure to book early or miss out.
Open Doors in Adelaide Government House opens its gates on the Sunday (free event) for the Open Doors - Built Heritage Weekend, while North Adelaide Community Centre is welcoming visitors on Saturday (free). Take a sneak peek inside the historic Queens Theatre on a guided tour, view the curiosities in exhibitions at the Santos Museum of Economic Botany, gaze at church treasures on the St Peter's Cathedral Guided Tours, or visit places in the State Library of South Australia that are normally off limits (all free).
The National Trust of South Australia are running some of their themed walking tours over the Open Doors weekend including the ever popular Old Treasury and Tunnels Tour, discover Modernist Adelaide: 1950s-1970s on a guided tour, or meander Around the Square on a walking tour from Down to Earth Tours. A very useful session provides tips How to Photograph Historical Architecture (charges apply for all of these things to do).
See Inside The Manor Basket Range (Formerly Camelot Castle)
Open Doors Outside the City People are intrigued by the amazing castles in Adelaide, and during the Open Doors - Built Heritage Weekend you can take Devonshire Tea at historic Dunluce Castle in Brighton ($), or tour through The Manor at Basket Range (formerly Camelot Castle) free of charge. Also in the Adelaide Hills visit Nairne Museum for a historical walk, or take a rare guided tour of the 1860's Bremer Mine Smelter at Callington ($) then be sure to drive the scenic route home.
North of Adelaide you'll be welcomed at the Burra Open Doors Weekend, where your heritage passport lets you explore all sorts of local history ($), while the Friends of the Burra Railway Station are eager to show you progress on the Burra Railway Station Restoration. At Port Pirie, there are Railway History Tours and the Express Ride-on Railway.
In the leafy suburbs Urrbrae House Historic Precinct throws open the doors to Urrbrae House (free event), while a small donation will get you a tour of Old Government House in Belair National Park. Also south of Adelaide visit the Open Doors Weekend at Willunga Courthouse and Slate Museum, then continue on for the Short & Sweet Walking History Tour of The Australasian in Goolwa.
Thrill seekers will be visiting Kapunda, one of Australia's most haunted towns for the Kapunda Ghost Crime Tour at North Kapunda Hotel, or perhaps the Port Adelaide Ghost Crime Tour is better if you don't want to travel so far.
Full details of all these events in the South Australia's History Festival are in the program guide online, or you can use the printed copy included in The Advertiser on April 7. Unfortunately booking links for the Open Doors - Built Heritage Weekend are not available at the time of writing.