The Port festival returns to historic Port Adelaide on October 10-11 with loads of fun things to do for all ages. There will be something for pretty much everyone in the characterful maritime setting of the Port. Markets and fairs, Free museums. Exciting activities for kids. Fine food and wine, and so many things to see and do that you could spend the whole weekend there.
The Port Festival will kick off on Saturday October 10 with the arrival of the One and All sailing ship at the docks. Tea and spices will be unloaded to receive a traditional Welcome to Country from an indigenous Elder. While you're there take a look at the wonderful scenic views from the top of the lighthouse for $1 (kids 50 cents).
There are plenty of fun things to do on the Port River: take a cruise on the steam tug Yelta, Come 'n Try kayaking, sailing and dragon boat racing (small fee, check dates in program), or go for a cruise on the Dolphin Explorer or Port Princess. Avoid any risk of seasickness with the City of Adelaide clipper ship tours ($20 adults).
Museums in the Port All three major museums in Port Adelaide will have free entry during the Port Festival. The National Railway Museum will also have free rides on Bub, while riding steam train Peronne will cost just $3 for adults. Learn more about the entrancing history of Port Adelaide in Ghosts of 1840 at the Maritime Museum, and see the World War 1 centenary exhibition All the World's at Sea.
Take Helicopter Joy Flights From SA Aviation Museum
There's lots of free things to do at the SA Aviation Museum, or you can climb into the F111 fighter jet cockpit for $5 per person. See stunning views of Port Adelaide on a short helicopter joy flights for $35, or watch aircraft engines fire up (BYO earplugs). You may need to sooth your ears later with a free performance by the Henley and Grange Concert band.
Markets Shop-a-holics will head for the Artists & Designers Market, or visit the heritage listed Waterside Workers Union hall for market stalls at the Vitalstatistix Community Fair. On Sunday the Wild at Hart Markets will be thriving - a perfect place for food and fun activities for kids. Take a stroll on the scenic Port Loop Path after lunch if you want some light exercise, you may be lucky and see some dolphins.
Free Entertainment There's heaps of free live entertainment and dancing on offer too. Free things to do include: see some spectacular performances from the High Flying Artbabes, Kurruru will present Rekindling, a national cultural dance program, and Lil Adelaide Rollers will demonstrate superb roller derby tricks. Port Encounters brings roving Port Characters drawn from history who will ask your help in deciphering the Message in the Bottle - this year's Port Festival theme.
Fun for Kids A plethora of activities for kids will keep a smile on their faces. A puppet festival including hands on Japanese puppet workshops, roving street puppets, and a puppet exhibition will thrill the little ones. Don't miss the return of Punch and Judy show or the Amazing Drumming Monkeys - all free things to do for kids.
The Little Palais will be a magnet for families with entertainment running on both days. Dandyman, Ruby Rubberlegs and The Mr Spin Show are just a few of the free things to see. Cool 4 Kids World of Fun has a variety of activities for kids for under $5, while children's art workshops cost $20.
The Wonderwalls Festival at Port Adelaide produced some truly amazing works of street art in the Port. If you haven't seen it before then keep a look out during the Port Festival for these colourful displays.
Fine Food and Wine
With the Port River so close finding fresh seafood will not be a problem at the Port Festival. Local venues are all making an effort to bring out their best food and wine for the occasion, from beer battered fish to burritos or burgers with pineapple, You can top off with traditional Dutch donuts at the Jackalope Gallery (3 for $5).
Catch a RedHen Train at Adelaide Railway Station (Image: National Railway Museum Archives)
Getting to Port Adelaide
Why bother with the hassle of driving to the Port and finding a park when you can travel retro style in one of Adelaide's much loved Red Hen trains from Adelaide? It will take you straight to Jackett's railway station at the National Railway Museum where you're right in the thick of the fun. ($10 return per person, under 12 free. Timetables here).
Of course you mustn't forget your camera so that you can enter the free Port Festival Photo Challenge and take lots of snaps to remember your good times.
For more about the Port Festival 2015 see the website for the program and the Facebook page. We've only included some of the highlights here, so take your time to explore all the fun things to do over the weekend.
Note: Not all events are held on both days of the festival. Check the program first if you want to see something specific.