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Walking Tour of Port Adelaide

Home > Adelaide > Free | Fun Things To Do | Markets | Places of Interest | Walks
by Graeme Fanning (subscribe)
I'm a tour guide who is passionate about South Australia and love to showcase to locals and visitors. Visit my facebook page at
Published October 25th 2015
Veer over to the Port side and be welcomed aboard

For those of you who haven't been down to Port Adelaide for a while, a great way to re-connect with the area is to take a walk around the precinct, either self-guided or on a free one hour tour run by the Port Adelaide Visitor Centre.

Port Adelaide, one of South Australia's earliest settlements, dates from the 1830's and is located approximately 14 km north-west of the city of Adelaide (about a 20 min drive in the car).

Filled to the brim with history, a walk will give you a sense of what it would have been like for our early settlers in a busy thriving port, in the days of the wooden barques bringing emigrants all the way from Europe, in those days a 4 - 6 month journey, as well as the exotic goods being traded through Port Adelaide.

Port Adelaide
Heritage Building

Port Adelaide
The Dartford c 1895 Source: State Library of South Australi 1373/12/8

Walking Tour with Port Adelaide Visitor Information Centre Guide

If you like the idea of having a guide lead you through parts of the Port on a one hour tour, which will give you a snapshot of not only some of the history but also the stories associated with the early development of South Australia as a colony of Britain, then this is for you.

The tour leaves from the Port Adelaide Visitor Information Centre on Commercial Road, Port Adelaide and occurs each Sunday at 11 am (subject to weather conditions).

The guides are well versed with the Port's progression from a marshy swamp to a bustling important transport hub in South Australia and share with you varying tales of maritime flavour as you walk at a leisurely pace around some of the wider and not so wider streets.

Port Adelaide was South Australia's first heritage area, so the precinct is jam packed with many heritage buildings which in some cases have been well preserved.

Sites visited include old historic pubs, public buildings such as the historic Customs House dating from 1879, bond stores and the old Lighthouse dating from 1869.

Port Adelaide
The Old Customs House

Self-guided Walk

If you would prefer to do your own thing, a map can be obtained from the websit which has numbered attractions throughout the Port Adelaide area to visit on a State Heritage Area one hour walk.

The easy to follow map gives you the opportunity to go at your own pace, with just enough information to inform you about the attraction/site, without overload.

There is also an extended walk which incorporates the Waterside Workers Federation Hall and the Professional Fishermen's Memorial, both west of the Birkenhead Bridge.

Completing both walks will take you around 2 hours and covers 42 different stopping points encompassing hotels, warehouses, public buildings, the lighthouse, wharves and churches.

By the time you finish, you will have gained hopefully a good insight into what makes Port Adelaide tick and will whet your appetite to return and explore even further.

Port Adelaide
Colonial Architecture


Whilst you are down at the Port why not also make the most of your time by visiting some markets and you are certainly spoilt for choice with a selection of 3 major ones operating at different locations in the precinct.

The first is the Fishermen's Wharf markets which have been operating for over 20 years and offers two levels of an ecclectic mix of bric-a-brac to cater for a wide range of tastes. These markets operate each Sunday and Monday Public Holiday from 9 am to 5 pm at Black Diamond Square.

The second is the Torrens Island Markets, which are operated by around 40 stall holders who sell fruit and vegetables direct from farms and fish direct from the boats. In order to grab a bargain, make sure you get there early, operating each Sunday from 6 am until 1 pm on Moorhouse Road, North Arm at Gillman.

The remaining and youngest of the markets is the Wild at Hart fresh food market which offers locally sourced, fresh organic farm produce and is located in Mundy Street, Hart's Mill precinct in Port Adelaide. This market is open from 9 am - 2 pm each Sunday.

All of these markets also allow visitors to purchase breakfast, snacks or lunch.

Port Adelaide
Silent Policeman


A full day can easily therefore be spent exploring what the Port has to offer and once you have visited, you'll be hooked.

When speaking to residents in the area, you get the feeling that they are not only proud of their close-knit community but the essence of the Port almost flows in their blood.

Port Adelaide
Another Era

Port Adelaide
Heritage Facades
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Why? Really discover the Port precinct with a heritage walk
When: Every Sunday
Phone: 08 8405 6560
Where: Port Adelaide Visitor Information Centre
Cost: Free for both Self-guided and guided Heritage walk
Your Comment
IN the 1940's and 50's this bustling Port could be reached from the city by double decker bus and fisherman on weekends would sell their catch, direct from their boats near the 2 old bridges,close to the main street..reminders of Greece and Italy.The precinct had a distinct presence,unlike any other area of Adelaide.It is now showing signs of rejuvenation,but still has a along way to go,to capture the atmosphere of yesteryear.
The quicker they get the trams running from the city to the Port the better and then onto Semaphore,which has come alive again.
One can only hope,that the Port will eventually become one of Adelaide's must visits, as Glenelg is today.
by noelp (score: 3|1201) 2532 days ago
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