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The South Australian Maritime Museum

Home > Adelaide > Family | Museums
by Natasha Stewart (subscribe)
Food and words.
Published August 15th 2011
Visit the South Australian Maritime Museum to learn not only about the nautical history of Port Adelaide, but also about the history of the foundation of Adelaide. The museum tells important stories about journeys made to and from Adelaide, and also looks at living on the beach. It is an interesting and educational experience for children and adults, with things to explore, discover, and learn.



When you enter the museum you step aboard the creeky wooden floors, and it feels like you have already entered a ship. You can climb through the Active II, a ship where you can become captain, of retreat down below deck. Impressive figureheads are attached to the walls and the sound of seagulls and the ocean can be heard. The Maritime Museum does a good job at creating the feeling that you truly are aboard the ocean. It brings the stories that it tells, and the scenes that it creates, to life.

The Active II


The history of seafaring shows throughout the museum. Stories of important journeys are told, and treasures from aboard ships and boats are on display. You can learn about the history of the navy, or read stories about people who made the journey from many places around the world to call Adelaide their home. The museum looks into migration, and is a good complement to visiting the Migration Museum in Adelaide. Audio reels play through the museum, the sound of waves crashing and seagulls squawking, but also accounts of people from their long journey. These give the feel like the museum is a living thing, telling its story. Paintings, maps, and ledgers are all displayed, each adding to the tale of sea travel.

Old Lamps Used to Light a Captain's Way


There are interactive displays throughout the museum. Children can take the roll of the archeologist, sifting through junk to find treasures hidden in the sea floor. Or they can discover mysterious marine life that call the ocean their home. In the fun section of the museum that celebrates beach life and beach culture, children can take part in old fortune telling arcade games that once graced the beachfront. There is not only fun things for the children to see, but also fun things for them to do.

Seaside Arcade Games


When you leave the museum you pass through the gift shop. Here your child can decide whether they want to become an honoured sea captain, or a dreaded pirate, or perhaps if they'll just choose to swim with the mermaids and dolphins. Here there are plenty of sea and ship themed toys and activities that will excite any child. Another treat once you've left the museum is the lighthouse, that is free to enter once you've purchased tickets to the museum. Here you can climb the spiral staircase to look out over the Port Adelaide Harbour.

Toys in the Giftshop


The Lighthouse


The South Australian Maritime Museum is open every day from 10am till 5pm, except for Christmas day. The lighthouse is closed on Saturdays. Entry is $8.50 for adults, $6.50 for concessions, $3.50 for children, or $22 for a family of two adults and up to five children.
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Why? Fun and educational look at life on the ocean
When: 10am-5pm 7 days a week
Where: Lipson Street, Port Adelaide
Cost: Adults $8.50, Concession $6.50, Child $3.50, Family $22
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