Port Adelaide is one of the oldest parts of Adelaide. Many original stone and brick buildings line the docks, making for a pleasant stroll. On a walking tour of Port Adelaide you can take in a railway, aviation and maritime museum, art galleries, some great stores, taverns, cafes, a brewery, docks, fisherman’s wharf, a lighthouse and at night, a ghost tour. You can also watch wild dolphins at play. Here are the highlights with pictures. I’ve mapped them at the bottom of the article.
South Australia Maritime Museum
Explore and celebrate the human history of our oceans. Collections include a life sized replica of a wooden ketch that you can explore, beautiful carved ship figureheads, nautical instruments, shipwreck collections, ship models, lighthouse collections and more.
COST: Adults $10, kids $5, family $25
OPEN: Daily 10.00 a.m. – 5.00 p.m.
National Railway Museum
Here you can climb into the cabs of giant steam engines, walk through elegant carriages, enjoy free train rides, a model train set, and interactive and displays.
COST: Adults $12, kids $6, family $32
OPEN: Daily 10 a.m. – 4.30 p.m.
Ride a Steam Train
Enjoy a magical 30 minute steam train along the sand dunes from Semaphore Jetty to Point Malcolm and back.
COST: Adults $8, kids (up to 15 yrs) $5, family $20
OPEN: It departs every hour between 11 am – 4 pm.
The train runs every Sunday from October to April and daily during school holidays – September, April and 26th Dec to end of January.
South Australia Aviation Museum
With seventeen aircraft, including a Spitfire, this is every budding aviator’s dream. You can sit in the cockpit of several of the aircraft, and hear the static engines fire, including the WWII Merlin. It’s worth checking their events for interesting talks about the aircraft and aviation. They range from WWII experiences to space rocket technology.
For an additional cost ($100) you get a two hour one-on-one tour of the museum’s latest addition – the F-111 – which includes a detailed tour of the cockpit.
COST: Adults $10, kids $5, family $25
OPEN: Daily 10.30 – 4.30
Art Gallery Walk
- Jackalope Studio Gallery is tucked away on a picturesque lane in the heart of Port Adelaide’s historic district in a beautifully renovated stone coach house. Open Thur – Sun 11 – 5. It is a working studio and showcase for local, national and international artists and jewelers.
- Better World Arts is an ethical trade project where indigenous artists are paid a fair price for their creations.
- Black Diamond Gallery hosts a changing exhibition of local artists.
- The Gaff Studio Gallery exhibits ceramics by Peter Johnson.
- Sea-Witch Images has over 100,000 historic photographic images taken from plate glass negatives and rare photographs. Open Wed – Sun 11 – 5.
- Hart’s Collective has exhibition and shops where you can buy home made gifts and artworks. There is also a cafe with views of the water.
- Church Studios is located within and old church that has been converted into a labyrinth of rooms filled with artwork, home accessories, antique and reproduction Chinese, Japanese and Danish furniture. They are only open on Sunday afternoons 12 – 5 and serve champagne in the garden.
On the waterfront by the lighthouse, Fisherman’s Wharf is worth strolling through if it’s open. It’s a massive indoor market spread over two levels that sells everything from farmer’s produce, hand made products, gifts, antiques and so much more. Afterwards, grab a coffee and watch the wild dolphins play in the harbour.
OPEN: 9 – 5 Sunday and Monday
Cruise down scenic Port River as you dine on a freshly prepared meal (menu available) served to your table, enjoy a drink from the bar and watch the wild dolphins frolic around the boat.
COST: Cruise only – adults $8, kids $6. With lunch – adults $20, kids $15
OPEN: Cruises normally depart at 11.30 a.m. Check Cruise times
Carp Diem Art of Living
This is a fun shop to browse. There are spiritual books, CDs, crystals, soy candles, himalayan salt lamps, jewellery, home wares, tarot readings (by appointment) and much more. It’s a great place to grab a unique and inspirational gift. Workshops such as chakra alignments, crystals, bowen therapy and meditation are held in the space upstairs
EATING and DRINKING
- Hart’s Collective Cafe is part of an artists collective of galleries and retail space. The cafe is right on the water!
- Dockside Tavern is an historic wooden building with a wrought iron balcony. They have live music (normally Friday nights and Sunday afternoon) and happy hour from 4-6 Mon – Sat. Meals are large but meal times are limited.
- Port Dock Brewery Hotel has beer tastings (stout, bitter, ginger beer, and ales), a varied menu, and a happy hour Mon – Fri 5-7. It is also a handy spot for dinner before embarking on a ghost tour (see below).
There’s a spooky side to Port Adelaide. It was nicknamed ‘Port Misery’ due to the countless murders and ghost sightings since its founding in 1837. Port Adelaide ghost tours take you to some of the most haunted buildings to hear stories of the characters, long dead, who still visit these places in Port Adelaide.
TIME: 7.15 p.m. Thur, Fri and Sat nights.