Port Adelaide, Adelaide
Port Adelaide is a very easy excursion from Adelaide city centre, and there are lots of things to see and do.
You can take a walk around the heritage area and look at the preserved historic buildings, or you can take a river cruise to see dolphins.
On Sundays there's a market at Fisherman's Wharf.
We were visiting on a Saturday, and opted to visit the three museums in town:
The South Australian Maritime Museum
The National Railway Museum
The South Australian Aviation Museum.
See individual tips on my Port Adelaide page for details of these museums.
Being greedy, we were also fascinated to discover a cheesecake shop, and naturally had to take advantage of the $2 a slice offer.
We travelled there by metro train. It's a 20 minute journey. A day ticket cost $9.70 - you can buy a ticket at Adelaide Railway Station. The ticket machine only takes $10 notes, but there is a change machine nearby.
Text below is summary of my Port Adelaide page introduction
I was of two minds as to whether or not to create a separate page for Port Adelaide.
Firstly, Port Adelaide is a suburb of Adelaide situated about 20 minutes drive to the north-west of the city centre and, secondly I wasn’t sure that there was a lot to write about it – and what there was to say could be covered in a few tips on this page.
On reflection, there is much to see and do here and I would certainly recommend a full day. Indeed, if you visit Adelaide a visit to the Port is a must do – if only to visit the National Railway Museum which I rank as one of the best railway museums in the world – and yes I am a railway buff!
In addition to the Railway Museum the Maritime Museum is also very worthy a visit. Port Adelaide is also home to the South Australian Aviation Museum which, while not holding any special interest for me, may be of interest to some readers.
One of the best things to do in Port Adelaide is to have a stroll around the streets and take in some of the finest historic colonial and Victorian buildings in South Australia. Oh, if only the walls could talk – imagine some of the stories you might here in this historic maritime port.
South Australia was established as a State in 1836 and Port Adelaide, shortly thereafter in 1840 from which time it played an integral role in the colonial development of the State. The area’s first migrants had to wade through the mosquito infected mud swamps of nearby “Port Misery” until facilities were built at Port Adelaide.
Writer T. Horton James wrote of the original port thus:
“This is Port Adelaide! Port Misery would be a better name; for nothing in any other part of the world can surpass it in every thing that is wretched and inconvenient”.
By the 1870s Port Adelaide was a thriving port with wharves, storehouses, chandlers, sail makers, shipping offices and homes as good as any in Australia. A significant number of these early buildings remain today and are likely to remain as in May 1982, a sizeable part of the town centre was declared a State Heritage Area.
Drop into the tourist office (open 7 days per week except Christmas day) and pick up its “Walk the Port Brochure” and go for a stroll. The three museums I have mentioned above are along the walk. If you just walk you can complete the walk in about an hour and a half. Fit in a couple of hours for two of the museums and a few additional stops and there you have the makings of a very enjoyable day. Unless otherwise indicated all my tips on my Port Adelaide page are related to sites along the “Walk the Port” walk though for those not following the walk I have included full addresses and other relevant details in my tips.
As one might expect of a port area there is almost literally a pub of every corner and I also refer to a number of these establishments in my Port Adelaide tips. Indeed the council has been very thoughtful (unwittingly so, I assure you) and pre-prepared a pub-crawl for those interested. It’s perhaps best if you ask for a copy of the “Heritage Pub Trail” at the tourist office rather than the “pub crawl guide”!
Very interesting Adelaide museum well worth a visit. I found sitting in recreated cabins of 19 th and 20th century ships listening to passengers of the times describing their trips fascinating.
The South Australian Maritime Museum is custodian to one of the oldest nautical collections in Australia, a museum within a museum. The Museum of the Port Adelaide Institute was established in 1872 by local and international seafarers wanting a home for their collected treasures and curios. The collection was to become a cornerstone in the formation of South Australia’s cultural collections. In 1933 the material was reshaped as a specialist maritime collection and reborn as the Port Adelaide Nautical Museum.
The Seahorse Farm is open 7 days a week from 11am to 4pm and is home to Seahorses, Seadragons and some unique local temperate marine fish. There is a small touch pool that houses a dog shark. Not a large display, but interesting nonetheless.
No cameras or videos permitted.
The Migration Museum is housed in the magnificent Bond Stores which were erected in 1850 in Port Adelaide. Highlights are a full scale copy of a sailing sketch and the lighthouse that was built in 1869, where you can climb the spiral staircase to the top.
This museum is home to war memorabilia and military vehicles from the First World War to present day. There are numerous displays of uniforms, vehicles and radio equipment, as well as an impressive restoration workshop.
This unique museum houses the largest undercover collection of locatives, passenger carriages and freight vehicles in Australia. There are steam and diesel engines as well as rail cars, carriages and freight wagons on display. The Museum operates from two sites, this one in Port Adelaide and the Semaphore to Fort Ganville Tourist Railway that departs from the Semaphore Jetty, this is a miniature railway that visitors can ride on a two kilometer journey along the beautiful Semaphore foreshore.
Temptation Sailing offer a three hour cruise departing Holdfast Shores Marina in Glenelg, to view the Port Adelaide dolphins.
For a small price you can sit back and view the dolphins or you have the option to put on a wetsuit and snorkel with them!!
This is a must do when in Adelaide.
To go to Port adelaide by bus from the city , the number to take is 177 or any bus starting with 17 number i think. Take about 30 minutes to reach there. Many places to explore such as Maritime museum, toy house, police musuem....however, all the "tourist attractions" places need to pay an entry fees.
-Take a cruise for whale watching.
Cost: AUST$2.50 per person