South Australian Maritime Museum - Adelaide - Review

On our last visit to Adelaide, we visited the South Australian Maritime Museum in fitting historical Port Adelaide. The Museum preserves, explores and celebrates the human history of our oceans and rivers with a mix of permanent and temporary exhibitions on display.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

As you walk into the South Australian Maritime Museum, you will not miss the stunning replica ketch Active II ship. Built by shipwright Bill Porter and rigged by sail maker Don Lucas in 1986, this replica shows how hard the ketch trade was back in the 1800s. The first Active was built in 1873 and worked the coast until 1959. Kids can get on board the ketch and experience life at sea on dry land! Navigate the ship and go below deck to checkout the ship's quarters.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Visitors can also catch the permanent exhibition Doplhins! The Port River Pod which talks about the Port River and how a pod of about thirty dolphins makes the river estuary its home. As many as 200 dolphins visit each year, all within a city of more than one million people. The exhibition looks at their anatomy, ecology, how they communicate and how they live in social groups. It also explores how humans communicate with dolphins and how we have impacted on their environment as a result of plastic pollution and sewerage pollution in the river.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The Museum also has a great collection of artefacts and model ships upstairs.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The Museum also looks at the roles that South Australians have played in the colonial navy and the Royal Australian Navy through the First and Second World Wars and the Vietnam War and from memory it also mentioned recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. This is showcased at Action Stations.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

The Bound for South Australia exhibition on the lower level of the Museum features precious personal mementos first immigrants brought to South Australia. It explores how nine ships left Britain for the newly created Province of South Australia in 1836 and shows life at sea, what they ate, where they slept and how they fared on the long sea voyage.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

We quite enjoyed our time at the South Australian Maritime Museum, when we visited there were some underwater play stations upstairs for kids to have a go at and other sections were going under development. There was a carnival area with old pier carnival games and some surf boards for the kids to have a go on too. Lots to learn and discover at the South Australia Maritime Museum.

Don't forget to visit the Port Adelaide lighthouse before you leave Port Adelaide. The lighthouse is Port Adelaide’s icon. It stands at the end of Commercial Road marking the place where the city meets the Port River. Visitors can climb the seventy-four steps and take in the views of Port Adelaide, the coast and back past the city to the Mount Lofty Ranges. The lighthouse was first lit in 1869 and originally stood at the entrance to the Port River. We didn't climb up but it was great to see the lighthouse.

 Photo credit: @busycitykids

Photo credit: @busycitykids

Our tips:

  • The South Australian Maritime Museum is located at 126 Lipson Street in Port Adelaide about 30 mins from the CBD.
  • The Museum is open every day of the year except Good Friday and Christmas Day from 10 am to 5 pm.
  • Admission to the Museum is $15 per adult, $6 for children, Free for kids under 5 and $34.50 for a family.
  • The Museum is pram friendly with a lift inside to go between levels. No pram allowed on the Active II ship.
  • There are toilets inside the Museum.

Busy City Kids were invited to the South Australian Maritime Museum for the purposes of a review. All opinions & feedback are genuine & truthful. Travel, food and fee paying activities were self funded. 

For more information and up-to-date news about the South Australian Maritime Museum, head to their website.

For more ideas on what to do with the kids in Adelaide, head to our blog or our Adelaide daily spots lists.