South Australian Museum
Stuffed animals, fossils and minerals in glass cases – this museum is itself a step back in time – but encourage the kids to look inside the cases and discover some of the intriguing artefacts and the stories that go with them. Stand inside Sir Douglas Mawson’s recreated hut from Antarctica and discover the human behind the legend of this great explorer. Down at child height in the glass cases the kids will notice a little black rag doll given to Mawson for good luck by the ballerina Anna Pavlova. In a nearby cabinet those who have read the Swallows and Amazons series of novels by Arthur Ransome will be thrilled to recognise the name ‘Pemmican’ written on a tin. Mawson took this protein mix of fat, dried fruit and meat on his sledding expeditions.
North Tce, Adelaide; (08) 8207 7500
■ The giant squid (actually a model) that fills a whole lift shaft! Start at the top and look down on it from a glass floor, then work your way down each level looking at the huge head, eyes and tentacles.
Douglas Mawson led an expedition to explore Antarctica in 1911. While he was sledding across the snow and ice with two other people, Mertz and Ninnis, he heard a loud cry. Ninnis, with his sled and dogs, had fallen into a crevasse and disappeared. There was no way to rescue them. Desolately, Mawson and Mertz turned and struggled back towards base camp. Most of their provisions had been on the lost sled.
■ While free tours are offered by the museum, they are aimed more at adults than kids.