South Australian Maritime Museum

As your kids leap across the gangplank to board the Active II and clasp hold of her wheel, you’ll know they are caught up in an imaginary world of pirates and adventure. To the accompanying sounds  of screeching seabirds, howling storms and creaking sails (all recorded), they’ll scramble up and down  the ladders, run their hands along the ropes and explore the hold and the cabins. With lots of kid- oriented exhibits, levers to turn and surprises to find, this museum appeals to all ages.

Contact details

126 Lipson St, Port Adelaide; (08) 8207 6255

Price range


Don't Miss

■ Your opportunity to ‘dig’ for buried treasure in the archaeological display.

■ The detailed recreation of life on board emigrant ships from three different periods. In the 1840s  exhibit, kids can try out hard bunk beds with smelly hessian mattresses and listen to recorded stories about people dying on the voyage out. In stark contrast, the 1950s Orient Line emigrant ship has individual cabins and washing facilities.
■ The pulley exhibit where your kids will be able to lift giant weights.

Fabulous Facts

The Active II ketch inside the museum building is not really a pirate ship. It is a copy of the type of  sailing ship used to carry cargo between South Australia and the rest of Australia from the late 19th  century until the end of World War II. These useful little sailing ships were known as the Mosquito  Fleet. Nowadays, the same work is done by land rigs and bulk cargo-handling vessels.

Insider Tips

■ The museum has three levels crowded with a maze of exhibits, so take your time to explore and find everything.

■ The museum ticket includes entry to the 1869 lighthouse only a short walk away. Kids love climbing  the spiral staircase and getting out at the top to look, but this exhibit has very limited opening hours.

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