One of the principal attractions of Adelaide’s Cultural Precinct, the South Australian Museum is devoted to the region’s natural and cultural history. The museum is best known for its impressive collection of Australian Aboriginal cultural items: the largest collection of its kind in the world.
The South Australian Museum has 11 galleries, with exhibits titled Australian Aboriginal Cultures, Pacific Cultures, Megafauna, Ediacaran Fossils, South Australian Biodiversity, and Minerals and Meteorites. There is also a Discovery Center, where interactive exhibits include a microEye video microscope, a live bee hive, and expert talks. Explore the museum on a guided or self-guided tour.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Entrance to the museum is free, but there is sometimes a charge for special events and temporary exhibits.
- On-site facilities include restrooms, a cloakroom, a café, and a gift shop.
- The museum is fully accessible for wheelchair users.
How to Get There
The South Australian Museum is located along the North Terrace in downtown Adelaide, next door to the Art Gallery of South Australia. It’s a short walk from the shopping boulevard of Rundle Mall, and the free City Loop bus 99C stops right outside.
When to Get There
The museum is open daily, year-round. The quietest time to visit is on weekday mornings.
Marvel at the whale skeleton in the Whale and Dolphin Gallery; see a model of a 36-foot (11-meter) long Architeuthis dux squid; follow Antarctic explorer Sir Douglas Mawson in the Australian Polar Collection; and see fossils up to 550 million years old. In the Australian Aboriginal Cultures Gallery, the collection includes ancient paintings, maps, boomerangs, and bark canoes, while the Pacific Cultures Gallery has weaponry, masks, and ritual objects.