Museums of Adelaide

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Immerse yourself in the past, present and future, in science or creative endeavour.

Always proud of its heritage, Adelaide has many museums and exhibitions that will expand your mind and provoke discussions while showcasing contemporary and traditional artefacts.

For your convenience, we’ve compiled a list of the best museums, grouped according to their location.

North Terrace

North Terrace is known as the city’s cultural precinct with good reason.

The South Australian Museum has over five floors of intriguing displays including the world’s largest display of Australian Aboriginal artefacts. Entry is free; however they also host special exhibitions throughout the year and an entry fee usually applies to these.

Just around the corner is the fascinating Migration Museum telling colourful stories of South Australia’s diverse cultures.

En route, stop in at the State Library of South Australia. While technically not a museum, it holds the "South Australiana" collection, which documents South Australia from pre-European settlement to the present day. It’s held in the Mortlock Wing which in 2014 featured in a list of the top 20 most beautiful libraries of the world, according to U.S. magazine Travel + Leisure. Next door in the Institute Building is The Centre for Democracy, which is sure to start a few conversations.

At the opposite end of North Terrace is Ayers House Museum while for something different, visit the Santos Museum of Economic Botany in the Adelaide Botanic Gardens. It’s the last museum of its kind in the world.

West End

The western side of the city and the Riverbank precinct is home to eclectic range of museums.

Adjacent the Morphett Street bridge on North Terrace is MOD. - Australia's leading future-focused museum, provoking new ideas at the intersection of science, art and innovation. A short walk away in the Riverbank Precinct, Adelaide Festival Theatre foyer is home to an interesting array of art and theatrical memorabilia.

City centre

In the heart of Adelaide’s city centre is RIAus who provide a showcase for the wonders and achievements of Australian scientific discoveries, old and new. It’s guaranteed to inspire the young, satisfy the curious, explain the baffling and ask the impossible.

Not far away is Tandanya – National Aboriginal Cultural Institute where you can gain insight into Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts, culture, history and spirituality.

North Adelaide

Just a short stroll across the river, The Bradman Collection awaits at the Adelaide Oval. A must for cricket lovers, it’s free to enter and open daily except public holidays and event days.

If you’re into classical art, The David Roche Foundation showcases an exceptional collection of antiques, paintings and objets d’art accumulated over his lifetime. A small entry fee into exhibitions apply and you’ll need to pre-book if you wish to have a guided tour of Fermoy House.

On the edge of town

Did you know the South Australian Police Force (SAPOL) is the second oldest Police Force in the world - only the London Metropolitan Police is older! Open on Thursdays, the South Australian Police Historical Society have an amazing collection of historic police artefacts at the historic police barracks, in the Adelaide Park Lands, near the Royal Adelaide Hospital. Directly behind is the Adelaide Gaol, where you can take a guided, or self-guided tour - just don’t misbehave as the resident ghost will be watching you!