Adelaide’s rich arts and cultural heritage offers a must see collection of international, colonial, indigenous and modern artwork.
Home to iconic exhibitions and collections
Just wait until you see some of our galleries and museums. Stroll along tree-lined North Terrace and you’ll see what we mean.
Make the Art Gallery of South Australia your first stop. With 38,000 pieces in its collection, from Australia, Europe, North America and Asia, there's sure to be a painting, sculpture, print, drawing, photo or piece of furniture that catches your eye.
The Art Gallery of South Australia boasts more than 38,000 pieces in its collection.
In the city’s West End, the Jam Factory Contemporary Craft and Design studio is a real centre of excellence for the arts. Those lucky enough to work in the purpose-built studios have four fabulous exhibition spaces and a retail gallery to display their unique work. You can watch them while they work or take a tour to learn more about the gallery.
A great way to discover many of the inner-city galleries is with the Art Gallery Walking Trail guide, which you can download, print and take with you.
the State Library of South Australia
As well as being South Australia's largest library, the State Library of South Australia is home to the South Australian collection, documenting the history of the state from pre-European settlement to present day. Re-live South Australia's past in a range of formats from digital and electronic to film, sound recordings, photos and video.
The impressive French Renaissance-style Mortlock Wing was opened in 1884, featuring multiple galleries, lavish masonry columns, balconies ornamented with gold and a glass-domed roof flooding the wing with natural light. You could easily spend a whole day perusing its extensive collection.
The Mortlock Wing has has been featured in Travel and Leisure's Top 20 Libraries in the World list and is open 10am-5pm daily.
The State Library of South Australia is open 10am-8pm Monday to Wednesday, 10am-6pm Thursday to Friday and 10am-5pm Saturday and Sunday.
The South Australian Museum
Among the rare fossils at the South Australian Museum – which includes a six-metre long snake and a giant leaf-eating kangaroo – is a four-storey giant squid. You won’t believe it until you see it.
There are five floors of intriguing displays for visitors to explore. The world’s biggest display of Australian Aboriginal artefacts sits in the museum’s Australian Aboriginal Cultures Gallery. Keep your eyes peeled for the lion's moving tail in the World Mammals Gallery, located on the ground floor.
Celebrate diverse culture at the Migration Museum. It tells stories about the people and communities that shaped South Australia.
Ayers House Museum is a colonial mansion on North Terrace and tours of the house take in historic costume, silver, artwork and furniture.
There are even more museums to be found in Port Adelaide, about half an hour from the city centre. The Maritime Museum at Port Adelaide has Australia’s oldest collection of nautical treasures. Some of it dates back to the 1870s.
It’s “all aboard” at the National Railway Museum. There are giant steam engines to climb on and an old steam train to ride.
See an historic World War Two Spitfire plane and other restored aircraft at the South Australian Aviation Museum. The museum is also home to a retired RAAF F-111 fighter jet.
Check out Museums in the Port for more information, including how to get 25 per cent off the ticket price for your next museum visit.
Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute
Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute is a brilliant Aboriginal art space and is Australia's oldest Aboriginal-owned and managed multi-arts centre. It’s dedicated to visual and performing arts and features dance, theatre, tours and exhibitions.
At Port Adelaide, the Better World Arts gallery showcases fine Aboriginal art and handmade rugs, cushions and jewellery.
Just 20 minutes south of the city in Marion, you'll find Warriparinga Wetlands And Living Kaurna Cultural Centre. Join a guided tour and learn about Kaurna culture through arts, cultural workshops and performances. The cultural centre is also the beginning of the Tjilbruke Dreaming Tracks, which follows the coastline to Cape Jervis on the Fleurieu Peninsula.
There are also galleries on Kangaroo Island, in the Adelaide Hills, Barossa, Clare Valley, Flinders Ranges and on the Murray River. Visit Country Arts SA for more details.