The South Australian Museum on North Terrace, Adelaide, has the largest collection of Australian Aborginal cultural artefacts in the world.

BIG COLLECTIONS OF CARS, PLANES, TRAINS, SHIP HISTORY supplement South Australian Museum's natural history, Aboriginal strengths


THE SOUTH AUSTRALIAN MUSEUM on North Terrace, Adelaide, has the largest collection of Australian Aboriginal cultural artefacts in the world.

This is one aspect of the museum’s long association with scientific research epitomised by its first curator form 1856, Frederick George Waterhouse, who contributed significantly as a naturalist, zoologist and entomologist.

South Australia has four other museums that are the largest nationally in their specialties:

  • National Motor Museum at Birdwood is an international centre for collecting, researching, preserving, educating and displaying Australian road transport. Started by Jack Kaines and Len Vigar in 1964, the museum was bought by the state government in 1976. It displays 300 vehicles from rare veteran and vintage cars to modern ground-breaking concept vehicles.
  • South Australian Aviation Museum at Port Adelaide has an F111 jet bomber, a World War II Spitfire fighter and two Canberra bombers among its restored aircraft.  The museum was started 1984 by volunteer enthusiasts who still it. Besides its displays of civil and military aircraft and aircraft engines relevant to South Australia and Australian aviation over several eras, the museum also houses the Defence Science and Technology Organisation heritage rockets fired from Woomera test range, in South Australia’s far north, during 1950-80.
  • National Railway Museum at Port Adelaide has with more than 100 exhibits representing state, federal and private railway operators on the three major rail gauges used in Australia. Within two huge pavilions and an 1870s heritage listed goods shed is the chance to climb into the cabs of giant steam engines, walk through elegant carriages, enjoy free train rides and interactive and educational displays.
  • The South Australian Maritime Museum at Port Adelaide is housed in an historic Victorian warehouse bought by the state government in 1980. The museum has a reconstructed ketch and displays showing the accommodation for ship travelling migrants.

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