If you’ve been following our series of Discovering Australia blog posts, you may have noticed that we tend to feature museums a lot. Down Under simply has an abundance of them, which is fitting considering the country’s colorful history.
However, I doubt if even the most die-hard historian would want to spend their entire Aussie vacation walking down halls and halls of yellowing manuscripts, sepia-toned photographs, and other formaldehyde-preserved artifacts. At some point, you would certainly want to do something more lively.
Port Adelaide is one of the South Australian capital’s strategic suburbs. Because of its proximity to water, the port served as Adelaide’s main supply line and information link to the rest of the world during the city’s foundling days.
As a result, it’s also got more than its fair share of maritime museums and memorials to fishermen, but since we’re on the topic of doing something outside that particular box, you would do well to look into the following diversions instead:
Port Adelaide is nearly two centuries old, and lots of people passed through this town over the years, so you can bet that there are quite a lot of ghost sightings. On this tour, you’ll hear all about long-dead police constables, brothel madames, and Russian sailors who still make their presence felt in the most spine-chilling ways.
After dark, your ghost crime tour guide takes you to some of Port Adelaide’s most haunted buildings and will regale you with spooky tales about what sort of spirits reside in them. Photography is allowed, but beware of what your lens might capture, even as you snap away at that seemingly empty hotel lobby.
2. Heritage Pub Crawl
Having been a pit stop for many seafarers over the centuries, Port Adelaide once had pubs and watering holes on just about every corner. Many of these are still in operation today, and thanks to this handy guide, you can go a on a self-guided tour/crawl (if you plan on taking a swig at every location) through all of them.
Okay, so some of the pubs can probably double as museums with all the antique decor and history within them, but this activity is more about testing the limits of your liver and your alcohol tolerance, isn’t it?
Who doesn’t love dolphins? These marine mammals are perhaps some of the smartest, friendliest, and most adorable creatures on the planet, and these cruises let you see pods of them up close.
Best done when the weather outside is perfect (it increases your chances of seeing more dolphins), this cruise also gives you great value for money: AUD20/head already entitles you to two hours on the boat plus a delicious light lunch.
If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be Iron Man, flyboarding just might satisfy your curiosity. Though you can avail of the experience in multiple locations in Australia, Port Adelaide is the perfect place for your maiden voyage on this jet-skiing/wakeboarding hybrid.
Don’t worry if you’ve never been on a jet-ski or a wakeboard. Maneuvering the flyboard is apparently very intuitive, and it generally only takes ten minutes with a licensed instructor to get you soaring above and diving beneath the sapphire blue waters by the port.
As a sport/leisure activity, paintball can really get your adrenaline and your competitive spirit pumping. The goal is to capture the opponent’s flag while guarding your team base, so you can try out a multitude of strategies and scenarios with your best buds.
Adelaide’s premier indoor paintball hub elevates things by staging sessions in a climate-controlled environment that’s impervious to rain or harsh sunlight. Tables and chairs for after-paintball parties are also on hand, and Indoor Paintball’s location makes it highly accessible for visitors based in the city center of South Australia’s capital.
6. Sunday Markets
These markets are basically the Aussie version of our local tiangge or bargain market. In here, you can spend an entire afternoon poring through piles of assorted knick-knacks to find something that strikes your fancy, sample some homemade local delicacies on sale, or simply bask in the vibrant atmosphere.
Open from 9 am- 5 pm on Sundays and on public holidays that fall on Mondays, Fishermen’s Wharf Markets are a good place to get hooked on this weekend tradition in Port Adelaide.
7. Vintage Train Rides
You may have to go to a museum (the National Railway Museum, to be more specific) to get onboard this old-fashioned steam train, but the sheer experience of being on a functioning relic makes up for it.
This 2-km, 457 mm-long gauge railway winds through Semaphore’s pristine beaches as it makes its way to the sand dunes by Fort Glanville, giving you lots of opportunities to take a memorable travel selfie as you feel the breeze in your hair.
To conclude, museums are great and all, but one should remember to include other kinds of attractions in the itinerary just to shake things up a bit.