Historic Port Adelaide

Prior to European settlement the Aboriginal people of the Adelaide Plains and Port Adelaide area seasonally inhabited the greater area of the LeFevre Peninsula. They used the extensive mud flats of the Port River to forage for shellfish, lobster, mussels, oysters, birds and fish. Water was obtained from springs further north on the peninsula and vegetable and animal food were collected between their camp at the river and the dunes at Semaphore. The territory of the Kaurna nation in Adelaide/Tandanya and Port Adelaide/Yertabulti extended from Port Wakefield to Cape Jervis and to the western edge of the Mount Lofty ranges.

The historic maritime precinct of Port Adelaide was officially established in 1840, only four years after the foundation of the State and Port Adelaide played an integral role in the colonial development of South Australia.


The first migrants, wading through mud of nearby “Port Misery”, had a daunting start to a new life in the fledgling colony. By the 1870s however, wharves were built, solid stone warehouses, hotels, banks and homes were erected and signs of Port Adelaide’s growing prosperity were evident.


Port Adelaide has retained many of its impressive 19th Century buildings, which, within the boundaries of Nelson Street, St Vincent Street, Todd Street and McLaren Parade, form the State’s first Heritage Area.

Visitor Information
SA Maritime Museum
Historic Port
International Bird Sanctuary
Events - Tour Down Under
Semaphore Jetty
Exhibitions - Johnson
Art Supplies
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