Port Adelaide

Port Adelaide

Going down to see the Endeavour replica meant a stroll around the historic parts of Port Adelaide. It was established as the port for the new colony in 1836 and was separated from the actual town settlement of Adelaide, which was inland. The town wasn't built at the port due to the lack of fresh water, Adelaide town was founded on the banks of a river.

As it was the main gateway to Adelaide and the South Australia colony, some quite substantial buildings were constructed there over the years.

The old Customs House. Taxing the cargoes of arriving ships was the main form of revenue collecting in the colony before the introduction of personal tax. This was the base for Customs until 1986 when a modern building was open in a newer part of Port Adelaide.

Infront of the Customs House tower (the black and white pole on a raised platform) was a Port Adelaide landmark. It's a traffic control device, it used to stand in the middle of the busiest intersection in Port Adelaide. It was called the "Black Diamond Corner" after the Black Diamond Shipping company office that could be found on that corner. It was placed there in the mid 1930s, and from pictures it looked as though vehicles were supposed to go around it, like a roundabout. It was finally removed in December 1968 when traffic lights were placed at the intersection. Being that it was such a landmark, years later it was placed on display and it's now in front of the Customs Building. The black and white colouring represents the local football club's colours.

The old Police Station and Courthouse, now the Visitor's information centre. The story behind this rather substantial building was that 2 ships got mixed up, one was sailing for Adelaide with materials for a prefab police station, and the other for Bombay in India for a grander public building. The ships ended up with the wrong cargo or shipping instructions and Adelaide ended up with the grand building and Bombay with the prefab! Reclaimed land has brought up the street level, the original level is now down a few steps as you go under the arches.

The Commercial Hotel, with Port Adelaide being full of sailor and wharf workers, it had a large number of pubs. Some are still open for business.

This is now the site of a Greek restaurant, which has live Greek music on a Friday night. But its claim to fame was that it was the oldest fish and chip shop in Adelaide (I think) Even the Queen on one of her visits received some prawns from this shop.

As it was a port, the warehouses reflected the kinds of industry that supported the port. The larger building on the right had been a sailmakers, and the other one was a ship's agent. In the lane way, you can see the iron pole sticking out (from both buildings) that was used to hang ropes and pulleys to hoist heavy objects into the building.

The Railway Hotel, that was opened just before the railway actually got to Port Adelaide!

Some of the more substantial buildings are the banks. This for many years was a restaurant (after it stopped being a bank) but now is a private family home. (Quite a spacious one I would suggest!)

Directly across the road, was another bank (the ANZ) and this building is currently a gallery.

The South Australian Maritime Museum, a nice place to visit for children. Among the exhibits there's a two thirds version of a ship that sailed the local waters, and children love to climb all over it.
I quite liked this, a Community Garden for locals. (The City of Adelaide clipper ship hulk in the background) With the advent of larger ships and then shipping containers the old port at Inner Harbour isn't used as much. The large ocean going ships berth at Outer Harbour, including the cruise ships. As the harbour is less of a working area, the local council are trying to encourage people to come and live close to the docks. This has had some varying success, there are some townhouses there, but not huge numbers so nice to see the Community Garden for those who do live there.