The SA Maritime Museum preserves the oldest nautical collection in Australia. In 1872 the Port Adelaide Institute began a museum collection to complement its library and its educational and social programs. That collection grew over the following century reflecting the seafarers and the ships that visited Port Adelaide. It is now held in trust at the SA Maritime Museum.

The Maritime Museum’s collection ranges from the Port Adelaide Lighthouse that was first lit in 1869 to a plaque that explorer Matthew Flinders left at Memory Cove in 1802 to mark the loss to eight seafarers. It includes figureheads, nautical instruments, bathing costumes, shipwreck artefacts, paintings, models and vessels.

Our scope is the maritime heritage of South Australia from the coast to inland waters. The collection of over almost 20,000 objects and over 20,000 images is at once a window to the heritage of the local community and to the ships of the world.

Title Type
Adelaide Steamship Company Collection Physical collection
Bond Studios Glass Negative Collection Physical collection
Exploration Physical collection
HMCS Protector Collection Physical collection
Lighthouse Collection Physical collection
Nautical Instrument Collection Physical collection
Port Adelaide Nautical Museum Physical collection
Ship Figureheads Physical collection
Ship Model Collection Physical collection
Ship Portraits Physical collection
Shipwreck Collection Physical collection
The Grain Trade: Windjammers and Cape Horners Physical collection
The Mosquito Fleet - South Australia's Ketches Physical collection
The Port Adelaide Collection Physical collection
Vessels Collection Physical collection