Visiting the South Australian Maritime Museum: a guide for teachers

This Guide has been created for teachers, to help plan their visit to the museum, and provide some ideas for classroom activities before and after a class visit.

There are lots of great resources and activities that can be explored in the classroom, even if you can’t make it to the museum in person.

Download the pdf booklet here:

Visiting SAMM- a Guide for Teachers

How can my students learn through the SA Maritime Museum?

How can my students learn through the SA Maritime Museum?

  • Visit the SA Maritime Museum at the beginning, middle or end of a learning program to stimulate, inform or consolidate the learning process for your students.
  • A visit to the SA Maritime Museum can include a range of experiences in the Bond Store, a lighthouse climb, and Port River cruise.
  • Book your students into one of the education programs; participate in professional development or special events. Information about these programs can be found on the website.
  • Contact the Education Manager at the SA Maritime Museum for assistance in planning your museum visit and other learning experiences. The Education Manager can support you in accessing relevant resources for your learning program and in planning appropriate strategies to support all learners.
  • Please take the time to read our Frequently Asked Questions to ensure your visit is a successful experience for your students.

Contact the Museum for more information:
Phone (08) 8207 6255 or email

Consider the wider Port Adelaide precinct when planning your learning experiences.

Active II

*The ketch is currently closed due to COVID19 restrictions. Please check back here for any updates*
A favourite for every visitor is the replica ketch Active II. Built by shipwright Bill Porter and rigged by sailmaker Don Lucas in 1986, it fills our entrance gallery. The first Active was built in 1873 and worked the coast until 1959.

The ketch trade could be tough. The pay was poor, crews slept onboard and many fished to supplement their rations. Ketches were typically crewed by a skipper and one or two hands. Boys wanting to go to sea could gain their first experience in ketches before moving to steamships. Some chose ketches because the short voyages brought them back to their home ports each week.

Ketch hands were versatile. They were skilled in vessel handling, coastal navigation, rigging sails, mending, cooking, and cargo loading. They also stuffed the holds with sacks of grain or bales of wool weighing more than fifty kilograms. Ketch hands earned a reputation as tough, rough and ready sailors.