State Library of South Australia (SLSA)
The State Library of South Australia is free to enter and to join, although visitors from overseas need to apply for temporary membership in person to access the collections. (Bring your passport as ID.) Join a free guided tour to discover signature collections, special exhibitions, and the library’s architecture. Alternatively, experience the exterior on a range of Adelaide city tours, or place the library in its historical context on a North Terrace walking tour that takes in sights such as Parliament House and the Art Gallery of South Australia.
Things to Know Before You Go
A place of pilgrimage for researchers, the State Library of South Australia also rewards photographers and architecture fans.
The State Library of South Australia is a reference library, not a lending library. Materials can only be read on-site.
The library is wheelchair-accessible. Besides parking for people with disabilities, it has ramps, elevators, wide aisles, and accessible bathrooms, as well as Braille signage.
How to Get There
The State Library of South Australia stands on the corner of North Terrace and Kintore Avenue in central Adelaide, about a 5-minute walk east of Adelaide Railway Station and next door to the Art Gallery of South Australia. It’s walking distance from many signature Adelaide sights, including Adelaide Oval and Adelaide Central Market. If riding the free tram between the Botanic Gardens and Entertainment Centre, get off at the Art Gallery stop.
When to Get There
The State Library of South Australia closes on major public holidays, including Good Friday, Easter Saturday, Easter Monday, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day, Australia Day (January 26), and Anzac Day (April 25). Hours for different areas of the library vary, but to ensure access to all exhibitions visit between late morning and afternoon, after confirming that the Mortlock Wing is not closed for an event. Free tours operate in the late morning and after lunch on weekdays.
The Mortlock Wing of the State Library of South Australia
Bibliophiles and architecture fans alike adore the State Library of South Australia’s Mortlock Wing, considered one of the world’s most beautiful libraries. Designed by E.J. Woods and completed in 1884, the exterior is French Renaissance. The galleried interior is a spectacular example of mid-Victorian grandeur, with a glass-domed roof and wrought iron balustrades. It takes its name from the library’s major donor, sheep-farming tycoon John Andrew Tennant Mortlock.
- South Australian Museum
- Migration Museum
- Art Gallery of South Australia
- Parliament House
- Rundle Mall
- Adelaide Zoo
- Adelaide Oval
- Victoria Square
- St. Peter's Cathedral, Adelaide
- National Wine Centre of Australia
- Adelaide Central Market
- Light's Vision
- Adelaide Gaol
- Haigh’s Chocolates Visitor Centre
- River Torrens Linear Park Trail