University of Adelaide Walking Tour (Self Guided), Adelaide

The University of Adelaide is a public research university. Established in 1874, it is the third-oldest university in Australia. The university's main campus is located on North Terrace in the Adelaide city centre, adjacent to the Art Gallery of South Australia, the South Australian Museum and the State Library of South Australia. ***Wiki***
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University of Adelaide Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: University of Adelaide Walking Tour
Guide Location: Australia » Adelaide (See other walking tours in Adelaide)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 10
Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.1 Km or 0.7 Miles
Author: Jane
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Bonython Hall
  • Adelaide Elder Conservatory of Music
  • Mitchell Building
  • Walter Hughes Statue
  • South Australia Art Gallery
  • South Australian Museum
  • Adelaide State Library
  • Migration Museum
  • Union Building Group
  • Barr Smith Library
Bonython Hall

1) Bonython Hall

Bonython Hall is the University of Adelaide's main ceremonial hall. It was constructed in 1936 from a design by architect Woods Bagot in the Gothic architectural style. The beautiful and imposing building is used for graduation events, puclic lectures and special ceremonies.

Bonython Hall was made to look as though it had been in place for many years. To acquire this feat, Bagot used Murray Bridge limestone and slate roof that was quarried from Willunga.

The building was named in honor of Sir John Langdon Bonython who donated the funds to construct the building. Bonython was a member of the Australian Parliament and a well-known journalist and editor. It is said that Bonython donated the funds on the condition that it be built opposite Pulteney Street in order to prevent a thoroughfare from being built that might divide the university campus.

It is also rumored that Bonython required the building be constructed with a sloping floor in order to avoid any dancing. The Bonython family were very conservative and did not want the building used as a dance hall.
Adelaide Elder Conservatory of Music

2) Adelaide Elder Conservatory of Music

The Elder Conservatory of Music, also known as "The Con", is Australia's senior academy of music, named in honor of its benefactor, Sir Thomas Elder. Dating back to 1883, it has a distinguished history in the intensive professional training for musical performance, musical composition, research in all fields of music, and comprehensive music education. The Elder Conservatory of Music and its forerunners have been integral parts of the University of Adelaide since the early 1880s.

Principal areas of study and specialization include Classical performance, Jazz performance, Composition, Musicology and Ethnomusicology, Music Education, and Music Technology. The Elder Music Library is the largest music library in the Southern Hemisphere, containing just under 30,000 books, over 5400 journal volumes, over 120,000 music scores and around 22,000 sound recordings.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Mitchell Building

3) Mitchell Building

The University of Adelaide was South Australia’s first university. It was established in 1874 by an Act of Parliament and the South Australian government set aside land on North Terrace for the new university.

The Mitchell Building was the first building of the University. Architect James MacGeorge won a competition to design the building in 1877. Scandal marred the process, with Melbournian Michael Egan first replacing MacGeorge as the architect. He in turn was replaced by William McMinn and Edward John Woods. While McMinn was given credit for the final design of the Mitchell Building, much of it was apparently based on Egan’s design.

The foundation stone was laid on 30 July 1879 by Governor Sir William Jervois. The first classes were held in the building two years later, although it was still being built. The Mitchell Building was finally finished in 1882. When it opened, the South Australian Weekly Chronicle described the Gothic building as a “thoroughly academic design”.

This building housed all of the university’s faculties and activities until the completion of the Elder Conservatorium in 1900 and the Prince of Wales Building in 1902.

In 1961 the building was named in honour of Sir William Mitchell, one of the university’s first philosophy academics. He was also the university’s vice-chancellor from 1916-1942 and its chancellor from 1942-1948.
Walter Hughes Statue

4) Walter Hughes Statue

The statue of Sir Walter Watson Hughes commemorates one of the founders of the University of Adelaide and its first donor. In 1872 Hughes donated £20 000 to higher education in South Australia, which enabled the establishment of its first (and Australia’s third) university two years later. Hughes founded the chairs of classics, English language and literature, and mental and moral philosophy.
South Australia Art Gallery

5) South Australia Art Gallery (must see)

The South Australia Art Gallery is a visual arts museum with over 45,000 works of art. It is the second largest art collection in Australia after the National Gallery of Victoria. The South Australia Art Gallery was established in 1881 with purchased items as well as a number of pieces lent by Queen Victoria and the Prince of Wales.

Though the museum was founded in 1881, the building didn't open until 1900. It was designed by C.E. Owen Smyth in the Classical Revival architectural style. The open Doric portico was added in 1936 when the building was expanded. Other extensions were added in 1962, 1979, 1981 and 1996.

The permanent collection consists of Australian art that includes indigenous and colonial artwork, silverware, furniture and photography. It also holds works by European artists like Goya, Francesco Gaudi, Camille Pissarro, Anthony van Dyck and Thomas Gainsborough.

Sculptures from the likes of Barbara Hepworth and Rodin are also included. As part of its revolving exhibits, the museum hosts the annual Festival of Contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Art.

The South Australia Art Gallery is open daily from 10 AM to 5 PM. It is closed on Christmas day. Entry is free for all patrons though some special exhibits may have fees.
South Australian Museum

6) South Australian Museum (must see)

The South Australian Museum is a natural history museum that was established in 1856. The museum holds an exhibit that has more than 4.5 million objects. It sees more than 1.1 million patrons per year.

The museum has a large number of permanent galleries. Among these are galleries featuring ancient Egypt, Australian Aboriginal cultures, megafauna, opal fossils, South Australian biodiversity and indigenous artefacts. The museum is said to contain the largest number of Aboriginal artefacts in the world with more than 30,000 objects. It also has the largest collection of Erlikilyika carvings in the world.

The Aboriginal art and culture is slated to split from the natural history exhibits in the near future. The new Aboriginal cultural center will be held in the old Royal Adelaide Hospital.

Visitors to the museum will find the exhibits spread across five floors. They will also have access to a cafe, coffee hut and museum shop. The museum is open daily from 10 AM to 5 PM. It is open on all public holidays except Christmas and Good Friday.
Adelaide State Library

7) Adelaide State Library

The Adelaide State Library, also known as the State Library of South Australia or the Public Library of South Australia, is the largest public research library in the state. Construction of the building began in 1866 but wasn't completed until 1884. It was designed by the Brown and Thompson architectural firm in a French Renaissance style with a mansard roof.

The interior of the Mortlock Chamber of the library has two galleries. One is supported by masonry columns and the other by cast iron brackets. The interior is also adorned with wrought iron and gold that is lit by natural light by the glass-domed roof. The exterior walls are made from brick and Manoora stone. The Mortlock Wing is often considered one of the world's most beautiful libraries.

The library offers a gallery that has permanent exhibitions both inside and out. This includes the Story Wall, numerous memorials, Ernabella rugs and the Kaurna Greeting Stone.

Visitors may explore the library, including the gallery and the Mortlock Chamber on Monday and Tuesday from 8 AM to 7 PM, Wednesday through Friday from 8 AM to 5 PM or weekends from noon to 5 PM.
Migration Museum

8) Migration Museum

Migration Museum is a public museum in Adelaide that deals with the immigration and settlement history of South Australia, and maintains both a permanent and a rotating collection of works. The museum features the Settlement Square and the monument of Immigrants. It is one of the three museums operated by History SA. Founded as an initiative of the State government in 1983, and with the museum opening in 1986, the Migration Museum in Adelaide is the oldest museum of its kind in Australia. The museum aims to promote cultural diversity and multiculturalism, which they define as including aspects of ethnicity, class, gender, age and region.

Operation hours: Monday - Sunday: 10 am – 5 pm.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Union Building Group

9) Union Building Group

The Union Building Group includes the Lady Symon Building, the George Murray Building, the Cloisters, the Western Annexe and the multi-level Union House. This group of buildings represents two major stages of development for the Adelaide University Union to provide services and facilities for students on campus. The earlier Georgian buildings designed by Woods, Bagot, Jory and Laybourne-Smith reflect the influence that firm had on the built character of the university campus. These subsequently provided the parameters for the structure and design of Union House, noted for the quality of its internal spaces and its relationship to the earlier buildings. Significant also for the use of timber in large-scale structures and in its high level of building craftsmanship, Union House is considered to be the culmination of a series of buildings in the 1960s-70s by the prominent South Australian partnership of Dickson and Platten which developed a 'vernacular' adaptation of modernism.

Union House is home to everything that the Adelaide University Union (AUU) provides students. It's also home to the UniBar and the famous Adelaide University Cloisters.

An architecturally and culturally significant building in the Brutalist style, heritage-listed Union House will be undergoing a phase one refit over the next years. Upcoming works will begin the rejuvenation of Union House that started with a revamped and relocated UniBar, and refreshed Cloisters. The project will start to enable Union House to act as a modern and unique venue for events, meetings, hospitality, clubs and a range of University services. Initial works made in conjunction with heritage consultants will create stronger links to the rest of the campus and reinstate a number of lost architectural elements, including cross-building pathways via the network of balconies.

Stage one of the project, which involved the relocation of the UniBar and rejuvination of the Cloisters was completed in February 2019. The historic Memorial Cloisters has been redeveloped to create a new and multi-dimensional UniBar and entertainment venue for students, staff and the general public.

The project marked the beginning of the Union House precinct transformation, which will see major upgrades to the heritage building and surrounding landscape. Creation of unique, bookable spaces will support student clubs and enable a range of cultural events and activities on campus.

The new UniBar improves connectivity between indoor and outdoor spaces, and has resulted in an influx of people to the lower half of the campus.
Barr Smith Library

10) Barr Smith Library

The Barr Smith Library is the main library of the University of Adelaide, situated in the centre of the North Terrace campus.

The library was named in honour of Robert Barr Smith who donated £9,000 to buy books. In 1920 his family gave an extra £11,000 in the form of an endowment and in 1928 his son, Tom Elder Barr Smith, gave £30,000 for the Barr Smith library building.

The Barr Smith Library was designed by Adelaide architects Woods, Bagot & Laybourne Smith and opened on 4 March 1932, with later additions to the main building being built from the 1950s onwards. The present entrance was constructed in 1984.

The library houses Rare Books and Special Collections and University Archives and Recordkeeping. It is also home to large collections across many subject areas including Australian history, politics and literature, English literature, world wars, socialism and fascism, women and gender studies, utopian literature, and food studies. Specialist collections include the Music Collection, East Asian Collection, Yaitya Ngutupira and Recreational Reading. Level 2 of the library is home to the large and opulent Reading Room. The High Use Collection and study spaces on level 3 can be accessed 24/7.
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in Adelaide, Australia

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