The About Time History Festival is just around the corner. Held throughout May, the festival is one of South Australia’s largest community events and promotes South Australia’s collections, places and stories through a huge array of history-related activities.

I picked up one of the great looking programs from History SA last week, and have been busy circling events and sessions I want to go to. Here’s a few of the highlights I’ve found so far.

Ship tours galore

Two of the activities I’ve circled are tours through some of South Australia’s iconic ships. After visiting the HMS Belfast and the Cutty Sark in the UK, I’m looking forward to visiting some of SA’s oldest ships too.

The first is the HMAS Whyalla, the first ship built in the Whyalla Shipyards in 1941. The ship was commissioned in 1942 and used by the navy as an antisubmarine and minesweeping vessel.
More info: HMAS Whyalla guided tour

The second is the clipper ship, the City of Adelaide. The City of Adelaide is the oldest clipper ship in the world. The ship arrived back in Adelaide last year, and is now available for guided tours during the festival. The Cutty Sark in England is the second oldest clipper ship, and has been turned into a fascinating museum. I’m excited to see what South Australia can do with the oldest.
More info: City of Adelaide tour

Open days

Through the festival there are select buildings having open days, where you can go on a tour of the building and learn about it’s history and usage. Some of these we’ve explored before, during the Open House Adelaide days, but they are still interesting enough to go back to.

The Freemasons’ building on North Terrace is one of Adelaide’s iconic buildings, completed in 1927. Guided tours during the festival take you through the Lodge rooms and museum collection. When we did this tour during Open House Adelaide 2014 the tour guide gave us a great insight into Freemasonry and it’s history, which many people are (maybe secretly) very intrigued by.
More info: Freemasons Grand Lodge: Open House

The City of Adelaide (the local government, not the clipper ship) is celebrating 175 years of government in 2015. During the festival, you can join a tour of the Adelaide Town Hall to hear more about Adelaide’s history.
More info: City of Adelaide Celebrates 175 Years

One open day that I’m really excited about is the Old Adelaide Treasury, one of Adelaide’s oldest and most significant historic sites. The tour includes the former SA Government Cabinet Room as well as the underground tunnel areas original to the building.
More info: Old Adelaide Treasury Tunnels Open Day

Discovering Asia

The Discovering Asia exhibit sounds like it’s going to be really interesting. Discovering Asia enables you to learn about Far East civilisations just how western cultures originally did. See early images of Indonesia, Korea, China, Japan, Vietnam and other South East Asian countries. Come peruse printed records from the 1600s at the Royal Geographical Society in the State Library.
More info: Discovering Asia

There is heaps more to do during the festival, so either grab a program, check out the website, or download the app on Android or iOS.

Featured image: City of Adelaide (Wikimedia)