South Australia’s annual Port Festival was held on the weekend of 19-20th October. The festival is held in suburban Port Adelaide, the location of South Australia’s primary commercial shipping facilities. There were activities of all sorts, providing both arty/cultural experiences and opportunities to explore the history of the Port Adelaide district (which dates back to the original settlement of Adelaide in 1836).
What caught my eye while reviewing the list of events was an offer of free entry to three separate museums that respectively record South Australia’s aviation, maritime and railway histories. Having immersed myself quite deeply in old sailing ships over the past few months (as you may have noticed from my September posts), I decided to pass on the maritime museum and give the aviation and railway museums a visit. In this post, I’ll cover the South Australian Aviation Museum and return in later posts to the railway museum.
Please note that I’m trying out WordPress’s multi-page post functionality for the first time and have spread this post over three pages to help with page loading speeds. You should find a list of page numbers at the bottom of each page below the Share and Like buttons. Use these to navigate to other pages. I’m not overly keen on how WordPress displays the page links so far below the main body of the post, but apparently it’s embedded pretty deeply in their programming. I’d be interested in hearing your comments about this and whether I should use this functionality again in future posts.
Overview of the museum’s main hanger. The combination of the Port Festival publicity and free entry drew a good crowd.
Back in March I posted a photo essay of the SteamRanger historic railway featuring photos of the largest of the steam engines currently in service, the Duke of Edinburgh. You can find that post here.
SteamRanger is a volunteer run society operating a number of tourist railway services on the now isolated Mt Barker to Victor Harbor broad gauge line. The Cockle Train service runs along the Goolwa to Victor Harbor section of the track, along the edge of the Southern Ocean, for a distance of around 12 miles. Cockles, a local shellfish prolific near the mouth of the Murray River, provide the name for this service that runs regularly on weekends and school holidays. This section of line is the oldest in South Australia and was established in 1854 as a horse drawn railway to move freight from Goolwa (the lowest river port on the Murray-Darling river system) to nearby ocean ports (initially Port Elliott and later Victor Harbor). The railway allowed the mouth of the Murray River to be bypassed as it was unsafe for navigation, being shallow and directly facing the treacherous Southern Ocean swell. The line was rebuilt for steam in 1856.
A number of different rolling stock units are used to operate the service. Last weekend I drove down to Goolwa and followed the Sunday morning train from Goolwa to Victor Harbor and back. This service was operated by a former South Australian Railways 500 class diesel locomotive, No 507.
The 500 class was introduced in the 1960’s as shunters in marshalling yards across the State, replacing steam locomotives used to that time. Ultimately, as trains became longer and heavier, they became obsolete. Most were scrapped in the 1990’s, but a few remain in service. I can recall seeing these locos working in Adelaide’s Mile End good yards in the 1960’s and 70’s, along with the last few steam tank engines.
The 500 class was built locally at South Australian Railways’ Islington workshop. They were diesel-electric with English Electric 500hp motors, and a mix of standard and broad gauge examples were produced. SteamRanger uses No 507 to run the the Cockle Train on quieter services where the cost of running steam is too high.
We commence the pictures at Goolwa station shortly before the train set off for Victor Harbor. Continue reading →
On the morning after the Port Adelaide open day, the ships set sail for Melbourne, accompanied by the local sail training ship One and All which was sailing down as far as Kangaroo Island. Another glorious early spring day and a good spectator fleet was on hand to farewell the four ships. I popped my own boat in the water (all five metres of it!) and followed the fleet down the Port River and out into the gulf. Wind was a steady 10-12 knot northerly and the sea was near flat. Couldn’t have been a better day.
The Europa led the fleet down the Port River, surrounded by a spectator fleet of local yachts and power boats. The fleet headed north for five miles (8 km) after leaving their berths. With the light northerly breeze, it was motors on, with the jibs and stay sails set solely for decoration.
Welcome back to the third post of my tall ships series. After the open day at Port Adelaide finished, I ducked across the other side of the Port River hoping to get some good late afternoon/twilight shots of the moored ships.
If you have just arrived at this post, you may wish to first explore my two earlier tall ship posts:
I’ve probably said enough about the ships in those earlier posts, so I’ll just dive into the photos. Presented broadly in chronological order, so you can follow the changing mood as the light started out as a golden sunset and then faded to blue.
Welcome to my second post following the visit of the Dutch Tall Ships to Australia. In the first post here, I covered a chance encounter with the ships in Fremantle Harbor.
Five weeks on, and the ships have made it to Adelaide for a short stopover before continuing on their way to Melbourne and then onto Sydney for the Royal Australian Navy’s International Fleet Review.
On Saturday 31st August, the ships were open to the public visitors, and quite a crowd turned out for what was a glorious early spring day.
Joining the Europa, Oosterschelde and the Tecla for the open day were the local sailing vessels Falie and the One and All, and the historic steam tug Yelta.
I wandered down to Port Adelaide late in the afternoon and added some more images to my growing set of tall ship photos.
The English sail training ship, the Lord Nelson, joined the Dutch tall ships in Adelaide, as she too makes her way towards Sydney. Completed in 1986, she is designed for both able bodied and disabled crew members to actively participate in the sailing of the ship.