Program bookings

Young Explorers June: Journey to Arnhem Land 

Yidaki snake

 When:  June 5th - 9th and 12th - 16th (10.15am and 11.15am)

Where:  meet in the Main foyer.

Free, but bookings essential 

In June, we journey to the top end of Australia and get to know the home of the yidaki (didjeridu).

Please note: This program has been specially designed for children aged 3 to 5 years – if you are bringing an accompanying sibling less than 3 years of age, please care for your younger child to allow the older sibling to fully enjoy the program.


Quirky History Tours

Museum front

When: Every Tuesday and Thursday at 2pm and Sunday at 10.30am during the month of May

Where: meet in the front foyer

Free, but bookings essential 

What did the Museum do when the tiger’s stripes were fading? Or when the whale skeleton was losing its colour? Are there secret notes hidden inside one of the displays? Join our experienced guides to discover some of the quirky stories from the history of the South Australian Museum.


Alan Cooper - The Aboriginal Heritage Project

alan cooper

When: Tuesday 30 May, 6pm - 7pm (the Museum will open to guests at 5:30pm, with a complimentary glass of wine available prior to the talk)

Where: meet in the front foyer

Free, but bookings essential 

Professor Alan Cooper, Director of the Australian Centre for Ancient DNA will discuss how the study of historic hair clippings has lead to the first detailed picture of Aboriginal Australia. Working with Aboriginal families and communities, the Australian Centre for Ancient DNA and the South Australian Museum have obtained permission to analyse DNA preserved in hair samples. This has allowed researchers to look back to the initial colonization of Australia – some 50,000 years ago, and the major cultural and environmental events that took place prior to European arrival.

Prof. Alan Cooper has played a central role in the development of the field of ancient DNA. He sequenced the first complete genome of an extinct species, two mitochondrial genomes of giant New Zealand moa. He established the Australian Centre for Ancient DNA as an Australian Research Council Federation Fellow at the University of Adelaide, has been an ARC Future Fellow, and is now an ARC Laureate Fellow. He was named the 2016 South Australian Scientist of the Year.

Suitable for ages 16+

As places are strictly limited please cancel your Eventbrite booking if you are unable to attend so we can secure a place for others.


Afternoon talk with Alan Andersen - Ants and termites: the little things that run the world

Alan Andersen

When: Sunday June 4th, 2pm

Where: Pacific Cultures Gallery

Free, but bookings essential 

With World Environment Day coming up, join us for a relaxed Sunday talk at the South Australian Museum.

Did you know that yidaki (didjeridu) are made when termites hollow out the trunks of stringybark trees? In fact, termites and ants play a critical role in the biodiversity of the Northern Territory.

Our special guest, Professor Alan Andersen from Charles Darwin University, will talk about ants and termites, the fascinating but under-appreciated creatures that are such a dominant part of the Australian environment. Ants and termites are very different insects – one is a group of wasps and the other a group of cockroaches, but they are united by their sociality and the critical roles they play in nutrient cycling and energy flow. Australia is home to spectacular faunas of both.

Prof. Andersen is an internationally leading expert on the ecology and biogeography of ants. He is author of the books ‘The Ants of Southern Australia’ and ‘The Ants of Northern Australia’, as well as ‘Termites of Northern Australia’. He won the inaugural Charles Darwin Medal for Research and Innovation in the NT for his contributions to science and science leadership.

This talk will interest adults and younger audiences alike. It is recommended for ages 12+.

This event is proudly supported by Inspiring South Australia, in partnership with the South Australian Museum.