Cemetery teems with tales of state’s history
OURISM is alive and well at Australia’s oldest operating cemetery. West Terrace Cemetery has just been inducted into the State’s Tourism Hall of Fame following its third consecutive award for Cultural and Heritage Tourism at the 2014 South Australian Tourism Awards, and it is no wonder why.
This unique open-air museum and working cemetery has been a feature of Adelaide since the city was laid out in 1837. Now the iconic landmark is quickly becoming a popular destination for visitors.
In late 2013, travel bible Lonely Plant even named the cemetery as one of Australia’s “on-trend attractions”.
Home to 150,000 souls, the cemetery is teeming with fascinating stories of the state’s past residents. Among them is Hollywood actress turned ballerina Madeleine Parker, one of the strangest figures in 20th century music Percy Grainger, decorated war hero Arthur Seaforth Blackburn as well as the man at the centre of one of Australia’s greatest mysteries, the Somerton Man.
The latest way to explore the cemetery is in the dead of night. Every Friday, under the veil of darkness, visitors are introduced to a host of dubious characters, larrikins and eccentrics as part of a unique guided sound and light experience.
These real-life tales of murder, mystery and mayhem are as baffling and bizarre as you would find in any good book.
There are also regular guided tours every Tuesday and Sunday at 10.30am as well as five free self-guided trails to explore.
Adelaide Cemeteries Authority chief executive Robert Pitt said the authority prided itself on being one of the country’s most innovative providers of cemetery services.
“We cater for the living, not just the dead, and our guided tours and self-guided trails are a fantastic example of this commitment,” Mr Pitt said.
To book a tour, call the authority on 8139 7400, email eventsWTC@aca.sa.gov.au, or visit www.aca.sa.gov.au
The latest way to explore the cemetery is at night.