Published on 09 April, 2021

Never before seen wonders on display in new exhibition

Have you ever wondered what’s stored beyond the five floors of the South Australian Museum? In a new landmark exhibition opening today, Wonders from the South Australian Museum, visitors will get the rare opportunity to explore objects from the Museum’s vast collections – many of which have never been on public display before.

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Sponsored by the Department of Premier and Cabinet Wonders will also be part of the celebrations for the Museum’s 165th birthday in June 2021.

Since becoming Premier in 2018, Steven Marshall has become very well acquainted with the Museum’s collection which holds over 4 million objects.

“The South Australian Museum holds one of the most significant collections in the world and I’m sure many South Australians don’t realise the breadth of this. I am thrilled to come on board to support this exhibition by making it free for all to enjoy.”

“Travel is not as accessible as it used to be, so I encourage South Australians to take a holiday in their own backyard and explore what’s on our doorstep. Wonders is going to be a once in a lifetime experience to see an exceptional collection firsthand,” he added.

The exhibition is guest curated by Nat Williams, best known for his work creating extraordinary exhibitions for the National Library of Australia, including, Mapping our World, and Handwritten: Manuscript Treasures from Berlin and as the Library’s inaugural Treasures Curator and pioneering its Treasures Gallery from 2011.

When asked to consider the remarkable content in Wonder, Nat stressed the sheer scope and variety of the exhibition content.  

“The challenge of selecting 165 objects to represent 165 years of the Museum’s life was considerable. Fascinating objects have come from all collection areas and many are unique and very significant – there are biological specimens and First Nations art and culture from around the world; amazing minerals and fossils that span millions of years, and objects from every continent on  Earth– there is really something for everyone,” Nat explains.

The South Australian Museum has been committed to making Australia’s natural and cultural heritage accessible engaging and fun for 165 years. Today it is one of the most visited Museums in Australia and holds collections of national and international significance.

When asked what visitors can hope to take away from Wonders South Australian Museum Director Brian Oldman pondered the exhibition.

“I really hope South Australians and visitors to the State leave with a deeper understanding of the history, cultures and natural wonders held in the Museum’s encyclopedic collection. We truly are so lucky to hold this collection and I cannot wait to share it with you all.”

Wonders from the South Australian Museum runs from Saturday 10 April – Sunday 8 August. Entry is free. For more information please visit:

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Wonders from the South Australian Museum