Printed postcard with colour lithograph views of Town Hall, Adelaide from Montefiore Hill, with North Adelaide and St Peter's Cathedral, and GPO and statue of Queen Victoria, Victoria Square, 1910. SLSA: B 72466
Botanic Park showing the avenue of plane trees along the northern rear side of the Botanical Gardens. Many people can be seen enjoying the ambience of the area. The trees were planted in 1874, app 1910. SLSA: B 16393/38
Postcard views of South Australia. SLSA: PRG 337/1/6
Beaches were extremely popular summer destinations from the nineteenth century onwards. Their popularity increased as the city and suburbs were connected by train and tram. Glenelg, Henley, Brighton and Semaphore were extremely popular. As public transport became established it became possible to travel greater distances for recreation and sightseeing. From 1878 (until 1914) there were horse-drawn trams, and from 1909, electric trams. Various rail lines had radiated out from Adelaide since the 1850s. Port Adelaide and Gawler were the earliest. The train was a convenient mode of travel although very uncomfortable. Beachside lines carried sightseers and holiday makers to popular destinations like Glenelg.
Tram Terminus, Henley, 1910. SLSA: B 37748
In this image from the 1890s passengers are seen boarding and alighting from a horse tram (from the Adelaide and Hindmarsh Tramway Company) on Seaview Road at Henley Beach. A sign on the tram is advertising 'Quaker oats'. In the background is the foreshore, beach and jetty upon which people are promenading. SLSA: B 14984
Glenelg-Victoria Square Line. Moseley Square Train Terminus, 1875. SLSA: B 28635
This image shows a crowd standing at the Glenelg to Adelaide terminus in King William Street in 1908, ready to board the train to Glenelg. The smoke billowing from the South Australian Railways 'P' class locomotive was the subject of continuous complaints and eventually, in 1914, the line was terminated at South Terrace. In 1929 the line was upgraded and electrified as the Glenelg tram line. SLSA: B 4397
As professional photography became more widespread, views of beaches and other picturesque locations were turned into postcards, published as scenic views, placed in books and brochures, and later, newspapers, to attract visitors or celebrate an occasion.
The Colour tinted postcard above shows a view of buildings in Glenelg, taken from the Glenelg jetty. On the left is the Town Hall, in the centre is the Glenelg Coffee Palace, and on the right is the Pier Hotel.
Not all the holiday activity was at Glenelg. This 1890 image shows holiday time at Semaphore. Large round tents have been erected on the beach. Horses and buggies are lined up along the foreshore. Children are paddling in the sea. Rides and swings can be seen above the tent tops.
Nearly thirty years later in 1918 a group of anglers is shown fishing near the Customs Office on Largs Bay jetty. A group of spectators watch a young boy inspecting his catch.
This beach and promenade scene at Henley Beach is part of a panorama taken by D Darien Smith and reproduced in the Chronicle on January 10th, 1925. In the foreground people are walking on the jetty while families relax on the beach. The Henley Kiosk, with its prominent twin lookout towers, opened in 1915. The rotunda can be seen in front of the kiosk with the Ramsgate Hotel behind.
This image forms the left-most section of a beach and promenade panorama of Henley Beach, taken by D Darien Smith and reproduced in the Chronicle on January 10th, 1925. SLSA: B 2413
This image forms the centre section of a beach and promenade panorama of Henley Beach, taken by D Darien Smith and reproduced in the Chronicle on January 10th, 1925. SLSA: B 2411
This image forms the right section of a beach and promenade panorama of Henley Beach, taken by D Darien Smith and reproduced in the Chronicle on January 10th, 1925. SLSA: B 2412
By 1909 the introduction of electric trams and the growth of suburban rail meant faster travel and longer leisure. Each weekend trains carried people out of the city. Sometimes as many as six trains ran the route to Belair. The day of the all-day picnic far from the city had arrived.
Shade house, National Park, Belair, app. 1905. SLSA: B 24336
A group of 15 adults with two small children pose for the camera at the 'National Park Belair November 9th 1909'. This annotation on the back of the photograph is paraphrased with a later, typewritten version which reads 'Picnic day at National Park. November 1909'. There is no indication as to who the people in the photograph are. SLSA: B 70804
Bridge near Honeysuckle Arbour, Long Gully, Belair National Park, tinted postcard, produced between 1907 and 1913. SLSA: PRG 337/1/10
As the twentieth century progressed the expansion of rail and the introduction of an electric tram network networks led to a greater choice of trips beyond the city. Pictured below is an early 1910 motor charabanc or bus outside the Tourist Bureau in King William Street. The Bureau led the way in using motorised vehicles for excursions. With the introduction of motor vehicles, roads improved. By 1910 , horse and carriage trips were being replaced by motor cars and guided charabancs tours.
Destinations further from Adelaide soon opened up as private operators realised that there was money to be made from tourism, especially in transport and accommodation.
Coastal steamers carried passengers to and from Perth, Melbourne, and Sydney. Steamers could be privately chartered but by 1910 regular local travel was in place. Small steamers travelled from Port Adelaide to towns along the coast. Destinations included Stansbury, Ceduna, Port Lincoln, Wallaroo, Port Pirie, Port Augusta, and Kangaroo Island. Aeroplane travel was out of reach for most but for those who could afford it, sea and river travel were early options. River travel for leisure became increasingly popular. The wood-fired river steamer Marion was one of the first paddle steamers to run cruises on the Murray River.
South Australia’s early tourist industry expanded rapidly between the wars. State and interstate travel increased. Holidays away by car, bus, train and boat were now within reach. Family camping and caravanning journeys provided low-cost escapes. Organised sightseeing trips by bus became popular. Excursions to places of local interest were organised. Hotels and guesthouses provided a wide range of accommodation.
Posters, brochures, postcards, and newspaper articles advertised South Australia’s many desirable destinations to attract visitors from interstate and overseas. Tourism flourished and for a time, any time really was holiday time.