Giant Christmas Tree at the Mortlock | State Library of South Australia

Visit the Giant Christmas Tree at the State Library on North Terrace, Adelaide.

Each year the magic of Christmas comes to South Australia’s Mortlock Library, one of the most beautiful libraries in the world.

There is something for everyone to see and discover at the State Library, from the largest indoor Christmas tree in Adelaide and storytelling sessions under the tree by local authors, to fun displays from the State Library’s collections and festive performances. 

mortlock library Christmas tree

The Giant Christmas Tree is unveiled each year to coincide with the National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant.

View the Giant Christmas Tree from 4 November 2023 until 7 January 2024

The Mortlock Chamber is on the ground floor with easy access to the stunning Christmas tree, the centrepiece of the State Library’s Christmas program, which also includes a traditional Christmas-themed display from the State Library’s Children’s Literature Research Collection, themed to reflect past Christmas traditions in different countries. The upper levels of the Mortlock Wing include quiet study areas.  

Each year there are also a number of family friendly activities in the lead up to Christmas day, including a Christmas reading nook, Christmas crafts, Christmas story telling sessions with local authors and storytellers and School Choir performances. 

2023 Activities:

  • Christmas reading nook – visitors can take time out to read a book in a festive-themed reading nook.
  • School choir performances – School choirs will fill the Mortlock with Christmas joy with a series of performances from Monday 4 December until Friday 8 December 2023.
  • Christmas display –  A Christmas Pop-up book from the State Library’s extensive collection
  • Choir performances – various choirs will be presenting in December.
  • Christmas story telling (11am and 1pm daily from Monday 18 to Friday 22 December) – storytelling under the giant Christmas tree
  • Christmas craft (On daily) – Free Christmas decoration making activity
  • Christmas Pageant Exhibition (Daily from November 18) – an exclusive display of memorable pieces from
    the Adelaide Christmas Pageant
  • High Tea at the Mortlock (Sold out) (Each Sunday from 26 November until 17 December at 10am and 2pm) – enjoy a festive themed high tea in the Mortlock Chamber, whilst taking in the enchanting giant Christmas tree and exclusive Christmas Pageant Display

It’s FREE to enter the Mortlock and view the tree and no bookings are required.

Christmas Pageant in the Mortlock

The magic of the National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant will live on this festive season at the State Library of South Australia, with the beautiful Mortlock Chamber hosting an exclusive exhibit of pageant memorabilia.

Displayed alongside the State Library’s giant seven-metre-high Christmas tree, which stretches to the height of the first level of the Mortlock, the Christmas Pageant exhibit gives visitors a taste of the magic of the Pageant, with costumes, imagery and artefacts, including toy soldiers and Nipper, the beloved chestnut horse.

And what would a Christmas Pageant display be like without clowns! READ MORE HERE

At the entrance to the State Library you can’t miss one of the Santa’s from The Santa Course!  ‘Santa the Curator’, a giant inflatable Santa stands in the Library Foyer as part of the City of Adelaide’s Christmas Trail, which encourages people to follow a city wide ‘Santa Course’ map and visit all 10 Santas around Adelaide.

Christmas at the Mortlock – 2022 Review by Claire Davill

The Mortlock Wing is a spectacular place to visit at any time of year but at Christmas time it is extra spectacular, and there are additional things to see and do.

Step inside the quiet, ground floor of the Mortlock Wing and the first thing you’ll notice is the huge Christmas tree at the other end, stretching up above the second level and topped with a lit up star. Twinkling lights abound and presents surround the base, as well as an inviting red armchair to sit on for photos or read a Christmas themed book (there is a well-stocked basket next to the chair).

To one side is a “fireplace” with more armchairs and more books, for more reading and more photo opportunities.

There are also colouring tables with plenty of Christmas themed pictures to colour in. Pencils, scissors, string and staplers are provided and you’re encouraged to add your creation to the nearby Christmas tree.

Many of the displays feature Christmas related items, including plenty of old-fashioned toys that children hoped to find in their stockings in years past.

Once you have discovered everything at the ground level, head up the stairs or or use the lift to the second level to get a different view of the Christmas tree, as well as take in the gorgeous historic reading and study nooks, surrounded by old books and dark wood. Remember that people often study or read up here, so remember to keep your voices low!

A visit to the Mortlock Wing is a must when you are in the city during the Christmas season – it’s like stepping back in time! Remember that entry is free. You can enter from the main entrance of the State Library – head up the stairs and along the walkway connecting the State Library building to the Mortlock Wing. During Christmas time you can also enter from the other end of the wing, near the South Australian Museum courtyard. This is well signposted.

Opening Hours:

  • Monday: 9am to 5pm
  • Tuesday: 9am to 7pm
  • Wednesday to Friday: 9am to 5pm
  • Saturday and Sunday: 12pm to 5pm

(Closed Public Holidays)

The quietest times to visit are early mornings on weekdays – make sure you allow enough time to read some books and colour in some Christmas decorations.


The State Library of South Australia is located on the corner of North Terrace and Kintore Avenue in the city.

There is a tram-stop just outside the State Library and there are bus stops close by near the War Memorial on North Terrace and the closest train station is the Adelaide city station on North Terrace.  The nearest car park is Wilson’s Adelaide Central car park next to David Jones and there is paid metered street parking along Kintore Ave and Victoria Drive.      


things to do in Adelaide for families

For more information and all enquiries please visit the State Library of South Australia website or follow their Facebook page.

At Play & Go Adelaide we make every effort to provide accurate information to the best of our knowledge at the time of publication. We recommend confirming times, dates and details directly before making any plans as details may be subject to change.

Image Source: photos by Play & Go 2020 – 2022


Want to get all the latest events and activities straight to your inbox?

Subscribe to our weekly email newsletter below to keep up to date with our latest posts and find out all the best events & activities for Adelaide families. Newsletters are only sent once a week, and you may sometimes get a special offer exclusively for our subscribers only!


You May Also Like:

Tags: , , , , , ,

No comments yet.

Feel free to leave us a comment

Back to Top