State Library of South Australia – Mortlock Wing | Review

The State Library of South Australia – Review of the Mortlock Wing in Adelaide

If you haven’t experienced the State Library of SA Mortlock Wing, then put it on your list for the next time you’re exploring the Adelaide CBD. It is definitely worth the visit.

by Brooke Hendry

The Mortlock Wing would have to be the most beautiful library we’ve seen. The kids felt like we’d stepped straight into a Harry Potter movie!

It’s simply beautiful and looks exactly how you would expect a late Victorian Library to look.  

The Mortlock Wing features an open plan chamber which is 3 levels high – each balcony features wrought iron balustrading. You’re surrounded by thousands of books full of knowledge and history, and above sits an incredible glass-domed roof which lets the natural light shine down. It’s magical.

State Library of SA Mortlock Wing

In the downstairs area, you’ll find exhibition bays comprising nearly 1,000 items, which display the rich heritage of South Australia. Quiet study desk areas surrounded by books are located on the upper levels.

You instantly just know that you have to be ‘library quiet’ and the kids were whispering excitedly as we looked at the exhibitions. There’s so much to discover and explore!

Entry to the State Library of SA is free and no bookings are required.

You’re welcome to go in and visit just for a look around, or to research and study. There are also exhibitions, events and tours at the State Library Gallery, Treasure Walls and the Mortlock Chamber.

At Christmas time, Morlock Libray houses the largest indoor Christmas tree. 

You can find out what’s currently on via the State Library of South Australia website.

State Library of SA

What we liked: A magical location in the City that is definitely worth seeing, plus free entry and no bookings required.

Things to consider: It is a library, so still be mindful that there will be people researching/studying.

The State Library is a MUST visit when in the Adelaide CBD

Opening Hours

Monday to Tuesday: 8am to 7pm
Wednesday to Friday: 8am to 5pm
Saturday and Sunday: 12pm to 5pm
Closed on public holidays

Wheelchair and Stroller Access

Access to the Spence Wing first floor and the Mortlock Chamber is via the lift in the glass foyer entrance of the library.


The State Library of SA is located on the corner of North Terrace and Kintore Ave, next to the South Australian Museum.

Getting There

The ‘State Library, Art Gallery, Museum’ tram-stop is just outside the State Library. There are bus stops close by near the War Memorial on North Terrace. The closest train station is the Adelaide city station on North Terrace.

The nearest car park is Wilson’s Adelaide Central car park, 225 North Terrace, next to David Jones.  There is also paid metered street parking along Kintore Ave and Victoria Drive.

The State Library Cafe

Located on the ground floor in the glass foyer, the cafe will be reopening in 2022. 

North Terrace is also perfect for a FREE family-fun day out!

North Terrace, in the city, is full of great places to visit – with many offering free entry – discover more free family fun places to visit in the City.

Click here for all the Best Playgrounds for Toddlers

See our Top Parks & Playgrounds Around Adelaide

things to do in Adelaide for families

For more information and all enquiries please visit the State Library of South Australia website.

What:   Mortlock Wing – State Library of SA

When:   7 Days a week (closed public holidays)

Where:   Cnr North Terrace and Kintore Avenue, Adelaide

Who:   Everyone

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: All photos by Brooke Hendry


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