9am – 4pm Monday to Friday
9.30am – 2pm Saturday and Sunday
Closed Christmas Day and Good Friday
The Mannum Dock Discovery Centre is located on the banks of the River Murray in the historic river port town of Mannum, South Australia. The Museum incorporates the Paddle Steamer Marion, the historic Randell Dry Dock, the Key’s Beam Engine and the Mannum Visitor Information Centre.
Co-located alongside the PS Marion and the Museum’s main building is the Randell Dry Dock. Constructed in 1873 the once floating dock became a fixed dry dock to service the increasing fleet of paddle steamers and barges using the Murray-Darling rivers. The Dock played a significant role in employing local shipwrights and tradesmen, and provided the core required to maintain the local ship building industry up until the 1920s. The Randell Dry Dock is one of only two known timber floating dry docks built in Australia and now the only remaining example. The Dry Dock is listed on the South Australian State Heritage Register and the Register of the National Estate. The Randell Dry Dock Conservation Plan was developed in 2002 with assistance from the Commonwealth Government through the Cultural Heritage Program.
The Mannum Dock Museum of River History is a heritage attraction focusing on river history showing the preservation of life on the River Murray and surrounding areas. Displays in the Museum follow the life of the Murray River from its birth, showcasing fossilised sea creatures that once inhabited the Murray River area when it was an inland seabed; the occupation of the Aboriginal people, depicting food gathering, boat building, trading and Ngarrindjeri dreaming; the coming of white settlement and the birth of Mannum as a settlement, the start of the river trade, its growth and the important part it has played in our history.
Other features of the Museum are Major Floods in the Mannum area, the Theatrette and the “Early Mannum” display (both supported by the History Trust of SA through Museums Accreditation and Grants Program) and the Arnold Gallery (supported by the South Australian Government through Arts SA).
The theme is set to guide our visitors through a rich and colourful historic and cultural journey.
Content of exhibits and displays in the Museum contain many objects and images donated by past and present local residents. Using our Collection Management Policy as a guide we ensure our planning of interpretive displays relate specifically to either river history or the Mannum district. We are responsible for telling the story of our local heritage and how our traditions, customs and morals were born. In educating our visitors with this history we raise awareness and keep these deep seated beliefs, practices and principles alive today. Through conservation comes education.