The Yelta, Port Adelaide

Onboard South Australia’s ‘Yelta’

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South Australia’s ‘Yelta’ Review

May 2017

As part of South Australia’s History Week that runs throughout during April and May each year, we took a trip out on the historical ‘Yelta’ which is South Australia’s last working steam tug.

Moored at Port Adelaide, the Yelta is run by the South Australian Maritime Museum with the support of a local group of volunteers who have a real passion to keep this boat’s history alive.

The Yelta, Port Adelaide

The Yelta Steam Tug Boat

South Australian Yelta Steam Tug Boat

The cruise lasted 3 hours, taking us past the opening of the Tom Diver Derrick Bridge, along the Port River. We were spoilt with dolphins playing at the bow of the boat on a perfectly sunny day to the mouth of the river and back again.

Tom Diver Bridge Opening, Port Adelaide

And if you think she would be on the slow side, with the Tom Diver Derrick Bridge scheduled to re-open at 3pm to let us back in, she raced back to Port Adelaide with all pistons going at quite an impressive speed!

There is a great view from the deck down into the engine room, to see how the cogs and pistols were in motion as she chugged along the river. Volunteers were onboard to talk through their work on keeping her going and for any questions.

The boat was reasonably full with around 40 people on board which still made it easy enough to wander around. It was a shame that there were no children on board taking in a part of this amazing history.

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The Yelta takes 3 days to warm up and start her voyages down the Port River so only runs several times a year. Keep an eye out on the South Australian Maritime Museum website for more events and grab the opportunity to get on the water with a piece of history in your heart!

South Australian Maritime Museum Yelta Information

If you are interested further, take a look at this video produced by the ABC about the history and how the Yelta still plays such an important part of the Port River.

Check out South Australia’s History Festival page or get in touch with the South Australian Maritime Museum to find out when the Yelta’s next voyage is!

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Gill onboard Guava - Adelaide Sailing School

Water loving British girl who moved to Australia and seriously caught the travel bug! Loves to explore and share destinations that inspire others to spend more time on the water and in the great outdoors. Typically, you’ll find her on a boat or next to the ocean, often in a daydream!

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