Presented and managed
by the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences and Art & Heritage Collections of the University of Adelaide.

For more information
please contact
Art & Heritage Collections
or telephone 8303 3086

Viewing times
9am to 5pm. Monday to Friday












Mawson Laboatories, The University of Adelaide
North East corner, North Terrace Campus

The Tate Museum is one of the largest and best geology museums in Australia. Named after Professor Ralph Tate, the foundation Elder Professor of Natural Sciences from 1875-1901, it was initially established in 1925 when the then Geology Department occupied the former Prince of Wales Building adjacent the Mitchell Building. It moved to its current location in the early 1950's.

Today about 1000 University students per day pass through the Tate Museum to get to lectures, and it is a great place for teachers and high school students to visit.

The Museum contains a wide range of fascinating geological and historical artefacts. Here are eight treasures to savour.

Meteorites are strange and beautiful visitors from outer space. The Tate Museum houses a number of examples including a 4.6 kg piece that is 96% iron .
Earth’s oldest known complex multicellular organisms are called Ediacara biota. The Tate Museum hosts wonderful examples, which are up to 580 million years old, from the Flinders Ranges. They are the starting point of animal life on Earth.
Broken Hill’s massive oe body, which formed about 1,800 million years ago, has proved to be among Earth’s largest silver-lead-zinc deposits featuring spectacular minerals that occur around the region.
The Broken Hill for the 21 st. Century is the massive Olympic Dam deposit. A ae and fascinating insight into South Australia’s major resource.
Fluorescent minerals. Some minerals show amazing hidden talents under fluorescent light. Press the button to reveal their full glory.
Ralph Tate was the founding Professor of Natural Sciences at the age of 35. In the natural sciences, he taught Geology, Botany and Zoology, combining these into Palaeontology. A fine display shows the diversity of his interests.
Arkaroola is internationally famous, a gateway to a wilderness sanctuary in the Northern Flinders Ranges adjacent to Gammon Ranges National Park and the Mawson Plateau. Established by one of South Australia’s most famous geologists, Reg Sprigg, Arkaroola is a geological wonderland of ancient rocks, minerals, hot springs and astronomy. The Tate Museum houses a collection of rocks and minerals from the area.
Life as an Antarctic explorer in the early 20 th Century was a true test of endurance. On display are many geological and historical artifacts from Sir Douglas Mawson’s expeditions, including one of the original sledges and some fine Emperor penguins.