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The Magic Cave Adelaide


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The Magic Cave is a favourite for kids in the lead-up to Christmas
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Father Christmas arrives at the Magic Cave in Adelaide

The Magic Cave is landmark 6 on the Rundle Mall Discovery Trail (November and December only).

If you’re in Adelaide in late November or December, stop in at The Magic Cave in the David Jones department store to see Father Christmas and a host of magical elves and fairy tale characters.

This Adelaide icon began its association with John Martin's, another department store, in 1896. The Magic Cave opened in their basement as a place where people could escape December’s stifling heat. The walls were created with crumpled zinc linings from packing cases.

Unfortunately, the store burnt down in 1901 and it wasn’t until 1905 that the people of Adelaide again had a summer retreat. The new Magic Cave was worth the wait, having a series of caves and grottoes, waterfalls and fish ponds.

Over the years The Magic Cave came to represent Christmas and the jolly man himself. In 1933, Sir Edward Hayward, one of the owners of John Martin's, decided that the people of Adelaide needed a morale boost after the Depression years. So he created Adelaide’s world famous Christmas Pageant, a colourful parade leading Father Christmas to his Adelaide home at The Magic Cave. It’s now an annual event televised around the world.

Discovery Trail Landmarks

  1. Historic corner - Beehive Corner
  2. Adelaide Visitor Information Centre
  3. 'A Day Out' - Rundle Mall's bronze pigs
  4. 'Progress' by Lyndon Dadswell
  5. 'Girl on a Slide' by John Dowie
  6. The Magic Cave
  7. 'Spheres' by Bert Flugelman - the 'Mall's Balls'
  8. The Regent Arcade
  9. Adelaide Arcade and Gays Arcade
  10. The Rundle Mall Fountain
  11. Ruthven Mansions
  12. Scots Church
  13. Bonython Hall, University of Adelaide
  14. The Art Gallery of South Australia
  15. The South Australian Museum
  16. His Majesty King Edward VII
  17. South Australian Migraton Museum
  18. South Australian National War Memorial and South Australian Sailors, Soldiers and Airmen Memorial
  19. Statue of Venus
  20. Walk of Fame (SA's Greats)
  21. South African Soldiers Memorial
  22. Government House
  23. Parliament House
  24. Adelaide Club and Queen Adelaide Club
  25. The Rundle Lantern
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