Subterranean Adelaide Part Three
The Treasury Building Tunnels
The original building of the Medina Grand Hotel, The Treasury Building of Adelaide, was first constructed in 1839, and small parts of it can still be seen in the building that stands today, although remodelling over the years have hidden much of it.
Over the following years, and especially from 1858 to 1876 construction took the building to new heights, and new lows, with long rumoured tunnels, which are no now longer a secret, with entry now easily obtainable to the general public via the Adelaide CDB Ghost Crime Tours.
For more than 150 years the Old Treasury building provided offices and administration buildings for multiple Government agencies including the Governor, The Register General and Land Office and the Colonial Secretary
The building also features the treasury vaults underneath, which during the gold rush in Victoria in 1852/1853, is where the gold from interstate was stored away safely. Nearly 13 tonnes of gold were sheltered in the tunnels in that one year period alone.
The tunnels underneath the building were actually a mishmash of various basements during the buildings various remodelling and rebuilding periods over 150 years, that were all interconnected with walkway tunnels to make it easier to move gold and important documents around much more easily.
It has been a long held belief within the Adelaide urbex explorer community that there were furnaces installed in the basement area to smelt the aforementioned gold, but this is in fact a myth. The two furnaces that are installed in the basement are not large enough to provide the required heat to smelt gold. It is thought they were installed to help with lithographic processing for the production of maps for the above survey office.
There was however evidence that smelters were installed on a ground floor level to produce smelted gold, but these have long since been removed from the site.
The “newest” tunnel was built in around 1907 to join the eastern basements built in 1867 with the new northern printing rooms built under the north wing
Presently the tunnels are used for the aforementioned Ghost Crime Tours, but also during various festivals to display artworks, or other social events.