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Template:Infobox Australian City Adelaide is the capital city of the Australian state of South Australia. It is a coastal city on the Southern Ocean and was named in honour of Queen Adelaide, the consort of King William IV. It lies on the Adelaide Plains, north of the Fleurieu Peninsula, between the Gulf St. Vincent and the low lying Mount Lofty Ranges. It is a roughly linear city 20 km from the coast to the foothills, but 90 km from Gawler at the northern end to Aldinga in the south. The population is 1,124,315 (est. June 2004). In terms of population, it is the fifth largest Australian city and the largest city in South Australia.


Main article: History of Adelaide

Prior to European settlement, the Adelaide area was inhabited by the Kaurna Aboriginal tribe, whose tribal areas extended beyond the Adelaide plains to Cape Jervis in the south, and to Port Wakefield in the north.

European settlement of South Australia had its origins in the theory of systematic colonisation proposed by Edward Gibbon Wakefield. He advocated settlement by ordinary citizens, that land should be sold in small lots (at a moderate fixed price and the funds raised used to support further colonisation), and some self-government allowed. His ideas led to the founding (1834) of the South Australian Association.

South Australia was officially settled as a new British province on December 28, 1836 (now commemorated as a public holiday, Proclamation Day) and the site of the new city was surveyed and laid-out by Colonel William Light, the first Surveyor-General of South Australia. Light chose, not without opposition, a site on rising ground close to the River Torrens, which became the chief early water supply for the fledgling colony. "Light's Vision", as it has been termed, has meant that the initial design of Adelaide required little modification as the city grew and prospered. Usually in an older city, it would be necessary to accommodate larger roads and add parks, whereas Adelaide had them from the start.

Adelaide was established as the centre of a planned colony of free immigrants, promising civil liberties and freedom from religious persecution and as such does not share the convict history of other Australian cities, like Sydney and Hobart. Coincidental to that fact, the name Adelaide comes from the German words meaning “Noble Birth”.


Adelaide is located north of the Fleurieu Peninsula, on the Adelaide plains between the Gulf St Vincent and the low lying Mount Lofty Ranges. The city stretches from the town of Gawler at it's most northern, to Aldinga in the south. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the Adelaide Metropolitan Region has a total land area of 870 km², which is at an average elevation of 50 metres above sea level. Mount Lofty is located east of the Adelaide metropolitan region in the Adelaide Hills at an elevation of 727 metres. It is the tallest point in its namesake range.

Much of Adelaide was originally bushland before European settlement, with some variation - swamps and marshlands were prevalent around the coast. However, much of the original vegetation has been cleared with the remainder remaining in reserves such as the Adelaide Parklands, Cleland Conservation Park and Belair National Park. A number of creeks and rivers flow through the Adelaide region. The largest are the Torrens and Onkaparinga catchments. Adelaide relies on its many reservoirs for water supply, with Mount Bold Reservoir and Happy Valley Reservoir together supplying around 50% of Adelaide's requirements.


Main article: Climate of Adelaide

Adelaide has a Mediterranean climate which generally means mild, wet winters and hot, dry summers. All of Adelaide's weather data has been collected at the College Road, Kent Town weather station since February 1977, when the office moved from its previous location on West Terrace in the city centre. Of all the Australian capital cities, Adelaide is the driest. Rainfall is unreliable, light and infrequent throughout Summer, where rain may not fall for months at a time. In contrast, Winter weather is fairly uniform with June being the wettest month of the year, averaging 80 mm. Adelaide can usually expect around 3 days a year when the daytime temperature is 40°C or above.

Urban Layout

Main article: Light's Vision
File:Karte Adelaide MKL1888.png
1888 Map of Adelaide, showing the gradual development of it's urban layout

Adelaide is a planned city, designed by the first surveyor-general of South Australia, Colonel William Light. His plan, now known as Light's Vision, arranged Adelaide in a grid, with five squares in the inner City of Adelaide and a ring of parks known as the Adelaide Parklands surrounding it. Light's design was initially unpopular with the early settlers, as well as South Australia's first Governor, John Hindmarsh. Light persisted with his design against this initial opposition. The benefits of Light's design are numerous; Adelaide has had wide multi-lane roads from it's beginning, an easily-navigable grid layout and a beautiful green ring around the city center. There are two sets of 'ring roads' in Adelaide that have resulted from the original design. The inner ring route borders the parklands and the outer route completely bypasses the inner city through (in clockwise order) Grand Junction Road, Hampstead Road, Ascot Avenue, Portrush Road, Cross Road and South Road.

The inevitable urban expansion has to some extent outgrown Light's original plan. New developments in the Adelaide Hills region faciliated the construction of the South Eastern Freeway to cope with growth. Similarly, the booming development in Adelaide's far South made the construction of the Southern Expressway a necessity. New roads have not only been used to cope with the urban growth, however - the Adelaide O-Bahn is a notable example of another unique solution. The development of the suburb of Golden Grove in the late eighties is possibly an example of well-though-out urban planning. The newer urban areas as a whole, however, are not as integrated into the urban layout as much as older areas and stress transportation systems - although not on a level comparable with Melbourne or Sydney.


The City of Adelaide local government area in the Metropolitan Region
Main article: Government of South Australia

The City of Adelaide is responsible only for the "Square Mile", which is the central business district (CBD), North Adelaide and the surrounding Adelaide Parklands. It is the oldest municipal authority in Australia and was established in 1840, when Adelaide and Australia's first mayor, James Hurtle Fisher, was elected. From 1919 onwards, the City has had a Lord Mayor, the current being Lord Mayor Michael Harbison. The City of Adelaide has a population of approximately 18,000 people in an area of 15.57 km². The population of the inner city has dwindled from its peak of about 250,000 as the metropolitan area has expanded. The entire metropolitan region, including the city proper, has a population of 1,080,990 people (2001 census) in an area of 870km², and is divided into 18 autonomous local government areas.

However, as South Australia's capital and most populous city, the State Government co-operates extensively with the City of Adelaide - a relationship manifest in the Capital City Committee, which is primarily concerned with the planning of Adelaide's urban development and growth.


According to the 2001 Australian Bureau of Statistics census, Adelaide has a metropolitan population of more than 1,080,990, making it Australia's fifth largest city. In the 2002-2003 period the population grew by 0.6%, while the national average was 1.2%. Some 70.3% of the population of South Australia is resident within the Adelaide Metropolitan Area, making South Australia one of the most centralised states. Major areas of population growth in recent years were in outer suburbs such as Mawson Lakes and Golden Grove. Adelaide's inhabitants occupy 325,000 houses, 57,000 detached, row terrace or town houses and 49,000 flats, apartments and caravans.

Major areas of population growth in recent years were in outer suburbs such as Mawson Lakes and Golden Grove. Overseas born Adelaideans composed 24.6% (242, 092) of the total population. The North-Western Suburbs (such as Golden Grove and Salisbury) and suburbs close to the CBD had a higher ratio of overseas born residents. Wealthier and more well-educated Adelaideans are concentrated on the coastal suburbs (such as Brighton and Hallett Cove) and South-Eastern suburbs (such as Burnside and Waterfall Gully). Almost a fifth (17.9%) of the population had university qualifications. The number of Adelaideans with vocational qualifications (such as tradespersons) fell from 62.1% of the labour force in the 1991 census to 52.4% in the 2001 census.

Overall, Adelaide is ageing much more rapidly than other Australian capital cities. Just under a quarter (24.1%) of Adelaide's population is aged 55 years or older, in comparison to the national average of 19.9%. To further compound the situation, Adelaide has the lowest number of children (under-15 year olds), which composed 18.7% of the population, compared to the national average of 20.4%.


Adelaide has large manufacturing, defence and research zones. They contain car manufacturing plants for General Motors Holden and Mitsubishi (although the engine plant at Lonsdale in the southern suburbs has since closed), as well as the principal government military research institution DSTO (the Defence Science and Technology Organisation) at Salisbury, RAAF Base Edinburgh and many other defence technology organisations also based in the northern suburbs and Technology Park. Other industries include medical equipment and electronic component production.

The collapse of the State Bank in 1992 resulted in large levels of state debt (as much as A$4 billion), which have only recently been reduced. This has meant that successive governments have enacted lean budgets, cutting spending, which has been a large setback to the further development of the city and state.


North Terrace - Adelaide's cultural boulevard

Adelaide is often referred to as the 'City of Churches', although this is a reflection more on Adelaide's past than its present. Rumour has it that for every church that was built in Adelaide, a public house was also built to serve the less pious.

From its earliest, Adelaide attracted immigrants from many countries, particularly German migrants escaping religious persecution. They brought with them the vine cuttings that founded the acclaimed wineries of the Barossa Valley. After the Second World War Italians, Greeks, Dutch, Polish, and possibly every other European nationality came to make a new start. An influx of Asian immigrants following the Vietnam War added to the mix. These cultures have blended to form a rich and diverse cuisine and vibrant restaurant culture.

Much of the area around Adelaide was once used for wine grape production, so that wine growing districts (such as the Barossa Valley, for which Adelaide and South Australia are well known) remain within a short drive of the city outskirts.

Adelaide's cultural life flourished in the 1970's under the leadership of premier Don Dunstan, removing some of the more puritanical restrictions on cultural activities then prevalent around Australia. Now the city is home to events such as the Barossa Music Festival, the Adelaide Festival of Arts, Adelaide Film Festival, Adelaide Festival of Ideas, Come Out youth arts festival, the Fringe Festival, among others.

WOMADelaide, Australia's premier world music event, is now annually held in the scenic surrounds of Botanic Park, emphasising Adelaide's dedication to the arts which has prevailed since the days of Don Dunstan.

Musically Adelaide has a range of options available, notably with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, the Adelaide Youth Orchestra, The Mark of Cain, The Superjesus, I Killed The Prom Queen, Guy Sebastian, Testeagles, hip-hop outfit Hilltop Hoods, Eric Bogle and Ben Folds.

Adelaide hosted the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix from 1985 to 1995 on a street circuit in the city's eastern parklands. The Grand Prix became a source of pride and losing the Grand Prix to Melbourne in a surprise announcement left a void that has since been filled with the highly successful Clipsal 500 V8 Supercar race event, held on a modified version of the same street circuit.

Adelaide is the home of two Australian Football League teams: the Adelaide Crows and Port Adelaide Power, as well as a local league, the SANFL. Most large sporting events take place at either AAMI Stadium (formerly Football Park) or the historic Adelaide Oval.

Adelaide has hosted the annual Tour Down Under bicycle race since 1999, an event which has gradually built an international reputation with each sucessive year it has been held. It is also host to the extraordinarily succcessful Bay to Birdwood run, featuring vintage and veteran cars from around the world.

The annual Royal Adelaide Show, first held in 1840, began as a simple event for the state's farmers to show off their produce. Over time, it grew into a more general commercial fair held in early September in the inner suburb of Wayville, with carnival rides, food and entertainment surrounding the more traditional agricultural exhibitions and competitions.


File:Adelaide Uni 1.JPG
A sign heralding the University of Adelaide's campus on North Terrace
Main article: Education in South Australia

Adelaide is home to many of South Australia's educational institutions, ranging from Kindergartens to Universities and everything in between. With a focus on attracting international students from South East Asia in particular to study at Adelaide's three universities, it could be considered a "City of Education".

Adelaide secondary (high) school students typically study under the SACE (South Australian Certificate of Education), which when completed offers entry into most Australian tertiary institutions (TAFE/University) or to an apprenticeship. A growing number of Adelaide secondary schools however are now offering the IB program, which allows entry into a variety of international educational oppourtunities.

The city is home to the University of South Australia, the University of Adelaide and the Flinders University. Also, leading US private university, Carnegie Mellon, is to establish an Adelaide campus that will specialise in IT and government management, offering both Australian and US degrees. The institution is expected to attract students from across Australia and around the world, further enhancing Adelaide’s international recognition as a ‘City of Education’.

A number of TAFE (Technical and Further Education) facilities exist in Adelaide. They offer courses, training and further education in areas that are not taught at University. Adelaide contains two out of the three South Australian TAFE centers, which are made up of a number of smaller facilities merged into TAFE SA Adelaide North and TAFE SA Adelaide South.


Being centrally located on the Australian mainland, Adelaide forms something of a strategic transport hub for east-west and north-south routes. The city itself has a comprehensive public transport system, which is managed by and known as the Adelaide Metro. The Adelaide Metro consists of an extensive contracted bus system including the unique Adelaide O-Bahn (a guided busway), metropolitan railways, and the historic Adelaide-Glenelg Tram.

Road transport in Adelaide is comparatively easier than many of the other Australian cities, with a well-defined city layout and wide multiple-lane roads from the beginning of it's development. Historically, Adelaide has been known as a "twenty-minute city", with commuters being able to travel from metropolitan outskirts to the city proper in twenty minutes. In recent times, however, increased traffic has seen travel times increase, and congestion on main thoroughfares such as South Road is not uncommon. Adelaide is connected to Port Wakefield Road and the Sturt Highway in the north, and the South Eastern Freeway in the South East. The Southern Expressway acts as a bypass for the often congested South Road.

The Adelaide O-Bahn is one of a few guided busways in the world. With large growth in the Northern Suburbs of Adelaide in the 1970's and 80's Adelaide was faced with a transport dilemma. The Adelaide O-Bahn was constructed in 1986 in response, after beating competing proposals of expanded rail and road networks (one of the competing proposals was to build an Adelaide underground, but proved to be cost-ineffective in comparison).

Interstate bus routes to and from all the major Australian towns and cities connect to Adelaide. Its main terminus for intra- and inter-state coach-liners is the Franklin Street Coach Terminal at Franklin and Bowen Streets in the city-centre. Beginning in 2005, the terminal is to undergo a complete $25 million reconstruction, in conjunction with the much larger $375 million former Balfours-site redevelopment – the end-product being a new multi-storey bus-station and various residential and commercial towers. [1]

While Adelaide's rail-network does not suffer the chronic delays of its inter-state counterparts, it is comparatively under-developed; Adelaide is the only mainland capital with a non-electric network. Amid increasing criticism over the ailing and ever-dilapidated rail-system, the State Government is in the process of developing a State Transport Plan, expected to be released in late 2005. The plan will reportedly set out the framework for upgrading the public transport system. Conversely, Adelaide’s sole remaining tramway, from Victoria Square in the CBD to the historic beachside resort of Glenelg, is under-going a AU$56 million upgrade in which new tram-cars will operate with the existing historic H-type’s of 1929.

Adelaide is the midpoint of the Indian Pacific railway between Perth and Sydney, as well as the terminus of The Overland to Melbourne and The Ghan via Alice Springs to Darwin.

The Adelaide International Airport, located at West Beach, is Australia's newest and most advanced airport terminal. The new dual international/domestic terminal replaces the old and ageing terminals, and incorporates new state-of-the-art features, such as glass aerobridges and the ability to cater for the new Airbus A380. It was officially opened in a ceremony in October 2005 by South Australian Governor Majorie Nelson-Jackson, Premier Mike Rann and Prime Minister John Howard. Main carriers include Qantas, Virgin Blue, Malaysia Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Jetstar, National Jet Systems, Regional Express (REX), O'Connor Airlines and soon to be shut down Airlines of South Australia.

Prominent Adelaideans

Notable Adelaideans include Sir Mark Oliphant (physicist and Governor of South Australia), Nobel Prize winners William Henry Bragg, his son William Lawrence Bragg, Robin Warren and Howard Florey (honoured for his role in making penicillin readily available), Andy Thomas (astronaut), Lleyton Hewitt (former world number one tennis player), Ian, Greg, and Trevor Chappell (past international cricket players).

Adelaide was also home to pioneer Antarctic explorer Sir Douglas Mawson, cricketer Sir Donald Bradman and Australia's first female judge and first female Governor, Dame Roma Mitchell. Janine Haines, born in Tanunda in 1945 was the first female to lead an Australian political party (the Australian Democrats). Natasha Stott Despoja (born in Adelaide, 1969), was the youngest woman to enter Commonwealth Parliament and in 2001, was the youngest person in Australian history to lead an Australian political party (the Australian Democrats). Sir Charles Cameron Kingston, son of the Adelaide surveyor Sir George Strickland Kingston, was the Premier of South Australia from 1893-99 and went on to be the Minister for Trade and Customs in the first Commonwealth Parliament.

James Unaipon (1834-1908) and his son, the remarkable David Unaipon (1872-1967), commemorated on the Fifty Dollar banknote, were both highly intellectual and spiritual men. David Unaipon, a scientist, writer, preacher and prolific inventor, became known as the "Australian Leonardo"; one of his best ideas improved the efficiency of the mechanical sheep-shears. Catherine Helen Spence, (1825-1910), was a suffragist, electoral reformer, prohibitionist, feminist and novelist. She pioneered the way for South Australia to become the second place in the world to grant women the right to vote (after New Zealand), and was the first female political candidate in Australia — standing for the Constitutional Conventions of the 1890s.

Dr Christopher Rawson Penfold and his wife Mary Penfold established Penfolds Winery in 1845 which now produces the prestigious Penfolds Grange Hermitage.

Prominent artists, bands, and musicians to hail from Adelaide include film directors Scott Hicks and Rolf de Heer, actors Anthony LaPaglia and Jonathan LaPaglia. Sir Robert Helpmann (1909-1986), while born in Mount Gambier, is rumoured to have resided in the eastern suburb of Rose Park during his career in Adelaide. Artist Sir Hans Heysen lived in Hahndorf in the Adelaide Hills, painting spectacular South Australian landscapes. Musicians include Jimmy Barnes, Glenn Shorrock, The Mark of Cain, The Superjesus, Undertone, Guy Sebastian, Testeagles, and Snap to Zero. Of recent note are hip-hop outfit Hilltop Hoods, who have attained nationwide recognition. North Carolina pop pianist Ben Folds has been living in Adelaide since 1999.

Melbourne-born media mogul Rupert Murdoch ran his first newspaper in Adelaide. In 1952 he took over management from his father of the afternoon paper "The News", turned it into a success and went on to build his now far-reaching media empire News Corporation, which was, up until the end of 2004, headquartered in Adelaide. According to Murdoch, a recipient of the City Keys, Adelaide remains News Corporation's "spiritual home".



Newspapers in Adelaide are dominated by News Corp. tabloid publications. The only South Australian daily newspaper is The Advertiser, published by News six days per week, while the Sunday paper is the Sunday Mail. There are eleven suburban community newspapers published weekly, called The Messenger[2], also published by a subsidiary of News Corp.

A recent addition to the news scene in the city is "The Independent Weekly", providing one alternative view.

There are two national daily newspapers - The Australian (Monday–Friday) and its weekend publication, The Weekend Australian (Saturday), also published by News Corp., and The Australian Financial Review published by Fairfax.

The Adelaide Review [3] is a free paper published fortnightly and other independent magazine-style papers are published, but are not as widely available.


All of the five Australian national networks broadcast both analogue PAL and widescreen digital services in Adelaide. They share three transmission towers on the ridge near the summit of Mount Lofty. The two government-funded stations are ABC and SBS. The Seven Network and Network Ten both own their Adelaide stations (SAS-7 and ADS-10 respectively). Adelaide's NWS-9 is affiliated with the Nine Network but is actually owned by Southern Cross Broadcasting. Adelaide also has a community television station, Channel 31.

The Foxtel pay TV service is available as cable television in a few areas, as is satellite television to the entire metropolitan area. It is resold by a number of other brands, mostly telephone companies.


Major FM and AM stations include:

Sister cities

Adelaide has several sister cities. They are:

See also

Further reading

  • Kathryn Gargett; Susan Marsden, Adelaide: A Brief History. Adelaide: State History Centre, History Trust of South Australia in association with Adelaide City Council, 1952. ISBN 0730801160
  • Derek Whitelock et al, Adelaide : a sense of difference. Melbourne: Arcadia, 2000. ISBN 0875606571

External links


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