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colonel william light




colonel light


The beautiful city of Adelaide is a living memorial to the energy and vision of William Light, the man who surveyed and planned the city.

He was by turns soldier, artist, mercenary, explorer and surveyor - a crowded lifetime of experience proving to be the preparation for his final magnificent work. Light was appointed the Surveyor-General of South Australia in 1836, his task to establish the site of the colony's capital.

He chose a site a little inland from the eastern shore of the Gulf of St Vincent which explorer Collet Barker had admired from a top Mount Lofty five years earlier. His choice was bitterly disputed. Light, however, promised a safe and sheltered anchorage, a good water supply, and ample space for settlement on the Adelaide plains.

By March, 1837, Light had completed his well known grid plan for the city, including surrounding parklands. Colonel Light named the city, 'Adelaide', after the Queen.

After initial setbacks, South Australia made quick progress with the development of agriculture and the discovery of minerals.

From carefully planned beginnings, Adelaide grew to become the bustling centre for commerce and culture it is today.





a view of  the torrens




Colonel William Light got it right in 1837 when he laid out his broad streets and surrounded them with a generous green cushion of parkland. The result is a place where traffic seldom jams, the inner-city highlights are all an easy walk away and it's virtually impossible to get lost.

Within minutes of arriving in Adelaide you'll soon realize that it's not trying to be some other place. It has its own quiet confident air of individuality that gives it instant appeal.

Adelaide is blessed with a good life that no other Australian city can match. These things combine to make it a great holiday location, whether you choose to stay in the city, by the sea or in the surrounding towns and suburbs.

By fay spurgin


Women in South Australia gained the right to vote in 1894, and voted for the first time in the election of 1896. It is generally recognized that this right occurred with the passing of a Bill on 18 December 1894. However, a letter from the Attorney-General advising Governor Kintore that Royal Assent would be required to enact the Bill, is dated 21 December 1894. The Bill was enacted when Queen Victoria gave Royal Assent on 2 February 1895.

South Australia was the first colony in Australia and only the fourth place in the world where women gained the vote. The issue of women voting had been discussed since the 1860s, but gained momentum following the formation of the Women's Suffrage League at Gawler Place in 1888. Between 1885 and 1894, six Bills were introduced into Parliament but not passed. The final, successful Bill was passed in 1894, but initially included a clause preventing women from becoming members of Parliament. Ironically, the clause was removed thanks to the efforts of Ebenezer Ward, an outspoken opponent of women's suffrage. It seems that Ward hoped the inclusion of women in Parliament would be seen as so ridiculous that the whole Bill would be voted out. The change was accepted, however, allowing the women of South Australia to gain complete parliamentary equality with men.


Torrens Title is a simplified system of transferring title to land which was introduced by Robert Torrens in South Australia in 1858.

The method involved filing a judicial proceeding that determined the owner of the land, which was recorded on an Original Registration Certificate

maintained by the Torrens administrators. Under this system, the state guarantees title. An examination of the registrar's records

could quickly determine the status of title, a substantial improvement over past systems

parliament house


This classical building with its majestic marble columns, Corinthian capitals and keystone portrayals of nineteenth century governors, presidents and speakers is located on the corner of King William Street and North Terrace. Visitors are welcome whenever parliament is sitting or there are free tours on non-sitting weekdays at 10am and 2pm. Question Time is a popular highlight at 2pm on sitting days. Education Officers and Community Engagement Officers are available principally to help schools and community groups to learn more about each House of parliament and its work.

north terrace


This tree-lined boulevard is home to the State's Art Gallery, Museum, Library, Government House and Adelaide University.

North Terrace is where you will find the Botanic Gardens as well as houses of grandeur. This cultural strip is one mile in length, a major highlight of North Terrace is Adelaide’s oldest church – The Anglican Holy Trinity, built in 1838 just one year after settlement.

river torrens


The River Torrens is situated in the middle of Adelaide. It is the main river in the Torrens Catchments, and all the streams run into it. The river starts in the Mount Lofty region

and finishes at the Henley Beach where it empties into the Gulf of St. Vincent.

railway station


Adelaide’s first railway station opened on the current North Terrace site in 1856. It served the broad gauge line between Adelaide and Port Adelaide,

which was the first government-owned and operated steam railway in the British Empire. Today is the terminus for all city lines, and also home to the Skycity Casino.

central market


The Adelaide Central Market buzzes with life and colour all year round and becomes a special place for plenty of regulars, who just wouldn't shop anywhere else.

The range of fresh food is exhaustive and it's all under one roof. Fruit and vegetables, meat and poultry, seafood, gourmet, cheeses and cakes. Shoppers can also take a break in the hippest cafes in Adelaide.

But it's the experience of the shopping that people love to return to again and again - the noise, the fresh food smells, the variety, the colour and the atmosphere of an international melting pot of food and cultures. The market, established in 1869, trades largely in fruit, vegetables, small goods, and cafe food and is divided into a colourful array of lanes and broadways.

adelaide oval score board


adelaide oval


Dominating the parklands between Torrens lake and St Peter's Cathedral lies the Adelaide

Oval, often mooted as the most picturesque test cricket ground in the world.

Architect Kenneth Milne designed the Adelaide Oval scoreboard which began service on 3 November 1911, the clock was added in 1912 and the wind vane in the 1930s.

The board has four levels on the inside connected by stairs. It is almost entirely mechanical using mainly original machinery. The only electrical items used on the scoreboard are the light bulbs indicating the batsman on strike, and the fielder who has fielded the ball.

The board is manned with pride and accuracy by members of the SACA’s ground staff. It requires only two attendants for football but as many as six for limited-over and Test matches. Activity at the fall of a wicket, and particularly at the change of an innings, can be fast and furious.

The scoreboard is not Adelaide Oval's original, the first was erected in 1879 and another in 1885. The one which preceded it was‘re-erected’ in 1898. They were simple boards with the operator, in front, hanging plates on hooks.


rowing on the torrens


Santos gets behind Tour Down Under


August 26, 2009 11:30pm

SOUTH Australian oil and gas giant Santos will be the naming rights sponsor for the Tour Down Under from 2010, which will again feature Lance Armstrong.

The four-year deal was signed today and will enhance the event's profile which has already grown to become the biggest sporting event in South Australian history.

The deal will increase the marketing of the event in a bid to attract more tourists from interstate and overseas. This year over 36,200 people visited South Australia to observe or participate in the Tour.

Tourism minister Jane Lomax-Smith said the Tour had grown from "strength to strength" since its inception in 1999. Now, having a new naming rights sponsor and cycling legend Lance Armstrong confirmed to compete for the second consecutive year, the event is expected to expand even further.

"The Santos Tour Down Under is a truly world-class event; kicking off the world cycling calendar and attracting the heroes of the sport to compete in Adelaide," Dr Lomax-Smith said.

Race director Mike Turtur said it was a great coup to have both Santos and Armstrong on board for 2010.

"The event speaks for itself now," Mr Turtur said.

The Santos Tour Down Under is the biggest cycling race in the southern hemisphere and the only UCI ProTour race outside of Europe.

August 23, 2009 12:01am

ADELAIDE has been ranked among the world's cheapest holiday destinations by an influential US newspaper - which also reckons we have a brilliant cemetery.

The city's reputation as God's waiting room - with its above-average older population - has been given international exposure thanks to the Los Angeles Times, which published a photograph of the Centennial Park Cemetery, Pasadena, to spruik Adelaide's place among the globe's most affordable cities.

Adelaide was ranked 14th among 143 cities on a cost-of-living index published last month by international consultancy the Mercer Group.

Using the results to recommend more unusual travel destinations for its readers and to help them "stretch their dollar further" the Los Angeles Times published a list of the top-20 most affordable cities, with accompanying photos to lure people.

Despite Adelaide's abundance of vineyards, its pristine beaches and top-class restaurants, all the Times could conjure up from its vast international picture library was a shot of Centennial Park Cemetery.

At least the paper boasted the town had a reputation for "good food, wine and culture" and lauded the many festivals as a drawcard.

Plan to ban climbers from Uluru

Traditional owners have long been opposed to people climbing Uluru.

Climbing to the top of Uluru could be banned in the near future under a proposed draft plan for the popular Central Australian tourist destination.

The Director of National Parks today released a draft 10-year management plan for the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, which is visited by about 350,000 people a year, about half of whom are from overseas.

The traditional landowners have long been opposed to people climbing the 346 metre high rock, which is considered sacred.

Safety concerns have also been raised, with more than 35 deaths recorded on the climb, which can be steep, slippery and extremely hot.

At present, visitors are advised to respect the wishes of the traditional owners, but about 30 per cent of people choose to climb, many of them children.

The draft plan, which is open to public comment for the next two months, proposes to close the rock climb in the future.

"For visitor safety, cultural, and environmental reasons the Director and the Board will work towards closure of the climb," the plan states, although it says in the short-term the climb will remain open.

The plan notes that recent surveys show 98 per cent of people would not be put off visiting the area if they are not allowed to climb the rock.

It says Parks Australia will continue to work with the tourism industry to provide unique and rewarding experiences at Uluru.


Remote, awesome and splendid in colours that vary as the day unfolds from soft blue hues to glorious orange-reds, Uluru is one of the most magnificent sights in Australia. Located 1,500 from Adelaide, visitors must travel to one of the most isolated pockets in the country. But proof of its power is that people continue to come and be fascinated by this sandstone mountain that rises 348 metres above the surrounding plain.

The first European to name landmarks in the area was Ernest Giles in 1872. Describing the Olgas as ‘monstrous pink haystacks’ he named them after Queen Olga of Wurttemberg. Uluru, formerly known as Ayers Rock, was named by William Gosse after Sir Henry Ayers in 1873, then premier of South Australia (which administered the Northern Territory until 1911 when the Commonwealth took control). In 1987 the 126,000-hectare park was put on the World Heritage listing.

In 1985 management of Uluru and the surrounding Uluru National Park was handed back to traditional owners the Anangu people, who work in conjunction with the Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service

Adelaide Fringe Festival Northern Lights Show 2008

Spectacular colour projections on several buildings along Adelaide's North Terrace

pictures from nick galliford

adelaide northern lights

northern lights

northern lights


South Australia was first explored from within when Charles Sturt made his epic journey down the Murray River to its source and spoke enthusiastically of the fertile plains and scenic ranges he found there. In 1835 a syndicate of capitalists led by George Fife Angas persuaded the British Government to grant the South Australian Company charter to establish a land development programme. The South Australia Act of 1834 vested general authority in the Crown but a board of commissioners of the South Australia Company had control of a land fund created by selling the land at a price of not less than 12 shillings an acre. The principle of no convict labour was incorporated in the Company charter and the Govern­ment agreed to grant a constitution when the population reached 50 000.

In May 1836 Colonel William Light arrived to survey the coastline and surrounding farmland, selecting the present site of Adelaide for the capital. The city's present spacious­ness owes much to the foresight of Light in his capacity then as Surveyor-General.

The colony had many difficulties in the early years. The harbour was poor and the settlement lacked sufficient trades­men for adequate building construction. Farmers, too, tended to indulge in land speculation rather than agriculture and so the colony was forced to rely heavily on imports. A new Act in 1842 repealing all earlier Acts reverted admin­istrative and legislative functions to the Crown. Provision was made for a Legislative Council and a General Assembly which gave some measure of self-government under the new Governor, Sir George Grey. Between 1840 and 1850 the Population increased, sheep and wheat farming flourished and the value of exports rose from £32 000 to £400 000. An Act granting responsible government to South Australia was passed in 1855.


South Australia is the third largest of the Australian States, comprising 984 000 sq km, 12.79 per cent of the country's total land area. It shares borders with every other mainland State and the Northern Territory.

Geographical divisions split the State into distinct climatic zones. The southern coastal section where most of South Aus­tralia's population is concentrated includes about 85 500 sq km of fertile land. This region is favoured with rainfall in excess of 400 mm per annum. Adelaide, situated in this region on the south-east coast, is still the driest of Austra­lian capitals receiving light and unreliable rainfall chiefly in the winter months. The annual average is 531 mm but totals have varied from as low as 257 mm in 1967 to 786 mm back in 1851. Summer temperatures often exceed 30°C and Adelaide is subject to 'heat waves' when temperatures of 35°C and above persist for several consecutive days. In the coldest month of July temperatures average 15°C.

The vast arid northern section of the State receives rainfall of only 255 mm per year or less. In this area, which comprises over three-quarters of South Australia, it is not unusual for less than 130 mm per annum to fall for periods of up to three years. Only about 10 000 people live in the huge northern region, mostly on large pastoral holdings.

Much of South Australia is flat and low-lying. The main mountain ranges are the Musgrave Ranges in the far north­west on the Northern Territory border and the Flinders Ranges in the south-east which are famous for the magnifi­cent wildflowers that bloom there in the spring. Both ranges have peaks exceeding 900 m, the highest of which is Mt Woodroff (1400 m) in the Musgrave Ranges. The Mt Lofty Ranges and around Gawler and Mann, which are little more than low hills, are virtually the only other elevated points in the State.

coming from Queensland's Channel Country are usually dry but after the wet season in the north they flood over hundreds of kilometres and flow into the dry salt lakes in the north-east. The South Australian lakes of Eyre, Frome, Gardiner and Torrens are usually dry saltpans. Lake Eyre in the far north­east is the State's lowest point at 12 m below sea level. Other lakes include the crater lakes at Mt Gambier, the lagoon-like lakes of Albert and Alexandrina and a group of small land­locked lakes in the south-east.


South Australia has a population of 1 373 000 which amounts to approximately 8.7 per cent of the nation's total. Considering the size of the State it is obvious that South Aus­tralia is generally very sparsely settled. By far the greatest proportion of the people, 72.5 per cent, live in Adelaide and the surrounding area which has a population of 987 000. A further 15 per cent live in other urban centres, mostly around the south-east coast.

While the eastern States all have a number of towns outside the capital with populations exceeding 30 000, in South Aus­tralia Whyalla (pop. 36 000) is the only one. Sited on the western shore of the Spencer Gulf, 398 km north-west of Adelaide, Whyalla is an important seaport and industrial city with most of the industry centring around the BHP steel­works there and the shipping of iron ore mined in the Middleback Ranges. North of Whyalla another seaport, Port Augusta (pop. 15 000), situated at the head of the Spencer Gulf, services the regional sheep farming and is the main depot in the State for the Australian National Railways.

The third largest city in the State is Mt Gambier (pop. 22 000), a commercial centre for the south-east and a popular holiday region mostly because of its proximity to the extinct volcano, Mt Gambier, noted for its beautiful crater lakes.

The remainder of the population live either in small rural service townships, small outback mining towns such as Andamooka and Goober Pedy, or else they live and work on agricultural properties throughout the State. The rural popu­lation in percentage terms has steadily declined since 1921 when it represented 40 per cent of the population. Now only about 12 per cent of the people live on the land.

Cultural Trends and Changes

Prior to World War II and from 1966 until 1983, the popu­lation growth rate in South Australia was always below the national average. There was a high rate of post-war popu­lation growth until 1966 which corresponded with similar increases in other Australian States and was largely the result of migration.

In 1947, 99.7 per cent of the South Australian population was of British descent. This figure had only altered by 5 per cent until 1971 and stands today at about 86 per cent. As in Queensland and Tasmania many of the immigrants to South Australia came from the British Isles, including Ireland, while a small proportion hail from the United States. Dutch and German settlers comprise the largest percentage of non-British immigrants. Many of these settled years ago in the Barossa Valley region north of Adelaide and around the Murray River to establish the now thriving wine-growing industry there.


No 12. May a 1861. George Goyder made SA Surveyor General.

Until now, a little known fact about the man who drew the famous Goyder's Line of Rainfall was that he didn't want to stop where he did. George Woodroffe Goyder, this State's gun theodoliter for more than 30 years, just loved limning those lines on the land.

By joining rainfall points, Goyder's Line still defines which parts of South Australia can be farmed, and which parts can't Drawing it up meant the Surveyor General had to travel more than 5000 kilometres on the back of his trusty steed, who was named Tripod for more reasons than one. So obsessive was George — or "Geo" as they affectedly used to write on the envelopes in those days —that he effed and blinded when he had to concede that you couldn't grow wheat in the Great Australian Bight For itwas Geo's masterplan to extend his isohyet across the Indian Ocean to Natal in South Africa, on the way to creating one Great Global Goyder's Line that would turn the young, free colony of SA into the Surveying Centre of the Known Universe. As a result, wealth beyond imagining would accrue in this otherwise rather dry spot on the pink map of Empire. The Murray Mallee is particularly suited to hallucinatory experiences even to this day. As Christmas 1865 approached, there under the southern stars Geo and Tripod dreamt together of planetary conquest by rainfall gauge. One final sweep back through eastern Australia would complete the Great Global Goyder's Line. The link with the local Goyder's Line would be at Pinnaroo, and it would transform that dusty

wheat hamlet into the new Istanbul. Yes, Pinnaroo was to become a vibrant melting pot of a metropolis, where east meets west— in good time for the 20" century that lay stretched out ahead in all its brilliant promise. Geo had even spoken to the Pinnaroo Chamber of Commerce about an Ottoman Topkapi Palace-type construction like Istanbul's in the main street To his profound surprise and uninhibited joy, Geo's suggestion was accepted with alacrity, provided the Chamber of Commerce chairman, a Teuton called Schwartz, could be the first Sultan of Pinnaroo. Alas, history reveals that our colonial administrators lacked such foresight Geo was ordered to quit Goyder's Line atthe Victorian border to the east and Ceduna to the west He was not to venture beyond these shores; he was to return to Adelaide post haste, to survey Nailsworth. The epoch-making Mallee Sultanate of Schwartzeiman the Magnificent never eventuated, with the world's first marching girls group established in Pinnaroo instead. Within years the rains came tumbling down in SA. Addle-pated Anglo-Irish sodbusters planted crops on gibber plains and saltpans outside their much-mocked "Goyder's Line of foolery". When the dry came again they went bellybutton up. Back in town, Geo and Tripod had the last laugh.

A 19" century draftsman's office is no place, however, for a man and his horse. Soon enough the pair was off again, to lay out Darwin and have one last red-hot go. They would out-Equator the Equator. Sadly, this time the crocs got in the way, reducing Tripod to a bipod, which really hurt Butthe original and only and best Goyder's Line still exists, a timely reminder of what for SA, the Surveyors' State, might have been.

fay spurgin