Adelaide | Short History

This is a timeline of Adelaide history.

Prior to 1800s



The Kaurna peoples traditional lands stretched from Port Broughton to Cape Jervis, encompassing the Adelaide Plains.

1830s


1836

The site for Adelaide is chosen by Colonel William Light beside the River Torrens as Australias first free colony. Governor John Hindmarsh on the HMS Buffalo lands at Holdfast Bay and proclaims the new colony of South Australia on 28 December.

1837

Colonel Light completes the survey of Adelaide and designs the citys grid layout. Single-acre allotments are made, first to holders of land orders and then by auction. The citys first hospital is opened on North Terrace.

1838

The South Australia Police, the first police force in Australia, is formed in Adelaide under Henry Inman. The first German immigrants arrive and settle in Adelaide and its surrounds.

1839

Colonel Light dies at Thebarton and is interred in Light Square - a memorial will be built over the grave. Port Road opens as the first road built in South Australia.

Late 1830s

The first stone house in Adelaide is built by William Austin Barnes on the corner of Morphet and Grote streets

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1840s


1840

The first portion of Government House is completed, becoming the first in Australia. The Corporation of Adelaide is founded as the first municipal authority in Australia, and James Hurtle Fisher is elected mayor. An agricultural show, which will become the Royal Adelaide Show, is first held in the yard of Fordhams Hotel in Grenfell Street.

1841

Construction begins of Adelaide Gaol, and the first section is completed. The Adelaide Hospital (later Royal) is opened.

1843

The first Legislative Council building is opened on North Terrace.

1844

The colonial Government takes control of the Corporation of Adelaide.

1847

St Peters College is established.

1848

Pulteney Grammar School is established. The Savings Bank of South Australia begins trading from a room in Gawler Place.

1849

City Commissioners are nominated to manage Adelaide.

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1850s


1850

G. P. Harris and J. C. Lanyon, the forerunner to Harris Scarfe, opens on Hindley Street.

1851

Responsible Government is introduced to South Australia, enfranchising wealthy male colonists.

1852

The Corporation of Adelaide is reconstituted and James Hurtle Fisher again becomes mayor. The first overland transport of gold arrives in Adelaide.

1855

Central Adelaide Mosque

1856

The South Australian Institute is founded, from which will derive the State Library, State Museum and Art Galllery. The first telegraph line and steam railway between Adelaide and Port Adelaide are opened.

1857

Adelaide Botanic Gardens opens at todays site in the Parklands off North Terrace. Railway between Adelaide and Gawler was opened.

1858

The Melbourne-Adelaide telegraph line is opened.

1859

A jetty more than 350 metres in length is constructed at Glenelg. It has a wooden lighthouse at its end, which will later be destroyed by fire.

1859

The Norwood Town Hall was built on the Parade at Norwood. It was the first Town Hall in South Australia.

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1860s


1860

Thorndon Park Reservoir supplied water through new reticulation system.

1861

East Terrace markets opened.

1863

First gas supplied to city.

1865

Bank of Adelaide founded.

1866

The Italianate Adelaide Town Hall opened.

1867

Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, made first royal visit to Adelaide. Gas Street Lights first appear on Adelaide streets.

1869

The City Market (later Central) opened on Grote Street.

1869

The Brighton Town Hall was built on Brighton Road, Hove.

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1870s


1870

Port Adelaide Football Club established.

1872

The General Post Office opened. Adelaide became first Australian capital linked to Imperial London with completion of the Overland Telegraph.

1873

First cricket match played at Adelaide Oval.

1874

The Adelaide Oval officially opened. The University of Adelaide founded.

1876

Adelaide Childrens Hospital founded.

1877

The Adelaide Bridge across the Torrens completed.

1878

First horse-drawn trams in Australia commenced operations in the city. Port Adelaide railway extended to Semaphore.

1879

Foundation stone of the University of Adelaide laid.

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1880s


1880

Telephone introduced.

1881

The Art Gallery of South Australia opened by Prince Albert Victor. Ornamental Torrens Lake created following construction of weir.

1882

First water-borne sewerage service in Australia commenced. The City Baths opened on King William Street.

1883

Adelaide Zoological Gardens opened.

1884

Adelaide Trades and Labor Council inaugurated. Largs Bay Fort opened.

1885

The Adelaide Arcade opened. Flinders Column erected at the Mount Lofty Summit.

1887

The Intercolonial Express starts running between Adelaide and Melbourne. Stock Exchange of Adelaide formed.

1889

School of Mines and Industries opened on North Terrace.

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1890s


1890

Adelaides first public statue, Venus, is unveiled on North Terrace.

1893

The Australian Association for the Advancement of Science meets in Adelaide - credit is universally accorded to Colonel Light for his selection of the site and for the design of Adelaide.

1894

The worlds second Act granting women suffrage is passed in Parliament House on North Terrace.

1896

Moving pictures are shown for first time in South Australia at Theatre Royal on Hindley Street. Happy Valley Reservoir is opened.

1899

The South Australian contingent left Adelaide for the Second Boer War.

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1900s


1900s

1900

First electricity station opened in South Australia at Grenfell Street. Electric street lights first appear.

1901

Adelaide became a state capital upon the establishment of the Commonwealth of Australia on 1 January. The Duke and Duchess of York visited.

1904

Adelaide Fruit and Produce Exchange opened in the East End.

1908

Outer Harbor opened. Adelaide High School established.

1909

Electric tram services began.

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1910s


1912

The Verco Building, an early skyscraper, is built on North Terrace.

1913

The first metropolitan abattoir opens.

1915

Liquor bars close at 6 pm following a referendum.

1917

German private schools are closed. The first trains travel to Perth following completion of the East-West continental railway.

1919

Adelaide is awarded official city status and Mayor Charles Richmond Glover becomes the first Lord Mayor.

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1920s


1924

Radio broadcasting begins.

1925

The Wayville Showgrounds open.

1927

The North-South railway is extended. The Duke and Duchess of York visit.

1929

The electric tram service to Glenelg commences.

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1930s


1931

The Beef Riot: 17 people are injured when unemployed men clash with police while protesting the decision to remove beef from the dole ration.

1932

Local government is overhauled when Government redifines boundaries and names and abolishes others.

1933

First John Martins Christmas Pageant.

1935

Many German place names, which had been changed during the Great War, are restored.

1936

Centennial Park Cemetery opens. Grand celebrations are held to celebrate South Australias Centenary.

1937

First trolley bus services commence. First permanent traffic signals are installed. Mount Bold Reservoir is opened. Outbreak of poliomyelitis.

1938

South Australian Housing Trust completes first dwelling.

1939

Worst heat wave is recorded with disastrous bushfires and highest Adelaide temperature of 46.1 Celsius. New Parliament House is opened on North Terrace by Governor-General Lord Gowrie. Carrick Hill, home to Edward (later Sir Edward) and Ursula Hayward, is completed.

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1940s


1940

Birkenhead Bridge opened. Second industry rapidly expanded throughout Adelaide region and South Australia at large as the war-effort intensified.

1942

Rationing of tea and clothing introduced. Racesport and bookmaking banned.

1943

Rationing of butter introduced. Racing re-allowed.

1944

Rationing of meat introduced.

1945

Gas and electricity restrictions imposed.

1947

Orchards ripped up following discovery of fruit fly in the metropolitan area.

1948

Glenelg jetty destroyed and widespread damage caused by severe storms. Clothing and meat rationing abolished. Holden began production.

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1950s


1950

Petrol, butter and tea rationing abolished.

1954

Adelaide was hit by a severe earthquake on 1 March. Queen Elizabeth II made first sovereign visit to Adelaide. Mannum-Adelaide pipeline completed, pumping water from the River Murray to metropolitan reservoirs.

1955

Adelaide Airport at West Beach opened. Satelitte city of Elizabeth officially proclaimed. Redhen railcars make their first appearance on Adelaides suburban rail network.

1958

Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, visited Adelaide. First parking meters installed. South Para Reservoir opened and connected to Adelaide water supply. Last street tram removed, leaving only the Glenelg Tram.

1959

Television broadcasting commenced, with NWS-9.

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1960s


1960

First Adelaide Festival of Arts held.

1962

Myponga Reservoir opened and connected to Happy Valley Reservoir.

1963

Port Stanvac oil refinery began operations. Queen Elizabeth II visited.

1964

Record wind gust of 148 kilometres per hour noted in Adelaide.

1966

Flinders University opened at Bedford Park by the Queen Mother. Happy Valley Reservoir pipelines extended.

1967

Wowserism goes into decline. Lotteries commenced in South Australia. Liquor trading hours extended. Torrens Island power station began operations. First stage of the South Eastern Freeway is opened.

1969

Natural gas pumped from Moomba to Adelaide through 832-kilometre pipeline. Glenelg Jetty rebuilt.

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1970s


1970

South Australia becomes first state to reform abortion laws.

1971

Fluoridisation of water supply commenced. Age of majority reduced to 18 from 21.

1973

New hospital opened at Modbury. Dunstan Labor Government returned to Government and commenced extensive social reforms. Adelaide Festival Theatre opened.

1974

Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh, visited Adelaide. First match of the new South Australian National Football League held at West Lakes. South Australian Railways split into two new entities, Australian National and State Transport Authority.

1975

The Internation Equestrian Exposition was held in Adelaide, attended by Princess Anne, The Princess Royal. The City of Adelaide Plan adopted by the City Council.

1976

Five AA began broadcasting. The Liberal Movement is founded in Adelaide. Rundle Mall, Australias first pedestrian mall, opened between King William and Pulteney streets.

1977

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip visited Adelaide, with the Queen opening the Adelaide Festival Centre. Late night shopping commenced. First of 307 Volvo B59 buses enters service with State Transport Authority.

1978

Suburban rail network extended south to Noarlunga Centre while the Semaphore line is closed.

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1980s


1980

Thirty-five homes destroyed in an Adelaide Hills bushfire. New Jumbo railcars enter service on Adelaides rail network. Mitsubishi Motors purchased Chrysler Australia. The Constitutional Museum opened.

1981

Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales, visited Adelaide.

1982

International air services to Adelaide begin, flown by Qantas and Singapore Airlines. Coldest minimum temperature recorded in June ( -0.4 Celsius)

1983

The Prince and Princess of Wales visited Adelaide. The Ash Wednesday fires razed the Adelaide Hills, claiming twenty-eight lives throughout the state. Wendy Chapman elected the first woman Lord Mayor of Adelaide.

1984

Population of Adelaide reaches 1 million people. Keswick Railway Terminal opened. The Indian Pacific, Trans Australian and The Ghan first run into Adelaide.

1985

The Adelaide Casino opened in the Adelaide Railway Station as part of the multi-million dollar Adelaide Station and Environs Redevelopment. The first Australian Grand Prix held on the Adelaide Street Circuit. RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 visits Adelaide for the first time.

1986

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip visited Adelaide. Pope John Paul II visited Adelaide and held Mass to a gathering of hundreds of thousands in the Adelaide Parklands. The South Australian Maritime Museum opened. South Australia celebrated its Jubilee, 150 years since settlement. O-Bahn Busway is opened.

1987

The Collins class submarine contract awarded to the Australian Submarine Corporation at Outer Harbor. The Adelaide Convention Centre opened on North Terrace. New 3000 class railcars enter service on Adelaides rail network.

1988

The Prince and Princess of Wales visited Adelaide. Adelaides tallest building State Bank Building is opened. Red light cameras introduced. East End Markets closed. Australias first hospitality college opened in Adelaide. Port Dock Railway Museum at Port Adelaide opened.

1989

Bicentennial Conservatory opened in the Botanic Gardens. O-Bahn Busway extended to Modbury.

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1990s


1990

New $1.3 million organ installed at the Adelaide Town Hall. Adelaide recommended as a site for the Multi-Function Polis. Country rail passenger services from Adelaide are axed by Australian National.

1991

The University of South Australia formed from a merger of several institutions. The $40 million Adelaide Entertainment Centre opened. Dame Roma Mitchell becomes Governor of South Australia, the first woman to hold the position in any Australian state.

1992

Final marker to the 1.5 kilometre Heysen Walking Trail positioned. Bid for the 1998 Commonwealth Games lost to Kuala Lumpur.

1993

Poker machines installed for first time in South Australia.

1994

Sunday trading introduced to city centre. High-speed ferry service from Glenelg to Kangaroo Island began.

1995

United Water is contracted to manage Adelaides water and sewerage systems. The Local Government (Boundary Reform) Act, 1995 passed to encourage municipal amalgamations, resulting in an overhaul of local government. The last Australian Grand Prix held in Adelaide, future events to be held in Melbourne.

1997

The worlds longest reversible one way freeway, the Southern Expressway is opened. Adelaide Crows football club win the AFL Grand Final. Port Adelaide Football Club joins the Australian Football League.

1998

Adelaide Crows football club win the AFL Grand Final for the second time.

1999

First Tour Down Under held.

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2000s


2000

All government bus operations handed to private operators, buses and infastructure still government owned. Heysen Tunnels in Adelaide Hills are opened.

2001

Construction of Alice Springs-Darwin track starts. The National Wine Centre of Australia opens in the East Parklands.

2002

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip visited Adelaide. First low floor bus entered service on the O-Bahn Busway.

2003

The transcontinental railway line from Adelaide to Darwin is completed.

2004

Port Adelaide Football Club wins the AFL Grand Final. Trains travel from Adelaide to Darwin for the first time.

2005

Adelaide Airports new T1 terminal is opened. Port River Expressway opened.

2007

World Police and Fire Games held in Adelaide. Adelaide-Glenelg tram service is extended to North Terrace (City West).

2008

Record breaking heat wave set in March. RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 visits Adelaide for the last time. Electrification of suburban rail network announced.

2009

Lance Armstrong Rides In the Tour Down Under

2010

MS Queen Victoria visits Adelaide for the first time on 23 February. RMS Queen Mary 2 visits Adelaide for the first time on 11 March. Adelaide-Glenelg tram service extented to Adelaide Entertainment Centre. Northern Expressway constructed. Stephen Yarwood elected new Lord Mayor of Adelaide. Almost 70mm of rain falls on Adelaide on 7 December, breaking the daily record.

2011

RMS Queen Mary 2 visits Adelaide on 20 February.






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