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Adelaide ( ) is the capital and most populous city of the Australian state of South Australiamarker, and is the fifth-largest city in Australia, with a population of more than 1.1 million. It is a coastal city situated on the eastern shores of Gulf St. Vincent, on the Adelaide Plains, north of the Fleurieu Peninsula, between the Gulf St. Vincent and the low-lying Mount Lofty Ranges. It is roughly from the coast to the foothills but sprawls from Gawlermarker at its northern extent to Sellicks Beachmarker in the south.

Named in honour of Queen Adelaide who was born in Germany, the consort of King William IV, the city was founded in 1836 as the planned capital for the only freely settled British province in Australia. Colonel William Light, one of Adelaide's founding fathers, designed the city and chose its location close to the River Torrens in the area originally inhabited by Indigenous Australians of the Kaurna tribe. Light's design set out Adelaide in a grid layout, interspaced by wide boulevards and large public squares, and entirely surrounded by parklandmarker. Early Adelaide was shaped by religious freedom and a commitment to political progressivism and civil liberties, which led to world-first reforms.

As South Australia's seat of government and commercial centre, Adelaide is the site of many governmental and financial institutions. Most of these are concentrated in the city centremarker along the cultural boulevard of North Terrace, King William Street and in various districts of the metropolitan area.

Today, Adelaide is noted for its many festivals and sporting events, its food, wine and culture, its long beachfronts, and its large defence and manufacturing sectors. It continues to rank highly as a livable city, being in the Top 10 in The Economist's World's Most Livable Cities index.


Prior to British settlement, the Adelaide area was inhabited by the Kaurna Aboriginal nation (pronounced "Garner" or "Gowna"). Acknowledged Kaurna country comprised the Adelaide Plains and surrounding regions – from Cape Jervismarker in the south, and to Port Wakefield in the north. Among their unique customs were burn-offs (controlled bushfires) in the Adelaide Hillsmarker which the early Europeans spotted before the Kaurna people were pushed out by settlement. By 1852, the total population (by census count) of the Kaurna was 650 in the Adelaide region and steadily decreasing. During the winter months, they moved into the Adelaide Hills for better shelter and firewood. Today, many Kaurna people can still be found in the city centre.

South Australia was officially settled as a new Britishmarker province on 28 December 1836, near the The Old Gum Treemarker in what is now the suburb of Glenelg Northmarker. This day is now commemorated as Proclamation Day in South Australia. The site of the colony's capital city was surveyed and laid out by Colonel William Light, the first Surveyor-General of South Australia, through the design made by the architect George Strickland Kingston. In 1823, Light had fondly written of the Sicilian city of Cataniamarker: "The two principal streets cross each other at right angles in the square in the direction of north and south and east and west. They are wide and spacious and about a mile long", and this became the basis for the plan of Adelaide. 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, based upon the ideas of Edward Gibbon Wakefield. Wakefield had read accounts of Australian settlement while in prison in London for attempting to abduct an heiress, and realised that the eastern colonies suffered from a lack of available labour, due to the practice of giving land grants to all arrivals. Wakefield's idea was for the Government to survey and sell the land at a rate that would maintain land values high enough to be unaffordable for labourers and journeymen. Funds raised from the sale of land would be used to bring out working class emigrants, who would have to work hard for the monied settlers to ever afford their own land. As a result of this policy, Adelaide does not share the convict settlement history of other Australian cities like Sydneymarker, Perthmarker, Brisbanemarker and Hobartmarker.

Adelaide's early history was wrought by economic uncertainty and incompetent leadership. The first governor of South Australia, John Hindmarsh, clashed frequently with others, in particular with the Resident Commissioner, James Hurtle Fisher. The rural area surrounding Adelaide city was surveyed by Light in preparation to sell a total of over of land. Adelaide's early economy started to get on its feet in 1838 with the arrival of livestock from New South Walesmarker and Tasmaniamarker. The wool industry served as an early basis for the South Australian economy. Light's survey was completed in this period, and land was promptly offered to sale to early colonists. Wheat farms ranged from Encounter Baymarker in the south to Claremarker in the north by 1860.

Governor Gawler took over from Hindmarsh in late 1838 and promptly oversaw construction of a governor's house, Adelaide Gaolmarker, police barracks, hospital, and customs house and a wharf at Port Adelaidemarker. In addition, houses for public officials and missionaries, and outstations for police and surveyors were also constructed during Gawler's governorship. Adelaide had also become economically self-sufficient during this period, but at heavy cost: the colony was heavily in debt and relied on bail-outs from London to stay afloat. Gawler was recalled and replaced by Governor Grey in 1841. Grey slashed public expenditure against heavy opposition, although its impact was negligible at this point: silver was discovered in Glen Osmondmarker that year, agricultural industries were well underway, and other mines sprung up all over the state, aiding Adelaide's commercial development. The city exported meat, wool, wine, fruit and wheat by the time Grey left in 1845, contrasting with a low point in 1842 when one-third of Adelaide houses were abandoned.

Trade links with the rest of the Australian states were established with the Murray Rivermarker being successfully navigated in 1853 by Francis Cadell, an Adelaide resident. South Australia became a self-governing colony in 1856 with the ratification of a new constitution by the British parliament. Secret ballots were introduced, and a bicameral parliament was elected on 9 March 1857, by which time 109,917 people lived in the province.

In 1860 the Thorndon Park reservoir was opened, finally providing an alternative water source to the turbid River Torrens. In 1867 gas street lighting was implemented, the University of Adelaidemarker was founded in 1874, the South Australian Art Gallery opened in 1881 and the Happy Valley Reservoirmarker opened in 1896. In the 1890s Australia was affected by a severe economic depression, ending a hectic era of land booms and tumultuous expansionism. Financial institutions in Melbournemarker and banks in Sydney closed. The national fertility rate fell and immigration was reduced to a trickle. The value of South Australia's exports nearly halved. Drought and poor harvests from 1884 compounded the problems, with some families leaving for Western Australiamarker. Adelaide was not as badly hit as the larger gold-rush cities of Sydney and Melbourne, and silver and lead discoveries at Broken Hillmarker provided some relief. Only one year of deficit was recorded, but the price paid was retrenchments and lean public spending. Wine and copper were the only industries not to suffer a downturn.

20th century

Electric street lighting was introduced in 1900 and electric trams were transporting passengers in 1909. 28,000 men were sent to fight in World War I. Adelaide enjoyed a post-war boom but, with the return of droughts, entered the depression of the 1930s, later returning to prosperity under strong government leadership. Secondary industries helped reduce the state's dependence on primary industries. The 1933 census recorded the state population at 580,949, less of an increase than other states due to the state's economic limitations. World War II brought industrial stimulus and diversification to Adelaide under the Playford Government, which advocated Adelaide as a safe place for manufacturing due to its less vulnerable location. 70,000 men and women enlisted and shipbuilding was expanded at the nearby port of Whyallamarker.

The South Australian Government in this period built on former wartime manufacturing industries. International manufacturers like General Motors Holden and Chrysler made use of these factories around Adelaide, completing its transformation from an agricultural service centre to a twentieth-century city. A pipeline from Mannummarker brought River Murraymarker water to Adelaide in 1954 and an airportmarker opened at West Beachmarker in 1955. An assisted migration scheme brought 215,000 immigrants of many nationalities, mainly European, to South Australia between 1947 and 1973 .

The Dunstan Governments of the 1970s saw something of an Adelaide 'cultural revival' – establishing a wide array of social reforms and overseeing the city becoming a centre of the arts, building upon the biennial "Adelaide Festival of Artsmarker" which commenced in 1960. Adelaide hosted the Formula One Australian Grand Prixmarker between 1985 and 1996 on a street circuit in the city's east parklands, before losing it to Melbourne. The 1991 State Bank collapse plunged both Adelaide and South Australia into economic recession, and its effects lasted until 2004, when ratings agency Standard & Poor's reinstated South Australia's AAA credit rating. Recent years have seen the Clipsal 500marker V8 Supercar race make use of sections of the former Formula One circuit.


Adelaide's metropolitan area

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 coast to the foothills, and from Gawlermarker at its northern extent to Sellicks Beachmarker in the south. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the Adelaide Metropolitan Region has a total land area of , and is at an average elevation of above sea level. Mount Lofty is located east of the Adelaide metropolitan region in the Adelaide Hills at an elevation of . It is the tallest point of the city and in the state south of Burramarker.

Much of Adelaide was bushland before British settlement, with some variation – swamps and marshlands were prevalent around the coast. However, much of the original vegetation has been cleared with what is left to be found in reserves such as the Cleland Conservation Parkmarker and Belair National Parkmarker. A number of creeks and rivers flow through the Adelaide region. The largest are the Torrens and Onkaparingamarker catchments. Adelaide relies on its many reservoirs for water supply, with Mount Bold Reservoirmarker and Happy Valley Reservoir together supplying around 50% of Adelaide's requirements.

Urban layout

1888 Map of Adelaide, showing the gradual development of its 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 Parklandsmarker 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 its beginning, an easily navigable grid layout and a beautiful green ring around the city centre. 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.

Urban expansion has to some extent outgrown Light's original plan. Numerous satellite cities were built in the later half of the 20th century, notably Salisburymarker and Elizabethmarker on the city's northern fringes, which have now been enveloped by its urban sprawl. New developments in the Adelaide Hills region facilitated the construction of the South Eastern Freeway to cope with growth. Similarly, the booming development in Adelaide's Southmarker made the construction of the Southern Expressway a necessity.

New roads are not the only transport infrastructure developed to cope with the urban growth, however. The O-Bahn Busway is an example of a unique solution to Tea Tree Gully'smarker transport woes in the 1980s. The development of the nearby suburb of Golden Grove in the late 1980s is possibly an example of well-thought-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 therefore place more stress on Adelaide's transportation system – although not on a level comparable with Melbourne or Sydney.

In the 1960s a Metropolitan Adelaide Transport Study Plan was proposed in order to cater for the future growth of the city. The plan involved the construction of freeways, expressways and the upgrade of certain aspects of the public transport system. The then premier Steele Hall approved many parts of the plan and the government went as far as purchasing land for the project. The later government elected under Don Dunstan shelved the plan, but allowed the purchased land to remain vacant, should the future need for freeways arise. Some parts of this land have been utilised for transport (eg the O-Bahn Busway) while other parts have been progressively subdivided for residential use.

In 2008 the SA Government announced plans for a network of transport-oriented developments across the Adelaide metropolitan area and purchased a 10 hectare industrial sitemarker at Bowdenmarker for $52.5 million as the first of these developments.


Adelaide has a hot-summer Mediterranean climate (Köppen climate classification Csa), where most of the rain falls in the winter months. Of the Australian capital cities, Adelaide is the driest. Rainfall is unreliable, light and infrequent throughout summer. In contrast, the winter has fairly reliable rainfall with June being the wettest month of the year, averaging around 80 mm. Frosts are rare, with the most notable occurrences having occurred in July 1908 and July 1982. There is usually no appreciable snowfall, except at Mount Lofty and some places in the Adelaide Hills.


The Adelaide metropolitan area is divided between eighteen local government areas, including, at its centre, the City of Adelaidemarker, which administers the CBD, North Adelaidemarker, and the surrounding Adelaide Parklandsmarker. 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.

Adelaide, as the capital of South Australia, is the seat of the Government of South Australia. As Adelaide is South Australia's capital and most populous city, the State Government co-operates extensively with the City of Adelaide. In 2006, the Ministry for the City of Adelaide was created to facilitate the state government's collaboration with the Adelaide City Council and the Lord Mayor to improve Adelaide's image. The state parliament's Capital City Committee is also involved in the governance of the City of Adelaide, being primarily concerned with the planning of Adelaide's urban development and growth.


One dot represents 100 persons born in the

UK (dark blue),

Greece (light blue),

China (red),

Italy (light green),

Germany (orange),

Lebanon (purple) and

Vietnam (yellow),

based on 2006 Census
As of 2006 Census, Adelaide had a metropolitan population of more than 1,105,839, 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 are residents of 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 Lakesmarker and Golden Grove. Adelaide's inhabitants occupy 341,227 houses, 54,826 semi-detached, row terrace or town houses and 49,327 flats, units or apartments.

High socioeconomic areas include much of the coastal suburbs (such as Brightonmarker and Glenelgmarker), eastern suburbs (such as Wattle Parkmarker, Kensington Gardensmarker, St. Peters, Medindie and College Park) and inner south-eastern suburbs (such as Waterfall Gullymarker and Unleymarker), the Adelaide hills and North Adelaidemarker. 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.

Overseas-born Adelaideans composed 23.7% (262,367) of the total population. The north-western suburbs (such as Woodvillemarker and Athol Parkmarker) and suburbs close to the CBD have a higher ratio of overseas-born residents. The five largest groups of overseas-born were from Englandmarker (7.3%), Italymarker (1.9%), Scotlandmarker (1.0%), Vietnammarker (0.9%), and Greecemarker (0.9%). The most-spoken languages other than English were Italian (3.0%), Greek (2.2%), Vietnamese (1.2%), Mandarin (0.8%), and Cantonese (0.7%).


Over half of the population identifies as Christian, with the largest denominations being Catholic (22.1%), Anglican (14.0%), Uniting Church (8.4%) and Eastern Orthodox (3.8%). Approximately 24% of the population expressed no religious affiliation, compared with the national average of 18.7%, although ironically the large number of churches in Adelaide has led the city to develop the nickname City of Churches.

Age structure

Overall, Adelaide is ageing more rapidly than other Australian capital cities. Just over a quarter (26.7%) of Adelaide's population is aged 55 years or older, in comparison to the national average of 24.3%. Adelaide has the lowest number of children (under-15 year olds), which composed 17.8% of the population, compared to the national average of 19.8%.


Adelaide's economy is primarily based around manufacturing, defence technology and research, commodity export and corresponding service industries. It has large manufacturing, defence and research zones. They contain car manufacturing plants for General Motors Holden, and plants that produce electronic systems that are sold worldwide for applications in medical, communications, defence, automotive, food and wine processing and industrial sectors. The revenue of Adelaide's electronics industry has grown at over 15% per year since 1990. The electronics industry in Adelaide employs over 13,000 people, which is more than the automotive industry. Almost half of all cars produced in Australia are made in Adelaide.

The global media conglomerate News Corporation was founded in and until 2004 incorporated in Adelaide and is still considered its 'spiritual' home by Rupert Murdoch. Australia's largest oil company, Santos, prominent South Australian brewery, Coopers, major national retailer Harris Scarfe and Australia's second largest listed investment company Argo Investments Limited call Adelaide their home.

The collapse of the State Bank in 1992 resulted in large levels of state debt (as much as A$4 billion). The collapse had meant that successive governments had enacted lean budgets, cutting spending, which had been a setback to the further development of the city and state. The debt has recently been reduced with the State Government once again receiving a AAA+ Credit Rating. The South Australian economy, very closely tied to Adelaide's, still enjoys a trade surplus and has higher per capita growth than Australia as a whole.

Defence industry

Adelaide is home to a large proportion of Australia's defence industries, which contribute over AU$1 billion to South Australia's Gross State Product. 70% of Australian defence companies are located in Adelaide. The principal government military research institution, the Defence Science and Technology Organisation, and other defence technology organisations such as BAE Systems Australia and Lockheed Martin Australia, are located north of Salisbury and west of Elizabeth in an area now called "Edinburgh Parks", near RAAF Base Edinburghmarker.

Others, such as Saab Systems, are located in or near Technology Park. The Australian Submarine Corporation, based in the industrial suburb of Osbornemarker, was charged with constructing Australia's Collins class submarines and more recently the AU$6 billion contract to construct the Royal Australian Navy's new air-warfare destroyers.

Employment statistics

There are 466,829 employed people in Adelaide, with 62.3% full-time and 35.1% part-time. In recent years there has been a growing trend towards part-time (which includes casual) employment, increasing from 11.6% of the workplace in 1991, to over a third today. 15% of workers are employed in manufacturing, 5% in construction, 15% in retail trade, 11% in business services, 7% in education and 12% in health and community services.

The median weekly individual income for people aged 15 years and over is $447 per week, compared with $466 nationally. The median family income is $1,137 per week, compared with $1,171 nationally. Adelaide's housing and living costs are substantially lower than that of other Australian cities, with housing being notably cheaper. The median Adelaide house price is half that of Sydney and two-thirds that of Melbourne.

The three month trend unemployment rate to March 2007 was 6.2%. The Northern suburbs' unemployment rate is disproportionately higher than the other regions of Adelaide at 8.3%, while the East and South are lower than the Adelaide average at 4.9% and 5.0% respectively.


Education forms an increasingly important part of the city's economy, with the South Australian Government and educational institutions attempting to position Adelaide as "Australia's education hub" and marketing it as a "Learning City". The number of international students studying in Adelaide has increased rapidly in recent years to 23,300, of which 2,380 are secondary school students. In addition to the city's existing institutions, foreign institutions have been attracted to set up campuses in order to increase its attractiveness as an education hub.

Primary and secondary education

At the level of primary and secondary education, there are two systems of school education. There is a public system operated by the South Australian Government and a private system of independent and Catholic schools. All schools provide education under the South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE) or, to a lesser extent, the International Baccalaureate (IB), with Adelaide having the highest number of IB schools in Australia.

One notable secondary school is St Peter's College, which has educated more Nobel laureates than any other school in Australia, and is tied for third internationally behind New York Citymarker's Bronx High School of Sciencemarker and Stuyvesant High Schoolmarker.

Tertiary education

The tertiary education system in Adelaide is extensive. There are several institutes of TAFE South Australia throughout the city which provide vocational education and training. Additionally, there are three public and two private universities, all ranked within the world's top 400 in the Times Higher Education magazine.

The University of Adelaidemarker, with 20,478 students, is Australia's third-oldest and a member of the leading Group of Eight. It has five campuses throughout the state, including two in the city-centre, and also has a campus in Singapore. The University of South Australiamarker, with 36,000 students, has two North Terrace campuses, three other campuses in the metropolitan area and campuses at Whyallamarker and Mt Gambiermarker. Flinders University, with 16,237 students, is located in the southern suburb of Bedford Parkmarker, alongside the Flinders Medical Centremarker.

Carnegie Mellonmarker became the first foreign university to open in Australia when it established two postgraduate campuses in the city-centre in 2006: the Heinz College Australia in Victoria Square and the Entertainment Technology Centre in Light Square. Cranfield Universitymarker followed suit in 2007 and established a postgraduate campus in Victoria Square alongside the Heinz College.

Another leading institution, the University College Londonmarker, will establish its first international campus alongside Carnegie Mellonmarker and Cranfield Universitymarker in 2009, with postgraduate courses commencing in 2010. The two hundred year-old Royal Institution of Great Britainmarker is also establishing an Australian counterpart in Adelaide which will formally open in 2009.


While established as a British province, and very much English in terms of its culture, Adelaide attracted immigrants from other parts of Europe early-on, including German and other European non-conformists escaping religious persecution. The first German Lutherans arrived in 1838 bringing with them the vine cuttings that they used to found the acclaimed wineries of the Barossa Valleymarker.

After the Second World War, Italians, Greeks, Dutch, Poles and many other European nationalities came to make a new start. An influx of Asian immigrants following the Vietnam War, and more recently many African refugees, have added to Adelaide's multicultural mix.

Arts and entertainment

Adelaide's arts scene flourished in the 1970s under the leadership of premier Don Dunstan, removing some of the more puritanical restrictions on cultural activities then prevalent around Australia. It was at this time that the renowned Adelaide Festival of Artsmarker and Fringe Festivalmarker were established, and over time they have spawned sister events including the Adelaide Cabaret Festivalmarker, Adelaide Film Festivalmarker, Adelaide Festival of Ideasmarker, Adelaide Writers' Week and WOMADelaide held predominately in the autumnal month of March.

Other festivals include FEAST, one of Australia's four main queer culture celebrations; Tasting Australia, a biennual food and wine affair; and the Royal Adelaide Show, an annual agricultural and state fair. Reflecting the city's multiculturalism, there are many ethnic fairs including the German Schützenfest and Greek Glendi. Adelaide is also home to the Adelaide Christmas Pageant, the world's largest Christmas parade.

As the state capital, Adelaide is also home to a great number of cultural institutions with many located along the boulevard of North Terrace. The Art Gallery of South Australia, with around 35,000 works, holds Australia's second largest state-based collection.

Situated adjacent are the South Australian Museummarker and State Library of South Australiamarker, while the Adelaide Botanic Gardenmarker, National Wine Centremarker and Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institutemarker are located nearby in the East End of the city. The Adelaide Festival Centremarker, on the banks of the Torrens, is the focal point for much of the cultural activity in the city and home to the State Theatre Company of South Australia, with other venues including the Adelaide Entertainment Centremarker and the city's many smaller theatres, pubs and cabaret bars.

The music of Adelaide has produced various musical groups and individuals who have achieved both national and worldwide fame. This includes the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, the Adelaide Youth Orchestra, rock bands: The Angels, Cold Chisel, The Superjesus and Wolf & Cub, roots/blues group The Audreys, internationally acclaimed metal acts I Killed The Prom Queen and Double Dragon , popular Australian hip-hop outfit Hilltop Hoods and internationally successful tribute act The Australian Pink Floyd Show.

Famous rocker Jimmy Barnes spent most of his youth in the northern suburb of Elizabethmarker. The first Australian Idol winner, Guy Sebastian, hails from North Eastern suburb of Golden Grove. American musician Ben Folds used to base himself in Adelaide when he was married to Australian Frally Hynes. In addition to its own WOMADelaide, Adelaide attracts several touring music festivals, including Big Day Out, Parklife and Laneway.


Newspapers in Adelaide are dominated by News Corporation publications—Adelaide being the birthplace of News Corporation itself. The only South Australian daily newspaper is The Advertiser, published by News Corporation six days a week, while the Sunday paper is the Sunday Mail.

There are eleven suburban community newspapers published weekly, known collectively as the Messenger Newspapers, also published by a subsidiary of News Corporation. A recent addition to the print medium in the city is The Independent Weekly, providing one alternative view.

Two national daily newspapers are circulated in the city: The Australian and its weekend publication, The Weekend Australian, also published by News Corporation; and The Australian Financial Review published by Fairfax. Interstate dailies, The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, published by Fairfax, are also typically available. The Adelaide Review 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 television networks broadcast both analogue PAL and high definition 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 TV and SBS TV. The Seven Network and Network Ten both own their Adelaide stations (SAS-7marker and ADS-10marker respectively).

Adelaide's NWS-9marker is affiliated with the Nine Network and was owned by Southern Cross Broadcasting until the sale to WIN Corporation in May 2007. Adelaide also has a community television station, C31 Adelaide. The Foxtel pay TV service is available as cable television in a few areas, and as satellite television to the entire metropolitan area. It is resold by a number of other brands, mostly telephone companies.

There are twenty radio stations that serve the entire metropolitan area as well as four community stations that serve only parts of the metropolitan area. Of the twenty full coverage stations there are six commercial stations, six community stations, six national stations and two narrowcast stations. Commercial stations include FIVEaa, Cruise 1323, Mix 102.3, SAFM, Nova 91.9, and Triple M.


The main sports played professionally in Adelaide are Australian rules football, Association football and cricket. Adelaide is the home of two Australian Football League teams: the Adelaide Crows and Port Adelaide Power. A local Australian rules football league, the SANFL, is made up of nine teams from around Adelaide.

Most large sporting events take place at either AAMI Stadiummarker or the historic Adelaide Ovalmarker, home of the Southern Redbacks cricket team. Adelaide hosts an international cricket test every summer, along with a number of One Day International cricket matches. Memorial Drive Parkmarker, adjacent to the Adelaide Oval, used to host the Adelaide Internationalmarker, a major men's tennis tournament in the lead-up to the Australian Openmarker before the tournament was moved to Brisbanemarker in 2009.

Adelaide's professional Association football team, Adelaide United, play in the A-League. Founded in 2003, their home ground is Hindmarsh Stadiummarker, which has a capacity of 16,500 and is one of the few purpose-built soccer stadia in Australia. In 2008 the Cronulla Sharks, an Australian NRL franchise, and the South Australian Government announced a three year contract in which the Sharks will play a single home game each season at Hindmarsh Stadium.

The Adelaide 36ers and the Adelaide Lightning play in national basketball competitions, with home games at the Distinctive Homes Domemarker. The Adelaide Thunderbirds play in the trans-Tasman netball competition, with home games at ETSA Parkmarker.

Adelaide hosts the Tour Down Under bicycle race, the largest cycling event outside Europe and the only event with UCI ProTour status.

The Australian Grand Prixmarker for Formula One racing was hosted by Adelaide from 1985 to 1995 on a street circuitmarker in the city's eastern parklands. The Grand Prix became a source of pride and losing the event to Melbourne in a surprise announcement left a void that has since been filled with the highly successful Clipsal 500marker for V8 Supercar racing, held on a modified version of the same street circuit. The Classic Adelaide, a rally of classic sporting vehicles, is also held in the city and its surrounds.

The World Solar Challenge race attracts teams from around the world, most of which are fielded by universities or corporations although some are fielded by high schools. The race has a 20-year history spanning nine races, with the inaugural event taking place in 1987.



Adelaide's first hospital is the Royal Adelaide Hospitalmarker (RAH). Founded in 1840, it is one of the major hospitals in Adelaide and is a teaching hospital of the University of Adelaide. It has a capacity of 705 beds. Two other RAH campuses which specialise in specific patient services are located in the suburbs of Adelaide – the Hampstead Rehabilitation Centre in Northfield, and the Glensidemarker Campus Mental Health Service. Three other large hospitals in the Adelaide area are: the Women's and Children's Hospitalmarker (305 beds), which is located on King William Road in North Adelaide; the Queen Elizabeth Hospitalmarker (340 beds), located in Woodville and the Flinders Medical Centremarker (500 beds), which is located in Bedford Park. These hospitals are also associated with medical schools – the Women's and Children's and the Queen Elizabeth with the University of Adelaide and the Flinders Medical Centre with Flinders University.

In June 2007 the State Government announced a series of overhauls to the health sector that would see a new hospital constructed on railyards at the west end of the city, to replace the Royal Adelaide Hospital located at the east end of the city. Should it go ahead, the new 800 bed hospital would cost AU$1.7bn and be named the "Marjorie Jackson-Nelson Hospital" after the former Governor of South Australia. However, in 2009, at the former governor's request, the state government chose to drop this name and instead transfer the Royal Adelaide Hospital name to the proposed facility.

In addition, major upgrades would see the Flinders Medical Centre become the primary centre for health care for the southern suburbs, while upgrades for the Lyell McEwin Health Servicemarker in Elizabeth would see that become the centre for the northern suburbs. The trio of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, the Modbury Hospitalmarker and the Noarlunga Hospital would become specialist elective surgery centres. The Repatriation General Hospital would also expand its range of specialty areas beyond veterans' health to incorporate stroke, orthopaedic rehabilitation and aged care. With the "Global Financial Crisis" of 2008, it remains to be seen if and how these initiatives will proceed.


Being centrally located on the Australian mainland, Adelaide forms a strategic transport hub for east-west and north-south routes. The city itself has a metropolitan-wide public transport system, which is managed by and known as the Adelaide Metro. The Adelaide Metro consists of a contracted bus system including the O-Bahn Busway, metropolitan railways, and the Adelaide-Glenelg Tram, which has also now been extended as a metropolitan tram through the city centre.

Road transport in Adelaide has historically been comparatively easier than many of the other Australian cities, with a well-defined city layout and wide multiple-lane roads from the beginning of its development. Historically, Adelaide was known as a "twenty-minute city", with commuters having been able to travel from metropolitan outskirts to the city proper in roughly twenty minutes. However, these roads are now often considered inadequate to cope with Adelaide's growing road traffic, and often experience traffic congestion.

Adelaide has one freeway and two expressways; the South Eastern Freeway, connecting the city with the Adelaide Hills and beyond to Murray Bridgemarker, the Port River Expressway connecting Port Adelaide and Outer Harbormarker to interstate routes, and the Southern Expressway, an interchangeable one-way road connecting the southern suburbs with the city proper. The Gawler Bypass skirting Gawlermarker is another expressway style, high speed inter-urban corridor.

A third expressway, the Northern Expressway (formerly the Sturt Highway extension), a northern suburbs bypass route—connecting the Gawler Bypass to Port Wakefield Road—started construction in 2008. There are also plans for major upgrades to busy sections of South Road, including road widening and underpasses of Anzac Highway (completed in 2009), Grange Road, Port Road and the Outer Harbour Railway Line, during the first stage.


Adelaidemarker has two Airports, Adelaide International Airportmarker and Parafield Airportmarker.

Adelaide International Airportmarker, located in Adelaide's west, is Australia's newest and most advanced airport terminal and is designed to serve in excess of 6.3 million passengers annually. The new dual international/domestic terminal named T1 incorporates glass aerobridges and has the ability to cater for the new Airbus A380. In March 2007, Adelaide Airport was rated the world's second best airport in the 5–15 million passengers category at the Airports Council International (ACI) 2006 awards in Dubai.

The airport is designed to handle 27 aircraft simultaneously and is capable of processing 3,000 passengers per hour. Unusually for a major city, it is located only about seven kilometres (4.4 mi) from the CBD. Adelaide Airport Homepage

Parafield Airportmarker Adelaide's second airport, located eighteen kilometres (11.2 mi) north of the CBD is used for small aircraft, pilot training and recreational aviation purposes only.


Adelaide's energy requirements are met by a variety of companies who separately provide for the generation, transmission, distribution and retail sales of gas and electricity. Some of the major companies are: TRUenergy, which generates electricity; ElectraNet, which transmits electricity from the generators to the distribution network; ETSA Utilities (formerly a government-owned company which was privatised by the Olsen Government in the 1990s), which distributes electricity from transmission companies to end users; and AGL Energy, which retails gas and electricity. Substantial investment has been made in maintenance and reinforcement of the electricity supply network to provide continued reliability of supply.

Adelaide derives most of its electricity from a gas-fired plant operated by AGL Energy at Torrens Islandmarker, with more coming from power stations at Port Augusta and Pelican Point, and from connections to the national grid. Gas is mainly supplied from the Moombamarker Gas Processing Plant in the Cooper Basin, and is piped to Adelaide and other areas within the state. A small part of supply also comes from wind turbines at Sellicks Hillmarker, and a trial of more turbines on city buildings is underway.

Adelaide's water supply is gained from its reservoirs: Mount Boldmarker, Happy Valleymarker, Mypongamarker, Millbrookmarker, Hope Valley, Little Para and South Paramarker. The yield from these reservoir catchments can be as little as 10% of the city's requirements in drought years and about 60% in average years. The remaining demand is met by the pumping of water from the River Murraymarker. A sea water desalination plant capable of supplying half of Adelaide's water requirements (100GL per annum) is currently being planned, with construction expected to be completed by 2012. The provision of water services is by the government-owned SA Water.

See also



  1. The Economist's World's Most Livable Cities 2008, Retrieved on 2 March 2009.
  2. Adelaide Council Naming Practices, 13 March 2000, Catholic Education South Australia.
  3. South Australian Place Names, Government of South Australia.
  4. Johnson and Langmead, The Adelaide city plan : fiction and fact, Wakefield Press, 1986.
  5. Wakefield cites Edward Curr, An Account of the Colony of Van Diemen’s Land, principally designed for the use of emigrants, George Cowie & Co., London, 1824; Henry Widdowson, Present State of Van Diemen’s Land; comprising an account of its agricultural capabilities, with observations on the present state of farming, &c. &c. pursued in that colony: and other important matters connected with Emigration, S. Robinson, W. Joy and J. Cross, London, and J. Birdsall, Northampton, 1829; and James Atkinson, An Account of the State of Agriculture & Grazing in New South Wales; Including Observations on the Soils and General Appearance of the Country, and some of its most useful natural productions; with an account of the Various Methods of Clearing and Improving Lands, Breeding and Grazing Live Stock, Erecting Buildings, the System of employing Convicts, and the expense of Labour generally; the Mode of Applying for Grants of Land; with Other Information Important to those who are about to emigrate to that Country: The result of several years’ residence iand practical experience in those matters in the Colony., J. Cross, London, 1826
  6. Wakefield, Letter from Sydney, December 1829, pp. 99–185, written from Newgate prison. Editor Robert Gouger.
  7. Wakefield wrote about this under a pseudonym, purporting to be an Australian settler. His subterfuge was so successful that he confused later writers including Karl Marx, who wrote 'It is the great merit of E.G. Wakefield to have discovered not anything new about the Colonies, but to have discovered in the Colonies the truth of as to the condition of capitalist production in the mother-country.' Das Kapital, Moscow, 1958, p 766"
  8. Plan of a Company to be Established for the Purpose of Founding a Colony in Southern Australia, Purchasing Land Therein, and Preparing the Land so Purchased for the Reception of Immigrants, 1832; in WAKEFIELD, Edward Gibbon, PRICHARD, M. F., (ed.) The Collected Works of Edward Gibbon Wakefield, Collins, London, 1968, p 290.
  9. When Chrysler stopped manufacturing in Adelaide, Mitsubishi Motors Australia Limited took over the Tonsley Park factory. After many years of mixed fortunes, Mitsubishi ceased manufacturing at Tonsley Park on 27 March 2008.
  10. Adelaide's Inner and Outer Ring Routes, 24 August 2004, South Australian Department of Transport.
  11. "Clipsal site at Bowden to become a green village", Ministerial Press Release, 24 October 2008, SA Govt, Retrieved 2008-11-20.
  12. "Government reveals Clipsal site purchase price", Ministerial Press Release, 15 November 2008, SA Govt, Retrieved 2008-11-20.
  13. Capital City Committee, October 2008, SA Government and Adelaide City Council, Accessed 2009-06-20.
  14. Finn-Olaf Jones, A ‘City of Churches’ Emerges as a Culinary Hub, 23 Dec 2007, Travel section, The New York Times, Accessed 2009-06-20.
  15. South Australia Fact Sheet: Automotive, Business South Australia.
  16. South Australia's Credit Rating the Highest, Business South Australia.
  17. South Australia's Economic Performance Update, Dec 2005, Business South Australia.
  18. Collins Class Submarines (SSG), Royal Australian Navy.
  19. South Australia: The Defence Industry Choice, Defence SA.
  20. Adelaide, Labour Market Information Portal.
  21. SA Regional Labour Force Data, April 2007, Australian Bureau of Statistics Labour Force Survey.
  22. 'News: New $1.7 billion hospital spearheads health reform'
  23. (1.18MB PDF)
  24. South Road Upgrade

Further reading

  • Kathryn Gargett; Susan Marsden, Adelaide: A Brief History Adelaide: State History Centre, History Trust of South Australia in association with Adelaide City Councilmarker, 1996 ISBN 0-7308-0116-0
  • Derek Whitelock et al., Adelaide: a sense of difference Melbourne: Arcadia, 2000 ISBN 0-87560-657-1

External links

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