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Adelaide, South Australia


Nickname:"The City of Churches"

Area:870 km² (Metro)

Coordinates:34°55′ S 138°36′ E

Est. Population

2011 - 1,103,979


European settlement of South Australia had its origins in the theory of systematic colonization 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

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 Adelaide Metropolitan Region has a total land area of 870 km², which is at an average elevation of 50 metres above sea level.

There are a number of creeks which flow through Adelaide into the Torrens or Onkaparinga River systems.


Adelaide has a Mediterranean climate which generally means mild, wet winters and hot, dry summers.

All of Adelaide's weather has been measured at the College Road, Kent Town weather station since February 1977, when the office moved from it's previous location at West Terrace in the CBD.

Of all the Australian capital cities, Adelaide is the driest.

Rainfall is very unreliable, light and infrequent throughout summer; where rain does not fall for months at a time.

In contrast, winter weather is fairly regular with June being the wettest month of the year, averaging 80 millimetres.

Adelaide can usually expect around 3 days a year when the temperature
is 40°C or more.

Climatic averages:

Mean January maximum temperature — 28.8 °C
Mean January minimum temperature — 16.8 °C
Mean July maximum temperature — 15.3 °C
Mean July minimum temperature — 7.4 °C
Mean annual rainfall — 558 mm

Recorded extremes

Hottest temperature — 44.3 °C
Coldest temperature — minus 0.4 °C
Wettest month — June, 175 mm

(*Kent Town weather station 1977-present)

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Published by Robin A Cartledge ~ ABN 19 924 273 138 ~ Low Head, Tasmania ~ Contact/Comment