Adelaide Australia Information

Enter your search query in the box below.

Home > Australian Information > Australian Localities > Adelaide


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia

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 is situated on the Fleurieu Peninsula overlooking the Gulf St. Vincent, bordered by the low lying Mt Lofty Ranges to the east giving the suburbs a roughly north-south rectangular layout. The population is 1,072,585 (census 2001). In terms of population, it is the fifth-largest of the Australian capital cities.

Motto: Ut Prosint Omnibus Conjuncti
"United for the common good"
Nickname: "The City of Churches"
Area: 870km² (Metro)
Latitude: 34º 55' S
Longitude: 138º 36' E
Time Zone UTC +9:30
(2003) 1,119,900
Among Australian cities: Ranked 5th
Density: 199 persons/km²
Lord Mayor: Michael Harbison
Governing body: Adelaide City Council
Adelaide City Council


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 freedom from religious persecution and civil liberties 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”.

Geography and Climate

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

Climatic Averages:

Mean January maximum temperature — 28.8 ºC (83.8 ºF)
Mean January minimum temperature — 16.8 ºC (62.2 ºF)
Mean January daily sunshine — 10.5 hours
Mean July maximum temperature — 15.3 ºC (59.5 ºF)
Mean July minimum temperature — 7.4 ºC (45.3 ºF)
Mean July daily sunshine — 4.9 hours
Mean annual rainfall — 558 mm (22.0 inches)
Wettest month on average — June, 83 mm (3.3 inches)
Driest month on average — February, 14 mm (0.5 inches)

Recorded extremes:

Hottest temperature — 44.3 ºC (111.7 ºF)
Coldest temperature — minus 0.4 ºC (31.3 ºF)
Wettest month — June, 175 mm (6.89 inches)

(*Kent Town weather station 1977-present)


The City of Adelaide local government area has a population of approximately only 18,000 permanent residents. The population of the inner city has considerably dwindled from its peak of about 250,000 as the metropolitan area has expanded. The Adelaide City Council was established in 1840, and is responsible for the CBD, North Adelaide and surrounding parklands. As Adelaide is the capital of South Australia, the Adelaide Council works closely with the State Government; a relationship that is manifest in the Capital City Committee.


Adelaide, while facing a serious population crisis, still has a significant metropolitan population of more than 1,072,585 (census 2001), making it Australia’s fifth largest city. People who live in Adelaide, or originate there, are called Adelaideans.


Adelaide has large manufacturing and research zones. They contain car manufacturing plants for General Motors Holden and Mitsubishi, as well as the major military research institution DSTO (the Defence Science and Technology Organisation) at Salisbury (a suburb 20kms north of the Adelaide City centre). Other industries include ore refining, defence, and electronic component production.

The collapse of the State Bank in 1992 resulted in huge 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.


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 1970s 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, and 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.

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

Adelaide is the home of two Australian Football League teams: the Adelaide Crows and Port Adelaide Power, as well as a state-wide league, the SANFL. It is also the host of the annual Tour Down Under bicycle race.



The Advertiser — local daily, (News Corp.)
The Messenger — community weekly, (News Corp.)
The Australian — national daily, (News Corp.)
Sunday Mail — local Sunday only, (News Corp.)
The Weekend Australian — national weekender, (News Corp.)
The Adelaide Independent Weekly — local weekender, (Independent)


Adelaide is serviced by five major television stations, and one community station.

ABC Adelaide — Government-owned, independently run broadcaster with news and drama focus.
SBS — part Government-owned, independently run multilingual broadcaster, with news and multicultural focus.
Network Seven — commercial network.
Network Nine — separately owned affiliate of national commercial network.
Network Ten — commercial network.
C31 ( — Adelaide community television.


Major FM and AM radio stations include:

FM 107.9 — Life FM
FM 107.1 — SA-FM
FM 105.5 — Triple J
FM 104.7 — Triple M
FM 102.3 — Mix FM
FM 92.7 — Fresh FM
FM 91.9 — Nova FM
AM 1395 — 5AA (talk-back)
AM 891 — ABC Radio National

Educational Institutions

The city is also home to the University of South Australia (UniSA), the University of Adelaide and the Flinders University, all respected research and teaching institutions. 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 around Australia and the world, further enhancing Adelaide’s international recognition as a ‘City of Education’.

The South Australian education-system is highly regarded, and is often a centre for innovation. Education is compulsory for all children until the age of 16, however, the majority of students stay on to complete their South Australia Certificate of Education (SACE). Adelaide has vibrant public and private education systems, both of which are funded by the South Australian Government, (though the private system only receives grants). Notable public schools include Brighton Secondary School, Unley High School, Norwood-Morialta High School, and Adelaide High School. Prestigious independent and Catholic schools include; Scotch College, St. Peters College, Sacred Heart College and Siena College. University Senior College is a non-religious private school, run by the University of Adelaide.


Adelaide has a comprehensive public transport system, known as the Adelaide Metro, which includes the unique Adelaide O-Bahn, a guided busway, and the historic Glenelg Tram which runs from the city to the beach at Glenelg.

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. Adelaide is served by Adelaide International Airport.

Prominent Adelaideans

Prominent artists, bands, and musicians to hail from Adelaide include film directors Scott Hicks and Rolf de Heer, actors Anthony LaPaglia and Jonathan LaPaglia, and musicians Jimmy Barnes, John Farnham, 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.

Famous people who grew up in Adelaide include Alexander Downer ( Australia's current and longest-serving foreign minister), Sir Mark Oliphant (physicist and Governor of South Australia), Nobel Prize winners William Henry Bragg, his son William Lawrence Bragg 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 and Australia's first female judge and first female Governor, Dame Roma Mitchell.

Though born in Melbourne, 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.

Koala, Australia Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday Island, Queensland, QLD, Australia Gold Coast, Queensland, QLD, Australia