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World Travel Guide > Guides > Oceania > Australia > South Australia > Adelaide

Adelaide Weather

20°C

Local time Adelaide

Currency

A$

Adelaide History

Like most Australian cities, Adelaide came into being in the 1800s (1836 to be exact), although prior to the arrival of Europeans, the surrounding land was settled by Aborigines. Known to the locals as Tandanya (‘The Place of the Red Kangaroo’), more than 10,000 Aborigines were thought to have been living on the Adelaide Plains when the settlers landed in 1836.

The location for the new city was chosen by Colonel William Light, who picked a spot on the banks of the River Torrens that could force rainfall from the nearby Adelaide Hills. Underneath a gum tree in modern day Glenelg North, British governor John Hindmarsh proclaimed the colony South Australia on 28th December 1836.

Colonel Light also planned the city, laying streets out in a grid system and allowing for plenty of parklands and open space. In the beginning, however, Adelaide was a farming community, relying on wheat and sheep runs for sustenance.

Things changed in the 1840s when copper and silver were discovered nearby. In 1852, a gold rush ensued when significant quantities of the mineral were found. As a result, the city expanded and the University of Adelaide, the South Australian Art Gallery, and the Happy Valley Reservoir were all in situ by the dawn of the 20th century.

Waves of European immigrants followed, particularly after WWII, and the city built a university and Adelaide Airport in 1955. It wasn’t all smooth sailing: a large earthquake in 1954 damaged Blackwood Hospital, the Victoria Hotel, the Post Office clock tower and St Francis Xavier Cathedral, leaving inhabitants shaken.

Nevertheless, the city continued to grow and built its reputation for culture over the 1960s and 70s, culminating in the opening of the Festival Centre by Queen Elizabeth in 1977.

Today, Adelaide continues to grow and attract emigrants from all over the world, with progress and expansion looking set to continue into a fourth century.

Did you know?
• Adelaide was named after Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen, queen consort to King William IV and aunt of Queen Victoria.
• Colonel William Light, the man who surveyed and planned Adelaide, did the same for Christchurch in New Zealand. The cities are now twinned.
• Adelaide is the only major Australian city that didn’t begin life as a penal colony.

Featured Hotels

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Clarion Soho Hotel

There are only 29 rooms at Clarion Soho Hotel, hence the focus on quality over quantity. With modern Manhattan interiors, commodious king-size beds, crisp white linen and Missoni cushions, comfort and style intertwine in the sleeping chambers. Each room also comes with 42-inch LCD TVs, DVD players with free DVD hire, luxury spa products, iPod docks and cable broadband internet. Don’t miss the restaurant with Tom Dixon feature lighting, Kartell chairs and a marble bar imported from Italy.

Majestic Roof Garden Hotel

At the Majestic Roof Garden Hotel, the guest experience is in the name—expect a gorgeous rooftop garden overlooking the city to compliment the usual amenities of a modern hotel, including free Wi-Fi, 24-hour room service and complimentary breakfast. The location is great for exploring downtown as well.

 

Miller Apartments

One of Adelaide's newest luxury aparthotels, Miller Apartments provides a new level of comfort with fully equipped kitchens, living areas, free Wi-Fi, LED TVs, and an environmentally friendly approach to accommodation. Located at the Rundle Mall side of the vibrant West End, visitors of all ages can appreciate what that city centre has to offer without straying far from the comfort of their own private apartment.

Mayfair Hotel

One of the finest options for accommodation and fine dining in Adelaide. The heritage-listed, newly renovated Colonial Mutual Life building offers high-end dining facilities in addition to stylish suites and rooms. It also supports local business by furnishing the interior in South Australian products, from the comfortable beds to marble top desks and side tables.

The Hotel Metropolitan

Doubling as a hotel and a pub, this historic location dates back to 1883, and is conveniently placed opposite the Adelaide Central Market and a short walk from the Adelaide Railway Station. Although the rooms are small, the amenities are numerous: a game room with complimentary snacks, outdoor dining and live entertainment, and an art gallery. The guest list is mature—you must be 16 or older to stay.

Hotel Ibis Adelaide

Located in the Central Business District, the Ibis Hotel boasts 311 fresh and modern rooms, a ground-floor restaurant and bar with world-class food, and balconies so guests can enjoy the fresh Adelaide air. Wi-Fi, online check-in and an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet are complimentary.