Timeline of South Australian history

Timeline of South Australian history

This is a Timeline of South Australian history.

Pre 1836

*1627: First recorded European sighting of the South Australian coast.
*1802: South Australian coastline mapped by Matthew Flinders and Nicolas Baudin.
*1802 (Circa): Unofficial settlement of Kangaroo Island by sealers.
*1830: Captain Charles Sturt travels to the mouth of the Murray River in a whale boat.
*1831: Captain Collet Barker explores the Adelaide Plains and climbs to the summit of Mount Lofty.



*1836: South Australia proclaimed by Governor John Hindmarsh on December 28 at the Old Gum Tree, Glenelg.
*1836: Site for Adelaide chosen by Colonel William Light beside the River Torrens.
*1837: Colonel Light completes survey of Adelaide and designs the city's grid layout. Allotments of one acres are made.
*1837: Adelaide's first hospital opens on North Terrace.
*1838: The first Australian police force is formed in Adelaide, the South Australia Police.
*1838: First German immigrants arrive and settle in Adelaide and surrounds.
*1839: Colonel Light dies at Thebarton and is interred in Light Square beneath a memorial.
*1839: The first road in South Australia, Port Road is opened.
*1839: Edward John Eyre begins his explorations of the Flinders Ranges and beyond.


*1840: The first portion of Government House is completed, becoming the first in Australia.
*1840: Royal Adelaide Show held for the first time.
*1840: The Corporation of Adelaide is founded as the first municipal authority in Australia.
*1840: All 26 survivors of the shipwreck "Maria" are murdered by Aboriginals in mysterious circumstances along the Coorong.
*1841: Construction of Adelaide Gaol begins.
*1841: Adelaide Hospital (later Royal) opened.
*1842: Copper is discovered at Kapunda.
*1843: The first Legislative Council building opens on North Terrace.
*1844: The colonial Government takes control of the Corporation of Adelaide.
*1845: Copper is discovered at Burra.
*1845: Port Pirie founded on the upper Spencer Gulf
*1846: John Ainsworth Horrocks dies while exploring land to the northwest of Lake Torrens.
*1847: St Peter's College established.
*1848: Pulteney Grammar School established.


*1850: The forerunner to Harris Scarfe, G. P. Harris and J. C. Lanyon, opened on Hindley Street.
*1852: The Corporation of Adelaide is reconstituted. First transport of gold overland arrived in Adelaide.
*1854: The township of Port Augusta at the head of Spencer Gulf is surveyed.
*1856: The South Australian Institute, from which the State Library, State Museum and Art Gallery derived, is founded.
*1856: First telegraph line and steam railway between Adelaide and Port Adelaide opened.
*1856: South Australia becomes one of the first places in the world to enact the Secret Ballot.
*1857: Adelaide Botanic Gardens opened at today's site in the Parklands of North Terrace.
*1858: Melbourne-Adelaide telegraph line opened.
*1858: The first edition of The Advertiser newspaper is published.
*1859: A jetty of more the 350 metres in length is constructed at Glenelg.
*1859: Shipwreck of SS Admella off Carpenter Rocks in the South East. 89 dead. Worst maritime disaster to this day


*1860: Thorndon Park Reservoir supplied water through new reticulation system.
*1861: East Terrace markets opened.
*1861: Copper discovered at Moonta, on the Yorke Peninsula.
*1863: First gas supplied to city.
*1862: John McDouall Stuart successfully crosses the continent from north to south on his sixth attempt.
*1865: Bank of Adelaide founded.
*1866: The Italianate Adelaide Town Hall opened.
*1867: Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, made first royal visit to Adelaide.
*1869: The City Market (later Central) opened on Grote Street.
*1869: Prince Alfred College opened


*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 is officially opened.
*1874: The University of Adelaide founded.
*1876: Adelaide Children's Hospital founded.
*1877: The Adelaide Bridge across the Torrens completed.
*1877: Copper mines at Burra and Kapunda close.
*1878: First horse-drawn trams in Australia commenced operations in the city.
*1879: Foundation stone of the University of Adelaide laid.


*1880: Telephone introduced in South Australia.
*1881: The Art Gallery of South Australia opened by Prince Albert Victor.
*1881: Torrens Lake created following the construction of weir.
*1881: Coopers Brewery is established.
*1881: Drought ruins thousands of farmers on marginal land in the Mid North and Goyder's Line is recognised as the limit to agricultural settlement.
*1882: First water-borne sewerage service in Australia commenced.
*1882: The City Baths opened on King William Street.
*1883: Adelaide Zoological Gardens opened.
*1884: Adelaide Trades and Labor Council inaugurated.
*1884: Largs Bay Fort opens.
*1885: The Adelaide Arcade opens.
*1885: Flinders Column erected at the Mount Lofty Summit.
*1887: Express train services between Adelaide and Melbourne commences.
*1887: Stock Exchange of Adelaide forms.
*1889: School of Mines and Industries opens on North Terrace.
*1889: Lead smelters built at Port Pirie.


*1890: First public statue, Venus, unveiled on North Terrace.
*1891: The Central Australia Railway reaches Oodnadatta in the far north.
*1894: The world's second Act granting women suffrage passed in Parliament House on North Terrace.
*1896: Moving pictures shown for first time in South Australia at Theatre Royal on Hindley Street.
*1896: Happy Valley Reservoir opened.
*1899: South Australian contingent leaves Adelaide for the Second Boer War.



*1900: First electricity station opened in South Australia at Grenfell Street.
*1901: Adelaide became a state capital upon the establishment of the Commonwealth of Australia on 1 January. The Duke and Duchess of York visit.
*1901: Whyalla founded on the upper Spencer Gulf as a port for iron ore from the Middleback Ranges
*1904: Adelaide Fruit and Produce Exchange opens in the East End.
*1904: State Flag of South Australia is officially adopted.
*1908: Outer Harbor opens.
*1908: Adelaide High School established.
*1909: Electric tram services begin.


*1912: The Verco Building, an early 'skyscraper', is built on North Terrace.
*1913: Metropolitan abattoirs open.
*1914: South Australian troops join their Australian comrades in Europe to fight in the Great War.
*1915: Liquor bars close at 6pm following referendum.
*1917: German private schools close because of the Great War.
*1917: First trains to Perth following completion of East-West continental railway.
*1919: Adelaide awarded official city status and Mayor became Lord Mayor.


*1924: Radio broadcasting begins. James Cyril Stobie invents the Stobie pole, now a South Australian icon.
*1925: Wayville Showgrounds opens.
*1927: North-South railway extended.
*1927: Duke and Duchess of York visit.
*1929: Electric service to Glenelg commences.


*1932: Local government overhauled when Government redifined boundaries and names and abolished others.
*1933: First Adelaide Christmas Pageant organised by John Martins. [http://www.spiritofjohnmartins.org/index.php?sId=2] [http://www.cupageant.com.au/history_first_pageant.html]
*1935: Many German place names, which had been changed during the Great War, are restored.
*1936: South Australia celebrates its centenary. South Australian Housing Trust is founded.
*1937: First trolley bus services commence.
*1937: First permanent traffic signals installed.
*1937: Outbreak of poliomyelitis.
*1938: South Australian Housing Trust completes first dwelling.
*1939: Worst heat wave recorded with disastrous bushfires and highest Adelaide temperature of 47.6° Celsius.
*1939: New Parliament House opened on North Terrace by the Governor-General Lord Gowrie.


*1940: Birkenhead Bridge opens.
*1942: Rationing of tea and clothing introduced.
*1943: Rationing of butter introduced.
*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.
*1948: Clothing and meat rationing abolished.
*1948: Holden begins production.


*1950: State Election: The Liberal Party, led by Thomas Playford, holds onto government.
*1950: Petrol, butter and tea rationing abolished.
*1953: State Election: The Liberal Party, led by Thomas Playford, holds onto government.
*1950: Port Pirie proclaimed South Australia's first provincial city
*1954: Adelaide is hit by a severe earthquake.
*1954: Queen Elizabeth II makes first sovereign visit to Adelaide.
*1954: Mannum-Adelaide pipeline completed, pumping water from the River Murray to metropolitan reservoirs.
*1955: Adelaide Airport at West Beach opens.
*1955: Elizabeth officially proclaimed.
*1956: State Election: The Liberal Party, led by Thomas Playford, holds onto government.
*1958: Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, visit Adelaide.
*1958: First parking meters installed.
*1958: South Para Reservoir opened and connected to Adelaide water supply.
*1958: Last street tram removed, leaving only the Glenelg Tram.
*1959: Television broadcasting commences in Adelaide with NWS-9. ADS-7 (now ADS-10) begins broadcasting one month later.
*1959: State Election: The Liberal Party, led by Thomas Playford, holds onto government.


*1960: Adelaide Festival of Arts held for the first time.
*1962: State Election: The Liberal Party, led by Thomas Playford, holds onto government.
*1963: Port Stanvac oil refinery begins operations.
*1963: Queen Elizabeth II visits Adelaide.
*1964: Record wind gust of 148 kilometres per hour recorded in Adelaide.
*1965: State Election: The Labor Party, led by Frank Walsh, wins government for the first time in 33 years.
*1965: Television station SAS-10 (Now SAS-7) begins broadcasting.
*1966: Flinders University opens at Bedford Park.
*1966: Beaumont children go missing at Glenelg beach.
*1967: Lotteries commence in South Australia.Liquor trading hours extended.Torrens Island, South Australia power station begins operations. Premier, Frank Walsh retires and is replaced by Don Dunstan. 1968: State Election: The Liberal Party, led by Steele Hall, wins government.


*1970: State Election: The Labor Party, led by Don Dunstan, wins government.South Australia becomes first state to reform abortion laws.
*1971: Fluoridation of water supply commences.
*1973: State Election: The Labor Party, led by Don Dunstan, holds onto government. New hospital opens at Modbury. Two children disappear from Adelaide Oval and are never seen again.
*1974: Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh, visits Adelaide.
*1975: State Election: The Labor Party, led by Don Dunstan, holds onto government. The Internation Equestrian Exposition is held in Adelaide and attended by Princess Anne, The Princess Royal. The Adelaide City Council adopts the City of Adelaide Plan.
*1976: Rundle Mall, Australia's first pedestrian mall, opens between King William and Pulteney streets.
*1977: Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip visit Adelaide to open the Adelaide Festival Centre.
*1977: Late night shopping commences.
*1978: The remains of seven women are found in bushland near Truro.
*1979: Don Dunstan resigns as Premier and is replaced by Des Corcoran.
*1979: State Election: The Liberal Party, led by David Tonkin, wins government.


*1980: Thirty-five homes destroyed in an Adelaide Hills bushfire.
*1981: Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales, visits Adelaide.
*1982: State Election: The Labor Party, led by John Bannon, wins government.
*1982: International air services begin at Adelaide Airport.
*1983: The Ash Wednesday fires claim 28 lives throughout the state.
*1983: The Prince and Princess of Wales visits Adelaide.
*1983: Wendy Chapman elected the first woman Lord Mayor of Adelaide.
*1984: South Australia officially adopts the current Coat of Arms (pictured right).
*1984: Keswick Railway Terminal opens.
*1985: State Election: The Labor Party, led by John Bannon, holds onto government.
*1985: The Adelaide Casino opens in the Adelaide Railway Station as part of the multi-million dollar Adelaide Station and Environs Redevelopment.
*1985: The first Australian Grand Prix held on the Adelaide Street Circuit.
*1986: Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip visit Adelaide.
*1986: Pope John Paul II visits Adelaide and holds Mass to a gathering of hundreds of thousands in the Adelaide Parklands.
*1986: The South Australian Maritime Museum opens.
*1987: The Collins Class submarine contract awarded to the Australian Submarine Corporation at Outer Harbor.
*1987: The Adelaide Convention Centre opens on North Terrace.
*1988: The Prince and Princess of Wales visits Adelaide.
*1989: State Election: The Labor Party, led by John Bannon, holds onto government.
*1989: The Bicentennial Conservatory opens at the Botanic Gardens.


*1991: State Bank of South Australia collapses plunging South Australia into a debt of $3.1 billion.
*1991: The University of South Australia formed from a merger of several institutions.
*1991: The $40 million Adelaide Entertainment Centre opened.
*1991: Adelaide Football Club established and enters the AFL.
*1992: John Bannon resigns as Premier and is replaced by Lynn Arnold.
*1992: The final edition of The News newspaper is published.
*1993: State Election: The Liberal Party, led by Dean Brown, wins government in a landslide.
*1993: Poker machines installed for first time in South Australia.
*1994: Sunday trading introduced in the city centre.
*1994: High-speed ferry service from Glenelg to Kangaroo Island begins.
*1995: The Australian Grand Prix is held in Adelaide for the last time.
*1995: United Water is contracted to manage Adelaide's water and sewerage systems.
*1995: The "Local Government (Boundary Reform) Act, 1995" passed to encourage municipal amalgamations, resulting in an overhaul of local government.
*1997: Port Adelaide Football Club enters the AFL. Adelaide Football Club wins its first AFL premiership. State Election: The Liberal Party, led by John Olsen, narrowly holds onto government.
*1998: Adelaide Football Club wins its second AFL premiership.
*1999: Eight bodies are found in a disused bank volt in Snowtown, further bodies were later found, revealing Australia's worst serial killings.



*2000: Adelaide-Crafers Highway opened.
*2001: John Olsen resigns as Premier and is replaced by Rob Kerin.
*2001: Construction of Alice Springs-Darwin track starts.
*2001: The National Wine Centre of Australia opens in the East Parklands.
*2002: State Election: The Labor Party, led by Mike Rann, narrowly wins government.
*2003: The transcontinental railway line from Adelaide to Darwin is completed.
*2004: Port Adelaide wins its first AFL premiership.
*2004: First train travels on the completed Adelaide-Darwin railway.
*2005: Nine people die in bushfires on the Eyre Peninsula.
*2006: State Election: The Labor Party, led by Mike Rann, holds onto government with an increased majority.

ee also

* History of South Australia
* History of Adelaide
* Governors of South Australia
* Premiers of South Australia
* List of Mayors and Lord Mayors of Adelaide

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