Find Adelaide on this map

Find Adelaide on this map

The city of Adelaide covers an area of about 1 826 square kilometres and is built on the Torrens River in the Gulf of St Vincent.

The city was officially named in 1836, after Queen Adelaide who was the wife of the King of England, William IV.

Adelaide's first people

The first people to live in the area were the Aboriginal peoples. They had occupied the land
for thousands of years before European settlers arrived. The Kaurna people lived on the land in the Adelaide area. They were hunters and fishers.  Another group, the Peramangk, lived in the Adelaide Hills.

European settlement began in 1836 and after a short time, the Europeans had taken over the Aboriginal lands and removed the Aboriginal people to missions at point Pearce and Point McLeay.

Today, the city is run by a city council, elected by the people of the city. A Lord Mayor leads the city council. The Parliament of South Australia is in the city. Adelaide is the business centre for South Australia and is a modern city of offices, theatres, cinemas and restaurants. There is a mix of older style buildings and new high-rise buildings. The city is surrounded by parks and the Torrens River separates the city from North Adelaide. Many older style buildings have been preserved in the city.

A tram runs from Adelaide to the beach at Glenelg

A tram runs from Adelaide to the beach at Glenelg

Adelaide's Climate

The weather in Adelaide is temperate, which means that it is rarely very hot or very cold. During the summer the average temperature is about 29C but the temperatures can reach 40C for several days in a row. Cool changes with thunderstorms occur during summer. In winter the average temperature is about 15C and rarely falls below 10C. Adelaide is the driest capital city in Australia. 

Every day thousands of people travel to Adelaide by bus and train to work, shop or find entertainment in the city.

There are many fine beaches close to the city. One of them, Glenelg, can be reached by tram from the centre of the city. 

The Adelaide Arts Festival is held every two years in the Festival Centre beside the Torrens River. You can see it in the picture above.

You can read more about Adelaide here

Adelaide: A short timeline of European settlement and development 1836 – 1985


  • South Australia became a separate colony.
  • The first free settlers arrived.


  • Women in South Australia are given the right to vote and stand for parliament. 
  • South Australia is the first of all Australian states to do this


  • Colonel Light designed the layout of the city’s streets.
  • First newspaper in SA.
  • First hospital in South Australia.


  • Electric lighting in the city.


  • First road in South Australia built between the city and Port Adelaide
The many churches in the city have given the city the nickname, ‘City of churches'.

The many churches in the city have given the city the nickname, ‘City of churches'.


  • Electric tramways are running.


  • Botanic Gardens established


  •  First train to Alice Springs (Northern Territory) left from Adelaide


  • Telegraph line links Adelaide and Port Adelaide
  • Steam railway line also links the city and the Port


Older style buildings are a feature of the city.

Older style buildings are a feature of the city.

  •  New Parliament House opened


  • Gas lighting in the city


  •  Adelaide airport opens


  • Adelaide Bridge completed


  • Trams replaced by buses


  • Horse drawn tramway opens


  • Adelaide Festival of the Arts held for the first time


  • Telephone exchange opens, as does the Adelaide Zoo


  • Adelaide hosts the first Australian Formula One Grand Prix.