Adelaide in South Australia

Friday, 7 April 2017 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General
Reading Time:  11 minutes

Chinatown on Moonta Street © Scott W./cc-by-2.5

Chinatown on Moonta Street © Scott W./cc-by-2.5

Adelaide is the capital city of the state of South Australia, and the fifth-most populous city of Australia. In June 2014, Adelaide had an estimated resident population of 1.31 million. South Australia, with a total of 1.7 million inhabitants, has the most centralised population of any state in Australia, with more than 75 percent of its people living in greater Adelaide, while the other population centres in the state are relatively small. The demonym “Adelaidean” is used in reference to the city and its residents. Adelaide is north of the Fleurieu Peninsula, on the Adelaide Plains between the Gulf St Vincent and the low-lying Mount Lofty Ranges which surround the city. Adelaide stretches 20 km (12 mi) from the coast to the foothills, and 94 to 104 km (58 to 65 mi) from Gawler at its northern extent to Sellicks Beach in the south. Named in honour of Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen, queen consort to King William IV, the city was founded in 1836 as the planned capital for a freely-settled British province in Australia. Colonel William Light, one of Adelaide’s founding fathers, designed the city and chose its location close to the River Torrens, in the area originally inhabited by the Kaurna people. Light’s design set out Adelaide in a grid layout, interspaced by wide boulevards and large public squares, and entirely surrounded by parklands.

Early Adelaide was shaped by prosperity and wealth—until the Second World War, it was Australia’s third-largest city and one of the few Australian cities to not have convict history. It has been noted for early examples of religious freedom, a commitment to political progressivism and civil liberties. It has been known as the “City of Churches” since the mid-19th century. As South Australia’s seat of government and commercial centre, Adelaide is the site of many governmental and financial institutions. Most of these are concentrated in the city centre along the cultural boulevard of North Terrace, King William Street and in various districts of the metropolitan area. Much of the original vegetation has been cleared with what is left to be found in reserves such as the Cleland Conservation Park and Belair National Park. A number of creeks and rivers flow through the Adelaide region. The largest are the Torrens and Onkaparinga catchments. Today, Adelaide is noted for its many festivals and sporting events, its food and wine, its long beachfronts, and its large defence and manufacturing sectors. It ranks highly in terms of liveability, being listed in the Top 10 of The Economist Intelligence Unit‘s World’s Most Liveable Cities index in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2015. It was also ranked the most liveable city in Australia by the Property Council of Australia in 2011, 2012 and 2013. Adelaide has been recognised as a “City of Music” by the UNESCO Creative Cities Network. While established as a British province, and very much English in terms of its culture, Adelaide attracted immigrants from other parts of Europe early on, including German and other European non-conformists escaping religious persecution. The first German Lutherans arrived in 1838 bringing with them the vine cuttings that they used to found the acclaimed wineries of the Barossa Valley. The Adelaide Hills wine region is an iconic and viable economic region for both the state and country in terms of wine production and sale. The Metropolitan Region of Adelaide consists of 19 Local Government Areas (LGAs): Adelaide Hills Council, Adelaide, Burnside, Campbelltown, Charles Sturt, Holdfast Bay, Marion, Mitcham, Norwood Payneham & St Peters, Onkaparinga, Playford, Port Adelaide Enfield, Prospect, Salisbury, Tea Tree Gully, Unley, West Torrens, Gawler and Walkerville.

Adelaide is a planned city, designed by the first surveyor-general of South Australia, Colonel William Light. His plan, now known as Light’s Vision, arranged Adelaide in a grid, with five squares in the Adelaide city centre and a ring of parks, known as the Adelaide Parklands, surrounding it. Light’s selection of the location for the city was initially unpopular with the early settlers, as well as South Australia’s first governor, John Hindmarsh, due to its distance from the harbour at Port Adelaide, and the lack of fresh water there. Light successfully persisted with his choice of location against this initial opposition. The benefits of Light’s design are numerous: Adelaide has had wide multi-lane roads from its beginning, an easily navigable cardinal direction grid layout and an expansive green ring around the city centre. There are two sets of ring roads in Adelaide that have resulted from the original design. The inner ring route (A21) borders the parklands, and the outer route (A3/A13/A16/A17) completely bypasses the inner city via (in clockwise order) Grand Junction Road, Hampstead Road, Ascot Avenue, Portrush Road, Cross Road and South Road. Suburban expansion has to some extent outgrown Light’s original plan. Numerous former outlying villages and “country towns”, as well as the satellite city of Elizabeth, have been enveloped by its suburban sprawl. Expanding developments in the Adelaide Hills region led to the construction of the South Eastern Freeway to cope with growth, which has subsequently led to new developments and further improvements to that transport corridor. Similarly, the booming development in Adelaide’s South led to the construction of the Southern Expressway. New roads are not the only transport infrastructure developed to cope with the urban growth. The O-Bahn Busway is an example of a unique solution to Tea Tree Gully‘s transport woes in the 1980s. The development of the nearby suburb of Golden Grove in the late 1980s is an example of well-thought-out urban planning.

Chinatown on Moonta Street © Scott W./cc-by-2.5 King William Street © flickr.com - Halkoutsa/cc-by-sa-2.0 Adelaide Convention Centre © Beneaththelandslide/cc-by-sa-2.5 Adelaide Botanic Gardens - Bicentennial conservatory © Peripitus/cc-by-sa-3.0 Central Adelaide © Douglas Barber/cc-by-sa-3.0 North Terrace - Terrace Houses © Pdfpdf
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Adelaide Botanic Gardens - Bicentennial conservatory © Peripitus/cc-by-sa-3.0
Adelaide’s arts scene flourished in the 1960s and 1970s with the support of successive premiers from both major political parties. The renowned Adelaide Festival of Arts and Fringe Festival were established in 1960 under Thomas Playford. Construction of the Adelaide Festival Centre began under Steele Hall in 1970 and was completed under the subsequent government of Don Dunstan, who also established the South Australian Film Corporation and, in 1976, the State Opera of South Australia. Over time, the Adelaide Festival has expanded to include the Adelaide Cabaret Festival, Adelaide Film Festival, Adelaide Festival of Ideas, Adelaide Writers’ Week, and WOMADelaide, all held predominately in the autumnal month of March (sometimes jocularly called ‘mad March’ by locals due to the hectic clustering of these events). Other festivals include FEAST (a queer culture celebration), Tasting Australia (a biennial food and wine affair), and the Royal Adelaide Show (an annual agricultural show and state fair).

There are many international cultural fairs, most notably the German Schützenfest and Greek Glendi. Adelaide is home to the Adelaide Christmas Pageant, the world’s largest Christmas parade. As the state capital, Adelaide is home to a great number of cultural institutions with many along the boulevard of North Terrace. The Art Gallery of South Australia, with around 35,000 works, holds Australia’s second largest state-based collection. Adjacent are the South Australian Museum and State Library of South Australia, while the Adelaide Botanic Garden, National Wine Centre and Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute are nearby in the East End of the city. In the back of the State Library lies the Migration Museum, Australia’s oldest museum of its kind. Contemporary art scenes include the Contemporary Art Centre of South Australia. Adelaide Festival Centre, on the banks of the Torrens, is the focal point for much of the cultural activity in the city and home to the State Theatre Company of South Australia, with other venues including the Adelaide Entertainment Centre and the city’s many smaller theatres, pubs and cabaret bars.

The music of Adelaide has produced musical groups and individuals who have achieved national and international fame. This includes the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, the Adelaide Youth Orchestra, rock bands The Angels, Cold Chisel, The Superjesus, Wolf & Cub, roots/blues group The Audreys, internationally acclaimed metal acts I Killed The Prom Queen and Double Dragon, popular Australian hip-hop outfit Hilltop Hoods, pop acts like Sia, Orianthi, Guy Sebastian, and Wes Carr, as well as internationally successful tribute act, The Australian Pink Floyd Show. Noted rocker Jimmy Barnes spent most of his youth in the northern suburb of Elizabeth. Paul Kelly grew up in Adelaide and was head prefect at Rostrevor College. The first Australian Idol winner, Guy Sebastian, hails from the north-eastern suburb of Golden Grove. American musician Ben Folds used to base himself in Adelaide when he was married to Australian Frally Hynes. Folds recorded a song about Adelaide before he moved away. In addition to its own WOMADelaide, Adelaide attracts several touring music festivals, including Big Day Out, Creamfields, Future Music, Laneway, Parklife, Soundwave, Stereosonic and Summadayze. Adelaide plays host to two of Australia’s leading contemporary dance companies. The Australian Dance Theatre and Leigh Warren & Dancers contribute to state festivals and perform nationally and internationally. Restless Dance Theatre is also based in Adelaide and is nationally recognised for working with disabled and non-disabled dancers to use movement as a means of expression.

Read more on southaustralia.com – Adelaide, LonelyPlanet.com – Adelaide, australia.com – Adelaide, Wikivoyage Adelaide and Wikipedia Adelaide (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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