When the Europeans arrived in South Australia in 1836, there was already a population of 15,000 Aboriginals living there, divided into some 50 distinct groups. They were soon moved or pushed into the Western Desert by the new settlers.
In 1836, Governor Hindmarsh landed at Holdfast Bay with the first group of settlers. They named the city Adelaide, after King William IV's wife. Problems and disagreements soon began in the new settlement and a new governor by the name of Gawler replaced Hindmarsh. Gawler found he was in charge of a settlement that lacked work for the people, had few cows or sheep, and a land speculation scheme going on with the money being sent back to England, while the local treasury contained only one shilling six pence.
Governor Gawler decided to put the unemployed to work on public projects such as bridges, roads, public buildings and wharves. The English government stepped in, paid the bills, and made South Australia a colony. A new governor, Captain Grey, encouraged workers to spread out from the city. Agriculture was improved. About the same time, silver, iron ore and copper were discovered in South Australia, making it possible for Adelaide to pay her own way.
In 1856, Australians gained the right to form their own government, and in 1894 the women of South Australia were the first in the world to be allowed a seat in parliament and second (after New Zealand) in obtaining the right to vote. Social improvement began after World War I with the clearing of slums. After World War II, a new influx of immigrants helped boost the industry and stimulate the economy.
Today, Adelaide is a quiet, conservative town, still relying on South Australia's liberal traditions. It is a city of old wealth, with a free and laid back lifestyle. Home to more than one million inhabitants, it has a large influx of Europeans, with Italians making up the largest non-Anglo cultural group.
Going Ashore in Adelaide
The ship is scheduled to dock in the outer harbor of Port Adelaide. The city center is approximately 12 miles from the port. Taxis are generally available outside the terminal building.
Rundle Mall is the main shopping area in downtown Adelaide. It is home to the Myer Centre, which includes numerous shops, a two-story amusement park named Dazzleland and the David Jones Department Store. Shoppers in Adelaide may want to have a look at opals and the many wonderful South Australian wines produced in the nearby Barossa Valley. The local currency is the Australian dollar. U.S. dollars are not readily accepted.
With a large European community in Adelaide, Rundle Street is known as the café district, offering a wide range of cuisine from Australian and Asian to Italian and Greek.
The city's main thoroughfare, King William Street, is also the address of the Edmund Wright House (State History Centre), the Town Hall, General Post Office and Old Treasury Building. The city's main square, Victoria Square, is bordered by the Cathedral of St. Francis Xavier, the Supreme Court Building and the Hilton Hotel.
Private arrangements for independent sightseeing may be requested through the Tour Office on board.