Australian Towns & Cities
South Australia: Adelaide CBD
Incorporating photos and Information from Michael Greenslade's former Australian Towns, Cities and Highways site

Adelaide, capital city of South Australia is situated on the small, meandering Torrens River and has essentially grown north-south in the area bounded by the Mt Lofty Ranges (which give a stunning backdrop) to the east and St Vincents Gulf to the west. The city was founded in 1836 as a convict free city, and thanks to surveyor-general Colonel Light, is the only major city in the world with its CBD totally encompassed by parkland. 

Adelaide, while not as bustling and commercial as its eastern states counterparts, the city offers much in the arts, has a regular calendar of festival activity, a wealth of heritage, churches and generally is a warm and enjoyable place to visit. Adelaide's CBD is very well planned - much foresight was used to give many of the city's streets ample space for future growth which was unusual given the city was developed well before automobiles were invented. Furthermore, Adelaide's CBD has a unique mix of zoning as the northern section is dominated by high rises and dense commercial activity where the southern section ranges from medium to light residential and even industrial which, again is unusual. Nevertheless, Adelaide's CBD is exceptionally well presented - the 5 "squares" are all well kept gardens and parklands which give a great contrast to the surrounding activity. North Terrace is worth walking as it hosts many of the city's historic cultural and government buildings (such as Parliament House, University of Adelaide, SA Museum, Art Gallery, Ayers House, the Railway Station and the Adelaide Casino) as well as being a great tree lined avenue. Rundle Street is well known for its series of cafes with the adjacent Rundle Mall full of specialty shops. North on King William Street is the Festival Theatre, perhaps Adelaide's most recognisable icon and adjacent to it is the Torrens Lake (part of River Torrens) which offers cruises, walking/cycling trails and expansive parkland. Further north again (approx 1km) is the historic Adelaide Oval and St Peters Cathedral.

Certainly an interesting and attractive CBD - Adelaide is recommended location to visit as it offers a unique, relaxed lifestyle differing to that of the eastern capital cities. It is also a good base to explore McLaren Vale, Barossa Valley and Clare Valley - 3 of the largest and most famous wine growing regions in South Australia. Also nearby are the lush Adelaide Hills, the beautiful Adelaide beaches and the touristy south coast (Victor Harbor & Normanville).


View Larger Map

Preview: Description:

Torrens Parade Ground:
View over Torrens Parade Ground in Adelaide, October 2012.

Image © Michael Greenslade


Torrens Parade Ground:
View over Torrens Parade Ground in Adelaide, October 2012.

Image © Michael Greenslade


national War Memorial:
The National War Memorial on North Terrace, Adelaide, October 2012.

Image © Michael Greenslade


Victoria Square:
Victoria Square, with Adelaide Town Hall in the distance, October 2012.

Image © Michael Greenslade

1 Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2016 Census QuickStats

Last updated: 25 Nov 2019 19:16

This site © Paul Rands. All rights reserved. Some portions © (copyright) by their respective and credited owners. Permission must be obtained before using any images from this site. For details, please email by clicking here.