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7 Interesting Facts About Adelaide

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by Joy (subscribe)
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Published October 28th 2012
Learn some secrets about Adelaide
Image by Maggas via Wikimedia Commons

The capital of South Australia, Adelaide has historically been the hub of free-spirited and free-thinking people. Adelaide was the first place to abolish sexual and racial discrimination, the first to do away with capital punishment, the first to recognise Aboriginal land rights, the first to give women voting rights and interestingly is also the first place to legalise nude swimming.

This beautiful city has many secrets of its own. Read on to find out my top picks of some of the quirky facts about Adelaide.

1. A city named Adelaide was born
In 1836, a city named Adelaide was born with a proclamation under a gumtree at Glenelg, now a seaside suburb west of the city. The original inhabitants of the Adelaide Plains were the Kaurna aboriginal peoples. However, the constant influx of the European settlers and the resulting power struggles led to these traditional owners disappearing into the abyss of history.

2. Land of free settlers
Free, fun facts, interesting facts, Adelaide, weird facts, bizarre facts
Image by Unclespitfire via Wikimedia Commons

Adelaide was established as a colony for the free settlers and is the only capital city that was inhabited by free settlers from its inception. Because it was a planned capital for a free settled British province in Australia, there was a notion that there would be little crime therefore no prison was built in Adelaide for several years. However, a prison was built later following disruption in social lives by criminals who took advantage of the absence of police force and prisons in Adelaide.

3. City of Churches
Adelaide has been nicknamed the City of Churches. Although it is not known as to who first started using this nickname, one only needs to take a look around to dig out the rationale behind such a nickname. Churches boasting exquisite architectural designs abound in this beautiful city with the Holy Trinity Anglican Church being the oldest which was built in the year 1838. With the increment in population, the number of churches enjoyed a huge boost over time.

4. Home to biggest Aboriginal Artefacts display
Adelaide is reportedly the home to the biggest display of Aboriginal Culture and aretefacts. These are showcased at the South Australian Museum as well as at Tandanya the National Aboriginal Cultural Institute.

5. The '20 minutes' city
Image by User A1 via Wikimedia Commons

Adelaide is renowned for being highly accessible. Arguably one can reach any point in the city within a period of 20 minutes thus the nickname of '20 minutes' city. This essentially suggests that any high profile location in Adelaide including the airport, city centre, beaches can be accessed within 20 minutes.

It is also said that you can walk to any of the hotspots within the city in 20 minutes from any of the hotels in the city.

6. Home to biggest glasshouses
Adelaide's exotic Botanic Garden has the largest and oldest glasshouses in the Southern hemisphere. These glasshouses sure make some terrific tourist attractions.

7. Opal Capital
Adelaide is not only the capital of South Australia but is also the opal capital of Australia. So do not forget to go shopping for opal on your next trip to Adelaide.

These are only some of the many interesting facts about Adelaide. The next time you pay a visit to Adelaide or encounter a bored looking guide, pose some questions to them - you will certainly learn more stories about this amazing city.

Do you know any quirky fact about Adelaide which should have made it to the hall of fame above? Then, feel free to share them with our avid readers.
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Your Comment
Adelaide the 20 minute city, Its not a nice 20 minute trip from A-B anymore, like it used to be..Now It's 20 minutes waiting for a bus or train
I spend 20 minutes stopped a traffic lights trying to get into the city.
Now with exclusive bus lanes and tram lanes it takes 20 minutes to drive along North Tce and another 20 minutes to drive down King William St
by samir (score: 2|126) 1790 days ago
I have ridden on the "Disused Railway trains" pictured on this page, to the right. I lived in a suburb of Adelaide for about 10 ys. I enjoyed every minute of it! It is one of the most beautiful cities I've ever seen! I no longer live in Australia, but still come back there to visit every few years.......Jan. '13 will be one of those times and I'm really looking forward to it!
by partu (score: 0|7) 1786 days ago
The writer is mistaken when he writes in this article that the kaurna people disappeared into the abyss of history. This is incorrect. They did get pushed out of their traditional places in inner Adelaide to surrounding areas and sought refuge with other INdigenous nations. But, there descendants are still alive today. Go to SA museum and see more of their culture past and present. Thanks don chapman
by Donch (score: 0|7) 1781 days ago
Excellent article, however the headline I got in my email inbox was "7 bizarre facts about Adelaide", which doesn't quite suit!
by Max Opray (score: 0|5) 1789 days ago
It certainly is a very nice city to live and visit.. I can understand why its oftern overlooked as it is a little out of the way for regular backpackers but those whom enjoy the simpler things in life definately will enjoy it here. It is one the best small cities in the world! Nestled between beautiful hills and beaches, while flanked by two of the best wine regions in Australia, any visitor has an enourmous chance to enjoy some great produce i believe. At present not currently residing there, but plan to move back within a few years. The lifestyle is simply unparrelled quite frankly
by kevil (score: 0|2) 1776 days ago
Adelaide was never known as the City of Churches--it was known as the City of Pubs and Churches--anyone who is 60+ who lived here as a child would confirm that. I don't know when that changed--it's the sort of change which makes non-Adelaidians sneer at Adelaide--the wowser city!. I do know that in the CBD most intersections seemed to have at least 1 pub, some of which have now disappeared with the 'developments' since then. Most were like those smaller pubs which still survive in the S-W quarter of the city.
The Kaurna people certainly haven't disappeared and some aspects of Kaurna is being taught in some classes in this state. The Kaurna Elders often carry out Welcome to Country ceremonies at major events, speaking in Kaurna. It is true that the colonists devastated tradditional lands and practices hence the people.

I agree with the comment about the title of this piece--what is bizarre about being an accessible city with an interesting history. Adelaide is neither better nor worse than any other city of its size--it has +ve attributes and -ve ones--just like anywhere.
by ccdav (score: 1|14) 1753 days ago
Adelaide was a 'free' settlement, as was religion. Many denominations were free to practice here, hence city of churches. Would have been more appropriate to say 'City of Religious Freedom'. M
by mered (score: 0|2) 1550 days ago
Do you have references for the below statements?


Adelaide was the first place to abolish sexual and racial discrimination, the first to do away with capital punishment, the first to recognise Aboriginal land rights, the first to give women voting rights and interestingly is also the first place to legalise nude swimming.
by panag (score: 0|2) 194 days ago
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