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.
"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 from the coast to the foothills, and 94 to 104 km 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.
Adelaide is set out 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. It has been noted for early examples of religious freedom, a commitment to political progressivism. It has been known as the "City of Churches" since the mid-19th century
The Rundle Mall Precinct is the heart of South Australian retail, Bringing the freshest of fashion, beauty, lifestyle and food into the City of Adelaide. Bounded by the southern side of North Terrace, the eastern side of King William Street, the northern side of Grenfell Street and the western side of Pulteney Street, the precinct has Rundle Mall as its centerpiece.
With such a strategic position for tourists and locals alike, Rundle Mall lies in close proximity to the city’s cultural highlights such as Government House, Adelaide Central Market, East End's Rundle Street and the West End’s medical, educational and entertainment precincts.
The freshly paved 520m-long Rundle Mall hosts four leading department stores, 15 arcades and centres, more than 700 retailers and over 300 non-retail services and offices, boasting the most diverse collection of exclusive experiences waiting for you to unfold. Around every corner lies the opportunity to find one-off jewels in the city’s crown.
Over 85% of tourists spend time discovering the enchanting labyrinth of the precinct that is a generous host to its 23 million annual guests, satiating their diverse appetites with 2500 food court seats, pop-up vendors and decadent dining venues. The longest and one of the busiest malls in Australia is the state’s most popular attraction, receiving 400,000 visitors every week and employing 5000 retail and office workers
The namesake of Rundle Street and Rundle Mall is John Rundle (1791-1864), an original director and financier of the South Australian Company that was formed in London in 1835 to encourage the settlement of the new colony that would become South Australia. Soon after, the first Surveyor-General Colonel William Light arrived on the HMS Rapid at Holdfast Bay to map out his plans for the new city and colony. The first free settlers followed Colonel Light, arriving on the Africaine on November 6, 1836, drawing contrasts to the convicts populating the other colonies around Australia. In 1837, Light gave names to the streets on his city plan with a group of officials and distinguished businessmen, many of which they named after themselves.
From Street to Mall
Before its inception as a car-free shopping strip, the Mall was the extension of Rundle Street, where most of the city’s retailers and an overwhelming proportion of its motor and pedestrian traffic resided. In November 1972, then-Premier Don Dunstan initiated the closure of part of Rundle Street, awarding Ian Hannaford Architects with the project. On September 1, 1976, Rundle Mall unfolded. As it does today, the Mall measured 520 metres from the Pulteney Street end to King William Street and features many 19th century buildings.
Rundle Mall Today
Today, Rundle Mall has over 700 retail stores, 300 office and service businesses, four department stores and 15 arcades and centres spanning out from its hub. The precinct’s most prominent landmarks include The Mall's Balls, The Rundle Mall Pigs, Beehive Corner, The Rundle Mall Fountain, The Rundle Lantern, Adelaide Arcade and Gay's Arcade, The Regent Arcade, 'Progress' Sculpture and 'Girl on a Slide' Sculpture.
Christmas Display at Victoria Square, Adelaide City - Daily through the month of December.