Our City has a long proud history, and our resources, people and suburbs have played an important part in the development of our state. In March 1996 the City of Enfield amalgamated with the City of Port Adelaide to become the City of Port Adelaide Enfield.
An understanding of Kaurna history and knowledge is integral to the history and cultural development of the Port Adelaide Enfield area. Kaurna people have occupied the lands we now know as Port Adelaide for thousands of years, and the region is of great importance for Aboriginal people. The Kaurna people called the land around the Port River Yertabulti, (Yerta meaning place or land, and Bulti meaning sleep or death).
The Wirra Kaurna, a northern tribe, occupied land on the eastern bank of the Port River, while the Port River Tribe resided on the western bank of the river, with their territory stretching from West Lakes to the tip of the Lefevre Peninsula, and from Glanville to the sea. The Port River Tribe’s totem was Kudlyo, the Black Swan.
The Kaurna people have a strong spiritual attachment to and partnership with the land, and the rich and diverse eco-zone of the Port Adelaide region prior to European settlement, provided them with food, shelter, and areas of spiritual significance. The river provided flax, rushes, reed covered dunes, mangrove forests and marshes and swamps, which offered fish, crabs and oysters as food sources, flax was used to make nets to catch fish and hunt game animals such as kangaroo, while reeds were made into mats, baskets and clothing, and trees and plant life, including the gum and honeysuckle, provided shelter and could be used to make tools.
The Port Adelaide tribe lived in camps around the Port waterways and beaches during the summer time, and in the winter they moved east into the foothills. Ityamiitpinna, also known as King Rodney, reported to be the first Kaurna man encountered by the Europeans when they arrived at Port Adelaide in 1836, lived in a summer camp his wife Tangkaira and their daughter Ivaritji and other members of their family group, in the area near the lighthouse near Commercial Road.
Port Adelaide: Tales from a ‘commodious harbour’, John Couper-Smartt, 2003, Friends of the South Australian Maritime Museum Inc. pg 32.
Kudlyo the Black Swam Dreaming: Veronica Brodie and the continuity of Kaurna history at Glanville and Le Fevre peninsula, Research report prepared for the Lartelare Homeland Association, by Sheridah Melvin, June 1994.
Kaurna cultural heritage survey, July 2007, Vivienne Wood, Heritage Consultant, for the City of Port Adelaide Enfield.
Mudlangga to Yertabulti track, Lewis O’Brien, City of Port Adelaide Enfield brochure.
Port Adelaide is an historic area which was central to the colonization of South Australia dating right back to its inception in 1836 when Colonel William Light first sailed up the Port River. Port Adelaide has been the gateway to trade and commerce in South Australia and the first contact with South Australia for thousands of emigrants when they arrived by ship.
Enfield was predominantly a farming area, with fertile country along the River Torrens and wheat and grain fields in its northern reaches. The area also boasts Sunnybrae Farm, the site of the first waterborne sewerage system in Australia; Yatala Gaol; the Sir Ross and Keith Smith England to Australia flight landing site and Klemzig, where German immigrants fleeing persecution in Prussia, established a village.