60,000 BC

Aboriginal nations occupy the region for untold millennia

The region was inhabited by four Aboriginal nations.

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1802

Matthew Flinders charts the South Australian coastline

Flinders captained the Investigator

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1829

A Letter from Sydney by Edward Gibbon Wakefield is published anonymously

This letter was edited by Robert Gouger, who had visited Wakefield in prison.

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1830

The National Colonization Society holds its first public meeting in London

At the same time Charles Sturt’s expedition reaches the mouth of the River Murray

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1831

The National Colonization Society’s ‘Proposal to His Majesty’s Government for founding a colony on the Southern Coast of Australia’ submitted to the Colonial Secretary

The proposal was rejected the following year.

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1833

Robert Gouger establishes the South Australian Association

Robert Gouger (1802-1846) was one of the first and most influential advocates for South Australia

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1835

The South Australia Colonization Act is introduced into the British House of Commons

The Act was passed by the parliament.

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1835

The South Australia Company is established

The first land is offered for sale

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1836

The Letters Patent are issued by King William IV

The letters Patent declared that South Australia is to be occupied as a province under the British Crown and defined the boundaries of the new province.

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1836

The first of nine ships depart for South Australia

The John Pirie leading the fleet, departs on February 22. First settlers arrive at Kangaroo Island in July.

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1836

Colonel William Light begins the search for a suitable site for the new capital city in September

Modern Adelaide is selected as the site in December after rejecting Encounter Bay and Port Lincoln.

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1836

The new colony is proclaimed by Governor John Hindmarsh

The city of Adelaide is officially founded on December 31. Although the Letters Patent attached to the 1834 colonisation act protect the rights and lands of the Aboriginal people, there is no treaty in place and the dispossession of the Indigenous population begins.

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1838

First commercial vineyard in SA planted by John Reynell

In current day Reynella

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1839

The towns of Hahndorf, Mount Barker and Nairne are established

The area becomes known as the Adelaide Hills.

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1842

Copper discovered in Kapunda

This discovery increase the fortunes of the the new settlement

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German Lutherans settle at Langmeil

Many had come for the promise of religious freedom.

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1843

Wine from a vineyard in Echunga is sent as a gift to Queen Victoria

This is regarded as the first wine export from South Australia

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1847

First winery established

Located in the Barossa Valley

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1878

Railway from Kapunda to Morgan opens

This opens parts of the state up to the River Murray steamboat trade

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1887

Adelaide to Melbourne railway opens

The line passes through the Adelaide Hills with stations established at townships along the way

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1901

South Australia becomes part of the Commonwealth of Australia

This marks the Federation of Australia

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