Welcome to the City of Port Adelaide Enfield Website

History of the City of Port Adelaide Enfield

Port Adelaide History

 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 the state and the first contact with South Australia for thousands of emigrants when they arrived by ship. 

  • On April 19 1831 Captain Collet Barker first sighted the Port River Inlet.
  • In December 1836 Colonel William Light sailed up the Port River proclaiming, "There was no safer place or more commodious harbor in the world for merchant ships".
  • On June 3 1837 the original site (Port Misery), was abandoned and the current site proclaimed a port by Governor Hindmarsh.
  • On 27 December 1855 Port Adelaide was declared a CorporateTown.
  • In 1884 the District Council of Portland Estate amalgamated with the Corporate Town of Port Adelaide
  • In 1886 the District Council of Birkenhead amalgamated with the Corporate Town of Port Adelaide
  • In 1896 the District Council of Alberton and Queenstown amalgamated with the Corporate Town of Port Adelaide
  • In 1899 the District Council of Rosewater amalgamated with the Corporate Town of Port Adelaide
  • On 13 November 1900 the Corporate Town of Semaphore amalgamated with the Corporate Town of Port Adelaide
  • On 23 May 1901 Port Adelaide was proclaimed a City by the Governor, Lord Tennyson to become the City of Port Adelaide

 Enfield History

Enfield was predominantly a farming area, with fertile country along the River Torrens and wheat and grain fields in its northern reaches. The area 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 at Northfield; and Klemzig, where German immigrants fleeing persecution in Prussia established a village.

  • In 1853, an area of around 130 kilometres extending from Salisbury in the north to the River Torrens in the east and adjoining Port Adelaide in the west, which included the villages of Enfield, Prospect, Klemzig and Walkerville, was incorporated into the District Council of Yatala. The land was first surveyed in 1837, but was not fully realised until the late 1840-50s because of limited fresh water.
  • In 1855 the Village of Walkerville separated from Yatala to become the District Council of Walkerville.
  • In July 1868 Yatala was divided into Yatala South and Yatala North, with any land south of Dry Creek becoming Yatala South.
  • In August 1872 the Village of Prospect separated from Yatala South to become the District Council of Prospect.
  • In July 1935 Yatala South was renamed the District Council of Enfield.
  • In April 1944 the District Council of Enfield became the Municipality of Enfield.
  • In January 1953 the Municipality of Enfield became the City of Enfield.

 City of Port Adelaide Enfield

  •  In March 1996 the City of Enfield amalgamated with the City of Port Adelaide to become the City of Port Adelaide Enfield.

City of Port Adelaide Enfield Local History Room:

Port Adelaide Library
2 Church Street Port Adelaide SA 5015
Phone: 08 8405 6580

For further details please contact our Local History Officer:

  • Port Adelaide Library: (08) 8405 6580 or email