European settlement 1836 - 1890

Europeans brought a host of cultural and social practices to Australia . Their beliefs changed the land and formed many of the social customs and institutions we now take for granted. This map indicates the beginning and extent of their impact.

European settlement 1836-1890

Although European explorers, whalers and sealers visited from the early 1800s, it was not until British settlement in 1836 that Europeans moved into the region. Land was surveyed and settled from 1838 and for the next twenty years it was grazed by settlers’ animals, ploughed up and planted with wheat and quarried for stone and slate.

Villages and transport routes were planned and built around this farming economy. As flour mills were erected, roads were cut to coastal jetties so that produce could be moved to markets.

This bustling life ceased when land became over-farmed by the 1860s and people moved to other regions. Yet the formation of a thriving wine industry, the use of diverse farming methods and tourism brought hope and stability.

By 1890, the region was known for its fine wine, its profitable farms, its inns and holiday houses. The traditional owners, the Kaurna people, though, had not fared well. As settlers changed the land by European ideas, so indigenous people lost their country and freedom of movement.