Walk a square city

For Becky’s Square Walk challenge I decided to use the fact that Adelaide is a square city.

Colonel William Light designed Adelaide as a one mile square (it’s actually a little more) with 6 squares, or gardens, in a figure 8. It’s known as Light’s Vision and for this challenge I invited my husband to walk the inner 5 squares with me and try and capture them for you.

Below is a very early map of the city, and I’ve numbered the squares as we saw them. As you can see, they are squares with semi-circular add-ons and the central one is definitely a square, now.

  1. Starting at Light Square, known as Wauwi to the Kaurna people, we have an aerial shot that I got from the top floor of the Adelaide College of the Arts, showing the basic design that most of the squares follow, with paths running symmetrically through them. There are two statues, or monuments, one to Colonel Light, featuring a bronze tripod and theodolite, and one to Catherine Helen Spence, a social and political reformer, writer and preacher. Her statue commemorated the 150th anniversary of the city and Light’s monument is also where he is buried (the only such monument in Adelaide). The final view is looking north, with an infinity sculpture, one of the Uni SA buildings and a rose garden.

2. Whitmore square, Iparrityi, is named after Mr William Wolryche-Whitmore, a Colonisation Commissioner of 1837.

The photos show: the tree-lined central path, large recreation area with basketball half-court, table tennis table and giant chess set, a monument entitled “Voyagers”, commemorating the historic contribution of the Afghan Cameleers and their families to the State of South Australia, and the renowned Morton Bay Fig which appear in many of the city’s formal gardens and is native to the East Coast.

3. Hurtle Square gains its European name from James Hurtle Fisher who was the first Resident Commissioner of South Australia. The Kaurna name, Tangkaira, is after the wife of Ityamai-itpina ( ‘King Rodney’) a Kaurna Elder at the time of European settlement. She was also called Charlotte.

The photos show the four corners with artwork The Forest Of Dreams by Anton Hart, 2003, and two of the stately and beautiful trees adorning this park – the pepper and Moreton Bay fig.

Taking a diagonal back into the centre of the city, our 4th square is the largest and hosts major events. Victoria Square is named after the then Princess Victoria, and Tarntanyangga, meaning red kangaroo rock.

Photos show The Three Rivers Fountain, by John Dowie, historic architecture in St Francis Xavier Catholic Cathedral and the Supreme Court, statues of Charles Kingston (former Premier) Queen Victoria and John Stuart (explorer), and a landscape showing the Christmas tree (just erected for the pageant), the lawns, tram, old GPO and some cityscape.

Last but not least, we ventured to Hindmarsh Square/ Mukata. A pretty little square, it was named after the first Governor of South Australia and one of the four wives of a Kaurna Elder, Mullawirrapurka (King John).

The photos show one tree-lined quadrant, the Paul Trappe sculpture of Murray River granite, The Playspace and Hindmarsh Square Fountain.

I should have warned you it was long, but if you’re ever in Adelaide you’ll find it takes little time and you could hop on a tram or bus in some sections.

Walk safely and check out more people doing square walks with Becky.


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