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Centre for swimming in Adelaide / Part of Light’s Plan

Denise Norton Park / Pardipardinyilla (Park 2)

photo-icon City Baths, City of Adelaide Archives, 1461ITEM0020[05], circa 1910s
photo-icon King William Road, City of Adelaide Archives, HP0292, date unknown
photo-icon Government Printing Offices & City Baths, City of Adelaide Archives, HP0201, circa 1905
photo-icon Adelaide Aquatic Swimming Centre, City of Adelaide Archives, 3554.114.056, circa 1970
photo-icon Adelaide Aquatic Swimming Centre, City of Adelaide Archives, 3554.114.066, circa 1970
photo-icon Adelaide Aquatic Swimming Centre, City of Adelaide Archives, 3554.114.071, circa 1970
photo-icon Adelaide Aquatic Swimming Centre, City of Adelaide Archives, 3554.114.073, circa 1970
photo-icon Plan of the City of Adelaide 1837 By Colonel William Light

The Kaurna people are the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the Adelaide Plains. Pardipardinyilla is a word from the Kaurna language which means “swimming place”. Last spoken on a daily basis in the 1860s, in recent times the language has been revived.

The centre for swimming in Adelaide used to be the City Baths on King William Street (where the entrance to the Adelaide Festival Centre is now). The City Baths were built in 1861 and demolished in 1969 to make way for the Festival Centre. For 100 years the baths were an important social institution for the City. The Adelaide Swimming Centre (now Adelaide Aquatic Centre) was built in this Park in 1968-1969, and enclosed with a roof in 1985.

The Adelaide Park Lands were first laid out in Colonel William Light’s 1837 plan for Adelaide. In recognition of its significance, the layout of the City and Park Lands is now on the National Heritage List. Adelaide is the only City in the world completely surrounded by Park Lands and has substantially retained its historical layout.

Light’s model of a city surrounded by Park Lands has been used widely by other towns in Australia and overseas. It is recognised as a major influence on the Garden City movement, one of the most important western urban planning initiatives in history.

City of Adelaide acknowledges the traditional Country of the Kaurna people of the Adelaide Plains and pays respect to Elders past and present. We recognise and respect their cultural heritage, beliefs and relationship with the land. We acknowledge that they are of continuing importance to the Kaurna people living today. We also extend that respect to other Aboriginal Language Groups and other First Nations.

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