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Named After Two Historical Figures

Rundle Park / Kadlitpina (Park 13)

Did you know that this park is named after two historical figures, Kadlitpina and John Rundle?

photo-icon Kadlitpinna (Captain Jack)
photo-icon John Rundle
photo-icon Crowds of visitors strolling amongst the tents whilst attending a fete on the Adelaide Park Lands., State Library of South Australia, PRG 280/1/13/419, circa 1912
photo-icon White Cedar Avenue, City of Adelaide Archives, LS0100, circa 1909
photo-icon Artificial birds
photo-icon Wading pool in the East Park Lands, State Library of South Australia, B 70593, circa 1960

Kadlitpina was known to the colonists as Captain Jack – a well-known Kaurna elder at the time Adelaide was settled, while John Rundle (1791-1864) was one of the original directors of the South Australia Company formed in London in 1835 to promote settlement of the colony.

Kadlitpina was one of the main Kaurna people who worked with the colonists and taught them about Kaurna language, culture and history, especially in his role as a native constable. He was a close associate of Murlawirrapurka and Ityamai-itpina, other Kaurna elders who are recognised in the Park Lands with parks named after them.

This park has always been popular for a range of activities and today it’s the centre of the Adelaide Fringe festival. Events in 1912 were a more elegant affair!

In the 1970s, 38 artificial birds, complete with authentic bird calls, were installed in branches of trees in this part of the Park Lands in response to complaints from the public about the loss of birdlife in the Park Lands. There was a central control box where a button could be pressed to create the sound of birdsong. They were removed by 1978 due to damage and vandalism but they served a purpose of promoting an authentic bird habitat in the Park Lands.

The avenue of white cedars (melia azedarach var australisca) is the oldest in the east Park Lands, and was planted in the south-western part of the park in the 1870s. In 1880 John Ednie Brown was engaged to prepare his ‘Report on a System of Planting the Adelaide Park Lands’ and described the avenue as “trees of which are of an excellent description and afford a valuable shade to the footpath”.

The former wading pool was later transformed into a petanque piste.

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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