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Pinky Flat: A Kaurna camping ground

Pinky Flat (Park 26)

photo-icon Rowing on the Torrens, City of Adelaide Archives. HP0298, circa 1914
photo-icon Torrens Weir in flood, City of Adelaide Archives, HP1101, circa 1917
photo-icon Lord Mayors Garden Party during the visit of HM the Queen Mother, City of Adelaide Archives, 3554ITEM0385, circa 1966

The Kaurna people are the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the Adelaide Plains. The language was last spoken on a daily basis in the 1860s, and has been revived in recent times based on dictionaries prepared by German missionaries around the time of settlement.

The name of Pinky Flat is thought to be linked to the 'Pingko' or bilby, a traditional Aboriginal food which was also eaten by European settlers in early colonial years when there was a shortage of other food. This was also a camping ground for Aboriginal groups until the early 1900s.

The Torrens River is known as Karrawirra Pari ('Redgum Forest River') in the Kaurna language. Pinky Flat is part of a Park called Tarntanya Wama which means 'Adelaide Oval' in the Kaurna language.

Named the River Torrens by Colonel Light in 1836 in honour of Sir Robert Torrens, Chairman of the South Australian Colonisation Commission, the River was important in the decision to site Adelaide here as it was a water supply for early settlers.

You can walk along the River to the Torrens Weir to the West. Water supply is important to development of a city and during a period of expansion of piped water and the reservoirs to supply them, the Weir was built in 1881.

Before that, the River would have flooded after heavy rain and dried up in summer. One of the first uses of concrete in a civil engineering project in Australia, the Weir is a State Heritage Place.

The Weir was central to creating gardens along the River for activities such as boating.

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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