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The Transformation of Bonython Park / Tulya Wardli

Bonython Park / Tulya Wardli (Park 27)

This Park is the largest of the named parks in the City of Adelaide, occuyping 17 hectares.

photo-icon Bonython Park Development, City of Adelaide Archives, 3554.053.074, circa 1960s
photo-icon Bonython Park Development, City of Adelaide Archives, 3554.081.026, circa 1960s
photo-icon Bonython Park Development, City of Adelaide Archives, 3554.081.041, circa 1960s
photo-icon Bonython Park Development, City of Adelaide Archives, 3554.053.058, circa 1960s
photo-icon William Charles Douglas Veale (known as W. C. D. Veale)
photo-icon Sir John Lavington Bonython

In the very early days of the new colony, the area south of the kiosk was roughly the location of Adelaide’s first settlement known as Buffalo Row – a series of simple houses used by the first settlers who arrived on the ship named “The Buffalo”, before Adelaide’s allotments were surveyed.

For many years, this area was used for cattle yards, a slaughterhouse and as a refuse tip for Adelaide’s waste. It was described as the “Siberia of the Park Lands” by Town Clerk William Veale in the late 1940s.

After an inspirational trip overseas in the late 1950s, Veale developed plans to transform the area through the creation of picnic grounds, playgrounds, recreational lakes in the River Torrens, a boating pond and kiosk.

Bonython Park, named after Sir John Lavington Bonython, was opened in 1964, and has proven to be one of Adelaide’s most popular park destinations ever since.

The Kaurna name for Bonython Park, “Tulya Wardli”, means “soldier house”. The Kaurna people are the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the Adelaide Plains.

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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