Cultural Heritage

Respectfully acknowledging the historicity of our land.

Ethnographic records indicate that areas of Adelaide Airport were once favoured camping places for the Kaurna people, the Aboriginal people of the Adelaide Region. The Patawalonga Creek and surrounding system of interconnected rivers and wetlands were integral to Kaurna culture. Prior to European settlement the Kaurna people had frequented the Patawalonga giving to it the name we use today meaning “boggy and bushy stretch with fish”.

Reports from early settlers indicated that the local aboriginal people had camps on the creek’s eastern bank and made rush baskets, bags and mats that were sold to local European settlers.

After European settlement the Patawalonga Creek was often used for recreational boating. In 1886 the seawall, lock gates, upper weirs and wharves had been constructed to form Patawalonga Lake. The lock gates were destroyed by flood water coming down the Patawalonga Creek shortly after with the current weir not constructed until 1960 following construction of Adelaide Airport in 1955.