City of Woodville Original Landing PlacePrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Mary Beaven

The monument marks the site of the City of Woodville original landing place and is dedicated in memory of immigrants from Great Britain and Germany who landed at Port Misery ( Port Adelaide) from 1837 to 1840 to establish the colony of South Australia. 

Colonel William Light began closely exploring the area in late 1836 while deciding on a site for the colony of South Australia's port. After initial trepidation, he reported to the Colonisation Commissioners that the location was a suitable harbour. By this time it had acquired the name "the port creek". Light's choice of separating the port and Adelaide was strongly opposed by a few merchants, a newspaper and Governor John Hindmarsh. This opposition was largely based on the distance between them. The division of power in the colony meant that the final decision was Light's alone. He kept Adelaide and the port separate principally due to the lack of fresh water at the port.

The effective foundation day of Port Adelaide was 6 January 1837. On this day the first harbourmaster, Captain Thomas Lipson (Royal Navy), took up residence with his family on the edge of Port Creek. The new port was used for shipping later that month, and passengers began disembarking the next. At this point the site was known as The Port Creek Settlement.

When founded, the port's land was just higher than the surrounding tidal flats; at high tide the port could be rowed around. The port had a significant problem—reported in letters from Light and complaints to the Governor from ship owners—of a lack of a fresh water supply. At first the river was not used for larger ships. They had to land at Holdfast Bay until the port was charted. This early port was plagued by mosquitoes, was a comparative long distance from Adelaide, had few amenities and had a risk of inundation when the tide was very high. By 1840 it had acquired the name "Port Misery"; the name was widely used in news reports.


Address:Settlers Drive, Mariners Reserve, West Lakes, 5021
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -34.859232
Long: 138.500241
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Landscape
Approx. Event Start Date:1837
Approx. Event End Date:1840


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Sunday 2nd March, 1986
Front Inscription

City of Woodville Original Landing Place

Colonel William Light was appointed in 1836 Surveyor-General for the Colony of South Australia by the Colonization Commissioners, London for the purpose of effecting such a survey of the different harbours and the adjoining lands as may be necessary to the correct determination of the best site for the first town.

Journal : 21 November (1836) - Left the brig (Rapid), in the hatch-boat, with Messrs. Kingston, Morphett and Pullen to examine the southern reach (of the vreek)

The historical marker dedicated On 2nd March 1986 by His Worship the Mayor of Woodville John Dyer Esq., OAM , J.P. in the South Australia Jubilee 150 Year

To the memory, courage, sacrifice, faith and zeal of the immigrants from Great Britain and Germany who landed at the old port "Port Misery" 1837 - 1840 to establish and settle in the Colony of South Australia

Floreat Civitas Nostra

D. A. Hamilton  Town Clerk
Historical marker - a gift of Delfin Property Group Ltd.


Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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