First Mainland Survey of Colonel William LightPrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Stephen Warren

The cairn commemorates the first mainland survey of Colonel Light at Rapid Bay in 1836. The cairn includes a replica of the stone inscribed `W L 1836`. (The original stone is on display in the Mortlock Library.)

South Australia Colonial Surveyor General Colonel William Light made his first landfall on mainland South Australia at Rapid Bay on 8 September 1836. The site was named after Light's ship, the 162 ton brig Rapid. To mark this historic landfall the Colonel's initials, "W.L.", were carved into a large boulder – a replica is visible in the township.  

On Saturday the 92nd anniversary of the appointment of Colonel Light, as the first Surveyor-General of South Australia, the residents unveiled a cairn to commemorate the landing of Light at Rapid Bay. The cairn contains a replica of the stone on which Light carved his initials on that occasion. The present Surveyor-General (Mr. T. E. Day) performed the unveiling.
The Advertiser (Adelaide), 7 February 1928.


Address:Essington Lewis Drive, Rapid Bay, 5204
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -35.525467
Long: 138.191088
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Landscape
Approx. Event Start Date:September-1836
Approx. Event End Date:September-1836


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Saturday 4th February, 1928
Front Inscription

This memorial erected in 1928 by residents commemorates the first mainland survey of Colonel William Light Surveyor - General who landed from his vessel Rapid on September 8th 1836 and surveyed and named this valley.

The stone inscribed W. L. 1836 is a relic of that survey.

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