East End History

From its humble beginnings, Adelaide’s East End has become a must visit destination for national and international tourists alike. From the early days of the markets, it has now transformed itself into Adelaide’s main fashion and Cafe district.

The East End precinct was originally a self contained village existing for the East End fruit and vegetable markets and the people who worked in them from the 1860’s. Although the majority of traders were involved in the production and selling of produce, there were almost 294 other occupations carried out in the area including umbrella making, taxidermy, midwifery and letter carrying.  In all other colonies, markets were the responsibility
of the City Corporation. In Adelaide however, this was not the case. Both the first market, the East End Market, which began in the 1860’s, and the Adelaide Fruit and Produce Exchange opened nearby in 1903, were set up privately.  The markets closed in 1988 and today the East End is one of the most vibrant and exciting parts of the
City of Adelaide. The many cafes and restaurants offer a range of culinary experiences for all tastes and the al fresco style is inviting and friendly. The precinct is also well known for its fashion stores ranging from high end brands to quirky boutiques.

If you would like to find out more about our History rich East End, why not take a self guided tour? An informative tour is now available through Adelaide City Explorer and covers 21 sites.

Adelaide City Explorer East End Discovery Trail

East End Adelaide, previously published, in partnership with the Adelaide City Council, a walking tour pamphlet ‘East End Cultural and Historical Walk’.

This walk showcases the unique cultural and historical features of Adelaide’s Famous East End. It takes approximately 60 minutes to complete and is suitable for all fitness levels. There are many places along the way to rest, shop, admire art, enjoy a coffee or wine, or stop for a meal.

In 2015 Coordinator, Megan Bekesi approached National Trust to ask them if they could assist with transforming the walking tour into an interactive online map and mobile app. National Trust currently manages the Adelaide City Explorer website and mobile apps. At the time, National Trust were exploring possible community partnerships to further develop and extend content on this site and were keen to assist. East End Adelaide and National Trust agreed that combining resources may lead to a richer and more engaging experience for visitors online and through mobile applications.

National Trust SA and the East End Coordination Group collaborated on the project and the ‘East End Cultural and Historical Walk’ has now been incorporated as one of the tours offered through the National Trust’s ‘Adelaide City Explorer’ website and mobile apps available here: http://adelaidecityexplorer.com.au/tours/show/29

A launch for the walk was held on 20 May at Ayers House during the National Trust Heritage Festival.

East End Adelaide are very grateful to Dr Darren Peacock (Chief Executive Officer) and Jill MacKenzie (Public Programs Officer) for their assistance and commitment to the project.

Adelaide City Explorer ap    NTSA Logo


East End History in the Media 2016

A great article on our East End Markets published in The Advertiser 15 May 2016

SA Life – A Short History of the East Terrace – video