While there are no specific references to Kaurna sites in Kurangga, oral evidence suggests that the South Park Lands were regularly used for camping, food harvesting, burial and hunting in the time before European settlement.

This ended in the 1860s, when the Kaurna were driven out and their camps burnt. Accordingly, sociologists report some Kaurna have associated parts of the South Parklands with ‘spiritual danger’.

From the 1850s to the late 1870s Kurangga was used for grazing, firewood collection and agistment. It was fenced in white-painted timber posts and wire in the late 1860s, and by this time most of the indigenous vegetation had been effectively removed from the park. The commencement of a tree planting program began from about 1900 onwards.

Blue Gum Park retains its original shape and form as devised by Colonel William Light. It reflects the design intent and philosophies of botanist John Ednie Brown from 1880 and landscape gardener August Pelzer after 1900, such as mass plantings of particular species along pathway alignments. Along with perimeter planting along the roadways, there is also a large mass planting in this, the south-eastern corner of the park commencing at the ‘South Parks Lands Creek’.

Sporting facilities introduced in the 20th century have minimally altered the configuration of the Park that was laid out in the 1880s.

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Spoken description - Blue Gum Park history

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