East End Discovery

Trail curated by: Adelaide City Explorer Team & East End Coordination Group

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 1860s. 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 of the other Australian 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 1860s, and the Adelaide Fruit and Produce Exchange, which 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.

This walk showcases the unique cultural and historical features of Adelaide’s famous East End. It begins on the corner of Rundle Street and Pulteney Street, just opposite the eastern end of Rundle Mall. 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.

Locations for Trail

The south-east corner of Rundle Street and Pulteney Street was once the site of one of the city’s most magnificent hotels, the Grand Central Hotel. It was built in 1910 on the site of another former hotel, the York Hotel. The expansive facade of…

It is easy to miss this quiet side street adjacent to the bustling retail precinct of Rundle Street. However, its name hints at its once important place within South Australia’s Jewish community.Just over a decade after South Australia was founded,…

The Austral Hotel and adjacent shops a complex unique on Rundle Street for its size and composition. In 1880, architect William McMinn was commissioned to design 14 shops and a hotel covering almost two town acres. The complex was established for the…

Completed in 2014, the Bent Street mural is a collaborative project of Tony Rosella (lead artist) and Ash Rundle (designer) in consultation with Aboriginal artists Lee-Anne (TJUNYPAL) Buckskin and Muriel (MUMTHELANG) Van Der Byl. The artists were…

This mural is the result of four artists, 14 years and one controversial art movement. It first came to life in 1984 through the work of artists Carol Ruff and Barbary O’Brien. The scene showed an old man and a child on a bicycle, expressing the…

At the end of Tavistock Lane you will discover a four-storey building with the words "Gerard & Goodman" painted on it.Alfred Gerard started his electrical merchandising business, Gerard & Goodman, in Rundle Street in 1907. The company quickly…

This grand building is a rare example of the fashionable houses once visible on North Terrace. Around 1881 two small houses were demolished so that this house could be constructed for Thomas Greaves Waterhouse. Thomas was a successful businessman who…

As with the nearby Adelaide Club, this imposing building was constructed as a meeting place for men. Specifically, it was for men who belonged to the Freemasons. Freemasonry is an organisation that evolved from stonemasons’ guilds in Great Britain…

As one of the last mansions on North Terrace, Ayers House is a rare sight. This bluestone mansion is a well-known feature of the city, partly because of its most famous owner, Sir Henry Ayers. Henry Ayers arrived in South Australia in 1840, four…

Opposite the entrance to Adelaide’s fine Botanic Gardens, on the corner of North and East Terrace, stands the elegant Botanic Hotel. The architecture and Italianate style of the Botanic Hotel has been compared to a tiered wedding cake. The hotel…

Unveiled in 1925, the Australian Light Horse Obelisk commemorates the South Australian soldiers who fought in the First World War as part of the Australian Light Horse. The Victorian granite memorial acknowledges the three theatres of WWI where the…

In 1847, the colonial government set out the rules for the establishment of markets in the city. The Adelaide City Council allocated a space on Pirie Street for a new produce market shortly thereafter, but traders soon found the space too small and…

This corner landmark is one of the city’s oldest hotels and a notable feature of both East Terrace and Rundle Street. The Stag has been on this site since 1849, when it was first licensed by George Taylor. In its early years, the Stag was the site…

The only evidence of the nine connected cottages that once stood here is the few buildings' remaining footings just beyond this plaque. In the 1850s, local businessman William Peacock erected the cottages for workers from his nearby tannery…

This playful sculpture depicts the heroine of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There. Characters from both books, including Tweedledee and Tweedledum, the Duchess and the Gryphon,…

Electricity was used throughout the city in the second half of the 19th Century, but early use was often for novel purposes and spectacle. Privately-owned plants powered electricity for shops, theatres and hotels across Adelaide. The colonial…

The former Woodman’s Inn is easy to find due to its distinctive timber decoration. It is a now rare example of the Queen Anne style popular at the time of Australian Federation in 1901. However, the site's history and the hotel's name date from…

The facades of the former Adelaide Fruit and Produce Exchange are an iconic landmark of the East End, spanning four city streets including Grenfell Street, East Terrace, Rundle Street and Union Street.  A number of markets were established in the…

Frank's Gents Barbershop and its owner Frank Vaiana have been a fixture of the East End for nearly six decades. Seventeen-year-old Frank arrived in Australia in 1957 from Sicily. He opened his barbershop that same year on East Terrace. The shop has…

Apron by South Australian artist Karen Genoff is a tribute to the markets that were once such an important part of Adelaide’s East End. The installation was commissioned by the State Government and it was installed in 1997. The sculpture’s focal…

The REEL Project, located on Vardon Avenue, is one of the more recent public artwork in the East End. Commissioned by the Adelaide City Council in 2011, the artwork was created by Sebastian Di Mauro. The Reel Project is manufactured out of…

In 1976, Owen Broughton's Untitled sculpture won the Rundle Mall Sculpture Contest. Other competition winners that year included John Dowie's Girl On A Slide and Bert Flugelman's Spheres (known affectionately by South Australians as the 'Malls…

Between 1939 and 1949, this was the scene of thrilling fights and disputed decisions. For ten years, a boxing stadium was located just behind 184 Grenfell Street. Few purpose-built boxing stadiums were built in the city, and consequently many bouts…

Built in 1898, these Rundle Street shops were occupied between 1908 and 1985 by some of the East End's most colourful inhabitants - the Sym Choon family. John Sym Choon and his wife, So Yung Moon, migrated from China to South Australia in the 1890s.…
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