Oaklands Estate is a small portion of the City of Marion in
Adelaide, South Australia.
The Oaklands Estate comprises the triangular area bounded by the
River Sturt, Oaklands Road and the Adelaide/Seaford rail
It was named because the the first European settler here
planted a large number of oak trees on the estate. Today there are only
a few remaining oak trees which can be found on the Oaklands Estate Reserve.
The district has been granted
status as a Character Zone on the basis of its trees and environment.
This land was inhabited by
the Kaurna aboriginals who left evidence of their interaction with the land.
It was first called Oaklands Estate when the land was
originally settled by white colonists and open pasture lands were
In 1843 Samual Kearne bought 240 acres from the Crown plus
other land from other settlers. He had his house designed in England and
all the components were shipped to Australia. This became known as Oaklands
For a full history of the Oaklands
Estate read "The History of 'Oaklands' and its Tragic End" by
David Jarman, can be purchased for $10 from The City of Marion
Administration Centre, 245 Sturt Rd, Sturt.
In 1866, when
John Crozier bought the property, it was fully planted with irrigated oranges in
the front orchard, vineyards nearby and accompanying pastures for sheep, cattle
The house had a cellar that held 50 000 gallons ( 180 000 litres ) of wine.
The property was sold to Thomas
Currie Tait in 1906 but in 1915 the property was split by the new Adelaide
Willunga rail line. Many of the large gums were used as sleepers for the line.
Pethick family 1914
|In 1923 Tait
offered the property to the Government but they refused. The land was split
up. Hamiltons Winery bought the vineyards, the Homestead with 471/2
acres was sold to William Pethick and the 132 acres of the present Oaklands
Estate was sold to developers.
The developers planned a subdivision
that included the land that later became the Warradale Army Camp but did
have provision for a railway station a little south of where it eventually
was built. Can you find your house block on the plan?
Click on plan for enlarged view
Click on photo for enlarged view
By 1949, as can be seen in the
photograph, few homes had been completed, but a number of these still
exist. It is possible to drive through the area and find homes
that were completed as early as 1927.
It is also possible to find trees that
|In 1951 Oaklands Homestead was
sold to the Crown.
When a number of Oaklands Estate
gum-trees were being uprooted in 1952, a local group formed the Oaklands
Estate Residents' Association with the aim of saving some of the trees. Members
volunteered to plant and care for 1 200 native street trees including a
shrubbery around Marion Railway Station. They also helped to initiate the
gazetting of a sizeable portion of land adjacent to the Sturt River for
recreational use. The City of Marion has taken responsibility for that area.
Today many of these trees have reached maturity and
continue to cover our streets.
By 1964 flooding had become a
constant problem and vegetation was cleared in preparation for the concrete
lining of the river which began in 1968.
The Homestead had been leased to
Horace Pethick but when he left it remained vacant and was heavily vandalised.
The building was finally destroyed by the South Australian Government in 1967 in
anticipation of a freeway development that never happened. It was
bulldozed into its own cellar and is buried beneath the carpark.
The Road Safety School was
opened in the front section of the of the property in 1972. In 2011 the Driving School was
ceded by the Government of South Australia and has been developed as a wetlands .
Further development of
the area has progressed with an activity Plaza being created on the
northern edge. This comprises a skateboard park and a basketball
zone and has been expanded with more public
facilities. A large rotunda has been constructed and a larger car
park on the west side of the area provides greater access to this section.
To the south the reserve
was re-developed in 2018 and includes a new playground for children.