A historical photo of Rundle Street

Rundle Mall History

The beginnings

The namesake of Rundle Street and Rundle Mall is John Rundle (1791-1864), an original director and financier of the South Australian Company that was formed in London in 1835 to encourage the settlement of the new colony that would become South Australia.

Soon after, the first Surveyor-General Colonel William Light arrived on the HMS Rapid at Holdfast Bay to map out his plans for the new city and colony. The first free settlers followed Colonel Light, arriving on the Africaine on 6 November 1836, drawing contrasts to the convicts populating the other colonies around Australia.

In 1837, Light gave names to the streets on his city plan with a group of officials and distinguished businessmen, many of which they named after themselves.

From Street to Mall

Before its inception as a car-free shopping strip, Rundle Mall was the extension of Rundle Street, where most of the city's retailers and an overwhelming proportion of its motor and pedestrian traffic resided.

In November 1972, then-Premier Don Dunstan announced the closure of part of Rundle Street, awarding Ian Hannaford Architects with the project.

Construction began in 1975, ripping up the roads and placing the paving down and seeing the design through. On 1 September 1976, Rundle Mall was officially opened. Don Dunstan arrived by horse and cart, champagne ran through the fountain and 10,000 people came to celebrate the beginning of a new era in city retail.

Rundle Mall today

To this day, Rundle Mall remains the home of shopping, dining and entertainment in Adelaide. The Mall is home to over 700 retailers and 300 services and welcomes 22 million visitors per annum.

Vibrant buskers, leading retail brands, a huge selection of things to eat and drink, rich history and prominent landmarks make the Mall what is is today.