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Adelaide stretches 20 km (12 mi) from the coast to the foothills, and 94 to 104 km (58 to 65 mi) from Gawler at its northern extent to Sellicks Beach in the south.

Named in honour of Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen, queen consort to King William IV, the city was founded in 1836 as the planned capital for a freely-settled British province in Australia.

The national fertility rate fell and immigration was reduced to a trickle.

This article is about the greater metropolitan area known as Adelaide. For the local government area, see City of Adelaide. Adelaide is home to more than 75 percent of the South Australian population, making it the most centralised population of any state in Australia.

Adelaide is north of the Fleurieu Peninsula, on the Adelaide Plains between the Gulf St Vincent and the low-lying Mount Lofty Ranges which surround the city.

By 1860, wheat farms had been established from Encounter Bay in the south to Clare in the north.

Governor Gawler took over from Hindmarsh in late 1838 and, despite being under orders from the Select Committee on South Australia in Britain not to undertake any public works, promptly oversaw construction of a governor's house, the Adelaide Gaol, police barracks, a hospital, a customs house and a wharf at Port Adelaide.

In 1860 the Thorndon Park reservoir was opened, finally providing an alternative water source to the now turbid River Torrens.

Gas street lighting was implemented in 1867, the University of Adelaide was founded in 1874, the South Australian Art Gallery opened in 1881 and the Happy Valley Reservoir opened in 1896.

However, by mid-1837 the South Australian Register was warning of escaped convicts from New South Wales and tenders for a temporary gaol were sought.

Following a burglary, a murder, and two attempted murders in Adelaide during March 1838, Governor Hindmarsh created the South Australian Police Force (now named South Australia Police) in April 1838 under 21-year-old Henry Inman.

South Australia became a self-governing colony in 1856 with the ratification of a new constitution by the British parliament.

Secret ballots were introduced, and a bicameral parliament was elected on 9 March 1857, by which time 109,917 people lived in the province.

Colonel William Light, one of Adelaide's founding fathers, designed the city and chose its location close to the River Torrens, in the area originally inhabited by the Kaurna people.