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River Torrens

The River Torrens flows from Mount Pleasant in the Adelaide Hills through Adelaide to the sea at West Beach in Adelaide's western suburbs. Colonel William Light named the river in 1836 after Robert Torrens, the Chairman of the Colonization Commission that was responsible for promoting settlement in South Australia.

In the early days of the colony, the River Torrens was used as Adelaide's sewer - it was little more than a muddy ditch filled with black, stinking water and there was very little vegetation on its banks. It was subject to flooding and was seen by some as a barrier between the north and south Adelaide. Methods for controlling and negotiating the River, such as bridges, dams and fords, were implemented.

In 1880 the Torrens Weir was built to dam the river and form an ornamental lake. This formed a pleasant body of water and opened up the leisure possibilities for the River Torrens. Elder Park was created and the riverbanks were landscaped for recreational use. In more recent years, the landscape along the river through Adelaide's suburbs has been remodelled into parklands, known as Linear Park. Thirty-five kilometres in length, Linear Park follows the river from Henley Beach in the west to Athelstone in the east.

General view of the Torrens River
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Torrens Lake
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Torrens River and bridge
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