Torrens Island



Torrens Island


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Torrens Island is a 118-hectare (291-acre) island located in the River Torrens, within the city of Adelaide, South Australia. The island is bounded by North Adelaide to the north-east, Hallett Cove to the south-east, Thebarton to the south, and Port Adelaide to the east. Torrens Island is connected to the mainland by a causeway bridge across the River Torrens.

Torrens Island


The island was named in 1836 by Sir Richard Torrens, after his friend and mentor, Governor of the Province of South Australia George Gawler. The original grant made to Gawler contained the words: “This Island form part of a larger tract reserved for the establishment and residence of His Excellency.”

The first settlement on Torrens Island was made in 1863 by Colonel William Light, who established a small farm on the northern end of the island. After a dispute between Torrens and Light over the right to graze sheep on the north-eastern section of his land, Light purchased out Sir Richard in 1866.


The Adelaide weather classification system classifies Torrens Island as a Cfa, or Cool-Temperate Rainforest. The island is characterised by its tall trees and abundant rainfall. Its climate is wet, with winter temperatures ranging from 22 degrees Celsius in the winter months to 27-28 degrees Celsius throughout summer. Precipitation averages , of which most falls during September and October. Humidity can be high — average – along these times and at night; however annual rainfall severely varies year on year due to seasonal variability.


Torrens Island is home to a number of animal and bird species, including the olive ridley turtle, Australian magpie and grey-headed flying fox. The island also supports a small population of Torres Strait Islanders. Torrens Island has long been a site for the Royal Adelaide Show, and continues to host this local community event. Performers include: flying fox acts by spectators; fire displays from various halls in the Village; birds of prey display on Torrens Oval (police dogs who will be permitted); food stalls along Sir Richard’s Walkway, Norton St from The Landing Zone down to Rundle Street bridge including market stall (especially popular with residents and guests); cosplay; local bands for the Rundle Street stage.


Torrens Island is part of the federal Division of Mayo, and has been represented in the House of Representatives by Liberal MP Luke Simpkins since 2016. The island is also within Adelaide’s state Legislative Assembly Electoral District of Kaurna , and has been represented by Liberal MP Paul Caica since 2008. Torrens Island is predominantly supported for state elections by the Australian Labor Party, with a number of ALP candidates selected from the area in both federal and state elections over previous decades (including David Shearer, who served as Premier from 2007 to 2010).

Government services

As part of the Torrens Island Authority, local government services on Torrens Island are provided by a five-member Council. The Council is elected to represent the interests of residents and businesses on the island, and has responsibility for: land use and development; infrastructure provision; environmental management; public safety (including policing); social programs (such as youth engagement, recreation and cultural activities), as well as tourism marketing. National and state-level events

Numerous national national (e.g.: Commonwealth Games, ANZAC Day) as well as Adelaide horticultural events take place on Torrens Island each year.


Torrens Island is a popular tourist destination, with attractions including: gardens and parklands; beaches and rocks; historic sites (e.g.: the Government House Site); shops and restaurants. One of the main attractions for tourists is Canberra’s system of canals, which now provides bicycle and walking trails beside waterways that connect Torrens Island with a number of suburbs in southern Adelaide. Tourism also plays an important role in providing employment opportunities for residents and business owners on the island. Torrens Island is ranked 13th busiest tourist destination in South Australia, with 12 347 visitors per annum (in 2016).


The only public transport on Torrens Island is the ferry service operated by Capital Transport Canberra. The ferry runs between popular tourist destinations such as Kingston and Barton (on the mainland) and Torrens Island, making it a convenient way to get around the island. Capital Transport Canberra plans to extend regular ferry services between Torrens Island and Richmond/Coorong on the mainland.

Torrens Island also features a bicycle network linking places around the island with surrounding suburbs including: Belconnen, Griffith and Darlington in southern Adelaide; Morphettville, Cheltenham and Unley (outside Burke Road).


Torrens Island features a variety of restaurants, cafes and food trucks. Some popular places to eat include: the Bicycle Shed Cafe; Pippin’s Pizza House; Gyro King; Wendy’s Hamburgers. Torrens Island is home to one of Adelaide’s best Gyro restaurants (Gyro King), the world-famous Bicycle Shed Cafe, a Grant Road mini mart and Pippin Family Restaurant. In the 1972 film, “Mad Max 2”, Torrens Island is featured in a remake of 1936 movie.

Festivals and events

Torrens Island also hosts numerous festivals, most notably Torrens Proud during early October. This festival features live bands, dance performances and a Caravan Market. The island also hosts regular markets showcasing produce from the surrounding suburbs at different times throughout the year including: Darlington’s Vegfest; Low Light (monthly – held on selected Sundays in November); Harbourside Farmers’ Markets (weekly – held during weekends ); and the Torrens Island Outdoor Market (held on Saturdays in December).


Torrens Island is home to a variety of wildlife including: koalas, possums, bandicoots and tawny eagles. Languages spoken on Torrens Island include: Torrens Island is serviced by a single bus service operated by Capital Transport Canberra plc, who provides three services each weekday: one from Ryde, one from Belconnen and northern suburbs and one to Coogee.

The Torrens Island Community Association also provides volunteer-run transport services for this island community when the bus service does not run in place of a handful of people using their own vehicles, usually on weekends only but more recently at all times including during peak hour periods as demand requires . New ferry services are in the planning stages.


Torrens Island is a small, man-made island that is located in the Bass Strait between Tasmania and Victoria, Australia. It is the only privately owned island in the world and the only one accessible by land. The island is used for agricultural purposes and for conservation of biodiversity.


What Is Torrens Island?

Torrens Island is located on the eastern side of Adelaide and has a total land area of 141-hectares (325 acres).

Who Owns Torrens Island?

Torrens Island is privately owned.

What Are The Main Uses Of Torrens Island?

Torrens Island is used for agricultural purposes and for conservation of biodiversity.

What Type Of Climate Does Torrens Island Have?

The island has a warm-temperate climate with a Mediterranean influence. The average annual temperature on the island is 18 degrees Celsius (64 degrees Fahrenheit).

What Are The Main Activities On Torrens Island?

The island is used for farming and conservation of biodiversity. Activities include maintaining herbaceous plantings, fauna habitat conditions, wetlands management and visitor facilities.

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