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Eden Hills, South Australia

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Title: Eden Hills, South Australia  
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Subject: Blackwood, South Australia, Pasadena, South Australia, List of Adelaide obsolete suburb names, Eden Hills, Sleeps Hill railway station
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Eden Hills, South Australia

Eden Hills
AdelaideSouth Australia
Population 2,849 (2006 census)[1]
Established 1883
Postcode(s) 5050
LGA(s) City of Mitcham
State electorate(s) Davenport
Federal Division(s) Boothby
Suburbs around Eden Hills:
St Marys Pasadena, Panorama Belair
Bedford Park Eden Hills Blackwood
Bellevue Heights Craigburn Farm

Eden Hills is a south eastern suburb located in the foothills of Adelaide, South Australia. It is part of the local government area of the City of Mitcham.


  • History 1
  • Places of interest 2
    • Watiparinga Reserve 2.1
    • Wittunga Botanic Garden 2.2
    • Colebrook Reconciliation Park 2.3
  • Notes 3


Whilst the derivation of the name is not conclusive, the Department of Lands Grant Book reveals the first land owner in the area was William Detmar Cook who purchased a property on 29 October 1839. Cook was Master of the barque Eden.

There was little settlement of the area until the early 1880s, when the railway from Adelaide to Nairne opened, being the first stage in the plan to link Adelaide to Melbourne.[2] In 1883, a syndicate comprising John Whyte, James Cowan, Ebenezer Ward, John Hill, R.D. Moore, Seth Ferry and G.H. Catchlove acquired the sections of land where the suburb is now centred, and following a survey laid out the land into allotments.[3]

Around that time Edwin Ashby moved into the area. Ashby and fellow land agent and financier Ernest Saunders owned and largely developed much of Eden Hills from 1890 and Ashby established the property Wittunga (now the Wittunga Botanic Garden) in Blackwood.[4]

The opening of the Eden Hills railway station in 1911 hastened development in the area. A post office and store opened in 1912 and a school (now Eden Hills Primary School) opened in 1916.[5] The school's original stone classroom survives as a reception area.[6] The Ashby family instigated the building of a Friends meeting house in 1912 which served as a venue for several religious denominations, the local dramatic society and other community events. It was demolished in 1956.[7] An Anglican Parish Hall was built in 1927, and a Methodist church established in 1937, moving to its current location (now Eden Hills Uniting Church) in 1957.[8]

A brickworks was established near the railway line and (originally Shephard's)[9] Shepherds Hill Road in 1881 to facilitate the building of railway tunnels and remained in operation until 1933. A smaller brickyard operated near Parham Road from 1884-1930.[10] Nearby in Wade Road is Seaview, the oldest known residence in Eden Hills, built in 1849.[11]

Places of interest

Blackwood High School, Blackwood Primary School and Eden Hills Primary School[12] are located in Eden Hills. Eden Hills railway station is on the Belair railway line. Eden Hills also has a Country Fire Service Station, established in 1951.[13]

Watiparinga Reserve

Watiparinga Reserve and adjacent land near Gloucester Avenue in Eden Hills was added to the Register of the National Estate in 1996. It comprises approximately 32 hectares and is considered a significant cultural landscape, exhibiting a diverse range of flora and provides an early example of nature conservation efforts in South Australia from the 1950s. The Reserve also contains remnants of the original 1880s Adelaide to Melbourne railway line, including an original single-track tunnel and concrete viaduct buttresses. The Reserve contains the first National Trust plaque to be erected in South Australia, which was unveiled in 1959.

Watiparinga Reserve was developed as farmland in 1850-51 and acquired by Ernest Saunders and Edwin Ashby in 1911. The South Australian Railways bought some of the land for the single-track railway line and viaduct in 1880. During World War II the former railway tunnel in the reserve was used for safe storage of South Australian art treasures and is now used to grow mushrooms commercially. The property was transferred to Edwin Ashby in 1922 and farmed as part of his Wittunga property. In the late 1950s his daughter Alison Ashby began planting thousands of seedlings of Australian plants in Watiparinga. She eventually donated Watiparinga to the National Trust in 1957.[14]

Wittunga Botanic Garden

The Wittunga Botanic Garden, in the southeastern corner of the suburb and extending east into Blackwood, was also part of Edwin Ashby's Wittunga property. Originally a formal English garden at Ashby's home, his son Arthur Keith Ashby later included South African and native Australian plants. The garden was donated to the State in 1965, and is now administered as one of the three Botanic Gardens in Adelaide, the others being the Adelaide Botanic Garden and the Mount Lofty Botanic Garden.

Colebrook Reconciliation Park

Colebrook Reconciliation Park in Eden Hills was established from 1998 as a memorial to the children who were removed from their families and housed at Colebrook Home, a "United Aborigines" mission which had originated in Oodnadatta in 1924, moved to Quorn, then finally relocated to Eden Hills in 1942.[15] At its Eden Hills location, Colebrook Home continued to house children, including prominent Aboriginal Australian health worker and public administrator Lowitja O'Donoghue.[16] By 1956 the property was in poor condition and the home was finally closed in 1972 and demolished in 1973.

The Reconciliation Park was born out of meetings in the 1990s between a local reconciliation study group and the Tji Tji Tjuta (former residents) of Colebrook Home. This led to memorial works including Fountain of Tears, created in 1998 by Silvio Apponyi and Grieving Mother in 1999.[17]


  1. ^  
  2. ^ Callen, Janet (2005). Forgotten Industries - the Brick-works of Eden Hills. self-published. p. 6.  
  3. ^ "Manning Index of South Australian History - Eden Hills". State Library of South Australia. Retrieved 2008-07-13. 
  4. ^ "Ashby, Edwin (1861 - 1941)". University of Melbourne eScholarship Research Centre - Bright Sparcs. Retrieved 2008-07-12. 
  5. ^ "History of Blackwood". Blackwood Business Network. Archived from the original on 2008-07-19. Retrieved 2008-07-12. 
  6. ^ "History". Eden Hills Primary School. Retrieved 2008-07-13. 
  7. ^ Callen, Janet (1983). Another Way of Life - Eden Hills 1883-1950. self-published. pp. 33–37.  
  8. ^ "New Times" (PDF). Uniting Church SA. November 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-07-28. Retrieved 2008-07-14. 
  9. ^ "Shephard's Hill.".   Named for William Henry Shephard
  10. ^ Callen, Janet (2005). Forgotten Industries - the Brick-works of Eden Hills. self-published.  
  11. ^ Callen, Janet (1983). Another Way of Life - Eden Hills 1883-1950. self-published.  
  12. ^ Eden Hills Primary School
  13. ^ "Eden Hills Brigade History". South Australian Country Fire Service. Retrieved 2008-07-14. 
  14. ^ "Watiparinga Reserve and adjacent land (entry AHD19097)".  
  15. ^ "Colebrook Home". Flinders Ranges Research. Retrieved 2008-07-13. 
  16. ^ "Interview with Lowitja O'Donoghue (transcript)". Film Australia - Australian Biography TV series. 1994-03-22. Retrieved 2008-07-13. 
  17. ^ "Colebrook Blackwood Reconciliation Park". City of Mitcham. Retrieved 2008-07-13. 

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