Oaklands Estate

Oaklands Estate is a small portion of the City of Marion in Adelaide, South Australia.

The Oaklands Estate comprises the triangular area bounded by the River Sturt, Oaklands Road and the Adelaide/Seaford rail line.  

It was named because the the first European settler here planted a large number of oak trees on the estate.  Today there are only a few remaining oak trees which can be found on the Oaklands Estate Reserve.

The district has been granted status as a Character Zone on the basis of its trees and environment.


This land was inhabited by the Kaurna aboriginals who left evidence of their interaction with the land.



It was first called Oaklands Estate when the land was originally  settled by white colonists and open pasture lands were created.


 In 1843 Samual Kearne bought 240 acres from the Crown plus other land from other settlers.  He had his house designed in England and all the components were shipped to Australia.  This became known as Oaklands Homestead. 


For a full history of the Oaklands Estate read  "The History of 'Oaklands' and its Tragic End" by David Jarman, can be purchased for $10 from The City of Marion Administration Centre, 245 Sturt Rd, Sturt.

In 1866, when John Crozier bought the property, it was fully planted with irrigated oranges in the front orchard, vineyards nearby and accompanying pastures for sheep, cattle and horses.   The house had a cellar that held 50 000 gallons ( 180 000 litres ) of wine.

The property was sold to Thomas Currie Tait in 1906 but in 1915 the property was split by the new Adelaide Willunga rail line.  Many of the large gums were used as sleepers for the line.

Pethick family 1914
In 1923 Tait offered the property to the Government but they refused.  The land was split up.  Hamiltons Winery bought the vineyards, the Homestead with 471/2 acres was sold to William Pethick and the 132 acres of the present Oaklands Estate was sold to developers.

The developers planned a subdivision that included the land that later became the Warradale Army Camp but did have provision for a railway station a little south of where it eventually was built.  Can you find your house block on the plan?


Click on plan for enlarged view

Click on photo for enlarged view

   By 1949, as can be seen in the photograph, few homes had been completed, but a number of these still exist.  It is possible to drive through the area and find homes that were completed as early as 1927.

It is also possible to find trees that still exist.


In 1951 Oaklands Homestead was sold to the Crown.

When a number of Oaklands Estate gum-trees were being uprooted in 1952, a local  group  formed the Oaklands Estate Residents' Association with the aim of saving some of the trees.  Members volunteered to plant and care for 1 200 native street  trees including a shrubbery around Marion Railway Station.  They also helped to initiate the gazetting of a  sizeable portion of land adjacent to the Sturt River for recreational use.  The City of Marion has taken responsibility for that area.

Today many of these trees have reached maturity and continue to cover our streets.


By 1964 flooding had become a constant problem and vegetation was cleared in preparation for the concrete lining of the river which began in 1968.

The Homestead had been leased to Horace Pethick but when he left it remained vacant and was heavily vandalised.  The building was finally destroyed by the South Australian Government in 1967 in anticipation of a freeway development that never happened.  It was bulldozed into its own cellar and is buried beneath the carpark.

The Road Safety  School was opened in the front section of the of the property in 1972.  In 2011 the Driving School was ceded by the Government of South Australia and has been developed as a wetlands .

Further development of the area has progressed with an activity Plaza being created on the northern edge.  This comprises a skateboard park and a basketball zone and has been expanded with more public facilities.  A large rotunda has been constructed and a larger car park on the west side of the area provides greater access to this section.

To the south the reserve was re-developed in 2018 and includes a new playground for children.