Prior to British settlement, Unley was home to the indigenous peoples of the Kaurna tribe. Settlement by migrants commenced in the mid-19th century with arrivals predominantly from United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and to a small extent German speaking lands. At this time a small number of other ethnic groups also appeared. The land was cleared of native forest to farm sheep and cattle and to plant vineyards and orchards. Since then, it has developed into a commercial hub, just south of Adelaide's city centre. The suburb also has a significant Greek Australian population.