Smithfield, South Australia

Coordinates: 34°41′09″S 138°41′12″E / 34.6859°S 138.6868°E / -34.6859; 138.6868
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AdelaideSouth Australia
Smithfield is located in City of Playford
Coordinates34°41′09″S 138°41′12″E / 34.6859°S 138.6868°E / -34.6859; 138.6868
Population2,482 (SAL 2021)[1]
Location30 km (19 mi) NE of Adelaide city centre
LGA(s)City of Playford
State electorate(s)Taylor
Federal division(s)Spence
Suburbs around Smithfield:
Smithfield Plains Munno Para Blakeview
Davoren Park Smithfield Blakeview
Davoren Park Elizabeth North Elizabeth Downs

Smithfield is a suburb in the northern outskirts of Adelaide, South Australia. It is in the City of Playford.


Smithfield has Main North Road as its eastern boundary, with service stations, the historic Smithfield Hotel and several other businesses and private residences. Anderson Walk is the southern boundary of the original village, which was arranged in a grid with Augusta Square in the centre. West of the older residential area is an industrial zone along the railway line, with Smithfield railway station on the south side of Anderson Walk. Munno Para Shopping City is on the south side of Smith Creek. There are more residential areas south and west of the railway station, and an Army Reserve depot west of the shopping centre which is home to the 3rd/9th Light Horse (South Australian Mounted Rifles)[2] and 49 ACU Army Cadets.[3]



Settlement of Smithfield occurred circa 1850 when Scottish immigrant, John Smith took ownship of land where the main road north intersected with a freshwater course now known as Smith Creek (or Grant Creek).[4] Smith built a homestead on his property in 1850 and set up part of it as a hotel to take advantage of traffic passing by on the main road.[5][6] Smith planned a town and by 1853 section 3165 of the Hundred of Munno Para was surveyed and subdivided into town allotments.[6] He donated land in 1855 to build the Presbyterian church and, by 1860, the fledgling town had a telegraph station, railway station, institute building, a store, and several other service providers.[6] Gawler Plains post office had opened on 12 July 1850 and was renamed Smithfield in 1855.[7]

Smithfield Speedway[edit]

A 1 mile (1.6 km) speedway track was built in the Smithfield area in 1926 by the Motorcycle Club of South Australia. The exact location may have been in what is now Elizabeth Downs.[8] The Smithfield Speedway was believed to be the first in the world to be promoted by a motorcycle club.[9] The first meeting was scheduled for Wednesday 13 October 1926, but postponed to Saturday 16 October due to poor weather.[10] The first race meeting was held before the grandstands were built, and the new track generated a lot of dust.[11] The track was on the east side of the Gawler Road, a little south of Smithfield township, in a paddock of 80 acres (32 ha). It appears to have only operated until about 1930.[12]

World War 2[edit]

During the Second World war, the government built some munitions/ordinance factory and storage facility here. Parts of it were demolished in later years.[13]

Migrant Hostel[edit]

Following World War II, a migrant hostel was established on land no longer required for a munitions depot near the railway line at Smithfield. It was operated by the Commonwealth Government from 1949 until 1971 on the land between the railway line and Coventry Road.[14] Single people were allocated space in a dormitory, families had a section of a larger building with two or three bedrooms and a sitting room. Cooking and eating was in a communal dining hall, and there were shared ablution blocks. It had accommodation for 100 people at the end of January 1949, and housed up to 300 people at a time. There was no charge to live in the hostel until the breadwinner of the family found a job. After that, the family was charged a rate proportional to their income for up to a year while they found a permanent home.[15] The hostel was initially a "camp for Balts", housing displaced people from Europe. By 1951, it was also home to British migrants. The Girl Guides operated in the hostel.[16]


Smithfield railway station on the Gawler railway line was originally built with a station building and opened in June 1857. The original station building on the eastern platform was demolished in 1987 and has been replaced by shelters which have been incorporated into the Bus Interchange.

Trains to and from Adelaide on the Gawler railway line operate from Smithfield station every 15 minutes at peak times on Monday to Friday, and every 30 minutes during off-peak and all day on Saturday and Sunday. In the morning and afternoon/evening peak hours, there are several trains that run express making stops at Smithfield, Elizabeth, Parafield, Salisbury and Mawson Interchanges. These are used by a significant number of passengers who either park their vehicle or transfer from buses at Smithfield Interchange.

Local buses from Smithfield Interchange, scheduled to connect with trains to and from Adelaide, use the Adelaide Metro integrated ticketing system.

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (28 June 2022). "Smithfield (SA) (suburb and locality)". Australian Census 2021 QuickStats. Retrieved 28 June 2022. Edit this at Wikidata
  2. ^ "3/9 Lt Horse; South Australian Mounted Rifles". Digger History. Retrieved 11 December 2014.
  3. ^ "49 ACU Smithfield". Department of Defence. Retrieved 11 December 2014.
  4. ^ Pocius, Daina (18 September 2017). "Smith's Creek". Playford's Past. City of Playford History Services. Retrieved 20 December 2017.
  5. ^ "Placename Details: Smithfield". Property Location Browser. 11 March 2009. SA0062198. Retrieved 17 November 2017. Derivation of Name: J Smith, early Landowner; Other Details: J Smith built the Smithfield Hotel in the 1850s. Subdivisions Smithfield Extension & Smithfield West included into this suburb. Proposal to add portion to Craigmore not approved by Geographical Names Board in 1989. Portion taken in 1990 together with portion of Munno Para and un-named land to create the suburb of Blakeview. Proposal in 1993 to rename portion as "Old Smithfield" not approved by Geographicl Names Advisory Committee.
  6. ^ a b c Pocius, Daina (27 September 2013). "Smithfield". Playford's Past. City of Playford History Services. Retrieved 17 November 2017.
  7. ^ "Post Office List". Premier Postal Auctions. Retrieved 26 May 2011.
  8. ^ "Smithfield Speedway". Ifech Media Group. 20 January 2016. Retrieved 21 January 2016.
  9. ^ "THE SMITHFIELD SPEEDWAY". The Advertiser. Adelaide. 7 October 1926. p. 26. Retrieved 21 January 2016 – via National Library of Australia.
  10. ^ "Advertising". The Register. Adelaide. 13 October 1926. p. 2. Retrieved 21 January 2016 – via National Library of Australia.
  11. ^ "NEW SPEEDWAY". The Mail. Adelaide. 16 October 1926. p. 10. Retrieved 21 January 2016 – via National Library of Australia.
  12. ^ "SMITHFIELD SPEEDWAY". The Bunyip. Gawler, SA. 9 May 1930. p. 2. Retrieved 21 January 2016 – via National Library of Australia.
  13. ^ "Adelaide's explosive World War Two history – ABC (None) – Australian Broadcasting Corporation". Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
  14. ^ "Hostels". Migration Museum, Adelaide. Retrieved 13 June 2016.
  15. ^ "Smithfield Migrant Hostel". Playford's Past History Blog. 20 January 2012. Retrieved 13 June 2016.
  16. ^ "Smithfield". Hostel Stories. Migration Museum, Adelaide. Retrieved 13 June 2016.
  17. ^ Goers, Peter (21 March 2015). "Fatchen's big heart provides a home for the battlers". The Advertiser. Archived from the original on 13 November 2022.