Medallion Homes

Burnside: Then and Now.

In order to understand what makes a popular suburb tick, it is important to wind back the clock.

If only trees could talk. As history goes, they witness it all. There are more than 41,000 trees dotted across Burnside’s streets and major parks. They were counted when the City of Burnside mapped them all for their Urban Forest Interactive website. It’s quite impressive. Some of the older trees have watched over Adelaide’s south-eastern suburbs for longer than most people can remember.

Native Grey Box trees were there when the Traditional Owners of the land and waterways, the Kaurna People, who lived on and respected the landscape long before European colonisation.

In 1839 Scottish migrant Peter Anderson settled in the area, leased land from The South Australian Company, and called his farm Burnside. According to the City of Burnside’s history records, the newcomer named his patch of land after its proximity to Second Creek. In his homeland of Scotland, ‘Burn’ means creek.

More than a century and a half has passed since then. In the years that followed, a man walked on the moon; women were granted the right to vote; the likes of Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Edison invented the telephone and light bulb; and a suburb rose from the dust.

What started as a village comprising 45 houses and a handful of shops back in 1883 is now one of South Australia’s most coveted places to live, work and play.
In order to help us modern day dwellers understand Burnside’s beginnings, members of the Burnside Historical Society wrote a series of self-guided historic walking trail booklets which are available in digital form.

The Burnside historic walking trail takes us back to the days when people travelled on the Kensington horse tram service and highlights include the Feathers Hotel, a popular watering hole since 1966. After extensive renovations, it now is a great place to imbibe the good things in life (and has one of the best wine cellars in South Australia).

Burnside was officially named a city in 1943 and a community library and swimming centre followed, both of which are still enjoyed today (with all the mod cons). People travel far and wide for a dip at the George Bolton Swimming Centre Burnside (fun fact: Olympian Dawn Fraser swam the inaugural lap here when it opened in 1966). The Burnside Library is a great place to connect with the local community, young and old, from workshops with local personalities (think terrarium making with The Botanic Designer Markus Hamence), Armchair Craft, Gardening For Biodiversity and storytelling for kids, to live streams of Sydney Writers’ Festival.

As a place to live, work and play, Burnside now has it all. As shopping goes, fashionistas and foodies are well accustomed to Burnside Village shopping centre which is home to myriad premium stores. A $130m Stage 6 development is currently underway and will add new shopfronts to the Greenhill Road streetscape, an alfresco dining precinct and a cinema. An additional 600 undercover car parks are also on the horizon.

You can also catch a film at The Regal Theatre, formerly known as the Chelsea Cinema (275 Kensington Rd, Kensington Park). The other big news for Burnside locals is the completion of the Magill Village Project redevelopment, which was a joint project between City of Burnside and Campbelltown City Council. An opening party on 2 April 2023 (between Pepper Street and St Bernards Road) celebrates the addition of pedestrian crossings, improved cycling lanes, disability access compliant footpaths, public art and bespoke street furniture. The addition of 68 new trees and water sensitive urban design features adds to the streetscape’s aesthetic.

Many of Burnside’s best retail and dining experiences are tucked away in the backstreets; like Lockwood General café, bar and providore (35 High Street, Burnside) where brunch and a glass of sparkling doesn’t get much better. Hot tip: If it’s cocktail o-clock, go for the Burnside Bellini.

There’s no better way to start the day than a breakfast pizza at Ballaboosta Burnside (540 Glynburn Road) where the team behind the much-loved Hutt Street haunt bring their Lebanese-inspired flare to the suburbs.

Penfolds Magill Estate (78 Penfold Road) is a must-visit for wine buffs. For a dining experience that hits all the high notes, chef Scott Huggins and the Magill Estate Restaurant team earned a place in Gourmet Traveller’s top 10 South Australian restaurants and for a more relaxed snack, Magill Estate Kitchen offers great vineyard views.

Work it off with a game of tennis. The City of Burnside has a whopping 69 tennis courts to choose from, many of which are open to the public.

Or, for a more relaxed art attack of the inspirational kind, head to Pepper Street Arts Centre (558 Magill Road), the Ruth Tuck Art School and gorgeous Urth Clay Studio (both found at Burnside Art and Craft Centre, Hubbe Court, Burnside) for handcrafted goodies.

Newcomer to the neighbourhood is Lucky Bert’s, a boutique store full of antique treasures and quirky décor, plants and books. The store (at 552 Greenhill Rd) is run by young couple Georga and Ben Brew, who live in the Adelaide Hills but chose this location as the place in which to showcase their beautifully curated stock. The store’s mix of history and fresh-faced modernity is a fitting reflection of Burnside as it is today.

Arrival is a digital platform dedicated to South Australia, showcasing the people and places that create the fabric of this great state.

It is the details that make for an interesting read and we want to keep the Curious amongst us coming back for more!

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