Torrens Island

Torrens Island is an island in the Australian state of South Australia located in the Adelaide metropolitan area in the Port River Estuary about 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) northwest of the  Adelaide city centre. Since European settlement of Adelaide in 1836, it has been used for a number of purposes.

Torrens Island
Torrens Island Power station from the river - portrait.jpg
Torrens Island Power Station
Torrens Island is located in Greater Adelaide
Torrens Island
Torrens Island
Coordinates34°47′36″S 138°31′45″E / 34.793225°S 138.529276°E / -34.793225; 138.529276Coordinates: 34°47′36″S 138°31′45″E / 34.793225°S 138.529276°E / -34.793225; 138.529276[1]
Area7.69 km2 (2.97 sq mi)[1]
South Australia

Geographical featuresEdit

An island in the Port River Estuary between the Port River to the west and Barker Inlet to the east, Torrens Island is located about 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) north-west of Adelaide. Light Passage, named after founder of Adelaide Colonel William Light, lies in the Port River between Pelican Point and Torrens Island.[2] Torrens Island is separated from the smaller Garden Island to the south by the Angas Inlet, but is connected to the mainland by a causeway and a bridge over the North Arm.


European discovery and useEdit

According to the Australian Dictionary of Biography, Governor George Gawler in 1837 named the site after Robert Torrens senior, who was chairman of the South Australian Colonisation Commission, the board responsible for setting up and running the colony in its early years.[3]

Quarantine StationEdit

Refshauge House, built in 1916 and named for Sir William Refshauge, was the former administration building and dispensary at the Quarantine Station.

Being uninhabited, an island, adjacent to Port Adelaide, and near Outer Harbor, Torrens Island was initially used as the site of a Quarantine Station for new arrivals (by sea) to South Australia.[4] One example of its use was during the Boonah crisis.

There were two quarantine stations on the site at different times; the surviving Torrens Island Quarantine Station is listed on the South Australian Heritage Register.[5]

Tours of the heritage-listed Quarantine Station are conducted by the South Australian Maritime Museum.[6]

Internment CampEdit

The Torrens Island Internment Camp was a World War I detention camp which held up to 400 men of German or Austro-Hungarian background between 9 October 1914 and 16 August 1915.

Land useEdit

Power StationsEdit

Quarantine Power Station

There are three power stations on Torrens Island:

Protected area statusEdit

Torrens Island and the surrounding areas

Torrens Island has been located within the boundaries of the following protected areas to varying extents since 1963, 1973 and 2005 respectively – the Torrens Island Conservation Park which covers all of the island down to low water with exception to the most of land associated with the former quarantine station and the land associated with the Quarantine Power Station and Torrens Island Power Stations, the Barker Inlet-St Kilda Aquatic Reserve which covers all of the east side of the island located below high water and the Adelaide Dolphin Sanctuary which overlays the entire island.[1][11][12][13][14]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c "Search results for 'Torrens Island' with the following datasets selected – 'Suburbs and Localities', 'Dolphin Sanctuary', 'Aquatic Reserves', 'NPW and Conservation Boundaries', 'Hundreds', 'Roads', 'SA Heritage Places', 'SA Heritage Places Indicative Footprints', 'Metropolitan Adelaide Boundary (Development Act 1993)' and 'Gazetteer'". Location SA Map Viewer. South Australian Government. Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  2. ^ "Light Passage". Google Maps. Retrieved 30 October 2019.
  3. ^ "Torrens, Robert (1780–1864)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. 2. Melbourne University Press. 1967. ISSN 1833-7538. Retrieved 10 November 2019 – via National Centre of Biography, Australian National University.
  4. ^ D. Walsh:Torrens Island Quarantine Station Weekendnotes, 4 July 2013. Accessed 17 July 2013.
  5. ^ "Torrens Island Quarantine Station (including Jetties, Cemetery, Mortuary & Complex)". South Australian Heritage Register. Department of Environment and Water. Retrieved 10 November 2019.
  6. ^ Torrens Island Quarantine Station tours SA Maritime Museum. Retrieved 11 March 2018.
  7. ^ AGL takes ownership of Torrens Island power station AGL press release to ASX, 3 July 2007. Accessed 17 July 2013.
  8. ^ Origin Energy > Quarantine Power Station Accessed 17 July 2013.
  9. ^ Vazey, Rosanna (7 June 2017). "AGL announces development of $295 million power station in South Australia". AGL Corporate Blog (Press release). AGL. Retrieved 1 August 2017.
  10. ^ "Press Conference at the opening of AGL's Barker Inlet Power Station Torrens Island, South Australia". Australian Government, Department of Environment and Energy. 4 November 2019. Retrieved 9 November 2019.
  11. ^ "Protected Areas Information System Reserve List" (PDF). Government of South Australia. 14 December 2016. Retrieved 27 December 2017.
  12. ^ Primary Industries and Regions South Australia (PIRSA) (2007), Aquatic Reserve: Barker Inlet (PDF), Primary Industries and Regions South Australia, archived from the original (PDF) on 10 October 2016
  13. ^ Primary Industries and Regions South Australia (PIRSA) (2007), Aquatic Reserve: St Kilda – Chapman Creek (PDF), Primary Industries and Regions South Australia, archived from the original (PDF) on 6 October 2014
  14. ^ "The Adelaide Dolphin Sanctuary". Natural Resources Management Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges. Retrieved 5 October 2014.