The Kaurna people were the original inhabitants of the Aldinga area. European settlement was made available after the area was surveyed in 1839.
The village of Aldinga, was laid out by Lewis Fidge, farmer of Aldinga, circa 1857. Mr Felix de Caux (1822-1877), an early settler in the district said that ‘Aldinga’ was a corruption of an Aboriginal word meaning ‘much water’, while other sources suggest it means ‘good place for meat’, ‘open, wide plain, or ‘tree district’. A lengthy poem entitled ‘Aboriginal Nomenclature by a Native’ written by an early resident of McLaren vale contains a line saying: “Nal-dinga (open, wide)’. Aldinga Plain was called ngalti-ngga by the Aborigines and. Accordingly, ‘open, wide’ appears to be it’s meaning.
An informative article in 1844 titled “descriptive Tour Through Part of District C’ said:
Baudin called Aldinga Bay Ance des Curieux – ‘Cove of the Curious Ones’, while on Freycinet’s charts it is Baie Vendonne.
Author: Geoff Manning, Manning’s Place Names of South Australia
The earliest European settlers farmed the land as they had done in their homelands. The concentration of cereal crops created a need for flour mills with several townships including Noarlunga, Aldinga and Bellevue (McLaren Vale) containing at least one. The flourishing of the cereal and flour industry of the district throughout the 1850’s resulted in the construction of jetties along the coast including Port Willunga to assist in the more rapid transport of goods. Bad land management practices and over-farming reduced soil quality resulting in poor yields throughout the 1860s. This forced settlers to rethink their farming practices and incorporate mixed farming such as grazing sheep and planting vines and olive trees. By 1890, the region was known for its fine wine, profitable farms, inns and holiday houses. By the early twentieth century the district’s wine making, natural beauty and magnificent beaches enticed holiday makers from Adelaide. Coastal townships of Port Willunga, Sellicks Beach and Aldinga became popular tourist towns with tourism becoming a seasonal support for these communities. Throughout the 1950s to 1970’s the urbanisation and establishment of the Lonsdale industrial area, Tonsley park,and the growth of the wine industry in the area, attracted more residents.
Today, with the southern expressway, and the seaford rail link, residents of this area have many options for employment both within and outside the area.
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