South Australia.
Overview of the construction of telegraph lines.

The first line was constructed in South Australia in 1856. Further lines were constructed to the north and the south-east almost immediately and construction continued at a rapid rate to meet a range of Government economic and social policy priorities. The greatest undertakings were the construction of the Overland Telegraph Line and the construction of the line to Western Australia.

The construction of the telegraph lines in South Australia can be analysed in one of two ways:

  1. the examination of the main single lines - namely:
    (a) first line from Adelaide to the Port;
    (b) the line to New South Wales;
    (c) the Overland Telegraph line.

  2. the examination of the main regions in which the basic South Australian developments occurred.
    The first map below links to the five large regions and lines while the second map links to the remaining regions and lines.

Western Region:

Extends from Post Augusta down to Port Lincoln and
west past Streaky Bay to Fowlers Bay and Eucla.

Telegraph Offices in the Western region.

Overland Telegraph Line:

All details start elswehere.

Map overview 1


North (upper) Region:

Extends from Clare and Kooringa up to Port Augusta and Quorn.

Telegraph Offices in the North (upper) Region.

North (lower) Region:

Extends from Adelaide north through Gawler to Clare and Kooringa and east to Kapunda.

Telegraph Offices in the North (lower) Region.


Yorke Peninsula:

From Wallaroo and Kadina south to Cape Jervis,
Yorktown, Edithburg and Troubridge Lighthouse.

Telegraph Offices on the Yorke Peninsula.

Kangaroo Island:

On the Island and the cable connections from the mainland.

Telegraph Stations on Kangaroo Island.

Note: The map below leads to the remaining regions:

  • to the north-east of Adelaide;
  • to the east of Adelaide;
  • to the South-east of Adelaide and to the Victorian Border.
Map 2 North-east lines:

two main lines extending from Gawler and Kapunda.

Telegraph offices on the North-east lines.


Eastern Region:

Extends from Adelaide with three main lines leading to the Murray River - to Mannum, to Murray Bridge and to Wellington.

Telegraph offices in the Eastern Region.


South-east Region.

The first line extended from Adelaide to Goolwa and then to Mount Gambier with subsequent lines starting from Murray Bridge or Wellington. All lines were constructed to link to various places in Victoria.

Telegraph offices in the South-east Region.