Colonel William Light went out in May 1836 to the proposed colony of South Australia as surveyor-general, charged to select the site for the capital. On 22 November 1836, on the eve of the official decision on the placing of Adelaide, Light wrote to his friend George Jones that 'Nature has done so much that very little human labour and cost is requisite to make this one of the finest settlements in the whole world.', with an accompanying sketch of his plan for the layout of the city on the Adelaide Plains. The survey and staking out of the site for the capital was completed in under two months in January-March 1837, and all 1,042 acres of the town sold by the end of March.
Light sent drawings of the scenery to London in 1837, the present aquatint from a 'drawing sent to F.W. Collard, of Briggs, Thurburn and Co., with a letter dated 24 May, 1837. Collard arranged for Havell to engrave it. It was published by Smith, Elder & Co., at Light's expense, and advertised on 15 February 1838, when it was said to be the first of a projected series. This image was also lithographed in small format by G.F. Bragg, for Smith, Elder & Co.' (A. Carrol, Graven Images in the Promised Land: A History of Printmaking in South Australia, 1836-1981, AGSA, Adelaide, 1981, p.13).