In 1830 Charles Sturt explored the Murray River and was impressed with what he briefly saw while passing through Lake Alexandrina. Captain Collet Barker, sent by New South Wales Governor Ralph Darling, conducted a more thorough survey of the area in 1831, as recommended by Sturt. After swimming the mouth of the Murray River, Barker was killed by natives who may have had contact with sealers and escaped convicts in the region.
South Australian Association and South Australian Company:
In 1834 the South Australian Association, with the aid of such figures as George Grote, William Molesworth and the Duke of Wellington persuaded British Parliament to pass the South Australia Act, 1834. The Act stated that 802,511 square kilometres would be allotted to the colony and to be convict-free. The plan for the colony to be the ideal embodiment of the best qualities of British society, that is, no religious discrimination or unemployment. The province and its capital were named prior to settlement. The Act further specified that it was to be self-sufficient; £20,000 surety had to be created and £35,000 worth of land had to be sold in the new colony before any settlement was permitted. These conditions were fulfilled by the close of 1835, possibly with Raikes Currie or his family bank, Curries & Co., acting as surety.
While New South Wales, Tasmania and (although not initially) Western Australia were established as convict settlements, the founders of South Australia had a vision for a colony with political and religious freedoms, together with opportunities for wealth through business and pastoral investments. The South Australia Act  reflected these desires and included a promise of representative government when the population reached 50,000 people. South Australia thus became the only colony authorized by an Act of Parliament, and which was intended to be developed at no cost to the British government. Transportation of convicts was forbidden, and ‘poor Emigrants’, assisted by an Emigration Fund, were required to bring their families with them. Significantly, the 1836 Letters Patent enabling the South Australia Act included a guarantee of the rights of ‘any Aboriginal Natives’ and their descendants to lands they ‘now actually occupied or enjoyed’.
The western and eastern boundaries of the colony were set at 132° and 141° East of Greenwich, and to the north at the Tropic of Capricorn, (23° 26′ South). The western and eastern boundary points were chosen as they marked the extent of coastline first surveyed by Matthew Flinders in 1802.
In 1836, the John Pirie and the Duke of York of the South Australia Land Company set sail for South Australia to establish the first settlement on Kangaroo Island.
Royal Navy Rear-Admiral John Hindmarsh was selected to be South Australia’s first governor. The first settlers and officials set sail in early 1836. A total of nine ships consisting of 636 people set sail from London for South Australia. After an eight-month voyage around the world, most of the ships took supplies and settlers to Kangaroo Island. They landed at Kingscote to await official decisions on the location and administration of the new colony.