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Gawler is the oldest country town on the Australian mainland in the state of South Australia, and is named after the second Governor (British Vice-Regal representative) of the colony of South Australia, George Gawler. It is about 40–44 km (25–27 mi) north of the centre of the state capital, Adelaide, and is close to the major wine producing district of the Barossa Valley. Topographically, Gawler lies at the confluence of two tributaries of the Gawler River, the North and South Para rivers, where they emerge from a range of low hills.
Historically a semi-rural area, Gawler has been swept up in Adelaide's growth in recent years, and is now considered an outer northern suburb of Adelaide. It is counted as a suburb in the Outer Metro region of the Greater Adelaide Planning Region.