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South Australia

State Identity

1. Adelaide
2. Eyre Peninsula

South Australia,
the Festival State.

In the centre of the southern half of Australia, it is the country's driest State, with 60 percent of it desert. Over 80 percent of the State is flat, less than 250 metres in height, the landscape ranges from undulating hills and grasslands to deserts in the north. The north-west area of the State forms part of the Western Plateau and includes the former space facility establishment at Woomera. Also in this area are Andamooka and Coober Pedy, where most of the world's opals are mined. The north-eastern corner is part of the Great Artesian Basin in which can be found Lake Eyre, the world's largest salt lake, as well as several other lakes. To the south are the Flinders Ranges and Mount Lofty ranges.

The southern boundary consists of a well indented coastline which provides a diversity of landscapes from sandy beaches to rugged cliffs and off shore reefs and rocks. There are many offshore islands, the biggest being Kangaroo Island, not only a safe haven for native flora and fauna, but a gourmet's delight with an abundance of locally made produce.

There is a network of highways to surrounding States, east to New South Wales and Victoria, north to the Northern Territory, and west across the Nullabor Plain to Western Australia.

South Australia was founded in 1836, and unlike the rest of Australia, it was colonised by free settlers, not convicts. Its capital was built to a plan, surrounded by numerous parklands and gardens, open spaces and wide roads.

The vineyards and wineries of South Australia are noted for producing wines of international quality and reputation. The largest and most distinctive district is the Barossa Valley, 55km north-east of Adelaide, with its distinctive heritage due to the settlement there of predominantly Germans migrants in the early 1880s.

Most of South Australia's nearly 1.5 million people live in the state capital of Adelaide (nearly 1.1 million) or along the coast.

Whilst the southern coastal areas of South Australia enjoy a Mediterranean climate, the further north you go the hotter the climate.

Visitors to South Australia can choose from a wide range of activities, from driving through barren outback desert, sampling wines produced in the State's many wineries, cruising along the Murray River, to relaxing on one of the many fine beaches along the coastline.

    ...for more information visit the South Australia Tourism Commission website.


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