The Murray River, South Australia (Shutterstock)

South Australia


South Australia

Hallett Cove Boardwalk, (Shutterstock)

Hallett Cove Boardwalk, (Shutterstock)

The ultimate Wanderlust guide to South Australia...

 

South Australia has a reputation as a hidden gem. It's less-visited and less populous than its neighbours New South Wales and Victoria, yet it can certainly keep up when it comes to outback adventuring, spotting diverse wildlife and sampling transcendent cuisine.

And that's not to mention the world famous wineries, the walks on Kangaroo Island and the many festivals the state hosts...

When to visit South Australia

There's never a bad time to visit South Australia. The best time simply depends on what you're looking for...

Spring (September to November) is best for outdoor adventures, hiking, climbing and exploring - as the heat isn't too intense.

Summer (December to February) is great for lounging on the beach and swimming in the Great Australian Bight - it's hot!

Take advantage of the beautiful colours and agreeable climate in Autumn (March to May) to explore Adelaide's surrounding hills.

Winter (June to August) is still pretty mild, rarely dropping below 10°C. Use this time to explore Adelaide and sample the best Shiraz Australia has to offer.

Explore the state

Like most Australian states, South Australia spans an enormous area and encompasses a variety of climate zones.

It stretches deep into arid outback to the north, boasts low mountain ranges and national parks, miles of coastline and a Mediterranean-esque south-east. Locals will tell you this is the 'real' Australia.

Think swimming with dolphins in the Great Australian Bight, enjoying oysters on the Eyre Peninsula or hiking the Flinders mountain range.

Guides to Adelaide

The state capital, Adelaide, is known as Oz's bohemian centre, bustling with artists and musicians, fusion cuisine chefs and landscape gardeners. 

Famous among foodies for its international street food scene, adored by artists for its vibrant outdoor installations and hailed by historians for its fantastic museums, Adelaide has something for everybody. Dating back only to 1836, the modern city is known for locally sourced food, world-class wine and luscious green spaces.

Fun Fact: South Australia's capital city was named for Queen Adelaide, consort to King William IV. The German given name means 'nobility'.

Guides to Kangaroo Island

Another example of Australia's utilitarian naming tradition... Kangaroo Island is exactly what you'd expect.

Over a third of the island is protected by nature reserves, making an excellent home for its native species: sea lions, kangaroos, koalas and countless bird species.

The island is a world-renowned wildlife hot spot, also home to the Flinders Chase and stunning rock formations.

History

 

Archaeological findings suggest that humans have lived on the land that now constitutes South Australia for over 20,000 years.

The region was claimed for the British in 1788 as part of the colony of New South Wales. It wasn't for 40 years that settlers moved westward in any serious number and in 1834, the South Australia Act established South Australia as its own colony.

South Australia was the only colony never to receive British convicts; it was established as a freely-settled British province.

Geography

 South Australia is formed of large arid and semi-arid rangelands, peppered with low mountain ranges.

The state is also home to a vast coastline, bordering the Great Australian Bight and some of Australia's most prestigious wine regions. When it comes to Shiraz, the world's finest bottles hail from SA's Barossa Valley.

South Australia has one of the country's most centralised populations. Over 70% of the state's inhabitants live in the capital, Adelaide. Most communities are located in the state's temperate south-east.

There is an international airport in Adelaide, and several smaller airfields dotted throughout the state. You can reach Kangaroo Island by ferry. Generally, driving is the best way to get around.

Essential travel info for South Australia

South Australia: Mainland Australian State    

 

Size: 983,482 sq km (379,725 sq miles)

 

Population: 1.677 million (as of 2013)  

 

Capital: Adelaide     

 

Language: English

Currency: Australian Dollar (AUD)

 

Time Zone: Australian Central Daylight Time (GMT+10:30)     

 

Voltage: 230V 50hz (Adapter needed)  

 

Visa: ETA required

 

Adelaide Temperature: 26°C in Dec; 16°C in June

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