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South Australia

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Adelaide, Kangaroo Island, the central deserts, Flinders Ranges, Nullabor Plain, Barossa Valley, Coober Pedy.


South Australia flagSouth Australia is situated in the south and centre of the Australian continent, It is the only state to border all other mainland states in Australia. Although the state is the driest in the country, it does dip south enough into the Mediterranean climatic zone where there is enough rainfall to support a significant population and a rural economy including superb vineyards that support a renown wine industry. Outside of the southern end of this state is mostly desert, making it an ideal location to experience the famed Australian outback

South Australia location mapWithin the fertile south and located on the banks of the Torrens River is the city of Adelaide, the only big city in the state and the state capital. The city is well organised with the CBD and suburbs being separated by a large green belt made up of parklands. Beyond the suburbs are the scenic Adelaide Hills.

The city is close to the Barossa Valley which is one of Australia's premium wine producing areas. To the north are the scenic Flinders Ranges, an area of rugged mountains and valleys. Beyond that is the Simpson Desert. To the west is the vast Nullabor Plain, an area of flat land and no trees. Despite sounding like an Aboriginal word, Nullabor is latin for 'no trees'.

Coat of ArmsSouth Australia has one of the best rail journeys in Australia. Starting in Adelaide it heads north to Alice Springs in the centre of Australia and then onward to Darwin on the northern coast of the Northern Territory. Known simply as the "Ghan", it is a comfortable way to see the rugged Australian outback. A popular stopover on this trip and also accessible by road is the small town of Coober Pedy. The inhabitants of this town live underground as a way to escape the searing heat above. Pubs, church buildings, and houses are cleverly constructed and look more like luxury caves than buildings.

Kangaroo Island off the southern coast of this state is Australia's third-largest island after Tasmania and Melville Island. It is situated a mere 13 kilometres from the mainland and is approximately 150 km long and 57 km wide. The island is one of South Australia's most premier tourist attractions. Highlights include huge sand dunes, unusual rock formations, caves, nice beaches, and lagoons. A large variety of unusual fauna can be found including: seals, sea lions, aguatic birds, and penguins. The usual array of Australian animals also exist here in abundance. Animals such as kangaroos, wallabies, koalas, echidnas, and lizards are easy to spot in their natural habitats.

AdelaideIf you head east in South Australia you will eventually cross into Queensland, New South Wales, or Victoria. To the north of the state lies the Northern Territory and to the west lies the vast state of Western Australia. The southern coastline is vast and isolated. It contains the Great Australian Bight which mainly consists of high cliffs pounded and shaped by the Great Southern Ocean which separates Australia and the Antarctica.


Travel Links

South Australia Travel Itinerary

Adelaide Travel Guide


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Author & photographer: David Johnson (Virtual Oceania)


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