Sharing borders with all of Australia’s other mainland states, South Australia is one of the driest regions of the country, renowned for its wine, festivals, spectacular coastline and extreme wilderness areas. The majority of its population are clustered around Adelaide, or the City of Churches", on the Fleurieu Peninsula and stands as the only non-convict settlement in Australia to be established by the British colony.
The capital lies on the banks of the River Torrens, with the beautiful Adelaide Hills stretching to the east where vineyards and hiking trails radiate from its historic towns. To the south is the wildlife-rich lagoon of the Coorong and the spectacular coastal landscapes and gastronomy of Kangaroo Island. The Barossa Valley to the north of Adelaide is renowned for its Shiraz, while the Clare Valley further out is considered the home of Australian Riesling. Continue north, and visitors will arrive in the breathtaking Flinders Ranges, whose rugged mountains and remote landscapes offer a glimpse into the Australian Outback. In the centre of the state is where visitors will find the opal capital of Coober Pedy where visitors can delve into historic mines and camp overnight in underground houses. To the west of Adelaide, the Gulf of Saint Vincent gives way to the Yorke Peninsula, home to deserted beaches and old mining towns, together with the magnificent Innes National Park at its southwestern tip. In the east of the state, the mighty Murray River with its restored paddle steamers winds towards the border through historic citrus growing towns, long serving as the agricultural industry’s lifeline.
The Adelaide Airport has regular flights to other Australian capital cities and regional centres within the state, as well as a few international destinations. There are train connections to Perth along the Nullarbor Plain, to Alice Springs and Darwin through the Red Centre, and to both Sydney and Melbourne, in addition to bus services to most regional towns.
Rock art indicates the presence of indigenous people in South Australia dating back 20,000 years, with Kangaroo Island inhabited prior to being separated from the mainland by rising sea levels. It was a Dutch ship that recorded the first European sighting of the state’s coast in 1627, well before it was claimed by Britain in 1788 and established as the convict-free colony of South Australia in 1834.