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South Australia

Photo © dyakhnov

Travel Guide Oceania Australia South Australia

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Introduction

On the road to Coonawarra South Australia

On the road to Coonawarra South Australia

© All Rights Reserved sunraybret

South Australia is one of the states in Australia, located in the central southern part of the country. It is home to some of the greatest wine regions in the world and surely one of the best in Australia. But there is much more to explore, from cities like Adelaide to outback towns as Coober Pedy. And of course there is a fair share of wildlife, both on land as well as underneath the surface of the ocean. Still, South Australia is a little less visited compared to its famous neighbours to the east, but if you are deciding to travel from the south towards the north through the central parts, you will inevitably travel through this magnificent piece of land.

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Geography

South Australia is located (unsurprisingly) in the south of Australia, with Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland to the east, Western Australia to the west and the Northern Territory to its north. It has a land area of 983,482 km² and a total area of 1,043,514 km², making it Australia's fourth largest state/territory. Almost 80% of the people live in Adelaide, the state's capital, while around 75% of the landmass mostly is arid or semi-desert like, or outback as it is called randomly as well. The more fertile areas are in the southern portion of the state, with agriculture and vineyards. The Murray River is the great source of water in this part, and most of the human life is located around it as well.

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Sights and Activities

  • Kangaroo Island
  • The Flinders Ranges
  • Victor Harbor and Granite Island
  • Yorke Peninsula
  • Eyre Peninsula
  • Coober Pedy, discover (underground) life in the world's opal centre
  • The Great Australian Bight, great for on shore whale watching from June to October
  • Wine Regions - McLaren Vale, The Barossa Valley, The Clare Valley
  • Adelaide's Central Market
  • The Murray river which flows down through the southeastern part of the state
  • Pick your own cherries and strawberries in the Adelaide hills
  • Hiking in the Mount Lofty Rangers and Norwood Morialta National Parks.

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Events and Festivals

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Weather

South Australia is the driest part of the Australia, especially more inland in the Outback.
Summermonths are between November and March with hot and dry weather and temperatures up to 45 degrees Celsius or even a bit more. Even Adelaide reaches 45 degrees sometimes.
In winter, temperatures are still mild, generally around 20 degrees Celsius on average during the day. It can be downright cold at night though more inland, with freezing temperatures during the wintermonths from June to August being a real possibility towards the border with the Northern Territory.
Although most rain in the south (Adelaide for example) falls during winter, more inland heavy outbursts of rain can happen during the summermonths on the other hand.

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Getting There

By Plane

Adelaide Airport (ADL) is located about 8 kilometres from the city centre of Adelaide and is the main gateway to South Australia. The airport has international connections with Auckland, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Several domestic and regional carriers operate flights to Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra, Hobart, Sydney and several regional centres. A few budget airlines like Tiger Airways, Virgin Blue and Jetstar operate budget flights on the Melbourne-Adelaide route as well as services from several other cites.

To/from the airport

  • Catching the public transport bus is the cheapest option for getting into the city. The local public transport system, Adelaide Metro, includes a service called JetBus connecting the airport to Glenelg, West Beach, and the North Eastern suburbs. You can either by a single pass for the journey or a daytrip or multitrip ticket if you intend to make more trips on Adelaide's public transport system. A standard single ticket costs $4.10 at peak hours and $2.50 between peak hours, from 9.01am till 3:00pm Mon-Fri.
  • The Skylink Airport Shuttle (tel: (08) 8332 0528) runs every 30 minutes Monday-Saturday and every 60 minutes on Sundays and public holidays. A trip to the city centre costs $7.50 one way and takes about 35 minutes to reach the final stop. Both JetBus and the Skylink Airport Shuttle leave from the southern end of Level 2 at Terminal 1.
  • Taxis are another option, costing about $20 for a one-way trip taking 15-25 minutes, depending on traffic.
  • It's also possible to rent cars at the airport and there are numerous options with companies like Hertz, Avis, Budget and Europcar.

By Train

The The Indian Pacific train crosses the Nullabor Plain connecting Adelaide west to Perth and east to Sydney. Trains run twice weekly in both directions, the trip to Perth taking the longest.
The Ghan travels north between Adelaide, Alice Springs and Darwin.
It runs twice weekly, taking 2 nights in either direction.
The Overland links Adelaide with Melbourne 3 times a week in both directions.

By Car

You can enter South Australia on good tarmac roads from Victoria (for example near Mildura), New South Wales (towards Broken Hill), Northern Territory and Western Australia (Ceduna). Although South Australia also borders Queensland, this crossing is only undertaken with good preparations, meaning a 4wd and enough food and water to be selfsufficient. This route (The Birdsville Track) crosses near Birdsville, Queensland.

By Bus

Greyhound is the main bus operator with destinations across the country, including Melbourne and Sydney. Services to Perth nowadays are suspended because of cheap airtickets. V/Line and Firefly Express are other bus companies, mainly serving Victoria and New South Wales destinations.

By Boat

No public services go to and from South Australia, but having your own yacht might help you prove otherwise.

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Getting Around

By Plane

A number regional airlines are flying to and from Adelaide. Destinations include Coober Pedy and Kangaroo Island, among others. Airlines include Regional Express and Airlines of SA. Emu Airways is the main operator to Kingscote, Kangaroo Island.

By Train

Three trains stop between various cities and towns in South Australia:

  • The Overland between Adelaide and Melbourne
  • The Ghan between Adelaide and Darwin
  • The Indian Pacific between Adelaide and Perth and Sydney.

By Car

Renting a car is a great way of seeing as much as possible of South Australia. There are good roads going north, east and west in the state, but some if you like, some nice tracks are available for you, mainly in the northeastern part, like the Birdsville Track. Note that you can't take your rental car to Kangaroo Island, you have to rent another car on the island itself.
There are plenty of companies you could choose to hire a car from, including Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz and Thrifty. Car hire is often not available to drivers under 25, or if it is, it's more expensive for younger drivers.

By Bus

Greyhound has an extensive network across South Australia, with most main cities and towns having connections with Adelaide and also with Melbourne or Sydney.

By Boat

Sea Link Kangaroo Island provides ferry services between mainland South Australia and Kangaroo Island.

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Drink

South Australia is home to several of the the largest wine regions in Australia including the Barossa, McLaren Vale and the Clare Valley. There are well known wineries like Torbreck, Peter Lehmann and Angoves. South Australian wine is sold throughout the world.

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Sleep

References

  1. 1 December 2006 estimate. Source: ABS

Quick Facts

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Capital
Adelaide
Population
1,575,700 [1]
Timezone
UTC +9.5 (+10 DST)

Contributors

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This is version 37. Last edited at 10:10 on Jul 21, 13 by Utrecht. 23 articles link to this page.

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