|Slogan or Nickname: Festival State|
Other Australian states and territories
|Premier||Mike Rann (ALP)|
|- Total||1,043,514 km2 (4th)
402,903 sq mi
|- Land||983,482 km2
379,725 sq mi
|- Water||60,032 km2 (5.75%)
23,178 sq mi
|Population (June 2009)|
|- Population||1,622,700 (5th)|
|- Density||1.65/km2 (6th)
4.3 /sq mi
|- Highest||Mount Woodroffe
1,435 m (4,708 ft)
|Gross State Product (2008-09)|
|- Product ($m)||$77,991 (5th)|
|- Product per capita||$48,062 (7th)|
|Time zone||UTC+9:30 (+10:30 DST)|
|- House seats||11|
|- Senate seats||12|
|- ISO 3166-2||AU-SA|
|- Fauna||Hairy-Nosed Wombat
|- Bird||Piping Shrike|
|- Floral||Sturt's Desert Pea
|- Aquatic||Leafy Seadragon
|- Colour||Red, Blue, Gold|
South Australia is a state of Australia in the southern central part of the country. It covers some of the most arid parts of the continent; with a total land area of 983,482 square kilometres (379,725 sq mi), it is the fourth largest of Australia's six states and two territories.
South Australia shares borders with all of the mainland states and the Northern Territory. It is bordered to the west by Western Australia, to the north by the Northern Territory, to the north-east by Queensland, to the east by New South Wales, to the south-east by Victoria, and to the south by the Great Australian Bight and the Southern Ocean. With over 1.6 million people, the state comprises less than 8% of the Australian population and ranks fifth in population among the states and territories. The majority of its people reside in the state capital, Adelaide, with most of the remainder settled in fertile areas along the south-eastern coast and River Murray. The state's origins are unique in Australia as a freely-settled, planned British province, rather than as a convict settlement. Official settlement began on 28 December 1836, when the state was proclaimed at The Old Gum Tree by Governor John Hindmarsh.
The first city/town to be established was Kingscote, Kangaroo Island, established in 1836. The guiding principle behind settlement was that of systematic colonisation, a theory espoused by Edward Gibbon Wakefield that was later employed by the New Zealand Company. The aim was to establish the province as a centre of civilisation for free immigrants, promising civil liberties and religious tolerance. Although its history is marked by economic hardship, South Australia has remained politically innovative and culturally vibrant. Today, the state is known as a state of festivals and of fine wine. The state's economy centres on the agricultural, manufacturing and mining industries and has an increasingly significant finance sector as well.
The first recorded European sighting of the South Australian coast was in 1627 when the Dutch ship the Gulden Zeepaert, captained by Francois Thijssen, examined the coastline. Thijssen named his discovery "Pieter Nuyts Land", after the highest ranking individual on board.
In 1834, the British Parliament passed the South Australia Act 1834, which enabled the province of South Australia to be established. The act stated that 802,511 square kilometres (309,851 sq mi) would be allotted to the colony and it would be convict-free. The plan for the colony was that it would be the ideal embodiment of the best qualities of British society, that is, no religious discrimination or unemployment.
Settlement of seven vessels and 636 people was temporarily made at Kingscote on Kangaroo Island, until the official site of the colony was selected where Adelaide is currently located. The first immigrants arrived at Holdfast Bay (near the present day Glenelg) in November 1836, and the colony was proclaimed on 28 December 1836, now known as Proclamation Day. South Australia is the only Australian state to be settled entirely by free settlers.
The South Australia Police was formed in 1838 to protect the community and enforce government regulations.
The current flag of South Australia was adopted on 13 January 1904, and is a British blue ensign defaced with the state badge. The badge is described as a Piping Shrike with wings outstretched on a yellow disc. The state badge is believed to have been designed by Robert Craig of the Adelaide School of Arts.
South Australia granted restricted women's suffrage in 1861, and in 1894 became the second place in the world to grant universal suffrage (after New Zealand) where women had the dual rights to vote and to stand for election.
The terrain consists largely of arid and semi-arid rangelands, with several low mountain ranges in which the most important mountains are the Mount Lofty-Flinders Ranges system which extends north about 800 kilometres (497 mi) from Cape Jervis to the northern end of Lake Torrens and salt lakes.
The highest point in the state is not in those ranges, but Mount Woodroffe at 1,435 metres (4,708 ft) in the Musgrave Ranges in the extreme northwest of the state. The western portion of the state consists of the sparsely-inhabited Nullarbor Plain fronting the cliffs of the Great Australian Bight.
The principal industries and exports of South Australia are wheat, wine and wool. More than half of Australia's wines are produced there with approximately 30% coming from the Clare Valley region.
South Australia has boundaries with every other Australian state and territory except the Australian Capital Territory and Tasmania. The area now known as the Northern Territory was annexed to South Australia in 1863, however it was handed over to the federal government in 1911 and became a separate territory. South Australia's south coast is flanked by the Southern Ocean.
The southern part of the state has a Mediterranean climate. South Australia's main temperature range is 29 °C (84 °F) in January and 15 °C (59 °F) in July. Daily temperatures in parts of the state in January and February can be up to 48 °C (118 °F).
The highest maximum temperature was recorded as 50.7 °C (123.3 °F) at Oodnadatta on 2 January 1960, which is the highest official temperature recorded in Australia. The lowest minimum temperature was −8 °C (17.6 °F) at Yongala on 20 July 1976.
The manufacturing industry plays a very important role in South Australia's economy, generating 15% of the state's Gross State Product (GSP) and playing a large part in exports. The manufacturing industry consists of automotive (44% of total Australian production, 2006) and component manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, defence technology (2.1% of GSP, 2002-2003) and electronic systems (3.0% of GSP in 2006). South Australia's economy relies on exports more than any other state in Australia.
Export earnings stand at AUD$10 billion worth per year and grew by 8.8% from 2002 to 2003.
Production of South Australian food and drink (including agriculture, horticulture, aquaculture, fisheries and manufacturing) is a $10 billion industry.
South Australia's economic growth has lagged behind the rest of Australia for some time (2.1% from 2002 to 2003), but performance seems to be improving. South Australia's credit rating was upgraded to AAA+, having lost it in the State Bank collapse. South Australia's Gross State Product was AUD$48.9 billion starting 2004, making it AUD$32,996 per capita. Exports for 2006 were valued at $9.0bn with imports at $6.2bn. Private Residential Building Approvals experienced 80% growth over the year of 2006.
South Australia's economy includes the following major industries: meat and meat preparations, wheat, wine, wool and sheepskins, machinery,metal and metal manufactures, fish and crustaceans, road vehicles and parts, and petroleum products. Other industries, such as education and defence technology, are of growing importance.
South Australia receives the least amount of federal funding for its local road network than any other state on a per capita or per kilometre basis.
South Australia possesses the world's single largest known deposit of uranium, at the Olympic Dam mine. Olympic Dam contains 40% of the world's known uranium reserves. The Olympic Dam mine is also the world's fourth largest remaining copper deposit, and the world's fifth largest gold deposit.
|Composition of the Parliament of South Australia|
|Source: Electoral Commission SA|
South Australia is a constitutional monarchy with the Queen of Australia as Sovereign, and the Governor of South Australia as her representative. It is a state of the Commonwealth of Australia. Its bicameral parliament consists of a House of Assembly (lower house) and a Legislative Council (upper house), with legislative elections held every four years. The current Premier of South Australia is Mike Rann, a member of the Australian Labor Party.
Initially, the Governor of South Australia held almost total power, derived from the Letters Patent of the Imperial Government to create the colony. He was only accountable to the British Colonial Office, and thus democracy did not exist in the colony. A new body was created to advise the governor on the administration of South Australia in 1843 called the Legislative Council. It consisted of three representatives of the British Government and four colonists appointed by the governor. The governor retained total executive power.
In 1851, the Imperial Parliament enacted the Australian Colonies Government Act which allowed for the election of representatives to each of the colonial legislatures and the drafting of a Constitution to properly create representative and responsible Government in South Australia. Later that year, wealthy male colonists were allowed to vote for 16 members on a new 24 seat Legislative Council. Eight members continued to be appointed by the governor.
The main responsibility of this body was to draft a Constitution for South Australia. The body drafted the most democratic constitution ever seen in the British Empire and provided for manhood suffrage. It created the bicameral Parliament of South Australia. For the first time in the colony, the executive was elected by the people and the colony used the Westminster system, where the government is the party or coalition that exerts a majority in the House of Assembly. In 1894, South Australia was the first Australian colony to allow women to vote and it had the first Parliament in the world to allow women to be elected as members. Catherine Helen Spence was the first woman in Australia to be a candidate for political office when she nominated to be one of South Australia's delegates to the constitutional conventions that drafted the Constitution. South Australia became an original state of the Commonwealth of Australia on 1 January 1901.
A majority of the state's population lives within Adelaide's metropolitan area which had an estimated population of 1,158,259 in 2007 (70.3% of the state). Other significant population centres include Mount Gambier (approx. 23,494), Whyalla (21,122), Murray Bridge (18,364), Port Augusta (13,257), Port Pirie (13,206), Port Lincoln (13,044), and Victor Harbor (10,380).
On 1 January 2009, the school leaving age was raised to 17 (having previously been 15 and then 16). Education is compulsory for all children until age 17, unless they are working or undergoing other training. The majority of students stay on to complete their South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE). School education is the responsibility of the South Australian government, but the public and private education systems are funded jointly by it and the Commonwealth Government.
The South Australian Government provides, to schools on a per student basis, 89 percent of the total Government funding while the Commonwealth contributes 11 percent. Since the early 1970s it has been an ongoing controversy that 68 percent of Commonwealth funding (increasing to 75% by 2008) goes to private schools that are attended by 32% of the states students. Private schools often refute this by saying that they receive less State Government funding than public schools and in 2004 the main private school funding came from the Australian government, not the state government.
There are three public and two private universities in South Australia. The University of Adelaide (established 1874), The Flinders University of South Australia (est. 1966), and The University of South Australia (est. 1991) are the public universities. All three have their main campuses in the Adelaide metropolitan area (UofA and UniSA on North Terrace in the city, Flinders at Bedford Park), but also have other campuses distributed around the metropolitan area, around the state, and the University of Adelaide also has a campus in Singapore. Carnegie Mellon University's Heinz School and "Entertainment Technology Center", and Cranfield University, also have campuses in Adelaide.
Rural and regional campuses include: The Flinders University Rural Clinical Schools at Mount Gambier, Goolwa and Renmark, The Lincoln Marine Science Centre at Port Lincoln, Roseworthy College near Roseworthy, and UniSA campuses in Mount Gambier and Whyalla.
Tertiary vocational education is provided by TAFE South Australia colleges throughout the state.
Australian rules football is the most popular spectator sport in South Australia, with South Australians having the highest attendance rate in Australia. The state also has the highest participation rate of people taking part in Australian rules football, with over 2.2% of the population aged 18 years and over participating in the sport.
South Australia fields two teams in the Australian Football League national competition: the Adelaide Crows and Port Adelaide Power. In 2006, The Adelaide Crows had a membership base of 50,000, higher than any of the other 15 teams in the competition.
The South Australian Amateur Football League comprises sixty-eight member clubs playing over one hundred and ten matches per week across ten Senior divisions and three Junior Divisions. The SAAFL is one of Australia's largest and strongest Australian rules football associations.
Cricket is a popular sport in South Australia and attracts big crowds. South Australia has a cricket team, the Southern Redbacks, who play at Adelaide Oval in the Adelaide Park Lands during the summer; however they have not won a title since 1996. The Redbacks currently have three players who hold a contract with Cricket Australia. Many international matches have been played at the Adelaide Oval. It was one of the host cities of 1992 Cricket World Cup.
The club was founded in 2003 and was premier in the inaugural 2005–06 A-League season, finishing 7 points clear of the rest of the competition, before finishing 3rd in the finals. Adelaide United was also a Grand Finalist in the 2006–07 and 2008–09 seasons. Adelaide has the best winning record of all clubs in the A-League; Adelaide is the only A-League club to be present at the Asian Champions League more than once, making it the most successful Australian club in Asia. Adelaide, however, has not (yet) won the domestic A-league Championship.
Basketball also has a big following in South Australia, with the Adelaide 36ers playing out of an 8,070 seat stadium in Findon. The 36ers have won four championships in the last 20 years in the National Basketball League (Australia).
Fifty-nine percent of South Australian children take part in organised sports. For boys, soccer has the highest participation rate (22%), followed by swimming (16%). For girls netball is most popular (18%), also followed by swimming (16%).
Food and drink:
South Australia is a state that has remained politically innovative and culturally vibrant throughout its history. It is known for its festivals and fine produce. While South Australia is not the tourist magnet that its northern neighbour is, South Australia offers a different perspective on Australia from many of its different parts. With world-class wine and other produce, friendly people, unspoilt environment and a very relaxed pace of life, it offers the break in Australia that you may have been looking for.
South Australia covers a vast amount of area, from coastal towns to arid desert. The more settled areas are in the south east of the state, hence the smaller regions around that area.
|Adelaide and surrounds (Adelaide, Adelaide Hills)
Adelaide, the state's capital and its surrounds have plenty to offer for tourists and travellers. The Adelaide Hills surround Adelaide on the eastern side and have small villages with lots of history and lots of natural wonders.
|Winery areas (Barossa Valley, Clare Valley, McLaren Vale)
The home of some of Australia's best wines, the Barossa Valley, the McLaren Vale and the lesser-known Clare Valleys are the reason why many travel to South Australia. Besides wines, there's lots of history to see here too.
South of Adelaide, the gateway to Kangaroo Island and home to coastal villages where you can escape to.
The south-eastern part of the state, home to the city of Mount Gambier
|Murray River (Riverland, Murraylands)
The area surrounding the winding Murray River; South Australia's fruit-growing areas.
Off the coast of mainland Australia, Australia's third-biggest island contains a vast amount of natural beauty unique to this part of Australia.
Where South Australians go for their holidays. Enjoy beaches, national parks, and more.
Where 2000 kilometres of coastline and spectacular scenery meets treeless plains and desert. Home to the cities of Port Augusta, Port Pirie, Port Lincoln and Whyalla.
|Flinders Ranges and Outback (Flinders
The Flinders Ranges are home to Wilpena Pound, a spectacular natural amphiteatre and a great base for walking and exploring. The Simpson Desert also presents its own adventures and opportunities.
South Australia is 9 hours & 30 minutes ahead of Greenwich Mean Time and 17 hours & 30 minutes ahead of Pacific Standard Time (PST). Daylight Saving is observed from the first Sunday of October to the first Sunday of April the following year.
ACST - Australian Central Standard Time UTC+9.5
ACDT - Australian Central Daylight Saving Time UTC+10.5
South Australia, particularly the eastern part of the state, contains some of Australia's fruit-growing areas. It is therefore illegal under State law to carry any fruit or vegetables into the state unless they have been certified free of disease. This includes any fruit from other states. You can be fined up to $2,500. More detailed information can be found by contacting Primary Industries and Resources South Australia (PIRSA) .
Part of South Australia is covered by the Fruit Fly Exclusion Zone . This zone also covers parts of New South Wales and Victoria, but the area covered in South Australia encompasses most of the Riverland area in the east of the state. Fines apply for taking fruit or vegetables into the FFEZ of up to $20,000.
South Australia is one of three states which uses compulsory roadblocks for quarantine when entering the state. These locations, the main routes from New South Wales and Victoria and Western Australia into the State have roadblocks. You must stop and have your vehicle searched. Officers have the power to seize any prohibited item. Roadblocks are found in the following locations:
Other minor roads have disposal bins and random roadblocks, so don't think that by taking a back route you can avoid taking your fruit into the state. Checks also occur at airports and on trains into the state.
South Australia's main air gateway is Adelaide Airport, which has most domestic and all international flights direct into the state. International flights direct into Adelaide include those from Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and New Zealand. There are regular domestic flights into Adelaide from all Australian capital cities.
Mount Gambier Airport in the far south-east of the state has services from Melbourne, flown by Regional Express (REX).
Adelaide is a major hub for Great Southern Railways  which runs long-distance train services. Note that GSR's services are aimed at tourists and are are a trip in themselves rather than something to use to get to places. All GSR's services pass through or depart from Adelaide. Train services include:
From Adelaide, Brisbane can be accessed by the Indian Pacific to Sydney and changing for the CountryLink XPT service to Brisbane.
There are main road connections through to the other states and territories. The main routes are:
Note that South Australia has a very large land area with most settlements in the south-east of the state. Driving to the Northern Territory and Western Australia are very long drives. From Adelaide to Perth is 2,700km and will take at least 2 days, probably 3. It is the sort of trip that even most locals only do once or twice in their lifetime. Driving from Adelaide to Darwin is just over 3,000km and travels through some very remote parts of Australia. A minimum of 4 days is recommended. Sydney to Adelaide takes about 18 hours drive (allow 2-3 days), and Adelaide to Melbourne is around 10-11 hours depending on the route taken. Allow 2 days to admire the towns on the way.
Adelaide's Overseas Passenger Terminal is at Outer Harbor on the LeFevre Peninsula in the north of Adelaide. Visiting cruise ships often dock here.
South Australia is home to Kangaroo Island , an internationally renowned wildlife haven.
It's also known for its wine. The Barossa Valley is here - Australia’s richest and best-known wine region. Premium wines, five-star restaurants and cellar doors abound among the hills and vineyards. Local winemakers include household names such as Seppelt, Penfolds and Peter Lehmann.
South Australia also offers other world-class wine regions, including the Clare Valley , McLaren Vale and Coonawarra.
Visit the world-heritage listed Naracoorte Caves, or awesome Wilpena Pound in the Flinders Ranges – one of Australia's first official national landscapes.
Swim with wild sea lions at Baird Bay on Eyre Peninsula , dolphins at Glenelg, and Great White Sharks at Port Lincoln.
South Australia is also known for its exciting events, like the international cycling race Tour Down Under . Lance Armstrong made it his comeback race in 2009. Adelaide hosts the Clipsal 500 , a thrilling V8 race through a city circuit. The Adelaide Fringe  is an annual feast of comedy, music, theatre and fun. And the fabulous and captivating Adelaide Festival of Arts takes place every second year.
In Adelaide, South Australia's capital city, you will find stylish architecture, boutique shopping, sandy swimming beaches, fabulous arts events, nightlife, fine dining, and some of Australia's best café strips.
It is easy to navigate your way around South Australia, with most of the regions just an hour or two drive from Adelaide.
"Coopers" Beer is an icon of South Australia. It is often described as the biggest small brewery in Australia. It is still family-owned. All Coopers products claim to be made by "natural" methods. There is a range of products from crisp lager styles to dark stout. At one time, Coopers claimed to be the largest by volume exporter of bottled beer to the United States!
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South Australia occupies the middle quarter of the southern half of the Australian continent.
Capital is Adelaide, with most of the state's population in that city or one of the adjoining cities. The largest town outside the Adelaide area is coastal mining town Whyalla, with a population of under 30,000. The northern half of the state is arid and sparsely populated and has no local government.
This page is a "stub" and could be improved by additions and other edits.
South Australia is in the southern central part of the country. It is one of the driest parts of the continent. South Australia gets very little rain.
South Australia was a freely-settled, planned British province. Settlement began on December 28, 1836. This was when the state was proclaimed at The Old Gum Tree by Governor Hindmarsh. The aim was to create the province as a center of civilization for free immigrants, promising civil liberties and religious tolerance.
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|States and territories of Australia|
|New South Wales • Queensland • South Australia • Tasmania • Victoria • Western Australia|
|Mainland: Australian Capital Territory • Jervis Bay Territory • Northern Territory|
|Overseas: Ashmore and Cartier Islands • Australian Antarctic Territory • Norfolk Island • Christmas Island • Cocos (Keeling) Islands • Coral Sea Islands • Heard and McDonald Islands|