is a state of Australia in the south of the country between Western Australia to the west and Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria to the east, and south of the Northern Territory. It was first proclaimed a colony in 1834 and unlike other states in Australia was settled entirely by free settlers from Britain from the 1830s onwards. With nearly 1.6 million people, however, the state comprises less than 10% of the Australian population and ranks fifth in population among the states and territories. However, the state covers a vast amount of land area, including some of the most arid parts of the country. 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. The state also includes Kangaroo Island, Australia's third largest island which lies off the coast of the mainland in the south-east of the state.
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.
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!