Difference between revisions of "South Australia"
Revision as of 22:09, 22 January 2011
 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
You can't bring fruit and vegetables into South Australia. There are disposal bins on roads and at airports, and checks are made - including dogs at airports and on trains and inspection stations on the roads. You will notice the signs and announcements. On-the-spot fines of around $400 are payable if you are caught with fruit or vegetables.
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:
South Australia's main air gateway is Adelaide Airport(IATA: ADL) , 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.
Adelaide is a 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.
V/Line have a daily coach service from Adelaide connecting to the Countrylink XPT Service in Albury to Sydney.
Interstate services are provided by Greyhound Australia , Firefly , VLine, these services also serve multiple intrastate destinations on route. Transfers are available to Adelaide airport and Keswick interstate rail terminal from the Adelaide Central Bus Station. 
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.
The State has a well developed highway system, however in the northern and western regions many roads are un-paved gravel or dirt roads and extra care must be taken. The article on driving in australia has some useful information and guidance. Road traffic laws and regulations  are vigourously policed in South Australia and visitors from other states, territories and foreign countries should familiarise themselves with the local conditions and requirements prior to planning a trip by road in South Australia.
Statewide regional and intrastate routes are provided by several bus companies and they serve the Adelaide Hills, Mid and Far North, Mid North, Barossa, Murray Bridge, Eyre Peninsula and Far West, Riverland, Fleurieu Peninsula, South East, Kangaroo Island and Yorke Peninsula.
The state is served by a limited commercial rail passenger network with services only provided to limited stops within South Australia that fall on the national mainline routes. Interstate services  from Adelaide connect to some regional centres on route and are limited to the the Overland to Melbourne , The Ghan  to Alice Springs and Darwin and the Indian Pacific that links Perth, Adelaide, Broken Hill and Sydney and the Southern Spirit that links to Brisbane. Great Southern Rail  operate all these services, ☎ 13 21 47 in Australia ☎+61 8 8213 4592 if calling from outside Australia.
Adelaide Metro operate the remnant suburban and local train and tram services in and around the capital city and details are available in the Adelaide article
Several historic rail journeys are available. The SteamRanger preservation group in the Adelaide Hills has restored a number of steam and diesel locomotives for tourist services, and the Pichi Richi Railway based in Quorn operates on part of the former Central Australia Railway.
Scheduled air services go to regional centres in South Australia. The main destinations are, Port Lincoln, Whyalla, Port Augusta, Ceduna, Mount Gambier and Broken Hill (NSW). The two main regional operators in South Australia are Rex Regional express  and QantasLink .
The state also has a General Aviation sector including charter operators and wet lease operators such as National Jet Systems Cobham  and other smaller operators that service the airline industry, private individuals, tourism and the fly-in, fly-out services for the mining, oil and gas production industries active in the state.
South Australia has a vibrant bicycle culture and the capital city of Adelaide has many established cycle paths and bicycle travel networks  and regional trails.  Adelaide and regional cities have well stocked bicycle shops  and many clubs and associations. In Adelaide the City Council provide Free City Bikes  at several locations.
South Australia has a number of taxi companies that serve both the main city of Adelaide, regional cities and regional areas. 
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.
Beer measures in South Australia are the schooner and the pint. A schooner is a smaller measure, known variously as a middy or a pot elsewhere in Australia. A pint isn't a pint at all, and is a larger size known as a schooner everywhere else in Australia. In most pubs in SA a pint of pale will return you a reasonable measure of Coopers Pale Ale.