Difference between revisions of "South Australia"
Revision as of 12:24, 24 June 2011
South Australia  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 Denpasar in Indonesia, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia and Auckland in New Zealand. There are regular domestic flights into Adelaide from all Australian capital cities and some interstate regional centres such as Mildura in Victoria, Broken Hill, Kalgoorlie-Boulder airport and Broome in Western Australia, Alice Springs and Darwin in the Northern Territory.
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 bus services are provided by Greyhound Australia , Firefly  and 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 2,700 km 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 3,000 km and travels through some very remote parts of Australia. A minimum of 4 days is recommended. Sydney to Adelaide takes about 18 hours to 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 such as 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 do stop to set down and pick up passengers at some regional centres on route. 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 several major regional centres in South Australia. The main destinations are, Port Lincoln, Whyalla, Port Augusta, Ceduna, Mount Gambier, Coober Pedy and Broken Hill (NSW). (note: many support services for Broken Hill in western New South Wales are supplied from South Australia)
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.
Parafield Airport (IATA: none), (ICAO: YPPF) is the states principal General aviation airport. General aviation services including charter operations are operated from both Adelaide Airport (IATA: ADL) in West Beach and Parafield Airport in the suburb of Parafield, 18 km north of the Adelaide Central business district (CBD) and adjacent to the Mawson Lakes campus of the University of South Australia. Parafield Airport is Adelaide's second airport and the fifth busiest airport in Australia by aircraft movements.
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 is also known for its wine. The Barossa Valley is 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.
While tropical dives sites like the Great Barrier Reef or those in Southeast Asia hawk the tourist literature, those who are more adventurous should consider diving in South Australia, which offers some very good temperate dive sites. Those of particular interst include Rapid Bay, which home to leafy sea dragons, a type of seahorse which is only found in the temperate waters of Australia.
South Australia has a good reputation for high quality fresh food and produce.
The Adelaide Central Market  is in the city centre just to the west of Victoria Square and has an enduring reputation for fresh market produce as well as cheeses, smallgoods, fresh seafood, fresh butchered as well as processed meats and a huge range of culinary speciality items bearing an Australian, European and Asian food heritage. The Central Market precinct is the location of Adelaide's small Chinatown and has many Asian food outlets and restaurants. Many cafes, restaurants and retail food outlets line the streets around the Market complex.
The official opening of the Adelaide Central Market was on 22 January 1870. The Central Market was open on Tuesdays and Saturdays with 50 to 100 produce carts. The market sold vegetables, fruit, hay, fish and game meats. On 8 February 1900 the first stone was laid to build the current Central Market façade, which still stands today. In the same year a 40 meter veranda was added.
The state produces citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, grapefruit, stone fruits such a nectarines, peaches and plums, apples, pears, and table grapes such as sultana and muscatel.
Wheat, barley and oats are staple grain crops, legumes such as peas and many bean varieties are also produced. The state has an extensive market garden industry growing a wide range of vegetables in all seasons. Nuts such as almonds and walnuts are grown near Adelaide and the state has a vibrant high quality olive oil industry.
Seafood is both farmed in sea-water pens, grown in onshore tanks and caught in the wild by line fishing, trolling and trawling. South Australia has a well developed tuna, scale fish, oyster, craysish (lobster) and abalone industry. The cold fresh waters of the Southern Ocean and the two gulfs has historically been bountiful but due to overfishing stringent controls have been brought to bear upon both commercial and recreational fishing. Historically, inland waterways such as the Murray river and the Coorong were also highly productive but have declined drastically due to environmental impacts and degradation.
The state also has a highly developed viticulture and wine making tradition and the industry produces many wine varieties for local, national and international markets.
South Australia also has a good reputation for rearing beef cattle for veal and beef meats, dairy production including milks, yoghurts, fresh and matured cheeses. The state has a strong history of sheep meat production including mutton and lamb. Local game meats include kangaroo and rabbits, which are wild harvested, normally in the mid-north and far north of the state. The poultry industry is well developed and provides both battery farm, free range and 'organic' eggs, chicken, ducks and turkeys.
Adelaide especially has a good reputation for restaurant and cafe dining. Other areas, including the Clare Valley, Barossa Valley and Kangaroo Island have strong regional cafe and restaurant industries that exploit the high quality fresh produce available in those areas.
The ethnic culinary influences and production skills borne by many generations of immigration has helped the development of the food and produce industry in South Australia. Italian, Greek, Polish, German, Malaysian, Chinese and Vietnamese immigrants to the state have had particularly strong influence on the development of the states food culture.
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.