South Australia overview

The state covers 984000 square kilometres most of which is sparsely settled hinterland. 1/3rd of the state’s land mass has no significant economic use and receives little rain. Another 1/2 is suited only to light grazing. 99% of the population of nearly 1.5 million lives south of the 32nd parallel, Nearly a million people live in the city of Adelaide which is located near the coast in the Eastern shore of the Spencer Gulf.  The settled areas of the Yorke, Fleurieu Peninsulas, and the South Eastern area close to the Victorian border receive the only significant rain, making South Australia the driest state in Australia. Poor rainfall and long periods of sunshine are bad for farmers but great for ocan activities. The weather is often sunny and bright making it easy to plan outdoor activities. The temperature never falls below 7 degrees Celcius along the coast and enjoys a mean Summer temperature of 25 degrees.

There are 3700 kilometres of South Australian coastline, making it nearly as large as New South Wales and Victoria combined, and slightly larger the excellent diving coasts of Tasmania. Much of its coastline is moderately inaccessible to the main population centre and most of the water activity is focused on the reefs, wrecks and jetties close to Adelaide. The unusual shape of the state’s coastline means that relatively long land journeys are required to reach the more adventurous oceanic sites. On long weekends drivers leave Adelaide in droves looking for something a bit more adventurous on the more distant areas around the Yorke and Eyre Peninsulas, around Kangaroo Island and the South East.

South Australia waters, like a lot of Australi’s coast, have a low nutrient rating generally, but there is still penty to see with everything from the iconic weedy seadragon to Blue whales.Some areas such as  Southern Yorke Peninsula, Ceduna and the South East experience cool upwellings and are hotspots for biodiversity.