South Australia South Australia has a Mediterranean climate, with mild winters and warm to hot dry summers, so there is no specific time recommended to visit the state, particularly the southern regions. Very hot conditions can be experienced during summer however, especially in the northern parts of the State, such as the Flinders Ranges and Outback regions and on the Nullarbor Plain.
With much of these regions being desert, the days can be extremely hot, however the nights can be quite cold. Rainfall is experienced mostly during the winter months of June, July and August, so the best times for travelling through these areas are in Autumn (March to May) or Spring (September to November).
Wynns Coonawarra Winery, Penola
Though most of South Australia is located within the temperate zone, it is the driest state in Australia. As a consequence, South Australia's capital city - Adelaide - gives the easiest access of any capital city to Australia's Outback. The town of Port Augusta, the official gateway to the Outback, is located at the head of Spencer Gulf just three hour drive north of Adelaide.
The landscape, which sweeps out to the north and west of Port Augusta, is characterised by vivid red soil, views that stretch from horizon to horizon, clean air and night skies so bright with stars that the land is often illuminated enough to walk through. Though it has vast dry areas, South Australia is bounded in its south with a ribbon of green, much of which surrounds the Australia's longest river, the Murray.
The 640 kms of the river that wends its way from the border with New South Wales and Victoria to the sea are highly favoured by canoeists and kayakers. Caving is also popular in South Australia, as it has the best cave diving localities and some of the best dry caving areas in the country.
South Australia is known as The Festival State - it holds over 500 festivals and events every year. They range from international arts festivals to small regional events and celebrate all forms of art and culture - there is even a Festival of Ideas. Because of the Mediterranean climate, South Australians like to take their art outdoors. You can enjoy Opera in the Park, Symphony Under the Stars and a summer season of movies, picnics and fashion on the lawns of the Adelaide Botanic Gardens.
South Australia is the home of the Australian wine industry, producing 50 per cent of the total Australian wine production. There are 13 wine regions and over 270 cellar doors - the majority of them no more than a 90 minute drive from Adelaide. They include the Barossa Valley, Clare Valley, Coonawarra and McLaren Vale, all of which produce wines that regularly win medals at wine shows around the world.