South Australia - (2008 est pop. 1,603,361), 984,381 sq km (380,070 sq mi) It is bounded on the South by the Indian Ocean. Kangaroo Island and many smaller islands off the south coast are included in the state. Adelaide is the capital; other important cities are Mount Gambier - Port Augusta - Port Pirie and Whyalla. Two thirds of the state's population live in the Adelaide metropolitan area. Much of South Australia is wasteland - deserts, mountains, salt lakes, and swampland. The Musgrave Ranges are in the North, the Flinders Ranges in the East, and the Great Victoria Desert and the Nullarbor Plain in the West. The only important river is the Murray, in the extreme southeast. The heavily populated south eastern area has a mild and heat full climate, while the north is arid to semiarid. Agriculture, confined almost exclusively to the Murray River area, consists of the raising of barley and grapes (for wine and brandy) and of wheat, oats, and rye. Livestock are grazed in the northern plains. There are valuable mineral deposits in the state; Iron Ore, Salt, Silver, Gold, Uranium and Gypsum are mined, and Coal, Natural Gas and Oil are exploited.
Adelaide - (2008 est. urban agglomeration pop. 1,170,900), capital and chief port of South Australia, at the mouth of the Torrens River on Gulf St. Vincent. It has Automotive, Textile, and other industries. Grains, Wool, Dairy Products, Wine, and Fruit are exported. In the face of declining manufacturing, service industries have become more important. Adelaide was founded in 1836, and is the oldest city in the state. It was the first to be incorporated (1840) and developed according to the original city plan of Colonel William Light. The city straddles the Torrens River and is renowned for its churches, city gardens, civic buildings and plenty of museums, galleries and festivals catering to the culturally inclined. The river precincts offer gardens with walking and cycling tracks.
Port Pirie - is an ideal base for visitors touring the Southern Flinders Ranges, Port Pirie provides a wide range of metropolitan goods and services for the whole region. The City's Industrial, Railway and Maritime heritage is reflected through major Festivals and Events.
Port Augusta - located at the top of the Spencer Gulf and one of Australia's foremost crossroad cities with road and rail branching out in all directions. The School of the Air and the Royal Flying Doctor both operate from here.
Whyalla - an industrial steel producing City taking iron ore from the nearby mines. Tours are available of the BHP steelworks and the local iron ore mines. There is a Maritime Museum, a good Wildlife and Reptile Sanctuary and Historical exhibits at the Whyalla Mount Laura Homestead Museum.
The road down the east coast of the Eyre Peninsula passes through Cowell, a jade mining centre and oyster farming. Nearby Point Gibbon has excellent sand dunes and coastline. Head south through the quiet seaside townships of Arno Bay and Port Neil before reaching Tumby Bay with it's white beaches and National Trust Museum. Offshore, The Sir Joseph Banks Islands are home to colonies of sea lions and marine birdlife.
Port Lincoln - situated at the bottom of the Eyre Peninsula and best known as the tuna capital of Australia. Several historic buildings and some good lookouts over the coastline. Nearby on the west coast of the Eyre Peninsula, rugged scenic coastlines, good fishing and surf beaches.
Woomera - the launch centre for British rocket testing in the 1950's. Under quarantine for many years but now open with tours available to the rocket range and a town heritage centre with relics of the testing era.
Coober Pedy - the opal mining town where most of the inhabitants live underground to escape the extremes of climate and leave their junk on the surface. Summer days can exceed 50 degree celsius and winter nights can drop to freezing. Tours of the workings and opal cutting centres are available and fossicking is permitted.
Much of the Region is classified as desert, and permits are required to access some isolated mining towns and extensive areas.