If you are curious about South Australia, we have all the fun facts you need about this unique state. From a bustling hub of art, food, and entertainment in the capital city to a diverse range of landscapes including the rugged outback, arid desert, stunning coastline and rolling hills. South Australia is one of the most welcoming and friendly places in the world; with so much to see and do, it really has something to offer everyone.
Here are a few fun facts about South Australia to get you started:
- Adelaide, the capital city of South Australia, is known as the “City of Churches” because it has a high concentration of beautiful churches and cathedrals.
- Adelaide hosts Adelaide Fringe Festival, one of the largest arts festivals in the Southern Hemisphere.
Where is South Australia?
South Australia is located in the south of Australia, in the centre between West Australia to the West and New South Wales and Victoria to the East. The capital city is Adelaide.
How big is South Australia?
The state of South Australia is big! It is around 980,000 km2, which is approximately 13% of mainland Australia. That’s similar in size to the countries France and Germany combined!
How many people live in South Australia?
1.8 million people call South Australia home, with 80% living in the capital city of Adelaide.
When was South Australia colonised?
The Kaurna Aboriginal people lived on the land now called Adelaide before European settlers arrived in the 18030s. In 1836 the area was proclaimed to be the location of the capital of the new colony and settlers arrived in 1838.
Fun Fact – Adelaide was a free settlement meaning there were no convicts in the area.
South Australia Politics
In 1901 South Australia joined 5 other states to form the Commonwealth of Australia.
South Australia was the first colony in Australia to give women the right to vote, no matter their age or marital status, unlike many other places around the world.
South Australia is a federated state of Australia, meaning it is part of a group of other states that united to form the Commonwealth of Australia. South Australia is run by the Premier who is the leader of the political party currently in power. Parliament House is located in Adelaide.
South Australia also has a Governor, a representative of the Monarch of Australia, who resides at Government House in Adelaide and performs constitutional and ceremonial duties in South Australia.
What language is spoken in South Australia?
Like the rest of Australia, the official language of South Australia is English, however the state is also home to over 200 ethnic communities.
What are the emblems of South Australia?
The Hairy-Nosed Wombat was adopted as the animal (faunal) emblem of South Australia in 1970. The Sturt’s Desert Pea is the floral emblem.
South Australia’s flag is a dark blue flag with a Union Jack in the top left corner. To the right is a gold circle that depicts a rising sun, with an Australian Piping Shrike (commonly known as a magpie) in the centre. This flag became the official flag in 1904.
Geography of South Australia
South Australia has a lot of amazing national parks, including the Flinders Ranges National Park, the Adelaide Hills National Park, and the Coorong National Park. These parks are home to a variety of wildlife and offer visitors plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities.
South Australia is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Australia, including Glenelg Beach, Semaphore Beach, and Henley Beach. The coastline stretches for more than 3,700km!
The Barossa Valley and the Clare Valley are located just outside of Adelaide, as are the Adelaide Hills. These destinations are excellent for spending some time out in nature.
Part of the Nullarbor Plain can be found in South Australia, while the rest is in West Australia. This is an arid dry stretch of land that covers around 200,000 km2. The word Nullarbor comes from Latin, meaning ‘no trees’.
Famous Landmarks of South Australia
The Adelaide Oval is where cricket is played across the summer and Australia Rules Football is played in the winter. You can also see concerts and attend functions there. The seating capacity is more than 53,000.
Officially known as Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre, Lake Eyre is the largest lake in Australia when filled (which doesn’t happen very often!) and is also the lowest point in Australia, making it a salt lake! This lake only gets filled around 4 times per century! When it is dry it is the site of many land speed records because it is so flat, there are no obstacles and the moisture in the salt keeps the tyres cool.
Coober Pedy is a town north of Adelaide where people live underground because of the high temperatures. Shops, churches and even hotels are located underground! The town is famous for mining opals and produces a large amount of the world’s opal supply.
What animals are found in South Australia?
The South Australian desert is home to some of the most unique wildlife in the world, including the kangaroo, the emu, and the echidna.
Kangaroo Island is just 13 km off the coast of South Australia and is a great place to see wild animals like kangaroos, koalas, sea lions and seals. The kangaroos on the island have longer and darker fur than others.
Fun Fact – Kangaroo Island is the 3 largest island in Australia and is more than 6 times the size of Singapore!
The Hairy-Nosed Wombat is the animal emblem of South Australia and is found across the state, especially in places like Eyre Peninsula, the Gawler Ranges and the Nullarbor Plain.
Which sports are played in South Australia?
Sports are a popular pastime and form of entertainment in South Australia. Australian rules football is one of the most popular sports in the state, with the Adelaide Crows and Port Adelaide Power being the two local teams in the Australian Football League (AFL).
Cricket is played in summer, with Adelaide Oval hosting international matches and local competitions.
The Adelaide 36ers are Adelaide’s basketball team, playing in the National Basketball League (NBL).
Other sports include soccer, netball, rugby, and tennis. South Australia also has a strong tradition of horse racing, with the Adelaide Cup and Oakbank Easter Racing Carnival being popular events.
With its beautiful coastline and waterways, water sports such as swimming, surfing, and sailing are also popular activities in the state.
Last minute fun facts:
- There have been more than 80 shipwrecks recorded off Kangaroo Island since 1836.
- Anna Creek Station is located in South Australia and is the largest working cattle station in the world. It is bigger than the country of Slovenia.
- You can do shark cave diving in Port Lincoln and see Great White Sharks.
If you have enjoyed these facts about South Australia, make sure you check out all our other fun facts about places.