THE REGIONS OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA PRESENT STARK CONTRASTS and variations in geography and culture – from the blazing outback to wine regions that, in turn, have their own charcteristics.
The regions are broadly:
RIVERLAND: The River Murray runs through towns such as Renmark, Berri, Morgan, Murray Bridge supported by irrigated areas growing fruit, grapes, almonds etc.
IRON TRIANGLE: Formed by the cities of Port Pirie, Port Augusta and Whyalla, adjusting to challenges to their industrial base.
BAROSSA VALLEY: A premier wine region north of Adelaide but with the characteristic of being settled early by German Lutherans.
CLARE VALLEY: Another wine region, settled in the 1840s by English, Irish, Polish and Silesian migrants, producing a rich heritage of architecture and villages. The Jesuit order in Australia started at Sevenhill in 1848.
ADELAIDE HILLS: A backdrop for Adelaide city plains, the Hills were a cooler, wetter and thus lusher, haven that produced many towns around its orchards, farms and vineyards.
YORKE PENINSULA: An agricultural region with an attractive coastline, it acquired a Cornish flavour from miners who worked on its 19th Century cooper finds.
EYRE PENINSULA: In many ways, still the state’s western frontier, waiting for the next steps in exploiting its minerals potential and Southern Ocean coastline.
FLEURIEU PENINSULA: A mix of beaches, McLaren Vale vineyards, farms and nature parks beyond the Adelaide suburbs stretching south.
LIMESTONE COAST: From the Coorong and Bool Lagoon at the River Murray mouth down to the south east, taking in Mount Gambier and its volcanic craters and the Naracoorte caves.
FLINDERS RANGES: Renowned for the Ediacara Hills, where some of the oldest fossil evidence of animal life was discovered. Most characteristic landmark is Wilpena Pound next to the Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park.
OUTBACK: North of Eyre Peninsula and the Flinders Ranges, this vast emptiness is about 70% of the state. But it offers novel experiences such as Woomera, with its legacy nuclear tests and left-over rockets; the legendary Oodnadatta and Strzelecki tracks; and eccentric towns such as William Creek, Innaminka and Coober Pedy.