South Australia is the driest of the states, nonetheless produces vintageswhich please the most discerning palates in the country. Two thirds of the state is almost uninhabited semi - dessert; yet is populated coastal belt is, in Australian terms, a cultural oasis.
Fifty kilometres north - east of Adelaide strech the vineyards, orchards and olive groves of the Barossa Valley. This fertile pocket of land contains more than 30 wineries and almost half Australia's vineyards.
Although South Australia is bordered by all other mainland states, it lacks their collective visual variety. Beyond the fertile and senic coastal belt, most of the state is arid and desolate, dotted with isolated outback townships and mining settlements. Despite harsh conditions, however, the outback contains sites of remarkable beauty, particulary in the ancient razor - backed ridges of the Flinders Ranges.
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