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Portal:South Australia


The South Australia Portal

Flag of South Australia
Flag of South Australia
Location within Australia

South Australia (commonly abbreviated as SA) is a state in the southern central part of Australia. It covers some of the most arid parts of the country. With a total land area of 984,321 square kilometres (380,048 sq mi), it is the fourth-largest of Australia's states and territories by area, and second smallest state by population. It has a total of 1.8 million people. Its population is the second most highly centralised in Australia, after Western Australia, with more than 77 percent of South Australians living in the capital Adelaide, or its environs. Other population centres in the state are relatively small; Mount Gambier, the second-largest centre, has a population of 26,878.

South Australia shares borders with all the other mainland states. It is bordered to the west by Western Australia, to the north by the Northern Territory, to the north-east by Queensland, to the east by New South Wales, to the south-east by Victoria, and to the south by the Great Australian Bight. The state comprises less than 8 percent of the Australian population and ranks fifth in population among the six states and two territories. The majority of its people reside in greater Metropolitan Adelaide. Most of the remainder are settled in fertile areas along the south-eastern coast and River Murray. The state's colonial origins are unique in Australia as a freely settled, planned British province, rather than as a convict settlement. Colonial government commenced on 28 December 1836, when the members of the council were sworn in near the Old Gum Tree.

As with the rest of the continent, the region has a long history of human occupation by numerous tribes and languages. The South Australian Company established a temporary settlement at Kingscote, Kangaroo Island, on 26 July 1836, five months before Adelaide was founded. The guiding principle behind settlement was that of systematic colonisation, a theory espoused by Edward Gibbon Wakefield that was later employed by the New Zealand Company. The goal was to establish the province as a centre of civilisation for free immigrants, promising civil liberties and religious tolerance. Although its history has been marked by periods of economic hardship, South Australia has remained politically innovative and culturally vibrant. Today, it is known for its fine wine and numerous cultural festivals. The state's economy is dominated by the agricultural, manufacturing and mining industries. (Full article...)

Operation Totem was a pair of British atmospheric nuclear tests which took place at Emu Field in South Australia in October 1953. They followed the Operation Hurricane test of the first British atomic bomb, which had taken place at the Montebello Islands a year previously. The main purpose of the trial was to determine the acceptable limit on the amount of plutonium-240 which could be present in a bomb.

In addition to the two main tests, there was a series of five subcritical tests called "Kittens". These did not produce nuclear explosions, but used conventional explosives, polonium-210, beryllium and natural uranium to investigate the performance of neutron initiators. (Full article...)
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Blue Lake.
Blue Lake.
Credit: Aaron Allen

Blue Lake is a large lake located in an extinct volcanic caldera in Mount Gambier. It is known as Waawor in the local Aboriginal language. During summer and the surrounding months, the lake takes on a vibrant blue colour, returning to a colder steely-grey colour for winter. The exact cause of this phenomenon is still a matter of conjecture but it is generally considered likely that it revolves around the warming of the surface layers of the lake during the summer months to around 25 degrees celsius, causing calcium carbonate to precipitate out of solution and enabling micro-crystallites of calcium carbonate to form. This results in a scatter of the blue wavelength of sunlight. The movement of planktonic life-forms within the lake during the seasons and during the day may also play a part in the visibility changes.

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Richard Layton Butler

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GeographyAdelaide Hills • Adelaide Plains • Barossa Valley • Clare Valley • Coonawarra • Eyre Peninsula • Fleurieu Peninsula • Flinders Ranges • Kangaroo Island • Limestone Coast • Mid North • Nullarbor Plain • Riverland • Yorke Peninsula

HistoryKaurna Indigenous people • European settlement • History of Adelaide • Proclamation Day • Australian Overland Telegraph Line • Timeline of South Australian history

Towns and CitiesAdelaide • Coober Pedy • Mount Gambier • Murray Bridge| Port Augusta • Port Lincoln • Port Pirie • Victor Harbor • Whyalla

Economy and PoliticsPremiers • Governors • Parliament • House of Assembly • Electoral districts • Legislative Council • State elections

CultureCroweater • Pie floater • Wine • The Advertiser • Adelaide Festival Centre • Adelaide Entertainment Centre • WOMADelaide • Adelaide Fringe • Elder Park • The Crows • The Power • The Reds • Redbacks • Hindmarsh Stadium • AAMI Stadium • Rundle Mall

PeopleKaurna Indigenous people • Matthew Flinders • William Light • Charles Sturt • Edward Gibbon Wakefield • John Hindmarsh • George Gawler • Playford family • Don Dunstan

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