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World Travel Guide > Guides > Oceania > Australia > South Australia

South Australia Weather, climate and geography

Weather and climate

Best time to visit

Adelaide boasts a Mediterranean climate, perfect for enjoying the great Australian outdoors. Warm and temperate with long hot summers, short mild winters and low rainfall. The north of the state is searingly hot during the day in summer and freezing at night. One of the hottest places in the area is Coober Pedy, 863km (536 miles) northwest of Adelaide, reaching temperatures of up to 50°C (122°F).

Required clothing

Lightweight cottons and linens in summer, warmer mediumweights in winter. Waterproofing is advisable throughout most of the year, particularly during May, June and July.

Geography

Except for the state capital of Adelaide, South Australia is sparsely inhabited. It is four times the area of the UK. It is the country's driest state, a region of rocky plains and desert landscape broken by the fertile wine-growing areas, which include the Barossa Valley.

South Australia stretches upwards to the Northern Territory, eastwards to Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria, and westwards to Western Australia. The countryside ranges from the beach resorts of the Adelaide suburbs including Henley and Glenelg to the vast expanses of isolated, semi-desert outback; from the craggy mountains of Flinders Ranges to the meandering Murray River. Offshore is the popular Kangaroo Island. Adelaide nestles in the foothills of Mount Lofty Ranges.