Quiet achiever South Australia has been slowly enhancing its international profile by producing top-notch wines and hosting a smorgasbord of sporting and cultural events.
Sharing a border with all of the mainland states and territories, South Australia gives way to iconic landscapes in every direction, from the arid north to the sand-skirted south.
With wide city streets encircled by gardens, cruisy Adelaide is in no rush to become a bustling metropolis, only adding to its appeal. Recently, the South Australian capital edged out Sydney in the 2012 global livability survey, earning brownie points for modern infrastructure and neighbouring natural assets.
Sip Australia's best wines
While you're in Adelaide, keep an eye on the calendar so you don't miss the party. The state is home to various annual festivals including highlights WOMADelaide, Adelaide Festival and the Clipsal 500 car race.
The Barossa is the most celebrated grape-growing region in Australia, draped in patchwork farmland and prosperous vineyards.
Wine is a way of life for Barossa locals, with more than one hundred cellar doors ranging from boutique producers to big name estates like Jacob's Creek and Wolf Blass.
What's a quality drop without a standout meal to match? The Barossa and, on a wider scale, South Australia's ever evolving food culture serves up regionally renowned dairy products, sustainably sourced meat and barrels of crisp crops, weaving a delicious tapestry of flavours from paddock to plate.
Head to the local markets, chat to the producers and sample South Australia's finest fare for a taste of the good life.
Escape to the wilderness
A stone's throw from the southern coast, Kangaroo Island lures visitors with its rugged beauty and promises of escapism. More than 4,000 South Australians call the island home, mimicking the mainland with abounding farms and wineries.
Australia's third largest island. Kangaroo Island is teeming with wildlife including chocolate-brown fur seals, little penguins and whales migrating to the Great Australian Bight.
Bumping up against the Northern Territory, SA has its share of outback terrain too. Visit the Flinders Ranges where hundreds of kilometres can pass between homesteads in the shadow of ancient craggy mountains.
To see the magnificent South Australian landscapes from a different perspective, why not take a nostalgic rail journey on board The Indian Pacific, The Ghan or The Overland?