South Australia (abbreviated as SA) is a state in the southern central part of Australia. It covers some of the most arid parts of the continent. With a total land area of 983,482 square kilometres (379,725 sq mi), it is the fourth largest of Australia's states and territories. With over 1.6 million people, the state comprises less than 8% of the Australian population and ranks fifth in population among the six states and two territories. The majority of its people reside in the state capital, Adelaide. Most of the remainder are settled in fertile areas along the south-eastern coast and River Murray. Today, it is known for its fine wine and numerous cultural festivals. The state's economy centres on the agricultural, manufacturing and mining industries and has an increasingly significant finance sector as well
Adelaide is north of the Fleurieu Peninsula, on the Adelaide Plains between the Gulf St Vincent and the low-lying Mount Lofty Ranges which surround the city. Adelaide stretches 20 km (12 mi) from the coast to the foothills, and 90 km (56 mi) from Gawler at its northern extent to Sellicks Beach in the south. Originally inhabited by the Kaurna people, named in honour of Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen, queen consort to King William IV, the city was founded in 1836 as the planned capital for a freely-settled British province in Australia.
As South Australia's seat of government and commercial centre, Adelaide is the site of many governmental and financial institutions
Today, Adelaide is noted for its many festivals (the renowned Adelaide Festival of Arts and Fringe Festival , Adelaide Cabaret Festival, Adelaide Film Festival, Adelaide Festival of Ideas, Adelaide Writers' Week, and WOMADelaide, all held predominately in the autumnal month of March (sometimes jocularly called 'mad March' by locals due to the hectic clustering of these events). Other festivals include FEAST (a queer culture celebration), Tasting Australia (a biennial food and wine affair), and the Royal Adelaide Show (an annual agricultural show and state fair).As well as sporting events, its food and wine, its long beachfronts, and its large defence and manufacturing sectors.