South Australia is a state of extremes: It's the country's driest state with some of the most inhospitable deserts on the continent, and at the same time, it's also one of the country's most fertile -- the lush green valleys and hills produce some of the best wines in Australia, if not the world. With its red, rocky gibber plains and wild windswept coastlines, pristine beaches, ancient mountain ranges, wide sweeping rivers, soft forested hills, and sea-scrapped islands, South Australia is Australia in microcosm.

The capital, Adelaide, is big enough to offer variety and excitement without losing its country-town vibe. On its doorstep are the vineyards, and Australia's longest river, the Murray, spills into the sea in the east of the state; to the west the spectacular cliffs of the Great Australian Bight follow the path of the longest, straightest road in the world across the Nullarbor Plain. Along the Indian Ocean, peninsulas and islands provide a rugged and beautiful coastline. Kangaroo Island is the place to be wowed by wildlife, such as kangaroos, koalas, and sea lions.

70% of the South Australia is ethereally beautiful "Outback." Out here you'll find opal-mining towns, such as Coober Pedy where people live underground to escape the heat. The beautiful Flinders Ranges are the eroded stumps of mountains that were once higher than the Himalayas.