South Australia’s 983,482 square kilometres incorporate diverse micro-climates and distinct regions, growing and producing an extraordinary range of food and wine.
Located centrally on the Australian continent, South Australia is the nation’s fourth largest state by size. The capital city, Adelaide, is home to most of the state’s 1.6 million population, with regional settlements following the fertile coast and farming land along the River Murray.
Adelaide is a city seemingly designed for food lovers and producers. Located no more than an hour of some of the diverse production regions of the state, the finest South Australian produce comes to the city’s cafes, restaurants and retailers and farmers’ markets. Strong regional branding has built a loyal following for South Australia’s iconic produce and brands. In and around the city are numerous food manufacturers, making the most of easy access to their raw ingredients and to transport for their finished products to their markets locally, interstate and overseas.
The Adelaide Hills are just minutes from the centre of Adelaide. The change in altitude from the plains is the secret behind the cooler climate and rainfall that nurtures some of our finest stone and pome fruits and vegetables. Berries thrive here alongside rich smallholdings producing artisan cheeses and smallgoods.
The Barossa is located about 60 minutes drive north of Adelaide. It was first settled by German-speaking Silesian migrants and remains a heartland of German-inspired culinary tradition. It is one of the world’s finest wine-growing regions and a showcase for the great European preserving and baking traditions.
The Clare Valley is around two hours north of Adelaide and features rich, picturesque farming country producing premium olive oil, free range chickens and eggs, premium lamb and carob. Clare Valley grain is a famous ingredient in the locally-produced organic flour and pasta.
The Eyre Peninsula is ‘Australia’s seafood frontier’. Located a few hours’ drive or a short flight from Adelaide, this region is home to spectacular coastlines and to South Australia’s wild and aquaculture fisheries producing abalone, tuna, whiting and oysters for local and international consumption.
The Fleurieu Peninsula is an hour south of Adelaide. Known as the ‘perfect peninsula’, this is a region of lush paddocks edged by clear, cold oceans and is home to premium dairy farms, cool climate vineyards, olive plantations and bountiful seafood.
Flinders Ranges and Outback
The start of Flinders Ranges and Outback is a four hour drive from Adelaide, and famous as the gateway to the rugged Australian Outback. These ancient outcrops also hide fertile micro-climates collectively known as South Australia’s northern fruit bowl, growing premium avocado, citrus, stone fruit and summer and winter vegetables.
Kangaroo Island lies south of Adelaide and is reached via a short boat trip or by air. It is a large island, roughly the same size as Bali or Long Island in New York, and combines untouched natural bushland with fertile farmland producing dairy produce, poultry, grains, honey and seafood.
The Limestone Coast is the name given to the lands reaching from the world-heritage coastline and internationally recognised sustainable fishery of the Coorong, about an hour’s drive from Adelaide. This region includes the tiny 12km wide pocket of terra rossa soil over limestone that produces the internationally acclaimed Coonawarra wines and a thriving gourmet produce industry produces local honeys and native preserves, while the pastures produce lamb, kangaroo, duck, venison, and wagyu beef.
The Murraylands are home to a co-location of ocean, river and rolling plains, where the wide open spaces produce our finest potatoes, carrots, mushrooms, capsicums, salad greens, olives and wheat. All this, plus some of our best dairy and livestock herds and more great seafood from the nearby seas, is just an hour’s drive from Adelaide.
The Riverland is only two and a half hours from Adelaide and famous around the world for tangy, vitamin-rich citrus as well as the spectacular cliffs and vistas of the great Murray River. Life is lived on the river’s edge here and award-winning fresh and dried fruits, capers, almonds, olive oil and handmade chocolates are amongst the area’s signature produce.
The Yorke Peninsula is an hour’s driving north west of Adelaide. This is grain country and at its heart is the so-called barley capital of the world at Minlaton, supplying brewers the world over with premium barley. The surrounding coast features a plentiful harvest of seafood and the area also has a rich mining history. A distinctive cuisine preserves the connection with the Cornish miners who migrated here, epitomised in the celebrated Cornish pasty.
Discover more about each region on the South Australian Tourism website.
Regional Food Groups
South Australia’s food industry has a number of Regional Food Groups, each aiming to promote and strengthen their regions profile and the individual companies in each region.